Over 100 people attended a vigil for Sir David Ames tonight after MP He was stabbed to death in his constituency surgery in Essex.
A service at St Peter’s Church in Eastwood Lane, where Sir David was murdered, was held on Friday evening to remember him – where he was described by a priest as “Mr Southend”.
The church fell silent when Father Jeffrey Woolnoff paid tribute to the Conservative MP and invited his constituents to remember him.
He put up a picture of Sir David in front of the church, and said: “This worship is one I was not expecting to lead today.
“The whole world is sad. In this collective we pray for the peace of dear David’s soul.”
It comes like this…
- Sir David Ames, 69, dies after being stabbed multiple times in Tory constituency surgery, 25-year-old man arrested for murder
- Murdered husband Joe Cox says Sir David Ames murder ‘brings everything back’ after wife’s tragic death
- Sir David Ames calls for crackdown on knife crime seven months before stabbing to death
Sir David, who represents Southend West in Essex, was attacked with a 25-year-old knife at Belfairs Methodist Church later this afternoon.
Paramedics tried hard to save the victim MP but he was declared dead on the spot.
Father Woolnow added: “Have you ever known Sir David without that happy smile on his face?
“What he greeted was always that wonderful smile.
“He died doing the work he loved. Met his local constituents.”
Worshipers sat with their heads in their hands, some shedding tears as they remembered the much-loved MP who was first elected to Parliament in 1983.
Father Woolnow said that Sir David was ‘old school’, bringing the eastern end of his life to his point of view with the people, making himself open and available to all, whether poor or rich.
He also described the murder as a “wicked and tragic act”.
Those who attended the vigil were invited to light a candle and share their memories of Sir David.
A lone candle outside the church was lit as Tory MP constituents remembered him.
Essex Police confirmed tonight that Sir David’s death will be investigated by counter-terrorism authorities.
Speaking at a news conference this evening, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said the force would “keep an open mind” about its ties to terrorism.
He said: “The investigation is in its early stages and is being led by officers in the specialist counter-terrorism command.
“It will be up to the experts to determine whether this is a terrorism incident.”
A Home Ministry spokesperson said that Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review the security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect.
This comes after feared constituents saw it as the murder of Sir David.
The MP’s condition was not immediately known, but police have now confirmed that the father of five married children has died tragically after the attack.
He is the ninth MP to be assassinated in Britain and the sixth since World War II.
And his death tragically came just months after Boris Johnson begged Boris Johnson to deal with the knife crime epidemic in Britain.
‘Friends and Colleagues’
Shocked MPs from all political circles have condemned the terror.
Flags have also been flown at half-mast outside Parliament and a planned interview with Boris Johnson that was due to take place today has been cancelled.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the MP tonight, describing him as a “very dear friend and colleague”.
Mr Johnson said: “All our hearts are filled with shock and sadness today at the passing of Sir David Ames MP, who underwent surgery in his constituency at a church after nearly 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and throughout were killed. United Kingdom.
“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and its future, and we have lost a fine public servant and a very dear friend and colleague today.”
Robert Halfon, a Tory MP for Harlow and a friend of Sir David, explained: “He was the embodiment of the Essex man.
“He was just the most wonderful and kind and funny and kind politician we were fortunate enough to know in our lifetimes.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: “The worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity. It steals happiness from the world and can take away from us what we love most.
“Today it took a father, a husband and a respected colleague. All my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David’s loved ones.”
Judith Cannon, vice-president of the local Conservative club and a friend of Sir David, told Sky: “I can’t believe it, I don’t know how someone can harm a kind man like David.
“I don’t understand how someone can be so evil as to harm this man.
“We love him so much. No one is perfect, but he is as perfect as possible.”
Councilor John Lamb described Sir David as a “cordial” family man.
He said: “He is a family man, he has four daughters and a son.
“He is always trying to help the people and especially the refugees he has tried to help. He is a very friendly person and he sticks to his guns, says what he believes in And he sticks to it.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “Devastated to learn of the assassination of Sir David Aims. A great man, a great friend and a great parliamentarian killed in his democratic role.
“My heart goes out to Julia, her family and everyone who loves her. Let us remember her and what she did with her life.”
Theresa May wrote: “Heartbroken to hear of the death of Sir David Eames. A decent man and respected parliamentarian, died in his own community while performing his public duties.
“A sad day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.”
Community Secretary Michael Gove tweeted: “The passing of David Ames is heartbreaking. Just terrible, terrible news.
“He was a good and gentle man, he showed kindness and compassion to everyone, his every word and action was marked by kindness. My heart goes out to his family.”
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: “Horrible, sad news about David.
“A dedicated, thoughtful person and a true parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents for whom he worked relentlessly throughout his career.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
While Sadiq Khan said: “I am deeply, deeply saddened by the sad news of Sir David’s passing.
“He loved being an MP and was a great public servant. It’s awful.
“My thoughts and prayers, and that of all Londoners, are with David’s loved ones in this unimaginable time of sorrow.”
Essex Police confirmed today that a 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and said they are not looking for anyone else.
The force said: “We were called to an address on Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05 pm today.
“We ran and found one person injured.
“He was treated by the emergency services, but sadly he died on the spot.
“A 25-year-old man was immediately arrested and a knife was recovered after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder.”