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Politicians have paid tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who has died after being stabbed in his constituency in Essex.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was one of the "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics".

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the "much-loved" MP was a "bright light of Parliament".

And Labour's Sir Keir Starmer hailed his "profound sense of public duty".

Sir David was stabbed whilst holding a constituency surgery, where voters can meet their local MP and discuss concerns.

Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at a church in Leigh-on-Sea.

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A Conservative backbencher for nearly 40 years, Sir David entered Parliament as the MP for Basildon following the 1983 general election.

He switched seats in 1997, when he was elected MP for nearby Southend West – the Essex constituency he represented until his death.

His constituents have spoken of their shock at his killing, with residents choking back tears as they spilled on to the streets after his death.

Fellow Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said Sir David was his "oldest friend" in Parliament, and he felt "sick inside at what has happened".

"We've all lost a very special person in our lives," he added.

Media caption, Boris Johnson: Sir David Amess was one of the "kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics"

Mr Johnson said Sir David was "a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague" who "believed passionately in this country".

He also praised his "outstanding record" of campaigning in Parliament, where he was known for his activism on animal welfare.

Mr Johnson's immediate predecessor Theresa May said his death was "heartbreaking" and a "tragic day for our democracy".

She added that Sir David was a "decent man and respected parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties".

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab also paid tribute to a "great common sense politician" who had showed a "tremendous generosity of spirit – including towards those he disagreed with".

'Talk to anybody'

Former Prime Minister David Cameron called Sir David a "thoroughly decent man" and "the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet".

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay said Sir David had built a "built a reputation for kindness and generosity" during his decades-long career as an MP.

Sir Lindsay confirmed that MPs would be given time to pay tribute to Sir David in the Commons, when they return from recess on Monday.

His predecessor as Speaker, John Bercow, said Sir David was a "wonderful loving human being" and "quintessentially a constituency parliamentarian".

"He could talk to and hear from and engage with anybody, from a monarch to the local milk person," he added.

Sir David is the second MP to be killed in the past five years, following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

She was killed outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where she was due to hold a constituency surgery.

Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater, who is now the Labour MP for the Batley seat she represented, said she was "totally shocked to think that something so horrific could happen again to another MP and family".

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Sir David was a "thoroughly decent man, who was well-liked across parties and the House of Commons."