'Very scary': Hackney leaders respond to David Amess death
Julia Gregory, LDRS
- Credit: Richard Barker Photography
Heartfelt tributes were made at this week’s full council meeting to MP Sir David Amess, who was attacked at his surgery where he was helping residents.
Conservative councillor Simche Steinberger made an emotional speech about the MP for Southend, who died after he was fatally injured last Friday.
He told fellow councillors: “It’s very upsetting and very scary what happened on Friday. David was going about doing his work for the community, trying to help the local people and it’s a tragedy what happened to him.”
Cllr Steinberger told the full council meeting about his memories of the respected MP.
“I remember the last words which David told me when I met him last time was, ‘Simche, why don’t you bring your people down to Westcliff in bigger droves? We would look after them. We know the problems you face where you are.’ And I told David ‘That’s very kind of you and it’s very nice to know.’
“I was invited a few times in the recent years he went to visit the local schools and he’s always been a very special man and it was encouraging to see the leader of the opposition (Keir Starmer) also went down to pay his respects to David."
Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville told the council meeting: “It is absolutely disgusting that he was killed in that way in public service at his constituency service last week. He clearly touched a lot of people’s lives even in this chamber. He was a hard-working , dedicated MP for his constituency.”
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He added: “It is a fitting and poignant tribute that the Prime Minster signalled city status for Southend in his memory.
“It brings up memories of previous crimes against politicians.”
Cheltenham MP Nigel Jones was attacked and his aide Andrew Pennington murdered while protecting him in 2000, and East Ham MP Stephen Timms was attacked in 2010.
Labour’s Jo Cox was fatally shot and stabbed on her way to a constituency surgery five years ago.
Cllr Glanville told colleagues: “While we will take extra precautions, we must not step away from public engagement or the way that we do our politics.
“We have seen some truly terrible antisemitic attacks in Hackney in recent months, a rise in homophobic, transphobic attacks across the city, so our vigilance is vital.”