Mourners gather for Sir David Amess's memorial service in Westminster with Boris Johnson among politicians set to attend

Mourners gather for Sir David Amess's memorial service in Westminster with Boris Johnson among politicians set to attend

MURDERED Tory MP Sir David Amess will be laid to rest in Westminster today at a special service for family, friends and politicians.

Boris Johnson is among the throngs of mourners attending the ceremony in honour of the killed father-of-five.

A tribute from Pope Francis will be read at the requiem mass for the devoted Catholic, who was killed holding a constituency surgery in Southend last month.

Sir David, 69, was stabbed to death on October 15 at a church in Leigh-on-Sea where he was meeting voters.

Brit citizen Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been charged with the MP's murder as prosecutors alleged "religious and ideological motivations".

MPs began gathering at Westminster Cathedral this morning for the 10.30am service.

Some Cabinet Ministers were pictured wearing black as they entered No10 for their weekly meeting ahead of the short walk to the service afterwards.

Top Tories including Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg took their places inside the Cathedral.

Home Secretary Priti Patel chatted to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer before the service started.

Former Conservative prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May and John Major were among the guests.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will preside and Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, will deliver the Pope's message.

Yesterday a private service was held in Southend, where Sir David was the MP for 36 years.


During his time in the Commons Sir David tirelessly campaigned for Southend to be made a city – a dream finally granted by the PM after his death.

At the ceremony at St Mary's church in Prittlewell, friend and former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe read a statement on behalf of Sir David's family.

She said: "Our hearts are shattered. However, there was still so much David wanted to do – this we know from the events of the last few days.

"So, this is not the end of Sir David Amess MP. It is the next chapter and, as a family, we ask everyone to support the many charities he worked with."

Arriving at the service in Westminster today, she said: "He was a very close personal friend, I was godmother to one of his daughters, I knew the family very well, we stayed with each other.

"It was one of those friendships which occasionally get formed at Westminster.

"It still has a great air of unreality about it – I think that's quite inevitable if you lose a friend suddenly in terrible circumstances.

"We're all asking ourselves why, I don't think anybody can tell you why."

Tory MP Mark Francois paid tribute to his pal, who he called "the original Essex cheeky chappy".

Pall bearers carried his union flag-draped coffin before it was pulled by a black horse-drawn hearse for a procession around the city.

The coffin lay in the chapel in Parliament overnight before being taken to Westminster Cathedral today.

Since Sir David's killing ministers have vowed to look into MPs' security.

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