SIR DAVID AMESS: City’s politicians pay tribute to MP
Birmingham’s politicians have expressed their shock and sorrow at the “horrific” death of Sir David Amess MP.
MPs have suspended surgeries and political groups have put campaigns for an upcoming by-election on hold following the news.
The 69-year-old Conservative MP for Southend West in Essex was reportedly stabbed several times during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea today (Oct 15) and died at the scene.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Sir David had been an MP since 1983 and was was married with five children.
The news has stunned Birmingham’s MPs and councillors – just over five years since the murder of Jo Cox MP.
In a video message, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street (Con) said: “The first thing one must think about is the individual, his family, his friends.
“It’s genuinely shocking that someone has lost their life, just going about a way of life – a job that he was utterly committed to.
“He’d been an incredible member of Parliament, utterly committed to his constituents. A great Parliamentarian over many decades and we have lost a true democrat today.
“We shouldn’t speculate as to why this has happened but obviously every politician will be thinking ‘is this also an attack on the principle of free speech across the UK?’ which we will all come together to defend through thick and thin.”
A group comment from Birmingham’s Conservatives stated: “The entire Conservative group are deeply shocked and saddened by the events in Leigh-on-Sea and send our thoughts and condolences to Sir David’s family, friends and constituents.”
City council leader Cllr Ian Ward (Lab, Shard End) tweeted: “I am shocked and saddened by this terrible news. Sir David was a well liked and respected public servant.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
Deputy leader Cllr Brigid Jones (Lab, Bournbrook and Selly Park) said: “What has happened to David Amess is horrific and I am so desperately sorry for his family.
“The appalling murder of a man and an attack on our democracy. When politicians say they are afraid, it is real. Believe them. The abuse has to stop. David has paid the awful ultimate price.”
Gary Sambrook MP, Conservative MP for Birmingham Northfield, posted: “RIP, David. A gentleman and Parliamentarian. You will be missed.”
Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said: “Devastated to hear of the death of Sir David Amess MP, who was devoted to serving his constituents.
“I can’t quite put into words the shock colleagues are feeling right now. My thoughts are entirely with David’s family and those who were closest to him.”
Tahir Ali MP, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, said he would be suspending his surgery following the news.
He tweeted: “Devastating news. My thoughts and prayers [are with] Sir David’s family and loved ones at this tragic time.
“Sir David Amess was viciously attacked whilst serving his community. I will be suspending my surgery this evening in response.”
Birmingham Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe said: “This is the most awful news. David was a good, thoughtful and generous man. I worked with him on many cross party campaigns. My thoughts are with his wife and children.”
Birmingham’s Labour group said it would be putting its election campaign for the upcoming Yardley East by-election on hold.
A tweet from Yardley Labour said: “We are suspending all further campaigning today in the Yardley East by-election as a mark of respect following the horrific death of Sir David Amess MP.
“All our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.”
The Conservatives have said they have suspended campaigning across the UK until further notice.
Deputy leader of Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat group Cllr Roger Harmer (Lib Dem, Acocks Green) said: “The Lib Dem campaign in Yardley East is also being suspended for the rest of today as a mark of respect for Sir David Amess MP.
“Our thoughts are with his friends, family and colleagues at this awful time.”
He added: “This brings it home to you that it exposes you to a risk. We have all been there in a church hall meeting people. It’s just really awful.
“Yes it has happened before and we should now all think about what we do personally and as a society to minimise the risks.”
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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