“The House returns today after conference recess. The business of the day has been rescheduled. After Home Office Questions at 2.30, MPs have the opportunity to pay tribute to David, and his work, before a service at St Margaret’s Church. I’m still reeling.  His violent and cruel death is shocking and I can only imagine the agony of his family.  

I worked closely with David on fire safety after the arson attack at Shinewater School which mercifully caused no injury or loss of life but did result in huge upset, wanton destruction and disruption to children’s learning. He led the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and the  campaign for design change in new build schools. 

Kind is the description most often applied to him and so he was. When I lost the election in 2017 he reached out to me and wrote the most beautiful letter which I treasured, even then. I had the most joyful welcome from him when I returned at Christmas in 2019. He touched many lives and we’re sure to learn more today.  

Questions abound again on MPs’ safety. I had my own brush with this back in 2017 with the death threat I experienced. It’s getting harder to say that these events are one in a million when it’s been two in 5 years.  

Thank you to all those who have written or called me over the weekend. Your kindness and concern mean a very great deal to me.  

In turn, I have written to the Mayor of Leigh on Sea to express our solidarity at such a time as this.  There are still many people in Eastbourne, and Sussex more widely, who talk of former MP Ian Gow and remember him with great affection. They remember where they were when they heard the news of his murder, in some cases, they remember where they were when they heard the car bomb explode. It rocked our community just as it has there’s.”  

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell