Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Obituary
15 October 2021

Conservative MP David Amess dies after stabbing in constituency office

Amess was well-liked across the Conservative Party as a result of his kindness and diligence.

By Stephen Bush

David Amess, who served as the Conservative MP for Basildon and later Southend West, has died after being stabbed at his constituency office, Essex police say.

Amess, 69, was selected to fight the marginal Basildon constituency in Essex after his predecessor, the Tory MP Harvey Proctor, opted to vacate the seat in order to occupy the new and safer constituency of Billericay, and fought two close elections in 1987 and 1992. His memorable celebration following his surprise survival in the latter election – arms held aloft, grinning ear to ear – became one of the iconic images of the 1992 contest. 

In the run-up to the 1997 election, Amess, like Proctor before him, opted to fight a newly created and safer constituency in the shape of Southend West, but he never treated the seat as if it were any less marginal than his old Basildon one, working it tirelessly and devotedly. In addition to back-bench campaigns on issues personally dear to him, such as animal rights and Brexit, he was also a vocal campaigner on matters brought to him by his constituents, ranging from endometriosis to the condition of the Essex Thameside railway. 

A social conservative and Eurosceptic from the Conservatives’ right, he was well-liked across the party as a result of the kindness and diligence he showed to his constituency.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them
Topics in this article: , ,