Sir David Amess' killer given whole-life sentence

Sir David Amess was a much loved MP.(Photo: ITN News)

Islamist terrorist Ali Harbi Ali has been given a whole life sentence for the murder of Catholic MP, Sir David Amess.

Sir David was murdered inside a church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex during a constituency surgery last year. 

He had been the Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997, and was a devout Catholic. 

Ali, 26, pretended to be moving to the area and concerned about the closure of churches in order to gain access to the MP. 

During his trial at the Old Bailey, the court heard how Ali had been inspired by Islamic State propaganda. 

The Old Bailey also heard that Ali had been referred to the government's anti-terrorism programme, Prevent, in 2014 but was later deemed not to be a threat. 

The jury took just 18 minutes to find him guilty of the murder of Sir David and planning other attacks against MPs.

Sir David's family said it "broke their heart" to think that he would have "greeted the murderer with a smile of friendship".

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: "This was a murder that struck at the heart of our democracy."

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

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said, "My thoughts with the loved ones of Sir David Amess."