The Member of Parliament was fatally stabbed on Friday afternoon in Essex
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David Amess
David Amess
| Credit: Amer Ghazzal/Shutterstock

British authorities have declared MP David Amess' Friday stabbing an act of terrorism.

Amess, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, was attacked during a meeting with constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, The Guardian reported earlier on Friday.

The politician's death is being investigated by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, Metropolitan Police said in a news release. "The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism," authorities said.

A 25-year-old British man was arrested at the scene of the stabbing, which took place shortly after noon on Friday on Eastwood Road North, Essex. The man is currently in custody under suspicion of murder, police said. It is believed that the man "acted alone," police said, and authorities are not currently "seeking anyone else in connection with the incident at this time."

Investigators are searching two separate London addresses for more information.

Amess was found at the scene with "multiple stab wounds," and while he was treated by first responders, died at the scene. He was 69.

Amess, a member of British Parliament for 38 years, was awarded a knighthood for political and public service in 2015, and his sudden death was met with shock by his fellow lawmakers.

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"Horrific and deeply shocking news. Thinking of David, his family and his staff," wrote Keir Starmer, the head of the left-leaning Labour Party, on Twitter.

"This is the most devastating, horrific & tragic news," wrote former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. "David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man - & he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today. Right now, my heart goes out to David's family."

Anyone with information about the stabbing is encouraged to call 0800 789 321, or to submit photo or video of the incident here.