Southend United's consortium members Justin Rees and Tom Lawrence were welcomed to the office of the Prime Minister this week in an event celebrating sporting heroes.

Anna Firth, Conservative MP for Southend West, welcomed the Australian businessman who is heading up the consortium, and Blues chief executive Lawrence, who has recently joined, to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday.

Following the months of uncertainty at Southend United, with contracts for the takeover finally exchanged days before Christmas, Ms Firth believed it was only appropriate two of the key figures involved were given the unique opportunity.

"I was truly delighted to welcome Justin and Tom to Westminster and to have the chance to take them to one of the most recognizable buildings in the country, 10 Downing Street," she said.

"The event was to celebrate local sporting heroes and both Tom and Justin immediately sprang to mind. Tom has been instrumental in ensuring the day-to-day operations at the club have continued and really must have had one of the hardest jobs in football over the last 18 months.

"Whilst Justin has largely been the public face of the consortium, he had the unenviable task bringing them all together and has been working non-stop to get the final stages of the deal over the line.

"Like all fans, I hope we can finally draw a line under this dark chapter in the club’s history and move on to bigger, brighter and better things as soon as possible."

Also present at the event was Lucy Frazer, the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, who spoke with the members of the consortium.

Mr Rees added: "I would like to express my sincere thanks to Anna Firth for her invitation. It was incredible to have the opportunity to visit somewhere as iconic and steeped in history as 10 Downing Street.

"Once the takeover is finalised, I look forward to working with Anna again to ensure the views of the club and most importantly, the fans, are properly represented in the Football Governance Bill."

Firth continues to press the Government to bring forward the promised bill and is currently pressing for a meeting between the Shrimpers Trust and ministers.