Sir David Amess: Home Secretary Priti Patel to face questions on suspect held on suspicion of murdering MP as local police across the country step up security

The Home Secretary has confirmed that local police will have contacted MPs as part of increased security measures as she faces questions on the suspect held on suspicion of murdering Sir David Amess.

Priti Patel said MPs were being asked to share their whereabouts with police as part of increasing their security.

Asked on Sky News' Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme what security changes were likely to be seen, the Home Secretary said: "MPs have already been contacted by their local police forces, so that's 600-plus MPs, around what are they doing, sharing information with police so police know where they are, checking their actual physical security.

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"These are all the practical measures, basically.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: A police officer walks past floral tributes left outside Parliament on October 16, 2021 in London, England. Counter-terrorism officers are investigating the murder of Sir David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West, who was stabbed to death during his constituency surgery yesterday around midday. A man in his twenties was arrested at the scene. Home Secretary Priti Patel has ordered an immediate review of security measures for MPs. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

"These are the one-on-one conversations that are taking place, and rightly so.

"But with that, we are making sure that Members of Parliament have the confidence to go around in their constituencies and having that advice from police and security about how to keep themselves safe."

The Home Secretary will also face questions concerning what was known about a suspect held on suspicion of murdering MP Sir David Amess as police were granted extra time to question him.

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During Sunday morning broadcast interviews, Priti Patel is likely to be pressed over whether the 25-year-old man was known to the Government's anti-terrorist programme prior to the fatal stabbing of Sir David on Friday.

Media reports said the suspect has the same details as a man previously referred to Prevent, however, there has been no official confirmation of whether this is the case.

Sir David, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday afternoon when he was stabbed multiple times in a frenzied attack.

The MP spoke to PR professional Richard Hillgrove to discuss the Children's Parliament, an event where youngsters are matched with MPs, soon before the attack, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper reported Mr Hillgrove ended the Zoom call at 12.02pm, three minutes before the married father-of-five was stabbed.

A man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder was later further detained under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and is in custody at a London police station.

A warrant of further detention, which allows detectives to hold the man until October 22, was granted at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

The name the police have for the suspect is Ali Harbi Ali, the PA news agency understands.

Official sources told PA the man is believed to be a British national.

The investigation is said to be assuming there was an Islamist extremist motivation for the attack.

But it is understood the suspect was not, and had not previously been, a subject of interest for security services.

Scotland Yard said the country's most senior counter-terror officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, has formally declared the incident as terrorism and said early investigations had revealed "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism".

Writing in The Observer and the Mail on Sunday, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was "working closely and at pace with the Home Office and the police" to identify ways to improve MPs' safety.

The attack came five-and-a-half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist.

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