Southend Given City Status In Honour Of David Amess, Announces Boris Johnson

The prime minister confirmed the move as MPs paid tribute to their fallen colleague.
Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images

Boris Johnson has announced that the Queen has agreed Southend will be granted city status following the murder of Conservative MP David Amess.

Amess, who had been the MP for Southend West in Essex, had led a long-running campaign for Southend’s bid to become a city.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Johnson expressed his “shock and sadness” at the death of Amess.

“Sir David was a patriot who believed passionately in this country, in its people and in its future,” the prime minister said.

“He was also one of the nicest, kindest and most gentle individuals ever to grace these benches.

“This country needs people like Sir David, this House needs people like Sir David, and our politics needs people like Sir David.

“Dedicated, passionate, firm in his beliefs, but never anything less than respectful for those who thought differently.”

Amess was famous in Westminster for frequently including a bid for Southend to be made a city in Commons questions that, at first, seemed unrelated.

Keir Starmer on behalf of Labour, told MPs he wanted to lean across and acknowledge the pain that is felt on the opposite benches, as he remembered just how “acutely” Jo Cox’s loss was felt on his benches.

“Sir David was a dedicated parliamentarian and his loss is felt profoundly across this House,” he said.

“We are united in our grief, at this terrible time. We are thinking of David and his family.

“We are thinking once again, of our dear friend Jo Cox, who was killed just five short years ago.”