Labour will not be standing a candidate in the Southend West by-election following the death of Sir David Amess, it is understood. 

The party is set to follow the principle established after Jo Cox’s murder in 2016, when the major parties declined to select candidates in the subsequent Batley and Spen by-election.

As a result, it is understood Labour will not contest the by-election to find a successor to murdered Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

The Liberal Democrats have also confirmed they will not fight for the seat when a date is set.

It came after a Labour peer has called for all major opposition parties to stand aside in the Southend West by-election out of respect for Sir David Amess after he was murdered serving his constituents.

Former minister Lord Pendry, who said he was on friendly terms with Sir David, said a decision not to contest the seat should be taken to “honour” the Conservative politician.

“This is an occasion when you see the leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer) and the Prime Minister together, and it shows that our democracy transcends all that sort of thing,” he told PA news agency.

“I think we should be saying that whoever the Conservatives put up, it is their seat because they were deprived of it, so they should have it back.

“I think all the major parties should stand aside in the interest of democracy and our own democratic way of life.”