It was with great shock and sadness that we heard the news last Friday of the death of Sir David Amess MP.
Like all politicians, Sir David was going about doing what his constituents elected him to do – helping those who needed help. And in doing so, he tragically lost his life.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time politicians have been killed in recent memory. In 2016, Jo Cox died on her way to meet constituents at a surgery in her Batley and Spen constituency. In 2000, Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Pennington died after being stabbed. Airey Neave, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was assassinated in 1979 after a bomb was planted under his car at the House of Commons. Five MPs also lost their lives in the Brighton hotel bombing.
Then, as there is now, there was a sense of disbelief that anyone should commit such an act. It also led to calls for political discourse to change for the better.
Politicians try to do the best they can by their constituents, and this can often involve difficult or divisive choices. Feedback is an integral part of politics, but making this response personal, or using threatening or intimidating language or behaviour is not.
Working together with kindness, understanding and respect, is the most effective way to overcome hate and for us to move forwards.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family, friends and political colleagues of Sir David.
Paul Skinner, Leader of Boston Borough Council
Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council
Lord Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council (also Vice-Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group which Sir David Amess was Chair)