A two-minute silence has been held by a community mourning the loss of their MP Sir David Amess, who was killed a week ago.

Sir David, 69, was stabbed to death shortly after midday while carrying out duties in his Southend West constituency.

Local shopkeepers and residents in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, bowed their heads and stood in a hushed silence which was broken with applause and the release of blue balloons in respect of the veteran politician.

With many in the community still in shock at the killing, James Duddridge, the MP for Rochford and Southend East, said: “It is going to be very difficult not just for the family but for the whole community.”


He said that time may be needed to help everyone deal with the tragedy and recalled Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in June 2016.

After the silence in honour of Sir David, he told mourners: “Speaking to Jo Cox’s family, it took them a long time to recover and we must spend time together as a community and not be afraid to cry and share a cuddle, share a story, to share a funny story as well as a sensible story.


“I think that is one of the things that the Cox family said was really important – to remember a person and spend time together as a community.

“Please feel free to stay, talk and share your stories with me, the clergy, the mayor and the local councillors, with friends and family, so that we can try to make sense of what has happened and, in some small way, maybe bring something good out of this.”


Last week, the Queen agreed that Southend will be upgraded to city status – something Sir David had tirelessly campaigned for over two decades.

Mr Duddridge said: “Everyone is pleased that we got city status – let’s make something of that and in David’s memory carry on the campaigns, but also to do it in our own way and be civic activists and come together.”


The tribute took place took place near the Woodcutters Arms pub, a short distance from Belfairs Methodist Church where Sir David was attacked.

Father Jeffrey Woolnough had rushed to the church when he heard that Sir David, a devout Catholic, had been stabbed in the hope of giving him the last rites.

He was unable to deliver the sacrament as the area had become a crime scene.


Fr Woolnough, who was among those gathered for the silence, said: “He has an incredible gift that he is passing on to us now from his place with the Lord.

“There was a great spirit of reaching out to everyone. He actually enjoyed his work and that is why it is very difficult to find a picture of him online where he is not smiling.

“All of that is infectious, that breaks down barriers.”


He said he spoke to people from all parties, races and religions, and “it was such a great gift and it was tireless because it was sincere”.

The church is to remain closed for two weeks, an announcement on its website said.

Floral tributes to Sir David which had piled up outside the church hall have since been moved to his constituency office, Iveagh Hall.