By Ben Kerrigan-
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an agreement from The Queen Southend will be granted city status following the killing of MP Sir David Amess.
The well liked Mp was stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh on Sea Friday.
Sir David had regularly championed Southend’s case to be a city during his time in Parliament, but his dreams sadly never materialised until his demise.
Mr Johnson told the House of Commons he was “happy” to announce Southend “will be accorded the city status it so clearly deserves”.
The prime minister said his killing was a “contemptible act of violence striking at the core of what it is to be a member of this house” and during a session of tributes in the House of Commons, he said Sir David was one of the “nicest, kindest and most gentle” of MPs .
The prime minister said: “That Sir David spent almost 40 years in this House, but not one day in ministerial office, tells everything about where his priorities lay.”
He added Sir David “never once witnessed any achievement by any resident of Southend that could not somehow be cited in his bid to secure status for that distinguished town”.
City status provides an opportunity for areas to attract more tourism and boost the local economy.
The announcement comes as it emerged that the father of the suspect currently being interviewed over the stabbing has previously worked on “anti-extremism projects”
On its website, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, which had campaigned with Sir David, previously said city status would bring not only “prestige and standing, but an opportunity to lever further investment”.
Leader of the council’s Conservative group, Tony Cox, said the decision meant Sir David’s “legacy will forever live on in Southend-on-Sea”.
He added: “I cannot thank Her Majesty the Queen and the prime minister enough for granting that legacy, but what truly breaks my heart is that he is not around to see it.
“I am sure he will be looking down on us now saying, ‘My work in Southend is now complete’.”