Close friend of Dame Vera Lynn pays tribute to ‘true gentleman’ Sir David Amess, who chaired committee for memorial statue

Dame Vera Lynn’s spokeswoman and close friend has paid tribute to Sir David Amess who chaired Dame Vera’s Memorial Statue committee.

MP for Southend West in Essex Sir David Amess died after a stabbing attack on Friday (15 October) at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

The incident happened at his constituency surgery.

Essex Police confirmed in a statement that a man had been arrested on suspicion of murder and a knife had been recovered from the scene.

Sir David Amess died after a stabbing attack

Susan Fleet, spokeswoman and close friend of Dame Vera Lynn said: “Deeply saddened to hear the tragic news about the wonderful Sir David.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and his dedicated team over the past twelve months - he chaired the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue committee.

“He was one of life’s true gentlemen - compassionate, generous, fun and a huge animal lover. He recently gave me a copy of his book - the title of which is now especially poignant. Rest in peace.”

Paul Day, who will be sculpting the memorial, said in a message to Sir David’s parliamentary PA: “I can’t find the words to express my feelings of pain and sadness at the loss of Sir David (and I only knew him but a short time) . How much more must you be experiencing great despair following this hateful crime against such a loving, kind, intelligent and humorous soul.

“Sir David won my love and respect instantly. I felt a very strong rapport with him and huge admiration for his wise and blissfully engaging personality. His handling of the Press Launch for Dame Vera’s Memorial in Dover was a masterclass in leadership and he taught me much that day.

“What a beautiful and truly loving person we have lost.

“I join my prayers to the many thousands of others who wish to support his wife and family, you, his colleagues and close friends.

“Please know that my mind and heart are darkened with yours. But I thank God for having known Sir David and rejoice in his abiding faith and Christian hope.”

MPs across Sussex have paid tribute to Sir David. Read more