The Prime Minister has written to Conservative members in Southend to express his sympathy following the death of Sir David Amess.

Boris Johnson’s moving letter insisted his thoughts were with Sir David’s friends and colleagues who knew him so well.

He added the Southend West MP would not be forgotten and once again paid tribute to a man he described as the “nicest and most gentle” individual in the House of Commons.

Mr Johnson’s letter to the Southend Conservative Association read: “I am acutely aware of the sense of anger and grief that you must all feel following the sudden and tragic loss of Sir David Amess.

“On behalf of the whole of the Conservative Party – and indeed our whole country – I send my deepest condolences to you all.

“David was a patriot who believed passionately in this country, it its people, and in its future. He was also one of the nicest, kindest and most gentle individuals ever to grace the House of Commons.

>> IN PICTURES: Southend falls silent to remember MP Sir David Amess

“As tributes to him over recent days have made clear, he was a liked and respected across the political spectrum – not just because of his boundless kindness and good humour, but also because he was without doubt the very model of an assiduous and dedicated constituency Member of Parliament.

“His love for Southend shone through in every speech he made, in every question he put to a minister, and in every conversation he had with a colleague.

“After David’s years of campaigning, it was my great honour to accounted on Monday that Here Majesty The Queen has agreed that Southend will be accorded the city status it so clearly deserves.

“As we all struggle to come to terms with the senseless events of last Friday, please be assured that my thoughts are particularly with you: his friends and colleagues who did so much to support him, and who worked alongside him throughout his long and dedicated service to the people of Southend.

“We will not forget David or his extraordinary contribution to our party and our country – and to the great city of Southend.”

Sir David died after he was stabbed in an incident in Leigh last week.

Ali Harbi Ali has been charged with murder in connection with his death and appeared in court again today where he was denied bail.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday Southend would become a city in honour of Sir David, who had long campaigned for the town to be given the upgraded status.