Sir David Amess was the best of MPs and a dear friend to my family for forty years. He was one of the most dedicated people in politics. He was full of life and always positive and cheerful. His deep faith and happy family life gave him the basis to devote his life to others.
David served the people of Essex for nearly 40 years and he was a wonderful champion of Southend. He was determined that Southend should become a city, and I suspect this will come to pass. David was killed doing what he loved most; helping his constituents. He always fought for those who came to him asking for help. He had set up the all-party parliamentary group on endometriosis after a constituent met him at a surgery and told him about how much the condition affected her.
David loved animals, and campaigned for their welfare long before this was fashionable. In the coming weeks, as I take through the bill banning live animal exports for slaughter, he will be very much in my thoughts.
When I got the news that David had been stabbed I was in the middle of my own surgery in Bicester Sainsbury’s. Earlier that morning I had visited two local schools to meet staff and students. The evening before had been spent at The Red Cow at Chesterton as part of my really successful Pub Tour. Over the days that followed I attended various events in our area. I can’t imagine doing my job without regular and fairly open access to my constituents. I’ll continue to think about how to manage this best, and take advice where appropriate.
My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, his wife Julia and 5 children, at this very sad time.