Sir David Amess was the ninth MP to be murdered while in office

With the tragic news of the death of Conservative Member of Parliament Sir David Amess, there has been another reminder of the dangers many MP's face.

Amess, the MP for Southend West, died on Friday October 10 after being stabbed at a community surgery, according to Essex Police, though it is not yet known why Amess was attacked.

The attack took place at a residents' surgery in his constituency, at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Amess spent 38 years as an MP, first being admitted to the House of Commons in 1983 where he was the MP for 14 years before assuming the office of MP for Southend West in 1997.

The Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, Jack Dromey said: "[I am] Shocked to hear the devastating news that David Amess, a fine and decent man, has been murdered. This is an attack on democracy. Elected representatives must be free to do their jobs without fear."

"My thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult time."

But he's not the only MP to be attacked while going about their daily business.

Jo Cox – 2016

Amess' death means he is the latest MP to die after an attack since the murder of Jo Cox in Birstall in 2016.

Cox was the MP for Batley and Spen and was murdered by a neo-Nazi after she was shot and stabbed at a constituency library. The assailant was later sentenced to life imprisonment.

Since her death her family set up the Jo Cox Foundation in her honour and her sister Kim Leadbeater is now the MP for Batley and Spen.

For many, Cox's legacy is the phrase she became known for that was uttered in her maiden speech in Parliament.

"We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us," she said.

Ian Gow – 1990

Cox was the first sitting MP to be assassinated since Ian Gow in 1990.

Gow was killed by a car bomb in his home in East Sussex by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The MP for Eastbourne and then Minister of State for the Treasury was 53 at the time of his death.

Former chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Norman Tebbit, who himself survived the 1984 Brighton bombing, said: "He [Ian] was a unionist. And he paid for it – paid for being a unionist," he told the News Letter.

Tory MP Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the Brighton bombing.

Six of the nine MPs to have been killed while in office were murdered by Irish paramilitary groups.

Assassination attempts

Though 26 years passed between Cox and Gow's untimely deaths, there were a number of attempts on the lives of MPs.

Perhaps most infamously was Stephen Timms in 2010.

Timms was approached by Islamist extremist Roshonara Choudhry during a constituency surgery in Beckton, East London.

Timms is the MP for East Ham. Choudhury – later given a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years – stabbed Timms twice in his abdomen, who underwent emergency surgery for "life-threatening" injuries.

Nigel Jones, now Baron Jones of Cheltenham was attacked by a constituent with a sword in 2000 when he was MP for Cheltenham.

Local councillor Andrew Pennington came to Jones' aid but was himself killed.

Pennington was posthumously awarded the George Medal by the Queen.

Spencer Perceval – 1812

Tory MP Spencer Perceval is the only British prime minister ever to have been assassinated.

On 11 May 1812, Perceval entered the lobby of the House of Commons and was promptly shot by disgruntled soldier John Bellingham.

Bellingham was tried and later hanged. Perceval was heard to shout either "murder!" or "oh my god" upon being shot.

He left a widow and 12 children.

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