Tributes pour in after death of Essex MP Sir David Amess

Sir David Amess MP

Sir David Amess MP who has died after a stabbing in Essex today - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

Tributes are pouring in from across the county for an Essex MP who died after a stabbing at his constituency surgery in a church today.

Emergency services including an Essex and Herts Air Ambulance were at the scene at Leigh-On-Sea at noon on Friday (October 15) but could not save Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West.

Essex Police confirmed at 3pm that he had died. They have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea

Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea - Credit: Google Earth

Police said they do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the wider public.

But they do need witnesses or anyone who has footage to contact them.

Saffron Walden constituency MP Kemi Badenoch said on Twitter that her "heart is broken".

She tweeted: "Thank you, David Amess, for being my friend, for always smiling, the great advice and endless notes of encouragement.

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"And for our last conversation in the lobby before recess. And of course your wonderful book. I will never forget you."

Councillor Chris Criscione, leader of Uttlesford Conservative Group, said: "The dreadful news of David Amess’ callous murder hits all of us across politics and our communities here in Essex.

"No one deserves to die, let alone those who spend their lives dedicated to public service. 

"This is a time to reflect on how we interact and engage as humans, with public servants and with those we may disagree with.

"I’m so very sorry for David’s family during such a difficult time." 

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “It was with great shock and sadness that we learned today that Sir David Amess MP has died following a violent attack at a constituency surgery.

"We worked closely with Sir David over the years, during his period as MP for Basildon up until April 1997 and latterly as MP for Southend West within the neighbouring Southend-on-Sea Council area.

"He was a man who was never afraid to voice his views, passionate in his beliefs and straightforward in how he articulated them. He will be greatly missed in Essex and at Westminster. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.”

James Cleverly, the MP for Braintree, said: “I was hoping beyond hope that David Amess would pull through this. It was not to be.

“A truly lovely man. My thoughts and love go to his family at this most terrible time.”

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This is a shocking and utterly despicable attack against somebody who was an outstanding MP and has worked tirelessly for their community for many, many years.

"My prayers are with Sir David’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

"I also want to acknowledge the officers who attended the event for their bravery and courage.

“It is vital that we give the police all our support to ensure that they can do their job at this time. For anybody who has information please do not hesitate to contact the police.”

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis Dehqani, said: "This is devastating news. Sir David was a loyal servant to the people of Southend for many years.

"The tributes we have already seen are testament to the high esteem in which he was held by many of his constituents. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his staff."

The Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath, said: “This is deeply shocking and sad news.

"Sir David was a great friend of the church and it was a privilege to work alongside him in service to the people of Southend whom he cared about deeply.

"My prayers are with Sir David’s family and his staff.”

Essex Labour Group was among those sending condolences to friends, family and staff of David Amess.

Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “Whatever work we do we should all be able to do it without fear of being physically attacked and that includes our Members of Parliament.

"I was shocked to hear of the attack on Sir David and his subsequent death and on behalf of Essex Chambers of Commerce I would like to extend the sympathies of myself and our membership to Sir David’s wife and family.

"His voice on behalf of the residents and businesses will be missed.”

The Jo Cox Foundation said they were "devasted" to hear the news.

They added: "All elected representatives deserve to be safe, and to be treated with respect."

The Foundation was set up in memory of the MP for Batley and Spen who was murdered while on her way to a constituency surgery in June 2016.


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