Sir David Amess’s killer made no attempt to flee the scene after brutally stabbing the 69-year-old, witnesses have said.
Two female staff members watched in horror as the attacker walked up to Sir David at around midday and stabbed him at Belfairs Methodist Church, where the MP was holding a constituency surgery meeting.
It was the first surgery Sir David had held at the church and details of the meeting had been advertised on his website and on social media.
No appointments were necessary and constituents simply had to give their name and address staff on the door.
Following the attack panicked staff called the police at 12.05pm, with officers arriving in minutes.
They arrested a 25-year-old British national of Somali origin, who remains in police custody.
Local resident Anthony Finch said he saw the suspect being led out.
“He was wearing jeans and a white top and was completely quiet,” he said.
“He was in his mid-20s and appeared to be getting into the police car willingly. He was compliant.”
The stabbing has now been declared a terrorist incident by the Metropolitan Police who are investing “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.
In a statement, the Met said Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, formally declared the incident as terrorism.
The investigation is being led by counter-terrorism officers.
An air ambulance landed in a field near Belfairs Methodist Church and paramedics tried to revive Sir David.
Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene.