FORMER Government minster and MP for Kinver Gavin Williamson has described the tragic death of Sir David Amess as "truly heartbreaking".

Mr Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire - the Government's former Education Minister, said his "thoughts are with his family and his staff during this difficult time" after hearing how the Conservative MP for Southend West in Essex was fatally stabbed while holding a constituency surgery earlier today (Friday).

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The 69-year-old veteran politician (pictured), who had been an MP since 1983, was treated by emergency services at the scene but died from his injuries.

Stourbridge News: Flowers at the scene. Pic - Yui Mok/PA WireFlowers at the scene. Pic - Yui Mok/PA Wire

Mr Williamson described the fatal stabbing as "senseless" and said:"I had the privilege of knowing David for the last 11 years. I remember being a new MP, he was always someone who was keen to share his experience and knowledge of being a Parliamentarian. He was always a friendly and kindly individual."

Asked if the tragedy would affect the way he engages with members of the public, he said it would not and he added: "When you're an MP you want to be available to the public. It's awful that someone has taken that accessibility and openness and committed such an awful crime.

"I hold regular surgeries, you meet people all the time. It's really important not to let the actions of one individual take away that accessibility that politicians offer."

A man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and police have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.