15 October 2022

Truss and Starmer lead tributes to Sir David Amess on anniversary of his murder

15 October 2022

Liz Truss and Sir Keir Starmer have led tributes to Sir David Amess on the first anniversary of his murder.

Sir David, who was an MP for nearly 40 years, was stabbed during a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, last October 15.

He was survived by his wife Lady Julia Amess and their three children.

Tributes for Sir David have been pouring in to mark one year since his death.

And a tree was planted in Southend-on-Sea in memory of the veteran Conservative MP, who represented Southend West.

The Prime Minister tweeted a statement along with Sir David’s parliamentary portrait on Saturday morning.

She wrote: “On the anniversary of Sir David Amess’ death, we cherish his memory and remember his enormous contribution to politics, to the people of Southend and to the country.

“My thoughts today are with his wife Julia, the Amess family and to all those who knew and loved him.”

Labour leader Sir Keir wrote on Twitter: “Remembering our friend & colleague David Amess, on the 1st anniversary of his senseless death.

“David’s commitment to public service, carried out with inherent, consistent kindness, will forever be admired.

“Thinking of his wife & children, hoping memories of him bring comfort.”

Former prime minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet ministers Penny Mordaunt, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch are among those also paying tribute to Sir David.

Southend-on-Sea City Council said the tree was planted in Sir David’s memory at Chalkwell Park on Saturday.

It was planted using compost from flowers left across the area in the days and weeks following the MP’s death, the authority said.

Those attending the planting ceremony included councillors, MPs and local faith leaders, while Southend mayor Kevin Robinson made a speech on behalf of the local community and an ensemble from the Southend Band performed.

“A tree has been planted in memory of Sir David Amess at Chalkwell Park. The ceremony marked the first anniversary of his tragic murder. Thank you to everyone who took part and came to pay their respects,” the council tweeted.

“The sun shone for the guests and large crowd who had gathered for the respectful ceremony, with the Southend Band performing in the background.”

Council leader Stephen George said: “A kind family man, Sir David was devoted to his local constituency of Southend West and was the greatest champion of Southend-on-Sea and local area.

“He is greatly missed and we hope that we can remember him in an appropriate way by planting a memorial tree at one of his favourite local parks.”

Mr Robinson said: “Whilst we reflect on the awful and tragic events of October 15 2021, we must also be thankful for the life that Sir David lived and the many lives that he touched and changed both locally and beyond.

“Southend-on-Sea would not be a city without the continued commitment of Sir David to make it happen, and as the first freeman of the city of Southend-on-Sea, he will always be the most important part of our history as a city.”

The 69-year-old, who had campaigned to make Southend-on-Sea a city and was posthumously made the first freeman of the new city, had served Southend West since 1997, and Basildon before that since 1983.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, who attacked the veteran MP in a warped retaliation against politicians who voted to bomb Syria, was handed a whole-life prison term in April after a trial at the Old Bailey.

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