26-year-old man convicted for the murder of British lawmaker David Amess

Guilty
At the Old Bailey
Boris Johnson's statements
Islamic State supporter
'Textbook radicalisation'
False dichotomy
Michael Gove and other potential victims
Not just the tories
Britain was shocked
Tributes from all across the political spectrum
The Prime Minister speaks out
The Leader of the Opposition chimes in
Over half of his life in the House of Commons
A conservative environmentalist
David Amess, the Brexiteer
Remembering Jo Cox
Jo Cox's husband speaks on David Amess
Suspect detained
Vigils and tributes
Double standards?
A country, divided
Memorials
People of many backgrounds unite against the murder
Elizabeth steps in
Southend becomes a city
Extremism
Guilty

Ali Harbi Ali, a young British national of Somali origin, has been declared guilty of the murder of Conservative MP David Amess and of preparing acts of terrorism, the BBC reported on April 11.

Pictured: Several high-profile Conservative Party politicians assist at a requiem mass in memory of David Amess at Westminster Cathedral.

At the Old Bailey

The jury at Central Criminal Court in London, the BBC reports, only took 18 minutes to convict the young man.

Boris Johnson's statements

“Sir David Amess was a beloved colleague, public servant and friend who championed the city of Southend in everything he did,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson posted on Twitter after the ruling. “My thoughts today remain with Julia, the Amess family and all those who knew and loved him”.

Islamic State supporter

The young man from North London, described as a supporter of the Islamic States, claims that he attacked Amess due to his parliamentary vote in support of airstrikes in Syria.

'Textbook radicalisation'

The BBC has described the case a "textbook radicalisation" while The Guardian writes that the British Somali community has emphatically condemned Ali Harbi Ali's actions.

False dichotomy

“Some media were purposely trying to focus the ethnicity of the suspect rather than the crime and were creating a poisonous ‘us and them’ narrative,” declared a Somali community leader to The Guardian.

Michael Gove and other potential victims

Further investigation has revealed that Ali Harbi Ali also planned attacks on other British Members of Parliament, including Conservative cabinet member Michael Gove.

Not just the tories

Ali's list of potential targets did not limit themselves to Conservative politicians. Labour MP Jess Phillips was also named during the trial as personalities the young man was researching before settling with Amess.

Britain was shocked

On October 15th 2021, the United Kingdom was shocked by the news that Sir David Amess, Conservative Party Member of the Parliament for Southend West, was slain while attending a constituency meeting in a church hall in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Tributes from all across the political spectrum

Representatives from all across the political spectrum have gathered to pay tribute to Amess. Pictured are Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer and Ian Blackford of the Scottish National Party during a memorial service.

The Prime Minister speaks out

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remembered Amess as a politician with a “remarkable record on behalf of the vulnerable and the voiceless”, according to the BBC.

The Leader of the Opposition chimes in

The BBC also reported that Labour leader Keir Starmer, on the other hand, called it “a dark and shocking day” and that “the whole country will feel it acutely”.

Over half of his life in the House of Commons

Amess was 69 when he passed away. He had been MP for Southend West since 1997 and before that, he stood in the House of Commons for Basildon from 1983 to 1997. In total, he served in parliament for 38 years.

A conservative environmentalist

The MP from Southend West was known to be a staunch conservative Catholic, with controversial views on abortion, LGBT rights, and capital punishment. Amess also backed environmental causes such as the support of animal welfare and the ban on foxhunting.

David Amess, the Brexiteer

Amess was also an ardent supporter of Brexit, calling being part of the European Union a “loss of sovereignty” and leaving it a “lifetime opportunity to take back control of the country”.

Remembering Jo Cox

This is not the first time in recent years a British lawmaker has tragically died. In 2016, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a white supremacist during a meeting with her constituents outside a library in West Yorkshire.

Jo Cox's husband speaks on David Amess

Brendan Cox, widower of late MP Jo Cox, shared on Twitter his thoughts about the death of David Amess.

Suspect detained

Ali Harbi Ali was detained in relation to the case soon after. The young man had been linked to Muslim extremism in the past.

Vigils and tributes

Like in Jo Cox's case, the murder of David Amess has been a consequence of the rising polarization seen in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Double standards?

An April 11 piece in The Guardian begs the question if Ali was white, like Jo Cox's murderer, race and ethnicity would probably not be put front and center as in this case.

A country, divided

The idea that political divisions could end up in violence is disturbing for a society that has always thought of itself as tolerant.

Memorials

Among the tributes that have appeared for David Amess in the following days is this mural in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, the city where he was fatally wounded.

People of many backgrounds unite against the murder

People of many backgrounds have expressed their rejection of the attack and support to the friends and relatives of the conservative lawmaker. Pictured is a member of the Anglo-Iranian community in the UK paying her respects.

Elizabeth steps in

However, one of the most surprising tributes came from Queen Elizabeth herself.

Southend becomes a city

The Queen granted city status to the town of Southend-on-the-Sea, in Essex, as a memorial to the late MP as it was an initiative that was very close to his heart.

Extremism

The case of David Amess has been solved and friends and family hopefully can start to heal now. However, the political and religious extremism that led a young man to murder is something that sadly still lacks resolution.

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