David Amess

British politician (1952–2021) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sir David Anthony Andrew Amess (/ˈmɪs/ AY-miss; 26 March 1952 – 15 October 2021) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Southend West from 1997 until his murder in 2021. He previously served as MP for Basildon from 1983 to 1997. A member of the Conservative Party, he was a Catholic with socially conservative political views and was in favour of leaving the European Union.

Quick facts: SirDavid Amess, Member of Parliament for Sout...
David Amess
Portrait photograph of Sir David Amess smiling
Official portrait, 2020
Member of Parliament
for Southend West
In office
1 May 1997  15 October 2021
Preceded byPaul Channon
Succeeded byAnna Firth
Member of Parliament
for Basildon
In office
9 June 1983  8 April 1997
Preceded byHarvey Proctor
Succeeded byAngela Smith
Personal details
David Anthony Andrew Amess

(1952-03-26)26 March 1952
Plaistow, Essex, England
Died15 October 2021(2021-10-15) (aged 69)
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England
Cause of deathMurder (stab wounds)
Political partyConservative
Julia Arnold
(m. 1983)
Children5, including Katie
EducationSt Bonaventure's Grammar School
Alma materBournemouth University (BSc)
AwardsKnight Bachelor (2015)
WebsiteOfficial website

Born and raised in Essex, Amess studied economics and government at Bournemouth University and then had short careers as a primary school teacher, underwriter and recruitment consultant. He was elected a Conservative councillor for Redbridge in 1982 and MP for Basildon in 1983. His position was seen as a bellwether seat, exemplifying the enthusiasm of the "Essex man" for the government of Margaret Thatcher. He held the seat in the election of 1992, but when boundary changes made it untenable, he became MP for Southend West in 1997 and served the constituency until his death.

In government, his highest position was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Portillo for twelve years. He was more prominent as a backbencher, serving on many select committees and sponsoring several pieces of legislation, including the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act (1988) and Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act (2000). The causes for which he campaigned included animal welfare, awarding city status to Southend-on-Sea, the honouring of Raoul Wallenberg and support for those suffering from endometriosis.

On 15 October 2021, Amess was stabbed multiple times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea and later died at the scene from his injuries. Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old man, was arrested at the scene and on 21 October, he was charged with murder and preparing terrorist acts. On 11 April 2022, Ali was found guilty on both counts and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.