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Constituents shocked by MP’s killing

Constituents shocked by MP’s killing
Sir David Amess (Picture by Richard Townshend)

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The killing of Sir David Amess has shocked the country.

But news of the MP’s death has perhaps been felt most keenly in his Essex constituency, where he was known to and beloved by many. A day after he was attacked while serving the public, as he had done for almost 40 years, the local community tries to make sense of what happened.

The mood in Leigh-on-Sea is one of bewilderment. Sir David Amess had represented the area for decades and his constituents speak warmly of a man who dedicated his life to serving them.

As detectives attempt to piece together possible motives for his fatal stabbing, a thick gathering of police and global media has descended upon the usually quiet Essex town.

People have gathered to pay tributes outside the Belfairs Methodist Church, on Eastwood Road North, where Sir David was attacked.

Resident Audrey Martin remembered her MP as “an absolute gentleman” who “dedicated his whole life to his constituents here”.

“For many, many years he’s just been a pillar of society, helping out all different people,” she said.

She told the BBC how Sir David had “taken time out” to speak to her when she first moved to the area from Scotland.

“I just wanted to talk and just tell him how I was feeling at that moment in time, moving to Leigh-on-Sea, leaving my friends behind in Scotland and not having friends here.

“He just had this aura about him.”

Abigail Mkhize held back tears as she recalled how Sir David had helped her with her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

“Six years ago I was having chemotherapy and because I was working as an agency nurse, I had problems with getting the help with ESA, so I went and saw him,” she said.

“He said, ‘This is not right, you’ve been here for so long and you don’t deserve this – I will sort it out’ and he did.”

Ms Mkhize has lived in Southend for 20 years and said she “always felt comfortable” knowing Sir David was around to help.

“He was the father of all nations, that’s how we can describe him,” she said. “Whether you were black, white, irrespective of where you come from he gave that love, affection, kindness, caring.” (BBC)