Southend-on-Sea to become a city on March 1st, Sir David Amess' replacement confirms to GB News

17 Southend City status Farage
Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 17/02/2022

- 20:31

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:02

In her first television appearance as MP for Southend West, Anna Firth exclusively told GB News when Southend will gain city status in honour of the late Sir David Amess.

The MP for Southend West has exclusively told GB News that Southend-on-Sea will gain city status on 1st of March.

Anna Firth MP confirmed to GB News' Nigel Farage that Southend-on-Sea will become a city on 1st of March in honour of the late Sir David Amess.

The Conservative MP told GB News "City status is coming formally to Southend on the 1st of March."

Anna Firth MP won her seat following a by-election triggered by the killing of Sir David Amess.

Southend’s city status comes after at least two decades of work in championing the area by local MP Sir David Amess.

The Essex town was among a number competing to be made a city as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A by-election was held in Southend West after former incumbent Sir David was killed at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on October 15 during a constituency surgery.

The 69-year-old had served Southend West since 1997, and Basildon before that since 1983.

Following her victory, qualified barrister Ms Firth vowed to “work tirelessly to build on everything” achieved by Sir David during his lengthy tenure.

Throughout history, many cities have been deemed as such due to having a cathedral, but this is not necessarily a requirement.

It is the monarch who has the ultimate power to bestow city status on a place – with the decision usually taken on the advice of ministers.

According to the Commons Library, Birmingham was the first town without a cathedral to become a city, doing so in 1889.

Birmingham is officially the UK’s largest city, with a population at the 2011 census of 1.1 million.

London is not officially a city, but within the boundary of the Greater London area are two cities: the City of London (the third smallest city in the UK by population size) and the City of Westminster.

Based on the same census, St David’s in Pembrokeshire is the UK’s smallest city, with a population of just under 1,400.

City status has, in more recent times, been awarded through a series of competitive bids, managed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the UK Parliament website states.

Apart from having a cathedral, city status in the UK can be associated with an area having a university, a particular form of local government, or a large population, the Commons Library explains.

The granting of city status to Southend, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been welcomed as a fitting tribute to Sir David’s years of work for the area.

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