An alleged terrorist accused of murdering the Conservative MP Sir David Amess has appeared in court.
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, spoke only to confirm his name during a short hearing at London’s Old Bailey on Friday.
He is due to go on trial in March next year, charged with murdering Sir David and preparing acts of terrorism against other MPs between May 2019 and September this year.
He is accused of stabbing Sir David multiple times during a constituency surgery at a church in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 October.
The Conservative politician, who was one of parliament’s longest-serving MPs, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10pm.
According to a draft indictment, Mr Ali previously engaged in research and reconnaissance of other potential targets, including addresses associated with MPs and the Houses of Parliament.
The defendant, of Kentish Town in London, appeared at the hearing via a video-link from HMP Belmarsh.
He was not asked to enter a plea and was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing on 21 December.
The funeral of the Tory politician will take place at Westminster Cathedral on 23 November, MPs have been told.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, will lead the ceremony.
Catholic MPs, peers and parliamentary staff were informed about the details of the event on Tuesday.
It comes after mourners gathered at St Margaret Church, Westminster, last Monday for a memorial service for the 69-year-old father-of-five.
Last Friday, Southend held a two minute silence for him, exactly a week after he was killed. It was led by James Duddrige, the Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East.
“Share your stories with me, the clergy, the mayor, as we try to make sense of what happened and in some small way maybe bring something good of this,” he told the crowd.