Profile of Sir David Amess: Eurosceptic MP with a passion for animal welfare | UK News


Conservative Sir David Amess, 69, was one of the longest-serving MPs, having been elected first for Basildon in 1983 and then for Southend West in 1997.

A longtime Eurosceptic, he backed Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum and tweeted a photo of a life-size cardboard cutout of Margaret Thatcher on the day the UK left the European Union.

A father of five, he was born in Plaistow, Essex and became a primary school teacher in Bethnal Green, east London, after graduating in economics and government from what is now Bournemouth University. He then became a recruitment consultant.

Originally elected as a councilor for the London Borough of Redbridge, after winning the seat of Basildon, he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Portillo for 10 years.

When, against all odds, he took the marginal seat of Basildon in 1992, it was the first clear demonstration that Labor would not win this election. He went on to write a book about his experiences, titled 1992: Against All Odds, which was launched in the Commons at an event marking the 20th anniversary of the election.

Prior to the 1997 election, with a boundary review dividing Basildon, he was selected for Southend West.

Amess’ ambition from the age of 11 was to become an MP. Although he was not a cabinet minister or held Conservative spokesperson posts, he was well known for campaigning from the backseats. Issues close to his heart included animal welfare and he was one of the few Tory MPs in favor of a ban on fox hunting. Energy poverty was another area he actively tackled.

While serving on the health select committee from 1998 to 2007, he campaigned on a variety of issues, including obesity and endometriosis. A devout Catholic, Amess had been described as one of Parliament’s most dedicated anti-abortion campaigners. He was knighted in the 2015 New Year’s Honors List for Political and Public Service.

Most of his campaigning efforts in recent years were associated with the Essex coastal town he represented, including his long campaign to make Southend a town.

In December 2019, he secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons specifically on the subject, telling MPs: ‘I’m not kidding. We have obtained from the Prime Minister that Southend will become a town – and it will become a town. A marina project and the airport were among his supporting arguments.

He saw the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year as another opportunity, asking in November 2020 for a new Queen statue and town status contest to ensure Southend gets the recognition he believed he deserved . Another campaign he supported was for a memorial to Dame Vera Lynn on the White Cliffs of Dover.

Addressing a short debate on the future of Southend Hospital in 2017, he spoke of the ‘rudeness’ he suffered during the election campaign that year. “The things that people say now, young, middle-aged or old, to us politicians, who take the blame for the decisions of bureaucrats and others who are paid twice as much as us, frankly, but the way they can use the F-word, C-word and everything else disgusts me,” he said.

Amess recently wrote about how MPs were given safety advice on carrying out surgeries and how the attacks had ‘spoiled the great British tradition’ of voters meeting politicians. In Ayes & Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster, which was published in November, he wrote about the murder of Jo Cox in 2016 and how she was attacked “in the most barbaric way imaginable”, and the attack at the 2000 epee against MP Nigel Jones. , which resulted in the death of Jones’ assistant, Andy Pennington, while trying to protect him.

“We all make ourselves readily available to our constituents and often deal with members of the public who have mental health issues. It could happen to any of us,” Amess wrote. “We check our locks regularly and many more have installed CCTV cameras, but probably the biggest change has been with riding surgeries.”

Amess and his wife, Julia, who works part-time for her husband, have four daughters and a son. Their eldest daughter, actress Katie Amess, criticized her father’s stance on gay rights after he challenged his friend David Cameron to vote against same-sex marriage.

The MP and his three-year-old French bulldog, Vivienne, were taking part in the upcoming Westminster Dog of the Year Show, which promotes responsible dog ownership. “Every time I walk into the room, Vivienne throws herself on top of me, lays on her back with her legs up to get tickled. But before that, she always brings a toy, so she’s a kind and generous nature,” he told his local newspaper’s website.He also regularly judges at local dog shows and supports various local animal charities.

In 1997 he was tricked by Channel 4’s satirical show Brass Eye into asking a question in parliament about the invented drug ‘cake’.


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