Image above: the late David Amess MP, Rupa Huq paying tribute to him in the House of Commons
The MP for Ealing Central and Acton, Rupa Huq, has paid tribute to her friend the murdered MP Sir David Amess, in the House of Commons on Monday (18 October). As the Speaker and the Prime Minister led the tributes, MP after MP got up and spoke about their memories of the Member for Southend West.
Rupa, who was on parliamentary delegation to the Middle East with Sir David and other MPs in the week before he was killed, said she was one of the last MPs to see him alive. He was fatally stabbed while conducting his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday 15 October.
In the concluding speech to the debate, the Rupa said she saw him last at Heathrow Airport’s baggage reclaim on Wednesday (13 October):
“Everyone else had scarpered; everyone else’s stuff had gone. I had missed mine because I had been tying up my shoelaces or something.
“David [Amess] said, “No, I will wait with you.” I said, “Come on, you’ve got to go to Essex. Be off with you.” That was the measure of the man and how kind he was.”
“Everyone has so many Amess-isms. I was with him for a week and miss him dearly. I was shocked. I could not process the news. I had to go and do my own in-person surgery.
“The next day, the last stragglers were saying, ‘We got back. It was a great trip, thank you.’ His was the last WhatsApp message I saw, thanking everyone for their service. How shocking it is that he was taken in service—a public servant slain in the line of duty at his surgery.”
Above: Rupa Huq’s tribute to David Amess in the House of Commons on Monday (18 October)
At a service of remembrance for the fallen MP at St Margaret’s Church next to Westminster Abbey, Huq joined the the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer in paying tribute to Sir David Amess.
“It was difficult to fight back the tears actually but I had so made Amess anecdotes or Amess-isms that the speech wrote itself and he was such a funny man that before long the whole chamber including the PM seemed to be laughing.
“I know David wouldn’t want us to mope around but it felt all the more raw and painful as I was probably the last MP, certainly the last Labour MP, to see him alive.”
The MP for Ealing Central & Acton has spoken to a number of media outlets in the wake of Sir David’s death, including interviews with the BBC, ITV News, Al-Jazeera and a widely shared opinion piece in The Guardian.
Image above: Rupa Huq MP with Sir David Amess MP (left) at a 2019 book launch
Huq “might remove address from ballot paper” amidst MP security review
The murder of David Amess has sparked a review of MPs security. In response to the news that Home Secretary Priti Patel MP has launched a review of all MPs security arrangements, Rupa said that although she and other MPs would never want to “live a bulletproof existence removed from the constituents we serve, it’s clear that serious thinking and action is needed to drastically reduce the chances of there being more attacks in the future.”
Speaking to The Guardian on Wednesday (20 October) she said she had been considering removing her address from the ballot paper before the next election. Candidates can choose to display their address to show voters that they live locally.
Rupa told The Guardian:
“We all live amongst our constituents and our address is on the ballot paper and I just don’t know if I’ll do that next time. [For] three elections I have had it published in full. You can have it redacted, and I’m thinking I might just do that next time.”
Sir David Amess’s suspected killer, Ali Harbi Ali, 25, remains in custody.
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