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'He told everyone I'd got out of prison' Commons in hysterics at hilarious Amess story

David Amess: James Duddridge recalls memories of MP

Conservative MP James Duddridge was one of the first backbenchers to deliver their tributes to Sir David Amess and recalled several funny stories of their time together. Mr Duddridge, who worked in the neighbouring constituency to Sir David, recalled several funny icebreakers the late politician would use at parties and other events to introduce themselves and shared a few with the House of Commons. Mr Duddridge also shared a hilarious story involving the pope and a boiled sweet which saw many MPs roar in laughter at the gaffe. 

The House of Commons held a special session for MPs to share their tributes to Sir David with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing Southend will be given city status in honour of the murdered MP.

Mr Duddridge shared his tribute with the House and said: "David was a man of faith and convictions, faith in his religion and convictions in his politics.

"He was above and beyond, everything else, a family man and a very funny man.

"He'd often break all the rules, cutting through pomp and ceremony and connecting with people.

James Duddridge

James Duddridge delivered several funny stories about Sir David Amess to huge laughs (Image: Parliament TV)

James Duddridge

The House of Commons was packed full of MPs wishing to share their tributes (Image: Parliament TV)

"When introducing me, he'd always make up a story, I was Strictly Come Dancing winner with his annual party for people over the age of 100.

"Before there was ever a raffle, he described me as a lottery millionaire at a charity fundraiser.

"My favourite icebreaker is meet James, he's my neighbour who's recently got out of prison."

The House of Commons laughed loudly at the funny anecdotes but Mr Duddridge did not stop there and recalled an incident Sir David had with the Pope.

Speaker sets out commemorations in place for Sir David Amess

James Duddridge

James Duddridge told the story of the holy boiled sweet (Image: Parliament TV)

He continued: "I would like to share the story of the boiled sweet, David was a regular visitor to the Vatican given his faith and in the receiving line, perhaps slightly absent-mindedly being used to these things, people are getting items blessed.

"David, having a sore throat, reached into his pocket for a boiled sweet.

"David got his timing wrong, the Pope, took the sweet thinking it was a revered object to be blessed, so blessed the revered object and David had to put it in his pocket.

"A holy sweet and when David would tell the anecdotes, as he would do many a time, he'd reached into his pocket and say, and this is the sweet."

Mr Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer opened up the special House of Commons session which began with a minute silence.

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James Duddridge

James Duddridge worked closely with Sir David Amess whose constituency was next to his (Image: Parliament TV)

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Johnson said: "I am happy to announce that Her Majesty has agreed that Southend will be accorded the city status it so clearly deserves.

"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 was not a man in awe of this chamber, nor a man who sought patronage or advancement.

"He simply wanted to serve the people of Essex, first in Basildon, then in Southend. And it was in the act of serving his constituents that he was so cruelly killed."