Sir David Amess was the embodiment of Parliament’s strengths, mourners told

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
The coffin of Sir David Amess is carried into St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
The coffin of Sir David Amess is carried into St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Politicians have been urged to learn from the “brilliant” constituency MP Sir David Amess, as his life was celebrated during a funeral service in Southend.

Mourners paid their respects to the Southend West Tory MP during a private ecumenical service at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell, with people lining the streets to pay their respects.

The father-of-five was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15.

Whatever the weaknesses of Parliament, David Amess was the living embodiment of all its strengths

Mark Francois MP

The devout Catholic’s friend and colleague Mark Francois delivered a eulogy, praising Sir David’s service to his constituents and the sense of humour of the man he branded the “original Essex cheeky chappy”.

Watch: Requiem mass for 'original Essex cheeky chappy' MP Sir David Amess before he is laid to rest

In comments that come after Westminster was embroiled in a sleaze scandal, the Rayleigh and Wickford MP told those gathered: “Our electors employ us to represent them in a contract renewable every few years.

“We work for them and not the other way around, and no-one was ever more conscious of that than David Amess.

“Whatever one thinks of members of Parliament and opinions do vary, in my experience MPs of all parties do genuinely try and help other people.

“However, collectively in recent years we have perhaps not always helped ourselves, and I humbly suggest today that we need to learn from that.

Mourners arrive for the funeral of Sir David Amess (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
Mourners arrive for the funeral of Sir David Amess (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

“But, boy, did David Amess honour the contract with his employers – and in his own inimitable style.”

He added: “Whatever the weaknesses of Parliament, David Amess was the living embodiment of all its strengths.”

The former minister said in his tribute that, despite the “awful tragedy” of Sir David’s death, the country should “keep calm and carry on” as that is “what he would have wanted us to do”.

In recognition of Sir David’s long-running campaign for Southend to be made a city finding posthumous success, Mr Francois said his fellow Essex MP had “won in the end”.

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, a friend of Sir David’s, read a statement on behalf of the Amess family, similar to the one released shortly after his death, asking people to “set aside hatred” and urging tolerance.

MP Mark Francois gave a eulogy at Sir David Amess’ funeral service (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
MP Mark Francois gave a eulogy at Sir David Amess’ funeral service (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Sir David’s coffin, draped in a union flag, was carried by pallbearers from Southend Fire Service.

After the church service, they carried the coffin to a horse-drawn hearse for a procession around Southend.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Southend’s Civic Centre to pay their respects as the hearse, led by four black horses, paused in front of it.

Uniformed police officers bowed their heads as the hearse arrived and people applauded.

On Tuesday, a requiem mass will be held at Westminster Cathedral in London, where a message from the Pope will be shared.

Watch: MPs pay tribute to Sir David Amess

Read More

What are the Government’s care cap plans and how will I be affected?

Government to review coronavirus travel rules in January

Hunt: Slightly more stingy care cap change still preferable to current situation

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting