Roses, dogs and motto on plaque for murdered Essex MP Sir David Amess in House of Commons


Credit: House of Commons handout/PA
The plaque commemorates Sir David's love of his children and passion for animal welfare. Credit: House of Commons/PA

A plaque commemorating an MP who was stabbed to death by a terrorist has been unveiled in the House of Commons.

Sir David Amess, who was the Southend West MP, was stabbed during a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in October 2021.

His killer Ali Harbi Ali was given a whole-life term in April last year and on Monday the plaque was revealed at the Commons.

It features five red roses, representing his children and love of gardening, two talbot dogs, representing his passion for animal rescue, and Bournemouth University, his alma mater.

The small ceremony was attended by Sir David's wife Julia Amess, other family members, as well as Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Commons officials said.

Lady Amess said she chose the motto His Light Remains, which features just below the shield, because “wherever I go, I am reminded of him in some way: someone he has helped, a charity he has supported and people whose lives he has touched”.

Lady Julia Amess (top left), her daughter Katherine and mother Faith Arnold. Credit: House of Commons

She said: “The Commons meant everything to David.

“He loved people and worked tirelessly to help anyone. He rarely took no for an answer if he felt more could be done to help someone.

“He didn’t seek high office, he just wanted to be a good MP and help change people’s lives for the better.

“We are hugely honoured that his legacy lives on in the Commons but, like so many of his friends, we miss his ready smile, ridiculous sense of humour and lifelong mission to brighten the most difficult of moments.”

Sir Lindsay, announcing the unveiling to the Commons at the start of business on Monday, said: “Sir David was a dedicated constituency MP, a powerful advocate for Southend-on-Sea, which was granted city status last year in his honour.

“He was a committed campaigner for the causes he believed in, most notably animal welfare, and a highly respected, valued colleague, known to members in all parts of the House for his kindness and his generosity, and of course his friendship to all."

The shield in Sir David’s memory joins plaques to other MPs who were killed while serving, including Airey Neave, Sir Anthony Berry, Ian Gow and Jo Cox, as well as MPs killed in the two world wars.

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