The news that the killing of MP Sir David Amess is being treated as a terrorist incident broke too late for most of the papers – but the attack at his constituency surgery in Essex dominates the front pages.
The front page of the Daily Mail features a picture of Sir David at his daughter’s wedding in August. His murder, says the Mail, is another assault on democracy.
The Star – reminding readers about the killing five years ago of Labour MP Jo Cox – asks “How Could It Happen Again?”
The Financial Times says the stabbing raises fresh concerns about the safety of politicians. It quotes the speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who said it would send “shockwaves” across the parliamentary community.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Michael Portillo describes Sir David, his former parliamentary private secretary, as a “devoted constituency MP” who’s “dependability has proved to be his vulnerability”.
He says Sir David would never have considered changing his routine despite knowing there was a risk to his safety.
The Times says that in his book published last year, Sir David revealed he’d been advised not to see constituents alone and had improved security at his home.
The paper’s columnist, Matthew Parris, believes the killing threatens the face-to-face meetings that constituency MPs cherish most.
As well as mourning their former colleague, politicians, he believes, will be mourning a “loss of confidence in the future of the impromptu, informal, direct, unguarded and weekly contact with the people they are there for”.
The Sun says such sessions “provide a vital connection between voters and their MPs” but adds that “it’s sadly evident, they can’t continue without watertight security measures”.
Writing in the New Statesman, Anoosh Chakelian, says the death of Sir David – and the threats to all MPs – “show we must change the way we do politics”.
She says the use of “inflammatory language”, such as “betrayal”, “traitors” and “enemies of the people”, have “real life consequences”.
Isabel Hardman writes in the Spectator that there has been a “normalisation” of hatred towards MPs that makes the “dangerous stuff seem inevitable”. She says “people considering going into politics” must also consider that they have “a risk of being killed”.