British Labour MP Timms stabbed twice in stomach
Senior Labour MP Stephen Timms was left covered in blood after a woman stabbed him twice in the stomach during a constituency advice surgery, witnesses said last night.
Scotland Yard later said a knife had been recovered from the scene.
Mr Timms, 54, was said to be in "good spirits" as he recovered in hospital after the incident at the Beckton Globe library in Kingsford Way, east London.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said police were called to the scene at 3.20 p.m.
She said: "A 21-year-old woman was arrested at the scene and is currently in custody at an east London police station."
It is understood one of the MP's assistants, Andrew Bazeley, disarmed the woman before a security guard restrained her.
A spokesman for Barts and the London NHS Trust said: "Stephen Timms MP was taken to the Royal London this afternoon after being stabbed in the abdomen and is in a stable condition."
A 16-year-old student said she saw Mr Timms being carried into a room wearing a blood-stained shirt. Speaking outside the library, the girl, who did not wish to be named, said: "I saw an Asian woman and a security guard was holding her.
"I saw everyone screaming and there was a woman with a buggy who was really crying.
"There was a bit of blood on the floor. It was quite dramatic. I saw him being dragged into another room. There was blood on his shirt."
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."
Sir Robin said he understood Mr Timms was stabbed twice with a knife and was due to undergo exploratory surgery.
Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman and Prime Minister David Cameron were among those sending their best wishes to Mr Timms and his wife, Hui-Leng Lim.
Ms Harman said: "One of the great strengths of the British political system is the everyday accessibility of MPs to their constituents but we can't have a situation where MPs are at risk. Parliament needs to consider how best to ensure MPs can carry out their responsibilities safely."
A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Cameron had asked to be kept closely informed.
Mr Timms has been MP for the constituency - and previously for Newham North East - since 1994.
The former financial secretary to the Treasury has regularly spoken out against knife crime in his constituency, particularly among young people.
Former deputy PM John Prescott said: "Terrible news about Stephen Timms. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery."
Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, said: "Awful news about Stephen Timms, thank goodness not life-threatening. Stephen is one of politics' thoroughly nice guys, a real gentleman."
In 2000 Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones was wounded and his aide, Andrew Pennington, was stabbed to death in a frenzied sword attack during a constituency surgery at the party's office in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Mr Jones, a married father of three, was conducting his weekly surgery when he received cuts to his hands and arms after fending off blows from Robert Ashman, who was later jailed for manslaughter and attempted murder.