Voters will choose a successor to Sir David Amess next month after the Government officially triggered the Southend West by-election.

Conservative MP Sir David was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15.

The 69-year-old had served Southend West since 1997, and Basildon before that since 1983.

Business in the House of Commons on Wednesday started with Government whip Mark Spencer issuing the writ for the vacant Southend West seat.

By-elections must take place between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of a writ.

That means it will be held on working days between February 3 and 11.

The Conservatives have selected barrister Anna Firth as their candidate to succeed Sir David.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats will not stand candidates in the by-election contest.

Southend West has been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1950, with Sir David elected on an increased majority of more than 14,400 votes at the 2019 general election.

Ali Harbi Ali is accused of murdering Sir David.

The 25-year-old is also charged with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 2019 and September 28 this year.

Ali entered not guilty pleas to the charges at a hearing at the Old Bailey last month.