Almost two weeks ago now we lost another dedicated public servant – Sir David Amess.
Sir David had been meeting constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed multiple times.
The circumstances of his death are truly shocking but also frighteningly familiar. I’m sure most of us will recall the similarly appalling murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016.
Both David and Jo were deeply devoted to public service and meeting and talking to their local residents. This is something we all do as councillors or MPs – it’s a critical part of our role giving local residents the chance to share thoughts, concerns and issues with us – it keeps us in touch with the people we represent.
I know fellow councillors have often suffered abuse online which is unacceptable but also some have experienced intimidating behaviour in person too.
No matter what our political beliefs, most of us go into politics because we are passionate about making a difference, making a change. Positive and lasting change can only happen through conversation and debate, never through violence. It is utterly abhorrent that any political figure should feel their personal safety is at risk.
Not only is it a terrible loss in politics, but it is also an unbearable loss in their family. My thoughts, as are yours too I am sure, are with David’s family. It is the worst possible thing you could ever imagine happening.
I am also sure this tragedy will have bought back awful memories for Jo Cox’s family too.
I hope both families can take some comfort in the public reaction, a sense of solidarity and kindness during their darkest time.