FEW will be unaware of the terrible news that Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, was stabbed to death yesterday as he held a constituency surgery in a church. A man believed to be of Somalian heritage was arrested at the scene and investigations are being made into a possible terrorist motive.
The 69-year-old backbencher was noted for his friendliness to all – even to political opponents – and tributes have poured in from all sides. A keen Brexiteer, supporter of the State of Israel and animal welfare campaigner, Sir David was a devout Christian, committed to the defence of Christians worldwide from persecution, and the protection of human life from conception to its natural end.
Although not one of his constituents, many years ago I had the privilege of meeting Sir David in his constituency office to discuss pro-life matters. My abiding memory of our chat is his devotion to the cause of protecting the most vulnerable, as well as his kindness, friendly manner, and – as many have recalled – his devotion to his Essex constituency and keenness to promote its interests. He was especially interested in my interest in Southend, noted for having the world’s longest pleasure pier (1.3miles).
Recently, Sir David questioned the Prime Minister about knife crime and asked what extra measures could be brought in to stem the violence. It is tragic to think that this doughty defender of life, especially of the most vulnerable, has been killed in such a way.
He may be gone from among us; he may have lost his own fight for life; but his shining example will beam all the brighter for being so cruelly and so prematurely extinguished.