Blue balloons released for the late Conservative MP (Picture: PA)
Southend constituents cheered their late MP Sir David Amess after falling silent for two minutes.
This morning’s remembrance was held a week after the veteran Tory politician was stabbed to death while holding a surgery for Southend West residents.
Hundreds of locals from the newly-designated city gathered in Eastwood Road North, bowed their heads and stood in a hushed silence.
It was broken with a round of applause and the release of blue balloons.
The tribute took place near the Woodcutters Arms pub, a short distance from Belfairs Methodist Church where Sir David was fatally attacked.
Among the attendees was Father Jeffrey Woolnough, who had rushed to the church in the hope of giving Sir David his last rites.
He was unable to deliver the sacrament as the area had become a crime scene and prayed the rosary outside instead.
Fr Woolnough said: ‘He has an incredible gift that he is passing on to us now from his place with the Lord.
‘There was a great spirit of reaching out to everyone. He actually enjoyed his work and that is why it is very difficult to find a picture of him online where he is not smiling.
‘All of that is infectious, that breaks down barriers.’
Steve Gutteridge, a Southend resident of 40 years, said he was ‘knocked sideways’ by the death of the MP who he’s met ‘loads of times’.
Shopkeepers and residents observe a two-minute silence in memory of Sir David (Picture: PA)
He said: ‘If he had a bazaar David was there, if we had a carol service David was there, if we had a service for pets he was there, with his pets.
‘He was unique I would say in this day and age. Everyone felt so comfortable and close to him, he was like a father figure and I think that’s why it really hurts.’
Sir David’s neighbouring MP for Rochford and Southend East, James Duddridge, said time may be needed to help everyone deal with the tragedy and recalled Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in June 2016.
People from the UK Iranian community held a vigil in Parliament Square on Monday (Picture: PA)
He said: ‘It is going to be very difficult not just for the family but for the whole community.
‘Speaking to Jo Cox’s family, it took them a long time to recover and we must spend time together as a community and not be afraid to cry and share a cuddle, share a story, to share a funny story as well as a sensible story.’
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