Labour MP Stephen Timms stabbed by Muslim woman as he held constituency surgery
Mail Online/hat tip RoP
Not to worry:
‘Mr Timms has always been close to his constituency and a friend of Muslims living in east London. He has been a good friend of Minhaj-ul-Quran.”
But there is much confusion in reporting, which is a worry:
British MP Stephen Timms is stabbed by someone variously described as aÂ female constituent, aÂ woman he did not know, anÂ Asian woman, aÂ woman who had made an appointment to see him, aÂ constituent and aÂ a 21-year-old woman. Seems a lot of people missed the Muslim clothing.
Stabbed: Labour MP Stephen Timms visits Manchester during this month’s General Election campaign
A former minister was stabbed twice in the stomach by a knife-wielding woman today as he held a surgery for constituents.
Stephen Timms was attacked by the 21-year-old, who appeared to be wearing Muslim dress, at his regular Friday afternoon surgery in his East London constituency.
She lunged at him and stabbed him twice before being wrestled away by a security guard and arrested.
An aide to Mr Timms was hailed a hero after it was revealed he wrestled the knife out of the hands of the female attacker.
Andrew Bazeley, 22, bravely disarmed the woman who had made an appointment to see Mr Timms at his constituency surgery, witnesses said.
Mr Bazeley was left covered in blood after he grabbed the knife and restrained the woman until a security guard arrived.
Mr Timms, 54, was being treated in hospital tonight and said to be in a stable condition.
Eye-witnesses screamed in terror as they watched the woman stab him in the abdomen.
One person who arrived moments after Mr Timms was attacked, said she saw blood on his shirt and an Asian woman being restrained by security guards.
Police arrested the attacker and the MP -Â one of the tallest politicians in Parliament -Â was taken to the Royal London Hospital.
The senior Labour MP, one of the longest surviving and least controversial members of the former Labour Government, was said tonight to be in ‘good spirits’.
Scotland Yard tonight said a knife had been recovered from the scene.
Mr Timms will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation and treatment, said Unmesh Desai, the MP’s aide during the General Election.
He said Mr Timms was ‘obviously shaken’.
Sagal Ahmed,16, a student at Kingsford Community School, was in the community centre in Beckton when the stabbing happened.
‘We just heard this big commotion so we ran in to the room,’ she said.
‘The security guard had grabbed this Asian woman. She was wearing a long black outfit like what Muslims wear and an orangey headscarf. I think she was a Muslim.
‘She wasn’t saying anything. They were just grabbing her to keep her still. She was really shaking.
‘The Muslim woman seem shocked and distressed. It was the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen.
‘Then we saw the man (Stephen Timms) getting put in another room. We saw the blood on his shirt but I couldn’t tell where he’d been stabbed. They were dragging him.
‘He was conscious. He looked shocked and he was pale.’
Mr Timms, the MP for East Ham, was meeting constituents at the Beckton Globe local centre his first surgery since the General Election.
Sir Robin Wales, the elected Mayor of Newham, said: ‘My understanding is there was an appointment made for the woman.
‘At the beginning of the interview she stabbed him. The security guard came in and disarmed her and held her until the police arrived.
‘He was definitely stabbed with a knife. It was twice near the abdomen and I believe he is being kept in hospital overnight for an exploratory operation.’
Sir Robin, who has known Mr Timms for more than 20 years, said he spoke to the MP tonight.
‘I think he was handling it very well,’ he said.
Not to worry: he “was a friend of Muslims”
Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman expressed her concern saying: ‘One of the great strengths of the British political system is the every day accessibility of MPs to their constituents but we can’t have a situation where MPs are at risk.’
Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for the Newham-based moderate Muslim organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran UK, said: ‘We are shocked and saddened to hear that Stephen Timms MP has been stabbed.
‘Mr Timms has always been close to his constituency and a friend of Muslims living in east London. He has been a good friend of Minhaj-ul-Quran.
‘We wish him well and his recovery to be soon and hope that he can resume his position as MP of East Ham soon.’
In January 2000, deranged Robert Ashman attacked Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones with a samurai sword as he conducted a surgery in his Cheltenham constituency.
Ashman seriously injured Mr Jones and stabbed to death his aide Andrew Pennington as he tried to protect the MP.
Mr Jones required 57 stiches to his hand.
Ashman later claimed he had carried out the attack because his MP was not doing enough to help him after he lost his job, got divorced and was declared bankrupt.
The former engineer was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted murder.
Sentencing the father of two at the time, a High Court judge said Ashman was so disturbed she could not foresee a time when he would be safely released.
But Ashman has since been allowed back on the streets after psychiatrists deemed him fit to be let out.
He is now living in a ‘halfway house’ in Bristol, just 35 miles away from the scene of the killing in Cheltenham.
Although he is supervised by police and has to obey a curfew, he is free to go out alone during the day.
Mr Pennington was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his attempts to protect Mr Jones.
He supported Labour legislation which gave teachers the power to search pupils for weapons and raised the age at which a knife could be purchased legally to 18.
Educated at Farnborough Grammar School in Hampshire, Mr Timms read mathematics at Emmanuel College, Oxford, and before entering Westminster in 1994 he worked in the telecommunications industry for 15 years.
He held jobs in the Labour administration throughout its 13 years in power, first as a parliamentary aide and then in ministerial posts as financial secretary to the Treasury and in the Departments for Social Security, Education, Trade and Industry and Work and Pensions.
He joined the Cabinet in 2006 as chief secretary to the Treasury – effectively Chancellor Gordon Brown’s second-in-command, with responsibility for keeping departmental budgets under control.
After Mr Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, he was dropped from the Cabinet and made competitiveness minister in the Business Department, before moving back to the Department for Work and Pensions and then returning to his old job of financial secretary to the Treasury in 2008.
Never a flashy performer or household name, he has been regarded as a safe pair of hands on issues like the economy, pensions and business.