I was shocked and upset when I received the news about Sir David Amess. He was a dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian and a tremendous colleague. My memories of him will always be of him as a positive, friendly, and unendingly helpful at guiding new MPs- as he did with me more than once when I was first elected.

No-one deserves to have their life taken like this. David was murdered doing what he always saw as his number 1 priority- helping his constituents. The fact that he always conducted his surgeries so openly is testament to his belief in being accessible to his electors, and makes it all the more shocking that he was the target of this heinous crime.

I will always remember David as a true gent, who fought for what he believed in and the people he represented with conviction and determination. He will be missed dearly by everyone in the House of Commons, regardless of political party or background- above all, because he represented the very best of the meaning of public service.

Since David’s murder, there have rightly been questions asked about the safety of MPs and surgeries. Whilst we always keep our measures under review, we have to ensure that this does not alter the fundamental right that constituents have to be able to access their MP. I had the privilege of serving in parliament with Sir David Amess and am absolutely certain that the last thing he would want from this tragedy would be more distance between MPs and their constituents. Whatever the outcome, I am committed that people will always be able to contact me for help, regardless of how they vote. That is what is so special about our system of representative democracy. It is not all that common, even in other democracies, and we owe it to David to maintain the tradition.

-Grant Shapps MP