Ali Harbi Ali given whole-life sentence for Sir David Amess murder

Ali Harbi Ali was sentenced by a judge to whole-life imprisonment for the murder of Sir David Amess MP.

The Southend MP was stabbed more than 20 times in constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 October 2021.

Sir David was taken to the hospital but died on the spot.

The Old Bailey jury also found Ali Harbi Ali, 26, of north London guilty for preparing terrorist acts.


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He denied all charges.

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney described the murder as one: “that struck at the heart of our democracy.”

Sir David’s family said the attack was “beyond evil”, in a released statement.

The Old Bailey was told by Ali Harbi Ali that he first considered killing Michael Gove while he was jogging.

The court was told that Ali was a “committed and fanatical” Islamist terrorist who stabbed Sir David, causing his “cold and calculated murder” during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-sea last October.

Ali was reported to have self-radicalized in 2015 and decided to target a sitting British MP the same year.

The jury was informed that Mr Ali had decided not to target Gove as he had split from his wife, and had put his house on the market.

In the days leading up to the attack on Sir David, he also conducted research on other politicians via the Internet.

He also claimed that he had researched how to murder someone using online Islamic State tutorials.

Ali cited Sir David’s vote for airstrikes in Syria and his membership of Conservative Friends of Israel as reasons for the attack on him.

Sir David was one of Westminster’s longest serving MPs having sat in the Commons continuously for 38 years. Only four other sitting MPs, Harriet Harman (Sir Peter Bottomley), Barry Sheerman and Dame Margaret Beckett, had a longer record of service than Sir David.

Eight MPs were assassinated during the history of Parliament. Five of those eight have been assassinated in the last 42 year: Jo Cox (2016), Ian Gow in 1990 and Sir Anthony Berry (1984), Rev Robert Bradford (1981) and Airey Neave (1979).

At his funeral last November, Sir David’s friend and fellow Conservative MP Mark Francois delivered a eulogy in which he lauded Sir David’s constituency work and described him as the “original Essex cheeky chappy”.

“Whatever the weaknesses of Parliament, David Amess was the living embodiment of all its strengths,” Francois went on.
Sir David was a dedicated Catholic and a father to five children.