The extended family of the late Tory MP Sir David Amess have today described him as "a great man" while his wife Julia and five children continue to grieve away from the public eye.
This comes after it emerged Sir David, who was first elected in 1997, said his family "paid a big price" for his career in politics, shown in a clip filmed several years ago.
Left outside the church where the 69-year-old was stabbed to death, a note from cousins Moira and Pat reads: “Can’t believe this has actually happened. Will always love you,", The Mirror reports.
In the video clip, the tragic MP for Southend West in Essex can be heard saying: “All I will say is, my family has paid a big price for me being a member of Parliament, that bears no doubt.”
On Friday, Sir David was stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery. He tragically died at the scene despite attempts to save him.
A 25-year-old British national believed to be of Somalian heritage was arrested a short time later.
Stabbed MP Sir David Amess warned 'what happened to Jo Cox could happen to any of us'
The man, named as Ali Harbi Ali, remains in police custody, and counter-terrorism officials are examining possible links to jihadism.
The intelligence services also believe he may have been a “lone wolf” with no links to any major terrorist groups.
Alex, who went on to work closely with Sir David as a councillor, was struck by the MP’s comments as he unearthed the clip for the Sunday People.
Sir David Amess: Man accused of stabbing Tory MP to death at church hall named
“That quote really stood out – looking back on what has just happened, it’s evident this was true,” Alex said.
“He was kind enough to let me interview him and talk about the role of an MP, what’s demanded of an MP and what’s expected of an MP. He really cared.
"This feels so surreal, like a nightmare. Sir David was such a nice and gentle person, you can’t fathom why anyone would do this.”
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In another part of the film, titled Are MPs Worth their Salary?, Sir David observes: “I could have earned a great deal more money, had a private life, without what being a member of parliament entails. I’m not asking for any sympathy though, because it’s up to you whether you want to run for office.”
PR professional Richard Hillgrove shared a Zoom call with Sir David just three minutes before he was stabbed.
He said the MP had been “firing on all cylinders, full of buzz” as they discussed the Children’s Parliament, where Richard’s 11-year-old daughter Lola had been matched with Sir David.
Their call ended at 12.02pm, so Sir David could host his surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea. At 12.05pm, he was attacked.
Richard “was absolutely horrified” when he heard what had happened”.
He said: “Every minute that passed seemed like an hour. The longer it went, the more concerning it got.
“I was honoured to have known him. He was such an inspiration, his engagement was incredible. He made sense of a crazy world.”
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