I CONFESS to shedding a few tears when I heard of the brutal death of David Amess, as I thought of his family which I know he loved so much.
In a church hall, in a few short brutal seconds, he died at the hands of a man so unlike him, a man brim full of hate.
He knew he was vulnerable, as all MP’s are when we invite constituents to come and discuss their problems face to face.
Yet he also knew that face to face contact with our constituents is a vital part of the job.
Without it, our whole political system would mean less and we would become strangers to those we serve.
For most of our constituents we often become the last hope as they battle with institutions, trying to seek redress for problems damaging their lives.
It is a peculiar but vital part of who an MP is, different from the experience of many from other countries.
I recall being picked up in a taxi in Chingford once, late at night by an Afghan refugee who recognised me.
He said he couldn’t believe that he was in a country where politicians didn’t drive around with security and were accessible to people like him.
As MP’s we can all recall those worrying moments where the person across the table seems to boil with almost uncontrollable rage, as you talk them down, promising to represent them in their need.
Which is why, whilst I am sure it is possible to get better security, particularly at our surgeries, nothing should come between us and our constituents.
Of course it’s a risk we might lessen but not eradicate because it is the core of who we are as MP’s.
David my good friend, go to God, blithe in spirit for all your kind service – Now rest in peace.