A message from US secretary of state Antony Blinken:
Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “This death throws a sharp light on to the fact that our Members of Parliament are servants of the people, available to people in their need, especially in their constituencies.
“This horrific attack, as David was undertaking his constituency surgery, is an attack on our democratic process and traditions.
“David carried out his vocation as a Catholic in public life with generosity and integrity.
“He served in Parliament for four decades and was respected by all political parties across the House.
“His untimely death is a great loss.”
More forensic officers have arrived at the scene on Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea.
Paying tribute to Amess, Monsignor Kevin Hale, of Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh-on-Sea, said: “He lived in the next parish but he came to see us often.
“I have known him for around 18 years. David was a beautiful, affable and approachable person.”
He added that the news of his death was “utterly unbelievable – not only to hear of his stabbing but also after to hear he had died. His wife and family are in our hearts and prayers”.
A tribute from the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The MP was also patron and president of the Music Man Project charity, an international music education service for people with disabilities.
In 2019, he helped the charity – which he was involved with for more than 20 years – organise an event in which 200 children with learning disabilities played music at the Royal Albert Hall.
The charity’s founder, David Stanley, said: “The news came as the most devastating shock. He gave me opportunities to do music, dinners and receptions at the House of Commons.
“We were planning the next stage, which was we were hoping to perform on Broadway and do other shows at the Albert Hall. He was central to making those dreams come true.
“As you can imagine, people with learning disabilities, that they can’t really change their own destiny, they need people to help them. Sir David was able to do things that I couldn’t do as a charity founder. He could and he was just amazing in what he did.”
Sir David Amess has been remembered for his charity work with constituents describing him as a “community man” who would “always turn up”.
Helen Symmons is the town clerk for Leigh-on-Sea, and said Sir David’s death was a “massive shock” for the whole town.
“I’ve lived here for 28 years, and he’s always been my MP as long as I’ve lived here,” the 56-year-old told the PA news agency.
“David was a big community man and everybody here recognised that.
“Everyone’s in a state of shock and disbelief.”
Mrs Symmons recalled Sir David’s annual attendance at the town’s Christmas parade, which attracts between five and ten thousand people each year.
“We always invited David, he always came along and we always found him a float to sit in and wave from,” she said.
“I think the worst thing that I made him do was probably sit … with a mascot dressed as a bear.”
MPs from all factions in all parties will be united in shock and grief at the death of David Amess. They will also feel the cold shiver of vulnerability, since many of them will have received abuse and threats online and in person. And it is not just the MPs who are affected. Their families and staff are targeted.
Home secretary asks police forces to review MPs’ security arrangements
The home secretary, Priti Patel, had asked all police forces to review security
arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, a Home Office spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Patel said: “This afternoon, the home secretary chaired a meeting of the police, security and intelligence agencies to discuss the tragic incident in Southend and the ongoing response. She also spoke to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
“The home secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course.”
Stephen Aylen, a former independent councillor for the area, said: “I helped David with the 97 election when he first stood in Southend.
“We all got aggressive constituents. I’ve had human shit thrown at me, but nothing like this.
“Look at the place: it’s lovely and quiet and leafy. It’s one of the best places in Southend to live. It’s mainly older people. How could this happen?
“There wasn’t a bad bone in him, you know, even people who were against, if they asked for help, it was no problem.
“I can remember watching the 1992 the election when he won in Basildon. It was a total shock for everybody. I never thought I’d not get to know him then.
“He was very popular. When you went canvassing with him he would remember people’s name. It’s a fantastic skill.”
Bob Hazel, 62, came to the scene to lay a bouquet of white lilies for Amess. A card on the flowers said: “Sir David, such a kind and thoughtful MP to us all.”
“I stood as an independent councillor for the local group Belfairs First. But regardless of the political allegiance, he was always very helpful.
“He was a well-liked MP and a great guy. I didn’t agree with him about a lot of things, like his views on birth control and abortion.
“There’s always going to be something you don’t agree with. He was tremendously hard working.”