WELSH political leaders have paid tribute to Sir David Amess MP who was killed in a stabbing attack today.

The Conservative MP for Southend West died after he was stabbed several times inside a church in Leigh, Essex.

First minister Mark Drakeford offered his condolences to the family of Sir David.

Taking to Twitter he said: "Deeply saddened to hear about the death of Sir David Amess.

"A truly despicable and horrifying act.

"My thoughts are with his friends, family, and constituency staff during this distressing time."

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies said he was “shocked, appalled and devastated” by the news.

He added: “He served with pride as MP for almost four decades, representing his constituents and our country with loyalty and dedication. My thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.

“May he rest in peace.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price described Sir David as one of the “kindest, most decent and deeply committed politicians” he knew.

Mr Price tweeted: “Shocked and deeply saddened to hear this terrible news.

“Sir David was one of the kindest, most decent and deeply committed politicians I’ve ever known.

“It was an honour to call him a friend. My thoughts are with his loved ones during this awful time.”

While the Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced that they will suspend all campaigning this weekend as a “mark of respect” to Sir David Amess MP.

Leader Jane Dodds tweeted: “Sir David was killed offering help to constituents.

“It is the most important job we do and should be allowed to continue in safety.”

Sir David Amess MP – what we know so far

It has been confirmed that a murder investigation has been launched following the stabbing at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Eastwood Road North.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.

"We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).

"We attended and found a man injured.

"He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.

"A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.

"He is currently in custody.

"We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.

"We want to thank the public who alerted us to the incident so quickly.

"We need anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to contact us."