Sir David Amess stabbing death: MP wrote about how attacks 'could happen to any of us'

Sir David stands outside his constituency surgery on October 1. Credit: Sir David Amess/Twitter

In a book published less than a year ago, Sir David Amess wrote of how attacks on MPs had “spoilt the great British tradition” of voters meeting politicians and that "it could happen to any of us".

On Friday, the Conservative MP for Southend West died after he was reportedly stabbed multiple times while holding a constituency surgery in Leigh.

In Ayes & Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster – which was published in November – the 69-year-old wrote about Jo Cox’s murder and how she had been attacked “in the most barbaric fashion imaginable”.

Sir David also wrote about the machete attack on Nigel Jones MP, which resulted in his aide Andy Pennington’s death as he tried to protect him.

And the Essex politician mentioned he had experienced “nuisance from the odd member of the general public” at his own property.

He said most MPs had changed the way they interacted with voters, and the Commons authorities took the threats members faced very seriously.

MPs were issued with safety guidance for themselves and their families, Sir David wrote.

Writing about the attack on Mr Jones in 2000, which was carried out by a man who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, Sir David said: “We all make ourselves readily available to our constituents and are often dealing with members of the public who have mental health problems, it could happen to any of us.”

Ms Cox was murdered outside her constituency office. Credit: PA

About security, he said: “We regularly check our locks and many others have CCTV cameras installed but probably the most significant change has been with constituency surgeries.

“The British tradition has always been that Members of Parliament regularly make themselves available for constituents to meet them face to face at their surgeries.

“Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments.

“We are advised to never see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure.

“In short, these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”

Sir David also mentioned frequently being abused online, and how “ignorant cowards” could remain anonymous.

He said: “The law in this regard needs to be changed and updated as a matter of urgency.”

Sir David had been signing copies of his book at the Conservative Party conference just 10 days ago.

He had tweeted that all royalties from his book go to three charities "very close to my heart": music education organisation Music Man Project, prostate cancer non-profit Prost8UK and Endometriosis UK.