The loss of Sir David in a horrific attack yesterday is hard to fathom. He was genuinely the most infectiously happy and friendly person I ever had the pleasure to meet. I cannot understand how anyone could want to do him harm.
Those who did not know him will hear how he was a tireless servant of his constituents first in Basildon and then Southend for nearly 40 years, that he was married to Julia, he had 5 children, and championed many causes especially recently City status for Southend. All true, but he was more to those that knew him.
Those who knew him well will tell you he had an unfailing interest in others and was always willing to smile, listen and help. I was so very fortunate to meet him at a party conference some years ago and enjoy an ongoing friendship. We struck up a wonderful conversation that lasted with out sense of time elapsing over a long dinner and into the night. We found commonality in our backgrounds, our love for our communities and I shall never forget his kindness. He had time for me to advise on many matters and was so very supportive to many friends.
He will be sorely missed, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and closest friends. I very much hope his memory will live long and perhaps with the confirmation of Southend as a City which I'm sure would see him smile with an infectious twinkle in his eyes.