Irish president extends sympathies to family of Sir David Amess

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By David Young, PA

The president of Ireland has extended condolences to the family of Sir David Amess.

Michael D Higgins said the Conservative MP was killed while carrying out a fundamental role of a politician – helping their constituents.

Sir David was fatally stabbed while conducting a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday.

Mr Higgins said: “May I express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, colleagues in Parliament and constituents of Sir David Amess, who was murdered while carrying out that most fundamental act of a politician, meeting with his constituents, assisting them with their issues.

“All of those who value representative politics will think also today of the family of the late Jo Cox, who was taken from her family in June 2016.

“I know that all those who serve the people of the United Kingdom will have been deeply affected by these two murders and on behalf of the Irish people, I send them our deepest sympathies.”

Meanwhile, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) has cancelled a scheduled plenary meeting at Westminster on Monday as a mark of respect for Sir David.

The assembly meets twice a year to provide a forum for parliamentarians across the UK, Ireland and the Crown dependencies to discuss issues of mutual interest.

In a joint statement, the co-chairs of the assembly, MP Andrew Rosindell and Irish TD Brendan Smith, said: “Sir David Amess was an esteemed colleague, associate member and friend of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and his loss has deeply shocked all of us.

“Our thoughts are with him and with his family, for whom the tragedy is orders of magnitude more intense.

“We must not let such awful events stop business in our democracies, but out of respect for David and his family we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel Monday’s BIPA plenary.”

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