david amess, jo cox, stephen timms, nigel jones
Four British lawmakers have been attacked during constituent meetings since 2000: David Amess, Jo Cox, Stephen Timms, and Nigel Jones.
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  • The fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess is the fourth such attack in the UK since 2000.
  • All of the attacks took place at the lawmakers' public meetings with constituents.
  • The victims include Amess, Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour MP Stephen Timms, and Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.

A British member of Parliament, Sir David Amess, was stabbed to death on Friday as he met with constituents at a church in Essex – the fourth such attack in the country since 2000.

Amess' death comes five years after the 2016 murder of Jo Cox. Cox, a 41-year-old member of the left-wing Labour Party, was arriving to meet with constituents when she was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist.

In 2010, another Labour Party lawmaker, Stephen Timms, was stabbed during what's known as a "constituency surgery" – a regular meeting where constituents can gather with their elected member of Parliament to discuss political issues. Timms' attacker was a 21-year-old Al Qaeda sympathizer who was later convicted of attempted murder.

Yet another attack occurred during a constituency surgery in 2000 with the Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones. The attacker had burst into Jones' office with a sword, severely injuring Jones and killing his aide, Andy Pennington. The attacker was convicted of attempted murder in 2003.

In Britain, armed police officers provide security to lawmakers while they're in Parliament, but not during constituency surgeries.

Amess, a 69-year-old member of Britain's Conservative Party, appeared to be aware of the danger of attending public events. He wrote in his 2020 memoir that a fatal attack "could happen to any of us," and that he had even previously been warned to be careful during meetings with constituents.

"We are advised to never see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure," he wrote.

Amess also lamented that such precautions could interfere with politicians' practice of meeting directly with their constituents.

"These increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians," he wrote.

In the wake of Amess' death, Essex police arrested a 25-year-old man.

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