Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen has accorded Southend-on-Sea city status, in honour of MP Sir David Amess, who lost his life on Friday 15 October after being stabbed to death at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.
Sir David, who has been described as ‘Mr Southend’, championed the town becoming a city and called for it to be upgraded to this status ahead of next year’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Commenting, Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Councillor Ian Gilbert said:
“Following the tragic death of Sir David, we saw calls from across the country to grant Southend-on-Sea city status in honour of Sir David, who was a continuous driving force in Parliament and beyond pushing for the borough to become a city.
“His unwavering commitment to achieve this was clear for all to see and I think there is no greater way to honour Sir David and his family, than to make Southend-on-Sea a city. I hope this honour will help to bring the community together in this difficult time.
“As we await more news from the government on this, we can reflect that this is a very special day for the Borough of Southend-on-Sea and I hope his family is immensely proud of his hard work.”
Mayor of Southend-on-Sea, Councillor Margaret Borton added:
“Hearing the announcement from the Prime Minister today is a sombre but special moment. For the borough to achieve city status is testament to how loved and well-respected Sir David was.
“My only wish is that Sir David could have seen this moment himself because it has brought years of his tireless campaigning to fruition. I hope that this announcement will highlight the legacy that Sir David leaves us.”
Sir David Amess was first elected to serve Southend West in the House of Commons at the general election of 1997 and prior to this was the MP for Basildon from 1983 to 1997.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested and is being held under the Terrorism Act in relation to Sir David’s murder.