London: Former British minister and
senior Labour MP Stephen Timms escaped death narrowly after
being attacked by a knife-wielding Muslim woman, a resident of
The woman who was not identified lunged at him and
stabbed him twice in the stomach as Timms held a meeting for
his constituents in his East London constituency yesterday,
before one of aides bravely overpowered the woman, wearing a
Muslim full dress and scarf, police said.
The arrival of the aide Andrew Bazeley, 22, who had
come to see Timms` on an appointment proved providential for
one of the longest surviving and least controversial member of
the outgoing Labour government, as he grabbed at the woman and
wrestled to disarm her.
Unmesh Desai, an Indian born election aide of Timms
and a local councillor, said, "Thank God. Andrew at the
presence of mind to take away the knife and restain the woman
until security guards arrive."
Stephen Timms, who is the MP for East Ham and was
re-elected to the Commons in the recent General Elections was
rushed to the Royal London Hospital and was said to be
Scotland Yard said a knife had been recovered from the
scene. The metropolitan police said investigations were in
Desai said, "Timms was in good spirits and was
expected to be released from the hospital after being kept
under observation and treatment."
Police did not say anything on what were the motives
for the attack. They only said that the woman was in custody.
"The 21-year-old woman attacker was shaking after
being disarmed and wasn`t saying anything as she was held
before being handed over to police," witnesses said.
This was the second such attack on an MP in Britain,
in 2000 a deranged person Robert Ashman attacked a Liberal
Democrat MP Nigel Jones with a Samurai sword during a public
appearance in his constituency in Cheltenham.
The attacker seriously wounded Jones who required 57
stitches to his hand and stabbed to death his aide as he tried
to protect the MP.
Timms joined the Cabinet in 2006 as chief secretary to
the Treasury and was effectively Chancellor Gordon Brown`s
second-in-command, with responsibility for keeping
departmental budgets under control.
But after 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.