SOLIHULL politicians have paid tribute to Sir David Amess, MP, who was brutally stabbed while meeting with the public.
The Southend West MP (Cons) was attacked on Friday (October 15) at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Essex Police has arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with the incident which is being treated as a terrorist attack.
The force is not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.
Meriden MP, Saqib Bhatti, said: “Sir David was kind, devout and dutiful – a true gentleman who put his friends, family and constituents first.
“When I gave my maiden speech in February last year, I received a handwritten note from Sir David, congratulating me and wishing me well as I started my journey in Parliament.
“Not only was he a supportive friend to colleagues, but he was also a committed, enduring public servant who was truly devoted to his constituents.
“He was taken from us doing exactly what he saw as his primary duty – serving his constituents.
“We will not allow such barbarism to threaten our democratic system. We will not be deterred by senseless acts of terror which threaten our way of life
“I sent my best wishes to Sir David’s wife Julia and their children as they mourn his loss. We stand by them as we come to terms with the loss of a friend, husband and father.”
Mr Bhatti said his constituent surgeries will continue and his team will take precaution where necessary.
Councillor Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, said: “I am still shocked at the senseless and tragic death of such a hard-working and much loved MP and family man, especially while serving his constituents.
“Sir David was the personification of an MP and elected member, who fights for his people, his community and his town.
“That he has been struck down in this manner has just sent shockwaves through parliament, local politics and all public life.
“This is a difficult time for our MPs in particular and for us as local politicians too.
“We seek to serve the communities who elect us and the rising level of aggression, abuse and ill will is something society needs to reflect on and not tolerate.
“Of course we have differences of opinion and policy, but our democracy depends upon elected representatives being able to go about their business safely.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “It has shaken the whole country and left many MPs and politicians feeling vulnerable and concerned for their own safety.
“West Midlands Police are making contact with all MPs in the region and are currently reviewing MPs’ safety to see if there is any more that can be done to reassure Members of Parliament and to enable them to continue their important work in their constituencies.”
Julian Knight, MP for Solihull added: “Friday’s tragic events have caused immense stress to many in Westminster and I am grateful to everyone who has contacted myself and my team.
I thank you all for your kind words during this difficult period.
“Members of Parliament returned to the House of Commons on Monday to pay tributes to Sir David, many of which were incredibly moving. He was a true gentleman and a great advocate for his Southend constituents in Parliament, and I think it incredibly fitting for Her Majesty to grant Southend city status as tribute to him.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us.”