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David Amess admitted his family ‘pay big price’ for being MP in unearthed clip

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Tributes have poured in for Sir David with a video clip resurfacing from an amateur documentary produced by A-level student Alex Bright in 2011 where he spoke about his life as an MP and his family.

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David Amess discusses the impact on his private life and family in 2011

The extended family of tragic Tory MP Sir David Amess ­described him today as “a great man” while his wife Julia and five children continued to grieve in private.

A note from cousins Moira and Pat left near the church where the 69-year-old was stabbed to death also read: “Can’t believe this has actually ­happened. Will always love you.”

It came as it emerged Sir David had admitted his family “paid a big price” for his career in a clip filmed a decade before he died doing the job he loved.

He made the comments in an amateur documentary filmed by then sixth-former Alex Bright for an A-level project in 2011.

Generously giving his time to the youngster’s film, Sir David revealed the “impact on one’s private life” of is “very, very tough indeed.”



David Amess and his wife Julia With their fourth child Alexandra
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Image:

Bill Cross/ANL/REX/Shutterstock)




The MP for Southend West in Essex, who was first elected in 1997, said: “All I will say is, my family has paid a big price for me being a member of Parliament, that bears no doubt.”

Sir David was stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery on Friday and died at the scene.

Last night, a 25-year-old British man believed to be of Somalian heritage, who was arrested at the scene, remained in police custody as officers searched two addresses in London.

Counter-terrorism officials are examining possible links to jihadism.



David Armess tells Alex Bright that his family have paid a big price for him being an MP
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Image:

Alex Bright)




The intelligence services also believe he may have been a “lone wolf” with no links to any major terrorist groups.

Alex, who went on to work closely with Sir David as a councillor, was struck by the MP’s comments as he unearthed the clip exclusively for the Sunday People.

“That quote really stood out – looking back on what has just happened, it’s evident this was true,” Alex said.

“He was kind enough to let me interview him and talk about the role of an MP, what’s demanded of an MP and what’s expected of an MP. He really cared. This feels so surreal, like a nightmare. Sir David was such a nice and gentle person, you can’t fathom why anyone would do this.”

In another part of the film, titled Are MPs Worth their Salary?, Sir David observes: “I could have earned a great deal more money, had a private life, without what being a member of parliament entails. I’m not asking for any sympathy though, because it’s up to you whether you want to run for office.”



Sir David pictured with his family when his daughter Alex was just a baby
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Image:

Bill Cross/ANL/REX/Shutterstock)






Sir David and Julia with their baby Sarah after her christening in the House of Commons Crypty Chapel
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Image:

Clive Limpkin/ANL/REX/Shutterstock)




PR professional Richard Hillgrove shared a Zoom call with Sir David just three minutes before he was stabbed.

He said the MP had been “firing on all cylinders, full of buzz” as they discussed the Children’s Parliament, where Richard’s 11-year-old daughter Lola had been matched with Sir David.

Their call ended at 12.02pm, so Sir David could host his surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea. At 12.05pm, he was attacked

Richard “was absolutely horrified” when he heard what had happened”. He said: “Every minute that passed seemed like an hour. The longer it went, the more concerning it got.

“I was honoured to have known him. He was such an inspiration, his engagement was incredible. He made sense of a crazy world.”



Sir David and Julia attend The Westminster Dogs of the Year competition with pugs Lily and Bo in 2014
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Image:

Justin Ng / Avalon)




This morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Leader Keir Starmer made a joint visit to pay their respects at the church. They laid flowers outside the building and stood in a united moment of reflection.

They were joined by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has called for an ­immediate review of security measures for MPs in light of
the tragedy.

Speaking outside Southend Police Station, Ms Patel said it is “right and proper” that MPs are accessible to the public and stressed that politicians’ safety and an open democracy “can absolutely be balanced”.

Her comments came as a spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council confirmed every parliamentarian will be contacted about their ­security by a chief constable as part of a review.







As Sir David’s community reeled from his death, Muslim leaders in Southend slammed the attack as an “indefensible atrocity”, adding: “We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

A joint statement from representatives of local mosques continued: “This act was committed in the name of blind hatred and we look forward to the perpetrator being brought to justice.”

Members or the Muslim community also left flowers at the scene.

Ruhul Shamsuddim said: “He was so kind to our community. He was always smiling. We send our best ­wishes to his family.”









Former homeless couple Darren Bailey and Emma Hayter spoke of how Sir David took the time to listen to their stories two weeks ago.

Recalling the meeting on September 27, Darren, 44, said: “I told him how it had been really scary being on my own, and at times I didn’t want to be here any more as I had no purpose.

“He was a great listener. It really helped to have someone of his level encourage me.”







Greg Myers, 52, a former host of Basildon Hospital Radio, said: “He was an incredibly supportive character… He would never say that anything was impossible.”

Sir David, a Brexiteer and pro-life advocate, had represented Southend West since 1997. Prior to that, he was MP for nearby Basildon from 1983. The animal rights campaigner voted against fox hunting and championed awareness of endometriosis.

A keen follower of Middle East affairs, he was a critic of the Iranian regime and chairman of the UK’s Qatar All Party Parliamentary Group.



Alex said Sir David made people feel important
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Image:

Alex Bright)




He was also a former member of Conservative Friends of Israel,
which said it was “deeply saddened” by his death.

For Alex, there is a “big sense of grief” at the loss of a man who, despite his many interests, worked tirelessly to make his constituents’ lives better.

He said: “I saw him at church services, military parades, all sorts of things. What stood out was that no event was too small or insignificant, no matter what it was. Sir David made people feel important.”


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