LONDON (AP) — A man has been charged in the stabbing of a Conservative lawmaker who was killed as he met constituents at a church hall last week.
Authorities say a 25-year-old British man with Somali heritage, Ali Harbi Ali, has been charged under the Terrorism Act in the death of David Amess.
“We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations,’’ said Nick Price of the Crown Prosecution Service. “He has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts.”
The death of Amess, who had served in Parliament for almost 40 years and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, has shocked Britain, especially its politicians, who pride themselves on being accessible to their constituents . It has prompted conversations at the highest levels about how the country protects its leaders and grapples with extremism at home.
The slaying came five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist. Cox was the first British lawmaker to be killed since a peace accord ended large-scale Northern Ireland violence almost 30 years earlier.
Amess, 69, was a social conservative who opposed abortion, campaigned for animal rights and strongly supported Britain’s exit from the European Union.