Murder of UK lawmaker declared a terrorist incident

British police investigating the murder of a Conservative lawmaker declared on Saturday it was a terrorist incident.

Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in a church in Essex on Friday by an assailant who lunged at him during a meeting with voters.

A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.

The investigation is now being led by the counter-terrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police.

They've said the early investigation has revealed a "potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism".

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister has led tributes to Amess, calling him one of the kindest people in politics.

"I think all our hearts are full of shock and sadness today, to the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom and the reason, I think, people are so shocked and saddened is above all, he was one of the nicest, kindest, most gentle people in politics."

A church service was held on Friday for the long serving MP.

Amess, who was married with five children, was first elected to parliament to in 1983.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his public service in 2015.

Flags on all British government buildings are being flown at half-staff in tribute.

The killing has sent shockwaves through the parliamentary community, which has described it as an assault on democracy.

It also raises fresh questions about the safety of MPs as they meet their constituents.

This is the second fatal attack on a British lawmaker in the last five years after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.