The Southend MP was stabbed “several times” at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where he was holding a constituency surgery. A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, with the Metropolitan Police formally declaring the incident as terrorism.
Sir David is the second MP to be murdered in five years, after Jo Cox – the Labour MP for Batley and Spen - was killed at a constituency surgery in 2016.
As people across the political spectrum pay tribute to the “dedicated” and “kindest” public servant, attention has also turned to ways to honour the MP, who long campaigned for Southend to be made a city.
He was a committed animal rights activist, voicing support for a ban on fox hunting, speaking out against pet theft and sponsoring the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act in 1998 to protect horses, asses and mules.
He also entered his pup Vivienne into the Westminster Dog of the Year contest, a competition run by The Kennel Club to reward a dog’s “good deeds and devotion to their owner rather than policies or opinions”.
In a description of his beloved pooch, Sir David said: “Every time I walk into the room Vivienne throws herself at me, lies on their back with her legs in the air to be tickled. But before that she always brings a toy so she is of a generous, giving nature.