“Nothing will ever stop me being accessible to you,” Congleton MP Fiona Bruce has assured her constituents after her Westminster Conservative colleague Sir David Amess died during his surgery on Friday.
Mrs Bruce held a surgery in her Congleton constituency the following day as concerns were being raised about the security of MPs following his death.
Mrs Bruce said: “I want to assure constituents that nothing will ever stop me being accessible to you; just as this past weekend when after returning from Parliament, I spoke to a community group in Alsager on Thursday evening, held a surgery in my constituency office on Friday and a surgery in Middlewich Library on Saturday.”
She told the Chronicle that Sir David was due to have been the guest speaker at a constituency dinner in Sandbach in the new year.
Paying tribute to him, she said: “David would doubtless have recounted many amusing stories from his recent memoirs after almost four decades in Parliament, Eyes and Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster – he had a great gift of humour! He was rarely sighted without a beaming smile.
“We had much in common – not least our desire to be dedicated constituency MPs, not aspiring to climb the ministerial ladder.
“David said in the House of Commons, we ‘came into politics to help improve people’s lives’. And he did so in so many ways; he supported, for example, over several years my campaign for family hubs of which there are now over 150 across the country.”
She added: “When I was appointed chair of the Pro-Life All Party Parliamentary Group, now almost 10 years ago, David said ‘Fiona, whatever you are doing, just count me in. He was true to his word.”
Sir David, who was MP for Southend West, died as he conducted a surgery in a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea.
He was a Roman Catholic and in her tribute to him, Mrs Bruce said: “In a day when those who hold fast to the Christian faith are sadly often marginalised, derided, even mocked, I hope that the many warm reflections on the life of Sir David Amess MP, a man who so clearly lived his faith out, may give many pause for thought.
“Sir David made Parliament better; he is in a better place now; may the countless messages and tributes of love and respect for him, both from within Parliament and beyond, comfort his family at this sad time.” Mrs Bruce added: “I also put on record my heartfelt appreciation for my dedicated constituency staff, Stephanie, Harriet (both of whom have now loyally worked for me for over 10 years), and Bernadette, who work so hard to support my role as your MP, and without whom I could not serve the people of this community as I seek to do.”