The fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess has been declared as a terrorist incident, police say.
Sir David, who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed on Friday afternoon during a surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Despite the efforts of police officers and paramedics, the MP died at the scene.
A 25-year-old man – understood to be a Briton with Somali heritage – was arrested on suspicion of murder, and he is in custody at an Essex police station.
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 Metropolitan Police confirmed that the early investigation revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.
The man is believed to have acted alone and police said they are not seeking anyone else in connection with Sir David’s death.
However, inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are continuing.
“As part of the investigation, officers are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area and these are ongoing,” they added.
The investigation is being led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command who are working closely with the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit (ERSOU) and Essex Police.
Earlier on Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those to express “shock and sadness” following Sir David’s death.
The father-of-five had been an MP for 38 years, and while he never held a ministerial role, he was known as someone who took on the causes of some of his most vulnerable constituents.
The 69-year-old is the second MP killed in their own constituency in little more than five years, following the 2016 murder of Labour’s Jo Cox.
Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday asked all police forces to immediately review security arrangements for MPs, while House of Commons Speaker Sir Linsday Hoyle has also pledged to “examine” safety measures.
He told Sky News that he had gone ahead with his own constituency surgery on Friday despite the news of Sir David’s death.
“Nothing will stop democracy, nothing will stop us carrying out our duties,” he said.