Watch in full: Kim Leadbeater's powerful tribute to David Amess and message to his family

Yorkshire MP Kim Leadbeater told the House of Commons that she is heartbroken that the family of Sir David Amess is experiencing the pain and anguish hers went through when her sister Jo Cox was murdered in 2016.

As MPs paid tribute to Sir David, who was killed on Friday in a suspected terror attack, Ms Leadbeater told Parliament she did not know him personally, but said he “was clearly a well-respected and much loved colleague to many people in this place”.

Ms Leadbeater, who now represents the Batley and Spen constituency where her sister was previously MP, said: “It’s been a traumatic few days for many people, none more so than David’s family and friends, and it’s they who remain at the forefront of my mind this afternoon. But sadly I know from my own all-too-similar experience that in reality there is nothing anyone can say to make things all right for them. But nor is it any use to stay silent.

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“I do have a unique perspective on what those closest to David are going through and I want to send them my love, support and solidarity, from myself, my parents, our family, and the people of Batley and Spen.

Kim Leadbeater addresses the House of Commons.

“I have blocked out much of what happened when Jo was murdered, but I remember very clearly the moment I took the phone call saying she had been attacked. I remember physically trembling, and the visceral pain that overtook me.

“And it breaks my heart to think that another family has had to experience that phone call, and the nightmare which follows. It’s a rollercoaster of deep trauma that no one should have to experience.”

Ms Leadbeater said she hoped the tributes will “provide a morsel of comfort amidst their pain”.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said every MP has “lost a friend” as she paid tribute to Sir David, telling the Commons: “Laughter, service, compassion – these are three of the words that spring to my mind when I think of Davis Amess.

Kim Leadbeater pays tribute to Sir David Amess.

“Laughter because you could never have a conversation with David without laughter and smiling, whether it was because of one of the outrageous stories he was telling – perhaps about one of his colleagues or somebody else – but there were always smiles, always laughter, always fun around David.”

She said Sir David gave an “extraordinary” service to his constituents, adding: “I suggest to anybody who wants to be a first-class constituency MP that you look at the example of David Amess.”

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who represents Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said: “Jo [Cox] said to us we have more in common than that which divides us. David showed us how to do that, because whilst he had disagreements with pretty much every one of us, he also had the unerring instinct of finding what it was he had in common with each and every one of us as well.”

Labour MP Stephen Timms, who was stabbed during one of his constituency surgeries in 2010, said “we mustn’t give up on the accessibility of members of Parliament”.

Mr Timms said of Sir David in the Commons: “He was accessible to his constituents. Tragically he has now given his life. We will rightly reflect on what more we can do to stop that happening again. I wonder if we might ask the police to review our appointment lists ahead of each surgery, for example?

“But we mustn’t give up on the accessibility of Members of Parliament. If we do, the sponsors of those who attacked David and who attacked me will have succeeded. That must not happen.”

Conservative Mark Francois, who represents Raleigh and Wickford, proposed renaming the forthcoming Online Harms Bill, “David’s law”.

He said: “In the last few years David had become increasingly concerned about what he called the toxic environment in which MPs, particularly female MPs were having to operate in. He was appalled by what he called the vile misogynistic abuse which female MPs had to endure online and he told me very recently that he wanted something done about it.”

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