MPs and councillors have paid tribute to Southend West MP Sir David Amess following his death earlier today (Friday).
The Conservative MP was reportedly stabbed as he met constituents at a regular surgery in Leigh-On-Sea, and a 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Police have recovered a knife and have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, Dr Caroline Johnson commented about her Parliamentary colleague via social media: “I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear the news of Sir David Amess MP’s fatal stabbing. He was friendly and well liked, a true gentleman who was committed to serving his constituents.
“My thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this distressing time.”
Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle, added: “The awful news of Sir David Amess MP’s death is shocking and terribly sad.
“David was a thoroughly decent and kind-hearted man who was liked and respected across the House. He was always ready with an encouraging word or kindness and was great company.
“He represented his constituents of Southend West with style and energy - his campaign to make Southend a city was known by all colleagues.
“My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, friends and constituents at this dreadful time.”
Mr Amess’ death comes just five years after the murder of Jo Cox in 2016.
The Jo Cox Foundation, the charity set up in memory of the MP, has already said it was “horrified” by the stabbing.
Conservative Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Coun Kelham Cooke commented: “This is terribly sad news, thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace.”
Conservative leader of South Holland District Council Lord Gary Porter wrote that he was “shocked and saddened”. “I was one of David’s Vice Chairman on an APPG,” he said.
“A considerate and compassionate man, who cared deeply for other people, my thoughts are with his family and friends. Please every MP stay vigilant and stay safe.”
Coun Craig Leyland, Conservative Leader of East Lindsey District Council added: “The worst possible news. So saddened to hear of the death of Sir David Amess MP….stabbed while attending a constituency surgery. Whatever your politics a very sad day for politics and democracy.”
Labour’s City of Lincoln Council Ric Metcalfe said the death was “a shocking event” and a “reminder of the risks people in public life are now exposed to”.
“On behalf of all at City of Lincoln Council, we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Mr Amess had been MP for Southend West since 1997 and first entered parliament in 1983. The 69-year-old had been meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church.
He left behind four daughters and a son.