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LONDON: Tributes have been paid to Sir David Amess, the British Conservative MP murdered in his own constituency while meeting with members of the public, a year after his death.

Amess, a father of five and an MP for over four decades, was stabbed in the town of Leigh-on-Sea in the county of Essex on Oct. 15, 2021. 

Ali Harbi Ali, a 26-year-old British supporter of Daesh, “showed no remorse or shame” as he was convicted of the murder and a separate offense of preparing acts of terrorism on April 13, 2022, and handed a rare whole-life sentence for a crime the presiding judge said “struck at the heart of democracy.”

Messages came from across the UK’s political divides, including from Prime Minister Liz Truss, her predecessor Boris Johnson — who said Sir David’s legacy “shines bright” — and the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer.

Truss tweeted: “On the anniversary of Sir David Amess’ death, we cherish his memory and remember his enormous contribution to politics, to the people of Southend and to the country.

“My thoughts today are with his wife Julia, the Amess family and to all those who knew and loved him.”

Johnson tweeted: “On this sad anniversary of the death of Sir David Amess we remember the many good things he stood for: Campaigns for animal welfare, city status for Southend and independence for a sovereign parliamentary democracy.”

Sir Keir tweeted: “Remembering our friend & colleague David Amess, on the 1st anniversary of his senseless death.

“David’s commitment to public service, carried out with inherent, consistent kindness, will forever be admired. Thinking of his wife & children, hoping memories of him bring comfort.”

Priti Patel MP, home secretary at the time of Sir David’s murder, said: “A year ago today, Sir David Amess, my dear friend, was murdered. David was an outstanding public servant full of kindness, energy and integrity. He was killed serving the public in a senseless attack on democracy.”

Brendan Cox, husband of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was shot and killed by a far-right gunman in 2016 while meeting constituents, paid his own tribute to Sir David.

Cox tweeted: “A year ago David Amess was killed while trying to help his constituents. So much has happened in our politics since but for his family it will feel like yesterday.

“The grief, pain and shock will still be overwhelming. They deserve all of the support and kindness that we can give.”

Sir David’s home town of Southend in Essex was made a city in tribute to the late MP in October 2021, and he was posthumously named its first freeman in March this year.

A campaign is underway to make the city the next UK City of Culture, again in his memory. “What better legacy than for us to fulfil his dream and make us not only a city, but a City of Culture,” Anna Firth MP, his successor, told the BBC.


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