Tributes to Sir David Amess MP flow in from across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland after fatal stabbing

Tributes to a Conservative MP who was stabbed to death at a constituency meeting have poured in from across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 5:53 pm
Undated handout photo issued by UK Parliament of Conservative MP Sir David Amess who has been stabbed several times at a surgery in his Southend West constituency, according to reports. Issue date: Friday October 15, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE MP . Photo credit should read: Chris McAndrew/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The 69-year-old Sir David Amess, who has been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend at midday on Friday.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering the Tory veteran, who was married with five children.

Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Ministers joined senior politicians, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in paying tribute following the killing.

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DUP MP Ian Paisley

The PM described Sir David as one of the “kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister, DUP MLA Paul Givan, said: “I was shocked to hear the news about Sir David Amess. This was a brutal attack on a man with a distinguished history of public service, and the repercussions will resonate with us all.

“But, more than this, Sir David was a husband, father and colleague – and it is those closest to him who will feel this loss most profoundly. My immediate thoughts are with Sir David’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

Mr Givan’s party leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said: “Our prayers are with those closest to David. This is shocking and horrendous.

“Sir David Amess has been a long-standing friend to me personally but also to the Union. More than many in Westminster, he took a keen interest in Northern Ireland and it’s people. He always wanted to see the country moving forward.

“Such a brutal attack must be condemned and is a reminder of the dangers which still face people in public office.”

DUP MP Ian Paisley described Sir David as a “goliath of a parliamentarian” who was “was quick witted and could make a positive contribution at every occasion”.

Mr Paisley added: “I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family and circle of friends and pray God will give us all grace to cope with this despicable murder of a decent, honourable gentleman.”

Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein MLA Michelle O’Neill said: “I was deeply shocked to learn of the death of David Amess in the most tragic of circumstances. No public representative should face attack when carrying out their duties on behalf of their constituents.

“My thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with David’s family and friends at this awful time.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “The murder of David Amess today is shocking beyond words. He left home this morning to meet constituents and do his best for his local community. To suffer a brutal attack like this in the line of public service is absolutely horrendous.

“Politicians make themselves accessible to the public to provide support and improve their lives. No one believes that they’ll be attacked in that effort. Political leaders will be united across party lines today following this terrible news.”

He added: “My thoughts are with David’s family, friends and colleagues at such a difficult time.”

UUP leader Doug Beattie said: “The brutal murder of Sir David Amess has horrified everyone across the United Kingdom. This is heartbreaking news especially for Sir David`s loved ones, friends and Conservative Party colleagues. The tributes being paid to him from across all political parties demonstrate a huge level of respect for a thoroughly decent, hard-working constituency MP. It`s an absolute tragedy that he lost his life doing the job he loved while serving his constituents.

“On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, I offer my deepest sympathies to Sir David`s family, friends and colleagues.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “The murder of Sir David Amess in a constituency surgery has shocked the nation.

“The news will prompt many memories for people across Northern Ireland not least of how Rev Robert Bradford was murdered while serving his constituents.

“I trust the family of Sir David will draw comfort from the knowledge that they will be remembered in the prayers of countless people this evening.”

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Ben Lowry