Labour, Lib Dems and Greens won't stand candidates in by-election after murder of David Amess

David Amess MP was stabbed to death on Friday

The Green Party has joined Labour and the Liberal Democrats saying it will will not stand a candidate in the by-election contest to find a successor to Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

It comes after a Labour peer and former minister urged major opposition parties to honour past precedent by refusing to battle for the Southend West seat following the fatal stabbing of the Tory incumbent.

It's understood that Labour is set to follow the principle established after Jo Cox's murder in 2016 when parties which held Commons seats declined to select candidates in the subsequent Batley and Spen by-election, which was won by Tracey Brabin.

As a result of that move five years ago, it is understood Labour will refuse to contest the by-election in which voters will be asked to elect Sir David's replacement after his tragic death on Friday.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Boris Johnson carry flowers as they arrive in Leigh-on-Sea Credit: Essex Police/PA

The decision backs what Lord Pendry, the former MP for Stalybridge and Hyde from 1970 to 2001, had called for in the wake of the killing of his old political associate.

He welcomed the show of cross-party unity in Leigh-on-Sea, where Sir David was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery event, as Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer came together to lay flowers on Saturday.

Southend West has been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1950, with Sir David elected on an increased majority of more than 14,400 votes at the 2019 general election.