Sheffield politicians pay tribute to murdered MP David Amess
Shocked Sheffield political leaders have paid tribute to MP Sir David Amess, after he was stabbed to death in his constituency.
Conservative Sir David, aged 69, was stabbed multiple times at a meeting with constituents in a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Sir David, a father-of-five, who has been an MP since 1983, is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.
Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis has described the death of David Amess MP as ‘attack on foundations of our democracy’.
He said: “An attack of this kind is an attack on the very foundations of our democracy. A truly dark day. My thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends, staff and constituents.”
The city’s MPs spoke of their shock and paid tribute, but long serving Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts warned it was impossible to give MPs 100 per cent protection.
Mr Betts said he had known Mr Amess since he first became MP for Sheffield Attercliffe in 1992 and was shocked by his death.
He said: “We have had very different political views but he was always a friendly and approachable person, and I worked with him on many occasions.
“He was very likeable, and was very strong on the issue of animal welfare.
“The attack is a matter of great concern. But one of the great strengths of our political system is that an MP is there for everyone in their constituency, about personal matters or policy matters. You can’t close down MPs and give them 100 per cent protection.
“We are not just there for people who voted for us, we’re there for everyone.
“You can look at how MPs get help more quickly, there have been reviews before.
“Short of locking ourselves away and doing everything by video call you can’t have total protection. And MPs need to get out and know their constituencies.”
Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake said: “I am horrified by the news about David Amess.”
She said her thoughts were with his staff, friends, and family.
Brightside and Hillsborough Gill Furniss described the tragedy as absolutely awful news, and described Sir David as a good man and a friend to all in Parliament.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said: “David Amess was a kind, thoughtful, funny and decent man. A true public servant.
“All my thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved him at this terrible time.”
Politicians from Sheffield Council have also shared their views.
Coun Joe Otten, Liberal Democrat representative for Dore and Totley, said: “Absolutely awful news of another MP being stabbed. It should remind all of us in politics not to dehumanise each other in the language that we use, and how precious it is that our disputes are settled peacefully at the ballot box.”
Coun Douglas Johnson, Green Party leader and executive member, said: “First Jo Cox and now David Amess. It doesn’t matter about political party: this should not happen.”