British MP David Amess stabbed during constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea
British MP David Amess stabbed during constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

The UK Jewish community reacted with shock upon learning of the murder of longtime MP Sir David Amess.

Amess, 69, died of his injuries after being stabbed multiple times at a constituency meeting in East London on Friday.

A 25-year old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after armed police charged into the church where the meeting had been taking place. A knife was found at the scene, reported Reuters.

Condolences poured in from a wide spectrum of Jewish community groups who were horrified and expressed their grief.

“We are devastated to hear the news of the murder of Sir David Amess MP. Such violence is an intolerable affront to our democracy and must be met with the full force of the law. We will never forget Sir David’s long and deep friendship to our community. Our hearts go out in profound sorrow to his wife Julia and children Katie, Sarah and David Jr,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, said in a statement.

The Jewish Leadership Council tweeted: “We are shocked by the news that Sir David Amess MP has passed away. He always had a very strong and warm relationship with his local Jewish community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

The Community Security Trust said they were "shocked and saddened.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at such a terrible time," they wrote.

“As we usher in Shabbat this afternoon, we will have the family of Sir David Amess MP in our prayers," UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said. "Such an attack on an elected parliamentarian is an attack on the whole country. May he his memory be for a blessing.”

United Synagogue CEO Steven Wilson said that “the news of the murder of Sir David Amess is horrific and chilling."

"Democracy is a cherished right and one we can never take for granted," Wilson said. "I know all US members and colleagues will join me in sending condolences to Sir David’s family who are in our prayers.”

The All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism said it was “devastated to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Sir David Amess MP."

They added: "A long-standing and active member of the APPG Against Antisemitism, he was an excellent public servant. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”

Conservative Friends of Israel called Amess "a hugely popular and respected MP and a great friend of Israel."

Noting that he was a "parliamentary officer of CFI in the 1990s," the group was "deeply saddened by the news" of his death, and said that "parliament will be a lesser place without him."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. His memory should be a blessing," they said in a statement.

Besides his longtime relationship with the Jewish community, Amess led a lengthy campaign to have a statue of Raoul Wallenberg erected for his work saving thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. The statue eventually was put up next to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in 1997.

He also signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s book of commitment in Parliament.