LEADERS of Brighton and Hove's political groups have offered their condolences after the murder of Southend West MP Sir David Amess.

In a cross-party statement from council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty, Conservative group leader Steve Bell, and Labour group co-leaders John Allcock and Carmen Appich, they said that Sir David was a "deeply respected public servant" and described his murder as "an attack on democracy."

They said: "The way in which he has died is appalling, killed in the community he represented, whilst simply doing his job.

"And while the accountability of politicians is important, like everyone else, they should be able to work in safety.

"Politics must be about discussion and debate. This senseless attack is an attack on democracy and is unacceptable.

"We repeat our commitment to unity. We stand together; strong in compassion with people from all faiths and backgrounds. Division and hatred drives people into committing acts of violence and terror. We will do all we can to not let this happen in our city."

Sir David was stabbed multiple times at a constituency surgery at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea yesterday.

The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident by police.

A 25-year-old British man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, with police believing the man acted alone.

The man remains in custody.

Tributes to Sir David have come from across the political spectrum, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing him as "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics."

Hove MP Peter Kyle described Sir David as "a thoroughly decent person."

On Twitter, he said: "The shock of this will take some time for us as individuals and a country to fully comprehend."

Sir David is the sixth MP to be killed since 1945, and the second in five years - after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right extremist in 2016.

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