A NEW law aimed at tackling online abuse should be named in honour of Sir David Amess, according to a close friend and neighbouring MP.

Mark Francois led the call for “David’s law” while paying tribute to a man he described as “the best bloke he knew” in the House of Commons.

MPs took their turn to pay tribute to Sir David during a special two-hour session in Parliament yesterday dedicated entirely to the Southend West MP.

Mr Francois used his speech to highlight Sir David’s campaign to crack down on online abuse and called on the Government to introduce tougher laws in memory of the man dubbed “Mr Southend.”

The Rayleigh and Wickford MP said: “In the last few years, David had become increasingly concerned about what he called the toxic environment in which MPs, particularly female MPs, were having to operate in.

“I suggest that if we want to ensure that our colleague didn’t die in vain, we collectively all of us pick up the baton, regardless of our party and take the forthcoming Online Harms Bill and toughen it up markedly.

“So let’s put, if I may be so presumptuous, David’s law onto the statute book, the essence of which would be that while people in public life must remain open to legitimate criticism, they can no longer be vilified or their families subject to the most horrendous abuse.”

Mr Francois revealed he and his wife had been due to meet Sir David at the late MP’s annual dinner on Friday evening.

He added: “Everything I ever learned about being a constituency MP I learnt from David Amess. He sponsored me for the candidates’ list and he mentored me when I arrived.

“Without him I would never have become a Member of Parliament, so some might well argue he has much to answer for.”

Boris Johnson had opened the session by saying Sir David’s death would not detract from his accomplishments both as a person and a politician.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer offered his party’s sympathy and support to Conservative MPs who were grieving the loss of Sir David.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May told the Commons all MPs had “lost a friend” who stood for “laughter, service and compassion.”

She described Sir David as an exemplary “first-class constituency MP” and urged colleagues to “bring the same respect, decency and compassion that were the symbols of his life” when discussing issues.

She concluded: “His compassion made a difference to people outside of this House, his kindness made a difference inside this House. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julia and the family. Their loss is devastating.

“His constituency has lost a much respected and loved Member of Parliament.

“This House has lost a remarkable and valued parliamentarian, and every member of this House has lost a friend.

“May he rest in peace.”