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'Our hearts are filled with shock and sadness': PM's tribute to Sir David Amess
15 October 2021, 17:17 | Updated: 15 October 2021, 23:56
Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess, saying "all our hearts" are filled with "shock" and "sadness".
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The Prime Minister added he was "heartstricken" when he heard the news, and said the country had lost "a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague".
"All our hearts are full of shock and sadness today to the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom," said Mr Johnson in a video.
He said Sir David was "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics" and praised his record of passing laws to protect vulnerable people.
"David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we've lost today a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague, and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family," said Mr Johnson.
When asked if the attack prompted questions over the safety of MPs, Mr Johnson said the issue would be "considered in the proper time" but that today was "a moment for us to think of Sir David, his wife, his family, and our thoughts are very much with them".
Sir David was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery on Friday.
Paramedics fought to save his life at the scene at Belfairs Methodist Church in Southend, but the father of five died at the scene.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the incident, Essex police said on Friday afternoon.
They added there did not believe there was any wider risk to the public and that they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
The Prime Minister's wife Carrie Johnson has joined hoards of public figures paying tribute to Sir David.
"Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess," she wrote online.
"He was hugely kind and good. An enormous animal lover and a true gent. This is so completely unjust. Thoughts are with his wife and their children."
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his "heart goes out" to Sir David's children, staff, friends and constituents and described it as a "dark and shocking day".
He said: "Above all else, today I am thinking of David, of the dedicated public servant that he was and of the depth of positive impact he had for the people he represented."
Sir Keir said Sir David had a "profound sense of duty" and was "highly respected across Parliament, within the church and in the Christian community".
"Let us come together in response to these horrendous events," the Labour leader added.
"We will show once more that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never prevail over the tireless commitment of public servants simply doing their jobs."