Sir David Amess' family: Our 'hearts are shattered' by Tory MP's 'cruel death'

ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports from Sir David's constituency in Essex, where a number of memorial services took place on Sunday

Sir David Amess' family have said their "hearts are shattered" by the Tory MP's "cruel and violent death" in their first public statement since he was fatally stabbed on Friday.

In a written message, his loved ones spoke of their devastation, but insisted the killing "was not the end of Sir David Amess MP".

"We are enormously proud of him. Our hearts are shattered. However, there was still so much David wanted to do – this we know from the events of the last few days. So, this is not the end of Sir David Amess MP," the statement said.

Floral tributes have been left at the scene where Sir David was attacked Credit: PA

"It is the next chapter and as a family we ask everyone to support the many charities he worked with. There are so many to mention, so find one close to your hearts and help."

They also thanked members of the public for their tributes, saying "it truly has brought us so much comfort".

“Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David. He was a patriot and a man of peace," the statement continued.

“So, we ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness. Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand."

"David was a wonderful man... it's a tragic day for all that knew him," MP Andrew Rosindell tells ITV News

Sir David was stabbed while meeting constituents on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

His family has asked people to support campaigns that he was involved in, including fundraising for a memorial to Dame Vera Lynn and pushing for Southend to gain city status.

Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British citizen, was arrested at the scene and is currently being questioned by counter-terror police. It has emerged that Ali's father was a senior advisor to a former Prime Minister of Somalia.

Police were seen searching three properties that are believed to be linked to the investigation. Credit: PA

“I’m feeling very traumatised. It’s not something that I expected or even dreamed of,” Ali's father was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times.

On Sunday, officers were seen searching three separate properties in north London that are believed to be connected to the investigation. One of the houses is thought to be Ali's mother's.

An officer emerged from one address carrying several large bags marked ‘police’. There has been a police presence at the site throughout the day, with two officers standing guard in front of the house.

Rupa Huq, an MP and friend of murdered representative Jo Cox, tells ITV News, "it's not a one off anymore".

It comes as the home secretary revealed MPs could be given police protection when they carry out constituency surgeries to keep them safe.

Priti Patel confirmed the measure was one option being considered under a "whole spectrum" of plans to better protect MPs in the wake of Sir David's killing.

She said she was adamant that MPs should continue to be accessible to the public, despite the attack and the barrage of threats many have said they receive.

“This should never ever break that link between an elected representative and their democratic role, responsibility and duty to the people who elected them," Ms Patel told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme.