Former MP pays tribute to murdered colleague
A former Lancashire MP has paid tribute to Sir David Amess, the Conservative MP who died after being stabbed at his constituency surgery last week.
Ken Hind, who was the MP for West Lancashire from 1983 until 1992, entered the House of Commons in the same general election as Sir David, who represented Basildon from 1983 to 1997, and Southend West from 1997 until his death.
Mr Hind, who went on to become leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, said: “We are all deeply shocked about the sad death of David Amess MP. It was my privilege to know him and work with him.
“David and I entered the House of Commons in 1983, two of the youngest Conservative MP.s at the time.
“I got to know him as a compassionate, kind, considerate man determined about issues that concerned him. Both he and I represented new towns, as I represented Skelmersdale and he represented Basildon, so we had common interests.
“We were both members of a number of groups in Parliament. He sponsored some of the bills I introduced, in particular a private members bill. We were both invited along with Ken Hargreaves, MP for Hyndburn, Sir Bernard Brain MP, Lord Alton, Anne Widdecombe MP and a few other members by the Pope for a private audience due to the work we were doing on pro-life issues and embryo research.”
Mr Hind, who was also leader of Rible Valley Borough Council until 2018, added: “David always referred in the questions he asked and speeches he made to his constituency of Basildon and we used to joke about him being ‘Mr Basildon’.
"He continued with the comments about his seat in Southend. He knew the commitment an MP has to his constituency and wrote me a very understanding compassionate letter after I lost my seat in 1992.
“He was a dedicated constituency MP, caring about the people that he represented and he will be greatly missed. He would not want the relationship between MP and constituents to be broken by MPs now retreating behind a wall of security. Providing access for the public to their elected representatives he firmly believed in and his legacy should be for us to continue to maintain this open democracy.”