Sir David Amess: Southend to become a city, PM announces as he leads tributes to killed MP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs that Southend will be accorded city status – a long-running campaign of Sir David Amess – as he led tributes to the killed MP.

Mr Johnson described Sir David as a “steadfast servant” of the House of Commons and a “dear friend and colleague”.

The 69-year-old was one of the “kindest, nicest and most generous individuals” the prime minister added, as he remembered the Southend West MP’s enduring efforts to secure city status for his home town.

“I am happy to announce that Her Majesty has agreed that Southend will be accorded the city status it so clearly deserves,” Mr Johnson said.

Prior to the tributes from MPs, a minute’s silence was held in honour of Sir David in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle described the circumstances of the MP’s death as “despicable”.

And he added they “raise the most fundamental issues about how members of this House are able to perform their vital democratic responsibilities safely and securely”.

“I give the House my undertaking I will do everything in my power to ensure that these issues are treated with urgency and with the sense of priority that they deserve,” Sir Lindsay told MPs.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said that a review of MPs’ security, in the wake of Sir David’s killing, would be concluded “over the next few days”.

A minute’s silence was also observed on Monday outside the church where Sir David was stabbed to death last week as he held a constituency surgery.

A police officer blew a whistle to signal the start and finish of the minute’s silence outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

A 25-year-old man, who Sky News understands is Ali Harbi Ali, was arrested at the scene of Friday’s attack on suspicion of murder.

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