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Sir David Amess murder: Terror suspect being held by police is named Ali Harbi Ali, Sky News understands

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The terror suspect held on suspicion of murdering Sir David Amess is named Ali Harbi Ali, Sky News understands.

The 25-year-old, who is a British citizen with Somali heritage, is not thought to have been previously known to the security services.

The investigation into the killing of Sir David is still in its infancy so that could change if new details emerge.

Metropolitan Police officers have been performing searches at three addresses in the London area - one of which has now concluded.

Sir David, the senior Conservative MP for Southend West, was stabbed as he held a weekly constituency surgery at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

The suspect was arrested on Friday at the scene of the attack - and police will be able to keep him in custody until 22 October after being granted a warrant of further detention under the Terrorism Act at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday evening.

A Whitehall source said the detained man was previously known to the government's Prevent scheme, which is a programme to stop radicalisation. This detail was first revealed by The Guardian, which said his involvement was short.

The investigation into the attack is being led by Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Policing.

The Met said on Friday that the incident had formally been declared as terrorism by Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon.

Police previously said in the early hours of Saturday that they are not seeking anyone else in connection with Sir David's death but inquiries are continuing.

A statement of condolence signed by many Somali organisations and community leaders said they were "shocked and saddened by the senseless violence perpetrated upon an innocent MP".

It continued: "We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to Sir David Amess's family, loved ones and his constituents.

"Everyone who knew Sir David Amess described him as 'one of the kindest, most compassionate, and a distinguished public servant' who committed and devoted to serving his community.

"Sir David Amess promoted our shared values of tolerance, love and respect that make Britain so great."

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those to express "shock and sadness" following Sir David's death.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer attended the site of the killing together on Saturday to pay their respects.

The father of five had been an MP for 38 years, and while he never held a ministerial role, he was known as someone who took on the causes of his constituents.

He was socially conservative, an early eurosceptic, and a campaigner for animal rights and against fuel poverty.

Sir David also spent years raising awareness of endometriosis after being approached by a constituent who suffered from the painful condition.

Sky News understands that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party will not stand candidates to contest the Southend West by-election.

Political correspondent Joe Pike, in Westminster, said the date of the by-election would be decided by the Conservative Party in due course.

He said: "The parties seem to have agreed that a precedent was set after the murder of Jo Cox in 2016. At that by-election, Labour's Tracy Brabin was the only mainstream candidate - she received over 17,000 votes.

"All the other candidates - independents, representatives of minor fringe parties - all received fewer than 1,000 votes. We're likely to see a similar situation again."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said it is "right and proper" that MPs are accessible to members of the public following Sir David's killing - and stressed that politicians' safety and an open democracy "can absolutely be balanced".

Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation established in 2016, will reach out to the more than 600 MPs to discuss their security arrangements following the murder of Sir David at a constituency surgery on Friday - with officers then reporting their findings back to Ms Patel.

Priti Patel will appear on a special programme of Trevor Phillips On Sunday following the death of Sir David Amess from 8.30am on Sky News.

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