LONDON: Friends and family have gathered to pay their respects to Sir David Amess, a British member of Parliament killed in a terrorist attack last month.
Sir David, 69, was stabbed to death while running a workshop in his constituency of Southend West on Oct. 15.
His death — the second British MP to be killed in an act of terror in just five years — shocked the country, and prompted enhanced scrutiny of its counter-extremism measures.
Sir David’s coffin, draped in the British flag, was buried in a private ceremony for friends and family in his constituency, and a large public service will be held in London on Tuesday.
His family asked people to “set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all” in a tribute read by his friend, the former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe.
“This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness,” the statement said.
“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand. As a family, we are trying to understand why this awful thing has occurred. Nobody should die in that way. Nobody.
“Please let some good come from this tragedy. We are absolutely broken, but we will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier paid his respects to his “kind-hearted” former colleague, saying that he “showed what you can achieve as an MP to change lives of people up and down the country.”
Sir David was killed by Ali Harbi Ali, a British man of Somali origin, who is thought to have selected the MP because of his political views on some Middle Eastern conflicts. Ali will be charged with murder and preparing an act of terrorism.
The killing prompted renewed scrutiny of the UK’s counter-radicalization program, because Ali had previously been discharged from it and was not considered to be a threat by the authorities.
Ali will enter pleas in December.