London (CNN)British Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a constituency meeting east of London, local media reported on Friday.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” Essex police said.

“A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”

Amess, 69, a Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district being held in a Methodist Church, a witness at the scene told Reuters.

The incident was met with shock across Britain’s political spectrum. The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, wrote on Twitter: “Horrific and deeply shocking news. Thinking of David, his family and his staff.”

Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s wife, tweeted: “Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess.

“He was hugely kind and good. An enormous animal lover and a true gent. This is so completely unjust. Thoughts are with his wife and their children.”

The stabbing comes five years after Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was murdered in her constituency by a far-right extremist, days before the UK’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union.

That incident stunned the country and led to some calls for lawmakers to receive personal protection when in public. Lawmakers in Britain typically meet with residents in their constituencies face to face during “surgeries,” and it is uncommon for them to have a security detail.

“All elected representatives must be able to go about their work without the fear of physical or verbal attacks,” Amess’ colleague, Conservative MP Eleanor Laing, said in a tweet on Friday following the stabbing. “What has happened to Sir David Amess in Essex today is unforgivable.”

Amess entered Parliament in 1983, initially representing the Basildon constituency. He has served continuously in the House of Commons since then, making him one of the longest-serving lawmakers in the chamber.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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