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Sir David Amess MP stabbed to death at his surgery in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex


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Tributes have been pouring in for a Conservative MP who was stabbed to death at his surgery.

Sir David Amess, who was part of a campaign for a statue of Dame Vera Lynn on the White Cliffs of Dover, was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-On-Sea at about midday.

Sir David Amess MP had been receiving treatment at the scene but it has been confirmed that he has died from his injuries following the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex
Sir David Amess MP had been receiving treatment at the scene but it has been confirmed that he has died from his injuries following the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex

Essex Police says a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and they are not looking for anyone else.

Father-of-five Sir David received treatment at the scene but it was later confirmed that he has died from his injuries. He was 69.

Kent MPs have reacted to his death this afternoon.

Tracey Crouch (Con), MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said she was "heartbroken".

"I could write reams on how Sir David was one of the kindest, most compassionate, well liked colleagues in Parliament," she said. "But I can't. I feel sick. I am lost.

"Rest in Peace. A little light went out in Parliament today. We will miss you."

MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins (Con) tweeted to share his shock at the news and said Sir David was "such a good man and dedicated public servant".

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark (Con) said he was "devastated" by the news.

He tweeted: "He was the warmest, most encouraging and generous-spirited colleague, and an absolutely tireless champion of his constituents in Southend. RIP."

Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke (Con) described Sir David as a "dedicated and wonderful man".

Sir David Amess has been stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex
Sir David Amess has been stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield (Lab) said she was "shocked and terribly sad" to hear about the death.

"David was a lovely man who always took the time to be kind and supportive, he hand-wrote me several letters after I made speeches in the House of Commons.

"David was well-respected across the House, funny with a self-deprecating sense of humour.

"We served together on the APPG Against Antisemitism which he cared deeply about. He will be much-missed in Westminster."

Tom Tugendhat (Con), MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said "we have all lost so much".

"David died as he lived - serving others, his community and our country," he tweeted. "Please remember his family and all his friends."

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson (Con) said he was shocked and saddened to hear the news.

He said: "David was a friend of mine. I had a lot of respect for him.

"I am desperately sorry about David's tragic death as I was about the death of Jo Cox. As MPs and politicians we try to do what we can to help others.

Armed police officers outside the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North (Nick Ansell/PA)
Armed police officers outside the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North (Nick Ansell/PA)

"Why should we be in fear of our lives because we are trying to represent our communities to the best of our abilities? I find it very tragic."

Ashford MP Damian Green (Con) said it was "another heartbreaking, dreadful day for politics".

"David Amess was the kindest man and most assiduous MP," he added.

Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti (Con) said he was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the attack.

"David was one of the kindest people in parliament and was deeply committed to his faith," he tweeted.

"It was an honour to sign his nomination papers to be deputy speaker. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whately said she was "shocked horrified and very, very sad" at the death - describing him as a "good and kind man".

Former Kent MP and Tory colleague of Sir David, Ann Widdecombe, told the BBC he was "full of enthusiasm".

"He used to say it as he found it, sometimes perhaps a little too robustly. He was full of humour, full of practical jokes and was always making quips that would lighten the atmosphere.

"I can imagine him going into surgery this morning full of his usual enthusiasm, and now this. It's just so devastating."

Meanwhile, political parties have suspended campaigning this weekend for the Gorrell ward by-election in Whitstable.

Members of local authorities across Kent have also paid tribute to the Southend West MP.

Cllr Brendan Chilton, leader of the Labour group on Ashford Borough Council, said: "I shared a platform with Sir David Amess on a few occasions in the Brexit debates.

"He was a decent, kind and funny man whose recent book is a good read.

"Awful to learn that he was murdered doing his job as an MP. Condolences and prayers to his family, friends and constituents."

Medway Labour leader Vince Maple tweeted: "My thoughts are with Sir David's family, friends, colleagues and constituents.

"Democracy is a precious thing, violence has no part in it – an attack on one elected representative is an attack on all elected representatives."

Canterbury City Council leader Ben Fitter-Harding (Con) said he and his colleagues are "saddened and very troubled" by Sir David's death.

"To lose someone devoted to serving their electorate and their country to such a senseless act of violence is hard to comprehend," he said. "Our condolences and deepest sympathies go out to his family.

Earlier this year, Sir David launched a campaign for a permanent memorial to Dame Vera Lynn, famous for her song (There'll be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.

The memorial will be sited on the iconic cliffs.

Sir David previously said: "A memorial to this wonderful lady is long overdue and what better place to have it but on the White Cliffs of Dover.

A police officer at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church after MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in Essex. Picture: PA
A police officer at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church after MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in Essex. Picture: PA

"Dame Vera was an inspiration to every generation and her Children’s Charity will make sure that her legacy endures.

"I look forward to unveiling the memorial, which will be created by renowned sculptor Paul Day, with Dame Vera’s family."

Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, described Sir David as a "dedicated MP who worked tirelessly for his constituents and on behalf of everyone in Parliament".

"Everyone in public life should be able to go about their daily business without fear of attack," he said. "To lose his life in such terrible circumstances is tragic."

Essex Police have issued a statement and confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion murder after the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea.

"We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today," it says.

"We attended and found a man injured. He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.

"A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered. He is currently in custody.

"We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. We want to thank the public who alerted us to the incident so quickly."

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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