SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford paid tribute to Sir David Amess during today’s Commons service, describing the Southend West MP as “above all else a good and simply decent man”.

Blackford told the House he welcomes the ongoing review of MPs’ safety in the wake of of the fatal stabbing at a constituency surgery, but urged the Government to include members’ staff in any measures taken.

"We need to protect all those at risk because we all know it is often our staff at the very front line of the threats and the abuse," he told MPs.

READ MORE: Southend to become a city to honour Sir David Amess, Boris Johnson says

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said in the wake of Sir David’s death all politicians have a responsibility to put an end to the "toxic culture of hate and intolerance" which "has become all too common".

"Every one of us have a responsibility to put an end to it," Blackford went on. "It was the truest tribute to Sir David that he personified exactly what we need to get to."

"David’s lesson and legacy is to show kindness and love to all," he added. "May his gentle soul now rest in peace, God bless you David."

During his statement, Blackford commended the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition for standing together to lay flowers in Southend at the weekend. He called their appearance “an image and ethos of political leadership that we need to project in public far more often”.

Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer also paid tribute to Sir David this afternoon, with the Conservative leader announcing that Southend will become a city in tribute to the MP's long history of campaigning for the upgrade.

The National:

Southend was one of several towns competing for city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, with Sir David having pushed for the recognition for at least two decades.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the city status for the seaside town is a “fitting tribute to Sir David’s hard work”, as MPs across the political spectrum paid tribute in a packed Commons chamber.

It followed a minute’s silence and Sir David’s widow visiting Belfairs Methodist Church to read tributes left outside the scene where he was fatally stabbed.