The leader of the council says we must "work towards a future where everyone feels safe at all times" after an MP was stabbed to death this afternoon.

Sir David Amess was killed at his constituency surgery in Essex.

Essex Police have confirmed a 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at the church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Reacting to the news, Cllr Ken Rhatigan, leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said he was "shocked" to hear the news.

He told The Gazette: "I am shocked by the news of the death of Sir David Amess MP. My thoughts are with his family and friends and his community.

"As elected representatives, we all know how important it is to get out and talk to those that you serve. It is awful to think that in making himself accessible to help people and listen to their views he was putting himself in such danger.

"We must do all we can to work towards a future where everyone feels safe at all times and in all places in their community.”

Meanwhile, MP for North West Hampshire, Kit Malthouse, said that the veteran MP was "devoted to helping others".

Mr Malthouse, who also serves as crime and policing minister in the cabinet, told The Gazette: "I was with the Prime Minister and Home Secretary when the awful news that Sir David Amess had been killed came through.

"We were all profoundly shocked and distressed and our first thoughts were and are with his family whose lives have been torn apart by this horrifying violence. David was a kind and gentle man who was devoted to helping others and to the importance of representative democracy.

"It was typical of him that he was doing what he saw as his job this morning, engaging with his constituents, and even more affecting that this monstrous act should take place while he was doing his duty. We will all miss him and mourn his passing.

“I am grateful to Essex Police and the wider emergency service for the very swift response to this terrible incident, and in particular for apprehending the suspected assailant immediately. Their confidence and reassurance that there is no wider cause for concern in the area is important."

Basingstoke's Labour party tweeted on Friday afternoon, sending their thoughts to Sir David's family, friends and colleagues, adding: "Nobody deserves this."

Meanwhile, the Women's Equality Party Basingstoke tweeted before news that he had passed away: "Our thoughts are with [Sir David Amess] and his family and friends, with wishes for a speedy recovery, following the shocking events at his surgery this afternoon.

"There is no place for violence in politics."

Essex Police said they recovered a knife at the scene and are not looking for anyone else.

Sir David was married with five children.

His death comes roughly five years after the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour MP who was killed outside her constituency surgery in Yorkshire.