THE tragic death of MP Sir David Amess is as shocking as it is tragic, but sadly it is not the first time a politician has been attacked while serving their communities.

For many people within both politics and the wider society, today's atrocity is a frightening flashback and chilling reminder of MPs previously targeted.

Jo Cox, a Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was herself set upon back in 2016 in Birstall, where she was due to hold a constituency surgery.

She was shot and stabbed multiple times by Thomas Mair, who held far-right views, and tragically died as a result.

Mair was subsequently found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Jo CoxJo Cox

Liberal Democrat MP, Nigel Jones, was also targeted back in 2000 by an attacker who stormed his constituency office in Cheltenham armed with a sword.

The politician, however, was saved by his assistant, Andy Pennington, who was stabbed to death while trying to protect his boss.

Mr Jones, who was also holding a constituency surgery, received lacerations to his hands and arms after fending off blows from the swordsman.

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Just over 10 years later Labour MP Stephen Timms was also stabbed twice – but not fatally - in the stomach at a constituency surgery in Newham, east London.

Roshonara Choudhry, of East Ham, was found guilty of attempted murder and two counts of possessing a knife and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

During the trial the court heard Choudhry had made a list of MPs who had voted for the Iraq war and it was therefore suggested she could have gone after them all.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Given the history of MPs being attacked, Adam Boulton, editor-at-large at Sky News and presenter of All Out Politics, said it was no wonder politicians were sometimes scared to hold surgeries.

Writing on Twitter he said: “Nigel Jones, Stephen Timms, Jo Cox ... now David Amess no wonder MPs are afraid of holding surgeries. This is on us the electorate not them.

Another Twitter user, Steve Race, claimed democracy could very much be under threat if our representatives could not be protected while doing their jobs.

He said: "Not much seems to have changed since Jo Cox’s murder.

"Elected representatives need action now, not just sympathy, to safeguard them so that they are able to do their job as an MP.

"Without that, democracy is ultimately at risk."