British lawmaker stabbed while meeting constituents

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A former British government minister was stabbed on Friday while meeting with constituents in London, officials said.

Stephen Timms, who was a treasury minister until the Labour party was voted out in last week's general election, was stabbed in the abdomen and is now in hospital in a stable condition.

A 21-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the incident, which took place as he met constituents in Beckton, east London.

"Stephen Timms was stabbed this afternoon during one of his regular advice surgeries at the Beckton Globe community facility," a Labour party spokesman said, using the term for constituent meetings.

"Stephen was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital. He is currently undergoing tests, and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. He has received visitors and is in good spirits."

Most British lawmakers hold a weekly surgery when constituents can come to seek advice or air grievances about specific concerns.

In 2000, the aide to a Liberal Democrat lawmaker was killed and the lawmaker himself was injured after a man attacked them with a sword during a constituency surgery in Cheltenham, western England.

© 2010 AFP

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