Prince Philip tributes: MPs across the West Country return to Parliament to pay respects to Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip died on Friday 9 April.

Politicians from across the West Country have returned to Parliament to pay tribute to Prince Philip.

Prince Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, two months before his 100th birthday.

The early return of Parliament comes after a weekend of tributes from the Duke of Edinburgh's family and the first words attributed to the Queen, who described his death as “having left a huge void in her life”.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Duke of Edinburgh "touched the lives of millions" as MPs were recalled to Parliament to pay tribute to him.

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen were described as a "true partnership" by Scotland's First Minister as a day of political tributes to Philip began.

First Minister Mark Drakeford led tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh in the Welsh Parliament, saying he lived an "exceptional life" while sustaining decades of public service.

We'll bring you tributes from West Country MPs as they come in below...

MP for Central Devon Mel Stride said: "Today's tributes have demonstrated that there are few who have lived a life as full as Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

"There are even fewer who have dedicated a life of such service resolution and unwavering commitment.

"His was a long life, that saw early service in the navy in the Second World War."

Mr Stride said Prince Philip will be "especially remembered for championing the environment" and for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

He said: "In my constituency the DofEs are offered at all three of my secondary schools and embraced with vigour."

"Dartmoor, which lies at the heart of many constituency, has been the beautiful place of the challenge where so many people from all over our country have embraced the Duke of Edinburgh's dream."

He added: "He changed lives and that is a legacy of which to be especially proud."

He finished by saying "above all our thoughts must be with Her Majesty The Queen and her family," saying The Duke of Edinburgh's death leaves "what must be a terribly painful void."

MP for Gloucester Richard Graham said: "He said 'are there many MPs who are interested in the common wealth' and I said some, definitely. We need more and I'm trying to work on it.

"And he said 'good, it's a huge force for good, the commonwealth' and that sort of brief word of encouragement was something he must have done a million times during a very long life and it's the sort of thing that everyone remembers and it encourages you."

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire fondly remembered having lunch with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen at Malmesbury Town Hall.

He said: "After lunch, he leant over and he said, 'come on, we've got to get her going'. I said what do you mean Sir and he said 'she'll just stay here gassing all afternoon if we don't get moving now, let's prod her a bit'."

"He was so delightfully straightforward in everything he did."

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