The Prime Minister has paid tribute to the murdered MP Sir David Amess, ahead of his funeral on Monday.
Boris Johnson said the Southend West Conservative, who was stabbed to death during a constituency meeting last month, ‘really cared’ about the issues he campaigned on.
A funeral and procession will take place in his constituency later today, before a service at Westminster Cathedral featuring a message from the Pope on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson told Sky News: ‘He was a guy who campaigned about things he really cared for whether it was animal welfare, people who suffered from endometriosis, which he brought to widespread public attention, or campaigning against fuel poverty.
‘He showed what you can achieve as an MP to change lives of people up and down the country and he will be much, much missed.’
The PM also paid tribute to Sir David’s ‘posthumously successful’ to make Southend a city.
Mourners will pay their respects to the father-of-five at Monday’s private ecumenical service at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell, where friend and colleague Mark Francois is to deliver a eulogy.
The veteran MP’s friend, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, is to read a statement on behalf of the Amess family.
It comes after Sir David was repeatedly stabbed while holding a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15, when he died despite the efforts of the emergency services.
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been charged with his murder.
Following the 1pm service, a horse-drawn hearse will carry the casket on a procession through Southend.
It is due to pause outside Southend’s Civic Centre and again outside Sir David’s constituency office, Iveagh Hall, before returning to the chapel of rest.
Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Council, said Monday would be an ‘incredibly emotional day’.
He said that Sir David’s family ‘understand there are many others in the city who knew and loved him’, and have agreed for the service to be broadcast on local radio station BBC Essex.
The funeral service itself, led by Reverend Paul Mackay and Rev Monsignor Kevin William Hale, is strictly by invitation only.
Mr Gilbert said people can pay their respects to Sir David by lining the streets as the hearse passes and by writing in the book of condolence at the Civic Centre before it closes at 7pm on Monday.
On Tuesday, a requiem mass will be held at London’s Westminster Cathedral for Sir David, who was a devout Catholic, with a message from the Pope set to be shared.
Sir David’s family have requested that in lieu of flowers or other tributes, donations are made to the charities that he supported.
These include The Dog’s Trust, The Music Man Project, Prost8, Endometriosis UK, and the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue.
To donate, and for more information, click here.
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