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UK: Assassin of MP David Amess sentenced to life in prison

Judge says the killing of the conservative politician by the IS supporter was an attack “on the heart of democracy”
A candle is lit next to a photograph of British lawmaker David Amess at St Michael's and All Angels Church, Leigh-on-Sea, England, 17 October 2021, ahead of a vigil in honour of Amess AFP)

Islamic State group sympathiser Ali Harbi Ali was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for killing British MP Sir David Amess and plotting terrorist attacks on others, including Michael Gove. 

The 26-year-old attacked Amess at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in October of last year by stabbing him in the chest 21 times. The ruling was of such seriousness that the judge mandated a rare life imprisonment for the culprit's acts. 

“This was a murder that struck at the heart of our democracy," said Justice Sweeney, adding that “the defendant must be kept in prison for the rest of his life”.

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The judge noted that there was no remorse on the part of the attacker and that he was actually proud of what he did. 

A statement was read on behalf of Mr. Amess' family, who noted that "there is no elation in our family today following this sentencing".

"Our amazing husband and father has been taken from us in an appalling and violent manner. Nothing will ever compensate for that," added the statement, which called the attack "beyond evil".

Mr. Amess worked as an MP for over 38 years and was appreciated by colleagues across party lines. The assassination of Mr. Amess is the second against a British MP in five years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in 2016 by a far right militant.