Home Secretary Priti Patel, speaking at Southend police station, has today said: “We’re all struggling to come to terms with the fact that David Amess has been so cruelly taken away from all of us.
“Less than 24 hours ago David was in his own constituency doing a local advice surgery, which is something that all MPs do week in, week out.
Flowers and a ballon are pictured outside the scene where MP David Amess was stabbed during constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea. ANDREW COULDRIDGE
“And of course David, as I knew him and as we all knew him, was just a passionate advocate and a champion for Southend, this wonderful, wonderful town.
“He was a man of the people, he was absolutely there for everyone, he was a much loved parliamentarian, to me he was a dear and loyal friend, but also he was a devoted husband and father and we think of Julia and their children at this really sad time, they’re in our thoughts and our prayers.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sir David was “was killed doing a job that he loves, serving his own constituents as an elected democratic member and, of course, acts of this are absolutely wrong and we cannot let that get in the way of our functioning democracy.
“So that is why there are measures under way right now – I convened meetings yesterday, I’ve been with the Speaker of the House, and with the police and our security services to make sure that all measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members.”
Sir David Amess Andrew Couldridge
Asked whether there could be a balance between the safety of MPs and the democratic process, Priti Patel said: “It can be balanced, it can absolutely be balanced.”
And when asked whether it would mean the end of face-to-face meetings with MPs, the Home Secretary said “We are open to surgeries, doing our job. We will continue to do that.
“David was a dear friend of mine and a loyal friend and colleague, a man of the people. He was killed serving his own constituents and constituency members.
“We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected a democracy.”