UK

Sir David Amess: Mourners gather for vigil in memory of murdered Tory MP

Dozens of mourners have today gathered at a special service in memory of Tory MP Sir David Amess – as floral tributes pile up outside the church in which he was stabbed to death.

Residents in the shell-shocked community of Leigh-on-Sea celebrated the life of the stalwart MP at St Michael and All Angels Church this evening, at a special church service in the Essex town.

Some mourners were seen wiping away tears during the emotional vigil in memory of the popular politician, who had served the town for more than two decades.

It comes after the MP, himself a dedicated Catholic, was stabbed to death while holding a surgery for his constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church on Friday.

Meanwhile, a huge mound of floral tributes have today piled up outside the church where he was killed.

Conservative colleague Mark Francois was among the many to lay flowers today. The Tory MP was visibly emotional as he kissed the bouquet before laying it down. ‘He was the best bloke I ever knew,’ Mr Francois said tearfully.

The Rayleigh and Wickford MP, 56, said that he would say more about his friend at the House of Commons tribute this week.

Some of those paying their respects laid candles and personal photographs they had taken with the MP, who had represented the Southend West seat since 1997. 

Others laid messages of love, support and sympathy, who was first elected as an MP in 1982. 

A service of reflection is held in memory of British MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death during a meeting with constituents, at the church of St Michael’s and all Angels, in Leigh-on-Sea, Britain

A photograph of Sir David is put on a table next to a candle ahead of a special church service in memory of the Tory MP, who died on Friday

A photograph of Sir David is put on a table next to a candle ahead of a special church service in memory of the Tory MP, who died on Friday

Emotions ran high during the event in memory of Sir David Amess MP

Some mourners were seen wiping away tears during the emotional vigil in memory of the popular politician, who had served the town for more than two decades

Some mourners were seen wiping away tears during the emotional vigil in memory of the popular politician, who had served the town for more than two decades

People listen to songs before the start of a special service in honour of Sir David Amess at St Michael's and All Angels Church

People listen to songs before the start of a special service in honour of Sir David Amess at St Michael’s and All Angels Church

Dozens of people have gathered at the memorial for Sir David Amess, which is being held at St Michaels and All Angels Church in Leigh-on-Sea

Dozens of people have gathered at the memorial for Sir David Amess, which is being held at St Michaels and All Angels Church in Leigh-on-Sea

Parishioners light candles at the end of a special service in honour of MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death on Friday

Parishioners light candles at the end of a special service in honour of MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death on Friday

Councillor Derek Jarvis (2R), former mayor of Southend, and his wife Valerie (R) light candles at the end of a special service in honour of Sir David

Councillor Derek Jarvis (2R), former mayor of Southend, and his wife Valerie (R) light candles at the end of a special service in honour of Sir David

A candle and a photo at a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea Essex in memory of Sir David, who died after being stabbed in the town on Friday

A candle and a photo at a vigil at St Michael & All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea Essex in memory of Sir David, who died after being stabbed in the town on Friday 

Conservative Colleague Mark Francois was among the many to lay flowers at at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Sir David was killed on Friday

Conservative Colleague Mark Francois was among the many to lay flowers at at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Sir David was killed on Friday

 

Some laid candles and personal photographs they had taken with the MP, who had represented the Southend West area since 1997 and had been since 1982. Others laid messages of love, support and sympathy

Some laid candles and personal photographs they had taken with the MP, who had represented the Southend West area since 1997 and had been since 1982. Others laid messages of love, support and sympathy

It comes after constituents last night went to St Peters Church in Leigh-on-Sea to shed a tear at the shocking death of their beloved MP and on Saturday afternoon dozens of well-wishers lit candles and gathered to remember the life of Sir David outside the town’s Civic Centre.

Outside Southend police station, Home Secretary Priti Patel said a ‘balance’ must be struck between the accessibility and safety of MPs as questions are raised over whether face-to-face meetings should be held in constituencies in the future.

Southend faith leaders called Sir David’s death an ‘indefensible atrocity’ and described the father-of-five as an ‘upstanding friend to our Muslim community’ who had attended weddings, mosque openings and the launch of the town’s first Muslim Scout group.

In a statement published on the Essex Jamme Masjid website, on behalf of ‘all Southend mosques’, they said their thoughts and prayers were with Sir David’s family, friends and colleagues. It comes five years after Labour MP for Batley and Spen Jo Cox was murdered on her way to a surgery in 2016.

It comes as it was today claimed Sir David received an ‘upsetting’ threat in the days before he was fatally stabbed inside a church at a constituency surgery in Essex.

The threat was reported to police, but the Conservative MP decided to go ahead with the surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday.  

Essex Police received a report of the threat, but are not connecting it with Friday’s attack, reported The Telegraph.

Conservative MP Sir David Amess is said to have received an 'upsetting' threat in the days before the constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, according to a close colleague

Conservative MP Sir David Amess is said to have received an ‘upsetting’ threat in the days before the constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, according to a close colleague

Sir David poses at the wedding of his daughter on August 23 earlier this year. He was stabbed multiple times inside a church while meeting constituents in Essex

Sir David poses at the wedding of his daughter on August 23 earlier this year. He was stabbed multiple times inside a church while meeting constituents in Essex

Members of the public, including a veteran, pay their respects at as a large number of floral tributes have been left at the scene of the fatal stabbing

Members of the public, including a veteran, pay their respects at as a large number of floral tributes have been left at the scene of the fatal stabbing

Police officers erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of the Conservative MP. A man has been arrested and officers are not looking for anyone else

Police officers erect a tent outside a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of the Conservative MP. A man has been arrested and officers are not looking for anyone else

An ongoing investigation into Sir David's death has been focusing on multiple areas including Camden, Croydon and another unspecified address in London

An ongoing investigation into Sir David’s death has been focusing on multiple areas including Camden, Croydon and another unspecified address in London

John Lamb, former Leigh-on-Sea mayor and a close colleague of Sir David, said the MP had received an ‘upsetting’ threat in the few days prior to the killing.

He told the Telegraph: ‘The police were alerted about some sort of threat made against Sir David.

‘There’s been no threat received through the local Conservative Party offices that I know of, but Sir David had received a threat against him. 

‘I don’t know the nature of it, but it was rather upsetting and the police were alerted. It was in the past few days.’   


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