British PM Johnson laid flowers at the scene of the attack at Belfairs Methodist Church in Essex, where MP Amess was killed in a stabbing attack a day earlier as the death triggered concerns over MPs safety.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited the church where a lawmaker was stabbed to death a day earlier in what police say was a terrorist attack.
David Amess, 69, from Johnson's Conservative Party, was knifed repeatedly in the attack at about midday on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, during a meeting with constituents.
Police arrested a 25-year-old British man at the scene on suspicion of murder, adding it is believed he acted alone.
Johnson, interior minister Priti Patel, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer were among those to lay flowers in tribute to Amess at the scene of the murder.
"To the memory of Sir David Amess MP, a fine parliamentarian and a much-loved colleague and friend," Johnson said in a hand-written note placed in the flowers, adding in a Twitter post that his thoughts were with Amess' family and friends.
READ MORE: British MP David Amess dies after stabbing attack
This morning I laid a wreath in memory of Sir David Amess MP, a much loved colleague and friend.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 16, 2021
My thoughts are with his wife, children and friends. pic.twitter.com/GIP6XkzJJe
Johnson and Starmer stood side by side in a moment of silence before leaving.
Other politicians, police representatives and members of the public came to lay flowers and pay respects.
In a statement early on Saturday, police said the early investigation had revealed a potential motivation linked to extremism.
It did not provide details about the basis for that assessment.
As part of the investigation, officers were searching two locations in the London area.
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Safety of MPs
As tributes poured in for Amess, politicians described the attack as an assault on democracy, and Patel said security for lawmakers, known as MPs, was being reviewed and strengthened.
"All measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members," Patel said in a broadcast clip following the visit.
In Westminster, where lawmakers do much of their work in parliament, armed police are on patrol.
But in their electoral districts, known as constituencies, more often than not there is no security.
Amess was stabbed while holding a surgery – one-to-one meetings with voters, open to whoever turns up.
Conservative lawmaker Tobias Ellwood said that while engagement with the public was a vital part of the job, there was now huge anxiety among MPs and called for a pause in such meetings.
Patel said Amess was killed doing a job he loved, and lawmakers should remain accessible to the public.
"We will continue to absolutely stand by the principles that we are elected by: to serve our constituents in the open way in which we have been doing so, but also recognising that there are safety and protection measures that we have to undertake too," Patel said.
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