Boris Johnson leads tributes to Sir David Amess after requiem mass in Westminster

23 November 2021, 12:26 | Updated: 23 November 2021, 13:01

By Asher McShane

Boris Johnson led tributes to killed Tory MP Sir David Amess today after a requiem mass service was held in his memory at Westminster Cathedral.

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A message from Pope Francis was read out at the service for Sir David. In a message read out, the Pope called for mourners to "combat evil with good" and "build a society of ever greater justice."

Boris Johnson posted on Twitter: "Today we mourn the death of Sir David Amess, a beloved colleague, public servant and friend, and pay tribute to his immense contribution to politics, to the people of Southend and to this country."

Sir David Amess's coffin was carried out of Westminster Cathedral in highly emotional scenes.

Mourners wiped their eyes as the late MP's family walked down the aisle at the end of the funeral mass.

While there was a deeply felt sadness among those gathered to remember Sir David's life, the mass had featured lighter, happier moments which sparked fond memories.

Ann Widdecombe's eulogy was particularly well-received, as she recalled Sir David's fondness for practical jokes and the time he arrived at Parliament on horseback.

A mass was held for Sir David Amess today
A mass was held for Sir David Amess today. Picture: Alamy

Ahead of the service, she said the death of Sir David still has "a great air of unreality about it".

Politicians from across the political spectrum attended today's service
Politicians from across the political spectrum attended today's service. Picture: Alamy

The former Conservative MP paid tribute to Sir David as a "close personal friend" ahead of the funeral mass at Westminster Cathedral.

She added that she thought Sir David, who was a practising Catholic and led the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, was "probably the most important person in Britain" to the Pope.

At the service, humorous stories about Sir David were shared.

A chuckle rippled through the mourners gathered to remember the late MP as Canon Pat Browne, the Roman Catholic Duty Priest for Parliament, recalled the moment Sir David had a boiled sweet blessed by the Pope.

Laughter broke through the silence again as Canon Browne told the story of Sir David posing in a suit of armour to celebrate his knighthood.