A friend of Sir David Ames says the slain MP helped him deal with his “mental health struggle”.
Tim Montgomery, a former adviser to Boris Johnson, said Sir David, who was stabbed to death in a constituency surgery yesterday, asked him to “call anytime” during his last conversation.
Mr Montgomery, who founded the Tory website Conservative Home, gave a moving interview hours after the backbencher’s shocking death.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Tony Livesey, the political columnist said: “I’m sorry Tony if I’m a little emotional.
“I wasn’t going to do any interviews, but I thought I had something to say about my friend.
“I have recently dealt with my own mental health struggles and it was just a few weeks ago that I last spoke to David.
“David called me and said ‘How are you?’
“He pressed me and said ‘I know you’re not well at the moment’.
“A lot of people have talked about his kindness in his tribute today, but he was also goofy, funny in our conversations.
“He told me a lot of silly jokes and he was doing his best to lift my spirits.
“At the end of the conversation he said ‘I know you’re not in the best place right now, but if it ever gets darker, you’ll call me, right?’
“I said ‘of course I will’.
“And he said ‘I mean. If you go to a really dark place, you’ll call me, right?’
“And I promised I would.”
Tragedy comes as…
- Boris Johnson pays tribute to Sir David – and says ‘our hearts are full of shock and sadness’
- Anti-terrorism police interrogates 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder
- A British citizen of Somali origin, the suspect allegedly stabbed the MP 17 times – and sat down peacefully while waiting for police to arrive
- PM visited the spot along with Sir Keer Starmer and Priti Patel and laid wreaths on white flowers
- Sir David was told to stop meeting constituents alone after the murder of Joe Cox – and wrote that similar attacks “could happen to any of us”.
- Mrs Cox’s sister says her frightened husband has asked her to withdraw from politics after the terror
- Priti Patel begins review of security of MPs after murder
- There were tears at a vigil as friends and constituents remembered the much-loved MP
According to reports, Sir David was meeting with constituents in Leh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed 17 times.
A 25-year-old British national of Somali origin was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Counter Terror Police is interrogating him today and it is suspected that he was inspired by Islamic extremism.
The suspect is believed to have lived in Sir David’s Southend West constituency after his family moved to Britain from the war-torn East African country in the 1990s.
He had reportedly booked a slot for the surgery to talk to the MP.
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with their investigation.
‘He was very special’
Mr. Montgomery said there will be many people who have Sir David’s support.
“I think there will probably be a lot of people who will testify to experiences like this with David Ames,” he said.
“I’ve known him for 20, 25 years. When I was running the Conservative Christian Fellowship in the House of Commons, he used to run the prayer ceremonies we do and he took an interest in everyone who came to those programs.
“He was a deeply caring person. He was a particularly caring person. I think he was very special.
“But one thing I will say to your listeners is that in my experience with lawmakers from all sides – Labor, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP – there are bad apples in every barrel, we all know.
“But most of the MPs are good people. They want the best for the country, for their constituents, for the reasons they came to Parliament to represent.”
Terror Police Quiz Suspects
Presenter Tony Livesey then asked whether the MP had ever mentioned concerns about his safety to his friend.
Mr Montgomery replied: “His instinct was, we should never put barriers between us and our constituents.
“And seeing a sign outside the Methodist Church today saying ‘Come and meet your local MP’… I think clearly we have to do everything we can to think about how to improve the security of our MPs.
“But I think he will hate the idea that because of the tragedy that has smothered his family and them today, that the MP will somehow withdraw from the masses, and not meet them the way he met them.
“If there is any tribute we can pay to a very good man we have lost today, it is to remember that the MPs we sometimes throw mud at – asking tough questions – are fellow human beings and in Most of us want the same things we all want.
“And kindness was one of the hallmarks of David Ames.
“Maybe as a society we need to show this a little bit more.”
Neighboring West Leigh Councilor John Lamb said Sir David was accompanied by two female members of staff – one from his constituency office and one from his parliamentary office – when a man “literally took out a knife and just started hitting him.” Gave”.
Mr Lamb reported that two heroic employees—including PA Julie Kushan—were heartbroken.
He said: “They are devastated. I have no idea of the purpose. He had no known enemies.
“I’m told the man waited to watch in peace. It’s terrifying. So terrifying.”
RIP Sir David
Sir David was one of the longest-serving MPs in the House of Commons.
He was born in Essex in 1952 and has served the region for 38 years as an MP.
Sir David was a Tory MP from 1983, first for the seat of Basildon, and since 1997 for Southend West, where he holds a majority of 14,459.
He was a supporter of Brexit and supported the leave in the referendum, saying it was “dangerous” and a “mistake” to remain in place.
The lifelong backbencher never held any top government positions, but was well versed in lobbying ministers from the backbenches.
The MP has long had a passion for animals and was a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation along with the prime minister’s wife, Carrie. He also campaigned against fox hunting.
Sir David was a Roman Catholic and opposed abortion laws and same-sex marriage.
On foreign policy, he voted for the Iraq War, but was very critical of the latter’s failure to find any WMDs.
Earlier this year, Sir David along with his family launched a new campaign for a permanent memorial to Dame Vera Lynn.
The MPs said that he was indeed a respected politician and was well-liked by members of all spectrum.
He was married with one son and four daughters.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday evening, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said the force would “keep an open mind” in its investigation.
Police say they do not believe there is any other threat to people in the area.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review the security arrangements of the MPs with immediate effect.
Many have paid tribute to Sir David, the married father of five children.
His death came tragically after he begged the prime minister to deal with the knife crime epidemic that has plagued Britain.
Mr Johnson paid tribute to the MP last night, describing him as a “very loving friend and colleague”.
Mr Johnson said: “All our hearts are filled with shock and sadness today at the passing of Sir David Ames MP, who underwent surgery in his constituency at a church after nearly 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and throughout were killed. United Kingdom.
“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and its future, and we have lost a fine public servant and a very dear friend and colleague today.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also paid tribute this evening, saying they were “shocked and saddened” by the killing of Sir David.
Prince William and Kate Middleton said their “thoughts and prayers” are with their family, friends and colleagues.
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