Taken me by surprise Adam Boulton leaves Stanley Johnson shocked in David Amess chat

Stanley Johnson tells Adam Boulton ‘you’ve taken me by surprise’

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The father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Sky News’ Adam Boulton of his fondness for the Southend West MP as he shared his memories of their love of animals and the natural world. But when the Sky host probed Mr Johnson on Sir David Amess’ view on the death penalty, the Prime Minister’s father admitted he was unaware Sir David held such a view.

Mr Johnson told Sky News: “David was the first to recognise the way we treat animals is indeed a reflection of a way we treat society as a whole.

“If we’re unkind and cruel to animals, there’s no end to the cruelty which can be perpetrated.”

But Mr Boulton noted: “He was a firm supporter of the death penalty for example. 

“Some people might see a contradiction there.”

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The former MP continued: “You take me by surprise. The death penalty has not been a hot issue for a couple of decades in British politics.

“Even though I’ve been following his career closely for some time I don’t actually remember that one, Adam.

“You’ve taken me by surprise on that.”

The Sky presenter noted: “In trying to understand Sir David who was in some ways a unique MP, your approach to animal welfare comes from environmentalism whereas his approach was a moral and humanitarian one.”

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Mr Johnson added: “The question on his approach on capital punishment has escaped me but I think he was absolutely firm on the issue of animal welfare.”

The comments come as Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer and House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle visited Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday, where Sir David Amess was stabbed to death, to pay their respects.

The group laid flowers and gave tributes to the veteran politician outside the Church before being escorted from the scene by police. 

While speaking at Southend Police Station, the Home Secretary said: “We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy.”

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Sir David, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured while meeting constituents at his regular constituency surgery.

A 25-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder is in custody at an Essex police station.

Official sources told the PA news agency the man is believed to be a British national with Somali heritage.

Sir David Amess served as Member of Parliament for Southend West from 1997 until 2021. He is survived his wife, Julia, and five children.

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