Sir David Amess funeral to be held at Westminster Cathedral next month

·3 min read

The funeral of the murdered Conservative MP Sir David Amess will be held at Westminster Cathedral next month, it has been confirmed to MPs.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, will preside over the service at 10.30am on Tuesday November 23.

The details were confirmed on Tuesday to MPs, peers and staff who attend Catholic services in Parliament.

The Southend West MP was stabbed to death on Friday October 15 while meeting constituents in a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Sir David Amess' funeral will be held at Westminster Cathedral
Sir David Amess’ funeral will be held at Westminster Cathedral (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The funeral details for the Catholic MP come after the Commons cleared its diary on Monday last week for MPs to offer tributes to their colleague, before a memorial service at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster.

There was controversy at the time of Sir David’s murder that a local priest, Father Jeffrey Woolnough, was not allowed into Belfairs Methodist Church, where the politician was dying, to administer the sacrament of the sick, which is also known as the last rites.

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been charged with Sir David’s murder.

Watch: Two-minute silence held in Leigh-on-Sea a week after the death of Sir David Amess

He appeared in crown court for the first time on Friday by video-link from high-security Belmarsh prison, accused of stabbing the MP to death.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) alleges the murder has a terrorist connection because of its “religious and ideological” motives.

The possible terror link has led Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to call for new regulations to make social media companies “less attractive” to those who could potentially become radicalised via the platforms.

Mr Wallace told the Commons Defence Committee on Tuesday that the internet was “dangerous” when in the “wrong hands”.

He made the comments after committee chairman Tobias Ellwood brought up the murder of Sir David by a suspect who, he said, it was “allegedly assumed could have been self-indoctrinated by what he read on the internet”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said online radicalisation was occurring without leaving any trace due to its often lone nature
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said online radicalisation was occurring without leaving any trace due to its often lone nature (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Defence Secretary replied: “We are all grappling in our parliaments around the world about how to regulate, how to deal with this and it is not easy, but I have always pushed for more regulation on that because it is frightening how it gets into young people, or actually any aged people.

“It is powerful and, in the wrong hands, dangerous.

“I’ve always talked about the business models of these internet companies. I think I’ve said on the record that I want to talk about the YouTube internet model – the longer you’re on it, the more you’re hooked, the more they sell advertising.

“If we want to tackle it, we have to go right to the heart of their business model and make it less attractive.

“But the worry is that it is without trace, in a sense: you sit in your bedroom and you radicalise yourself. You are not travelling to Afghanistan to be given orders, you are not buying weapons on the internet, because you are taking a kitchen knife or whatever.”

Watch: Family of Tory MP Sir David Amess read tributes

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