Shropshire Star

Statue of Sir David Amess unveiled on Southend seafront

The life-size statue of the former Southend West MP is positioned on a grass bank by Chalkwell Esplanade looking out over the estuary.

Sir David Amess statue

A statue of murdered MP Sir David Amess has been unveiled on Southend seafront in a ceremony attended by his family, politicians and projects that he championed.

The 69-year-old father of five was stabbed to death while meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 2021.

Sir David’s killer, Ali Harbi Ali, was found guilty of murder and handed a whole-life prison term at the Old Bailey in 2022.

Sir David Amess statue
The statue of Sir David Amess on Chalkwell seafront in Southend (Gareth Fuller/ PA)

A life-size statue of the former Southend West MP, positioned on a grass bank by Chalkwell Esplanade looking out over the estuary, was unveiled on Thursday.

Sir David’s widow, Lady Julia Amess, attended along with other family members and listened to songs from the Music Man Project, a group championed by Sir David which teaches music to children and adults with learning disabilities, and from the Orpheus Choir.

The event, which had a visible police presence, was also attended by politicians including Dame Priti Patel, who was home secretary at the time of Sir David’s death.

Former home secretary Priti Patel speaking during the unveiling of a statue of MP Sir David Amess on Chalkwell seafront, in Southend
Former home secretary Dame Priti Patel was among those who attended (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, who was also in attendance, read out a statement on behalf of Sir David’s family.

In the statement, they said: “David is hugely missed and as a family we are devastated by his loss but events like today make us feel that he is with us forever and that his light remains.

“I and all my family thank you so much.”

Conservative MP for Romford Andrew Rosindell, along with three members of the Music Man Project, lifted a black sheet from the statue to officially unveil it.

Sir David Amess statue
Andrew Rosindell, left, and members of the Music Man Project unveil the statue of Sir David Amess (Gareth Fuller/ PA)

Mr Rosindell said he had known Sir David for more than 40 years and described him as a “true friend”.

Sir David was a Christian and the statue was blessed by Father Jeffrey Woolnough, parish priest at St Peter’s Catholic Church in Eastwood in Southend, near to where Sir David died.

Julie Cushion, who was Sir David’s constituency assistant, said: “It’s lovely we will now have this site to remember this wonderful man and the wonderful MP.”

Explaining the location, she said Sir David “used to walk his dogs up and down here on a very regular basis”, he loved the Crowstone, a granite obelisk on the beach off Chalkwell Esplanade, and had a close relationship with the nearby Chalkwell Lifeguards.

A statue of Sir David Amess is unveiled on Chalkwell seafront in Southend
Sir David Amess was MP for Southend West (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Sir David’s successor, Southend West MP Anna Firth, said the statue would be a “permanent and fitting memorial to Southend’s greatest friend, ambassador and founder”.

She said she hoped the statue would be “comforting” and provide a “place of solace” for his family.

The statue, created by sculptor Andrew Lilley, was paid for by a fundraising campaign and by a donation from businessman Dr Vijay Patel.

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