Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer have paid their respects to killed MP Sir David Amess.
Today the Prime Minister and Labour leader are among the senior politicians who attended a Westminster Cathedral service for the Conservative politician.
Southend West MP Sir David, a father-of-five, was stabbed to death during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on October 15.
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been charged with his murder and also with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 2019 and September 28 this year.
A message from the Pope was read as the requiem mass is held in London, following Monday’s private funeral held in Southend.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, presided and Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, delivered a message from Pope Francis.
The pontiff passed on his heartfelt condolences to Amess’s family, praising the lawmaker’s “devoted public service” as shown by his “deep concern for the poor and the disadvantaged”.
“His Holiness recalls with gratitude Sir David’s years of devoted public service guided by his strong Catholic faith and evidenced in his deep concern for the poor and the disadvantaged, his commitment to the defence of God’s gift of life, and his efforts to foster understanding and co-operation with the Holy See in its universal mission,” the message continued.
“Commending Sir David’s soul to the loving mercy of Jesus Christ our Saviour, the Holy Father prays that all who honour his memory will be confirmed in the resolve to reject the ways of violence, to combat evil with good, and to help build a society of ever greater justice, fraternity and solidarity.”
Former prime ministers Theresa May, David Cameron and Sir John Major sat side by side at the Mass led by Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
They were joined in a pew by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Mr Johnson.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid were among senior Cabinet members also present.
Canon Pat Browne, who knew Sir David well as Parliament’s Roman Catholic duty priest, celebrated the late father-of-five as a “true bridge-builder”.
“David’s death was the catalyst for everyone in Parliament realising their oneness as a community working differently, but together, for the good of the nation in our world,” he told the service, before noting his success in bringing unity was also witnessed during his life.
“He literally took his life in his two hands and threw himself into it. And indeed, he died doing so, in service of others.”
People lined the streets on Monday to pay their respects to Sir David, as mourners attended the private ecumenical service at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell.
Sir David’s coffin, draped in a union flag, was carried by pallbearers from Southend Fire Service.
After the church service, they carried the coffin to a horse-drawn hearse for a procession around Southend.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Southend’s Civic Centre to pay their respects as the hearse, led by four black horses, paused in front of it.
Uniformed police officers bowed their heads as the hearse arrived and people applauded.
Following his death, MPs paid tribute to Sir David in the Commons and a service was held in Sir David’s honour at St Margaret’s Church.
Johnson and Starmer were among around 800 politicians in attendance to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury say the “light lit by public service” provided by MPs like Sir David “must never be put out”.
A busy Westminster Cathedral shared a warm moment remembering humorous stories about Sir David Amess.
A chuckle rippled through the mourners gathered to remember the late MP as Canon Pat Browne, the Roman Catholic Duty Priest for Parliament, recalled the moment Sir David had a boiled sweet blessed by the Pope.
Laughter broke through the silence again as Canon Browne told the story of Sir David posing in a suit of armour to celebrate his knighthood.
Asked what Sir David Amess meant to her, Ann Widdecombe said: “He was a very close personal friend, I was godmother to one of his daughters, I knew the family very well, we stayed with each other.
“It was one of those friendships which occasionally get formed at Westminster.
“It still has a great air of unreality about it – I think that’s quite inevitable if you lose a friend suddenly in terrible circumstances.
“We’re all asking ourselves why, I don’t think anybody can tell you why.”
She added: “David, of course, was a practising Catholic. He led the All [Party] Parliamentary Group to the Holy See, met the Pope several times. The Pope has sent a personal message.
“Now, when you consider David wasn’t a senior member of the Government or anything, but I reckon that to the Pope he was probably the most important person in Britain.”
Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “Today we mourn the death of Sir David Amess, a beloved colleague, public servant and friend, and pay tribute to his immense contribution to politics, to the people of Southend and to this country.”