The man who murdered veteran MP Sir David Amess in a retaliation against politicians who voted to bomb Syria has been handed a whole-life prison term.
Unrepentant Ali Harbi Ali pursed his lips briefly as Mr Justice Sweeney handed down his sentence at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
The judge told 26-year-old Ali: “The defendant has no remorse or shame for what he has done – quite the reverse.
“This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy.”
He described Sir David’s death as a loss “of national significance”.
The whole-life sentence means Ali will never be eligible for parole, and will likely spend the rest of his days in prison.
The family of Sir David Amess have described his murder as “beyond evil”.
Lady Julia Amess and the Amess family released a joint statement as his killer was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
In the statement read outside court by assistant commissioner Matt Jukes, the family described the “sickening” thought of what happened after Sir David greeted his killer with a smile during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea last October.
They said: “There is no elation in our family today following this sentencing. Our amazing husband and father has been taken from us in an appalling and violent manner. Nothing will ever compensate for that.
“We will wake each day and immediately feel our loss. We will struggle through each day for the rest of our lives.
“Our last thought before sleep will be of David. We will forever shed tears for the man we have lost. We shall never get over this tragedy.
“It breaks our heart to know that our husband and father would have greeted the murderer with a smile of friendship and would have been anxious to help. How sickening to think what happened next. It is beyond evil.
“Our thanks go to the police, in particular the two officers assigned to the family during this dreadful time.
“Our thanks also to the legal team who worked so tirelessly to ensure that justice was done.
“Our special thanks also to the many, many friends and family and of course, the general public, who have been a source of so much strength and love to us since David died.
“Somehow, we now have to move on with our lives although none of us really knows where to begin.
“We would refer to the statement made by our family immediately after this tragedy. Our message remains the same. We appeal to everyone to treat their fellow human beings with kindness, love and understanding. This is needed more than ever now.
“We now ask for privacy to rebuild our lives as best we can. There will be no further statements, interviews or indeed any comment. We ask the media to respect this. Thank you.”
University dropout Ali, from Kentish Town in north London, was convicted of murder and preparing terrorist acts on Monday by jurors who spent just 18 minutes in retirement.
Prosecutors described the case as “overwhelming”, and Ali himself did not dispute much of the evidence.
The Islamic State fanatic carried out his attack at the backbench Conservative MP’s constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year.
Ali told the trial he had no regrets about the murder, defending his actions by saying Sir David deserved to die because he had voted in Parliament for air strikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015.
The court heard that Ali became known to authorities around this time as his school performance plunged and he was referred to the Government’s Prevent strategy, but continued plotting in secret.
The so-called “lone wolf” sent a manifesto on WhatsApp to family and friends seeking to justify his actions around the time of the attack, and told father-of-five Sir David he was “sorry” before plunging the 12in carving knife into him, causing the 69-year-old politician to scream.
Sir David received more than 20 stab injuries and died at the scene.
Knife-wielding Ali was later apprehended by two police officers armed only with batons and spray.
Dramatic footage of the stand-off was captured on police bodyworn cameras. The two officers have since been handed bravery awards.
Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told PA MPs and political staff remain “traumatised” by the atrocity, and continue to struggle amid fears for their security.