Sir David Anthony Andrew Amess was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Southend West from 1997 until his killing in 2021. He previously served as MP for Basildon from 1983 to 1997. He was a member of the Conservative Party.
David Anthony Andrew Amess was born on 26 March 1952 in Plaistow, Essex (now part of Newham, London), the son of James Amess, an electrician, and his wife Maud Martin, a dressmaker.
Amess was raised Roman Catholic like his mother. Maud died on 12 October 2016 at the age of 104.
Amess attended St Anthony's Junior and Infant School, then St Bonaventure's Grammar School (now St Bonaventure's Catholic School) on Boleyn Road in Forest Gate. He said later in life that his political interests stemmed from his time at St Bonaventure's.
As a child he had a speech impediment, and speech therapy to correct this resulted in the loss of his natural Cockney accent.
Amess went on to Bournemouth College of Technology (now Faculty of Science and Technology of Bournemouth University), where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and government.
Amess taught at St John the Baptist Primary School in Bethnal Green for a year (1970–71), and then spent a short time as an underwriter before becoming a recruitment consultant.
He was born and grew up in Essex. He studied economics and government at Bournemouth University and then had short careers as a teacher, underwriter and recruitment consultant. He was elected as a Conservative councillor for Redbridge in 1982 and then MP for Basildon in 1983. This 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 boundary changes then made it untenable and so he became MP for Southend West in 1997, until his death, 24 years later.
In government, his highest position was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Portillo for ten years. He was more prominent as a backbencher, serving on a variety of 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 the honouring of Raoul Wallenberg, support for sufferers of endometriosis, and animal welfare. He supported the ban on fox hunting.
His political views were socially conservative and included support for the return of capital punishment and Brexit. He was a Catholic and opposed abortion.
He married in 1983 and the couple had five children including the actress Katie Amess.
On 15 October 2021, Amess was stabbed by somalian migrant multiple times while holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.
He died at the scene.
A 25-year-old British man was arrested on suspicion of murder after officers arrived at the scene, and a knife was recovered, Essex Police said.
Government sources have told the BBC he is a UK national who, from initial inquiries, appears to be of Somali heritage.
The attack has been declared a terrorist incident.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command are leading the investigation and police have said the early investigation has revealed "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism".
The force says it is believed the man acted alone but enquiries into the circumstances are continuing.
Source: wikipedia.org, news.lv, lsm.lv, bbc.co.uk
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