Local politicians respond to devastating death of MP Sir David Amess

MP Sir David Amess. Credit: UK Parliament

The leader of Tower Hamlet’s Conservative group has spoken out of his devastation at the death of his friend, the MP Sir David Amess.

Peter Golds, councillor for Island gardens, said Amess- who was stabbed to death in Leigh-on-Sea last Friday in a suspected terrorist attack, was the most “peaceful and kind of people.”

Golds added: “As an elected representative and campaigner, we are increasingly aware of security. We have taken advice and are implementing a campaign strategy to do our best to protect each other.”

“I have known David from the time he first contested an election to the former GLC, to his time as a councillor and an MP. I was with him just two weeks ago. His murder is appalling.” 

The man arrested at the scene on suspicion of his murder has been detained further under the Terrorism Act. 

“The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the police said.

Other Tower Hamlets councillors reflected on their emotions after a day of tributes to Amess in the Houses of Parliament. 

Andrew Wood, a member of the Tower Hamlets Conservative group, said: “As a Councillor I am less high profile than a Member of Parliament, so the risk of me getting attacked is very low and I hold my meetings in a public building.

“But it is essential in a democracy for residents to be able to meet in person their elected representatives and our enemies win if that stops.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the killing of Amess “leaves a vacuum that will not and can never be filled”, as he opened a Commons assembly organised so MPs could pay tribute to their colleague.

A senior Conservative MP – Tobias Ellwood has called for a temporary pause in face-to-face meetings between parliamentarians and their constituents following the killing of Amess on Friday.

Ellwood said: “Physical engagements should be halted until the Home Office has completed its review of MPs’ security.

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