Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency surgery on Friday.
William and Kate said they were “shocked and saddened” by the killing of Sir David, adding their “thoughts and prayers” are with his family, friends and colleagues.
The Prime Minister said Sir David “ 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.”
He added: “The reason I think people are so shocked and saddened is above all he was one of the kindest nicest, most gentle people in politics, and he also had an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable, whether they were people who are suffering from endometriosis, passing laws to end cruelty to animals or doing a huge amount to reduce the fuel poverty.”
He added: “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.”
The 69-year-old, who has been an MP since 1983, was stabbed several times during a “very distressing” incident at a constituency surgery in Essex.
A suspect has been arrested.
We are shocked and saddened by the murder of Sir David Amess, who dedicated 40 years of his life to serving his community.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. W & C
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 15, 2021
Carrie Johnson the Prime Minister’s wife, is among others who have paid tribute, tweeting: “Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess.
“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.”
Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess. 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.
— Carrie Johnson (@carrielbjohnson) October 15, 2021
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called it “a dark and shocking day.”
“The whole country will feel it acutely, perhaps the more so because we have, heartbreakingly, been here before,” he added.
Theresa May, Mr Johnson’s predecessor at No 10, said it was “a tragic day for our democracy.”
She tweeted: “Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess.
“A decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties. A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.”
Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess. A decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties. A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) October 15, 2021
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major also paid tribute, saying: “My heart goes out to his family.”
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps described Sir David Amess as “a true parliamentarian”.
He tweeted: “Awful, tragic news about David.
“A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career.
I could write reams on how Sir David was one of the kindest, most compassionate, well liked colleagues in Parliament. But I can't. I feel sick. I am lost.
Rest in Peace. A little light went out in Parliament today. We will miss you. #SirDavidAmess
— Tracey Crouch (@tracey_crouch) October 15, 2021
“My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “Devastated to learn of Sir David Amess’ murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role.
“My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him. Let us remember him and what he did with his life.”
Awful, tragic news about David. A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career.
My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 15, 2021
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Elected representatives from across the political spectrum will be united in sadness and shock today.
“In a democracy, politicians must be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no-one deserves to have their life taken while working for and representing their constituents.”
Former Prime Minster David Cameron said it is “the most devastating, horrific and tragic news.”
He added: “David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man and he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet.
“Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today. Right now, my heart goes out to David’s family.”
Devastated to learn of Sir David Amess' murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role.
My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him.
Let us remember him and what he did with his life.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) October 15, 2021
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis described Sir David Amess as “one of life’s truly nice people”.
He tweeted: “I knew David both from my days as a councillor in Essex and as a fellow MP.
“One of life’s truly nice people, a gentleman, who was always ready to give his help to anyone who needed it.
“So shocked and saddened by this awful news. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
Speaking before Sir David’s death was confirmed, Conservative MP and former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC News channel: “The reality for us is that we see constituents all the time, both in their houses and in surgeries.
“We’re out and about, we’re always available, we must be available, it’s the most critical bit of what makes the British parliamentary system I think one of the most accessible in the world, and that’s because we want it that way.
“We don’t want to be cowed or frightened into doing something different, and I certainly won’t, and I know my colleagues will feel the same.
“So I hope this is resolved very, very quickly, as I say, but we will certainly want to continue the way that we do things.
“Of course there may be some other elements that may be added to it, but notwithstanding that I want my constituents to have full access and I’m sure David would have felt the same.”