A BISHOP has expressed their ‘devastation’ following the fatal stabbing of Southend West MP Sir David Amess.

The 69-year-old father-of-five, who has been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh at midday.

The Conservative MP had been holding a surgery with constituents.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

"This is devastating news. Sir David was a loyal servant to the people of Southend for many years,” the right reverend Dr Guli Francis Dehqani, bishop of Chelmsford, said

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“The tributes we have already seen are testament to the high esteem in which he was held by many of his constituents. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his staff.”

The bishop of Bradwell the right reverend Dr John Perumbalath added: “This is deeply shocking and sad news. Sir David was a great friend of the church and it was a privilege to work alongside him in service to the people of Southend whom he cared about deeply. My prayers are with Sir David’s family and his staff”

Sir David Amess is the second MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.