Exclusive: Aide Julie Cushion Revisits Day of Sir David Amess’s Murder

LEIGH-ON-SEA, England: Two years ago, fanatical terrorist Ali Harbi Ali fatally stabbed the much-loved 69-year-old Conservative MP for Southend West, David Amess. The gruesome incident occurred at the Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir Amess was carrying out his weekly constituency surgeries.

Julie Cushion, a former aide to Sir Amess, who was present at the church during the attack, recently shared her harrowing experience from that dreadful day. She recalls the paralyzing shock, the horrifying screams, and the heartbreaking moment when she knew that Sir Amess was gone.

Julie, who worked for Sir Amess for seven years and is now constituency manager for his successor, Anna Firth, vividly remembers the moment when Ali asked to use the lavatory at the church. She believes that this was when he prepared himself for the heinous crime he was about to commit.

Following the tragic incident, Ali, the son of an ex-Somali government official, was found guilty of murder and given a whole life jail sentence in April 2022. Despite the devastating loss, Julie continues to carry out her duties and support Sir Amess’s vision, particularly his campaign to raise funds for the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue appeal.

Sir Amess was passionate about building a memorial to commemorate Dame Vera Lynn, also known as the Forces’ Sweetheart, who put her life at risk to boost the morale of soldiers during World War II. With Sir Amess’s unwavering determination, the memorial will now feature his name as well, and it is set to be installed in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Julie perseveres in her commitment to honor Sir Amess’s legacy and remains close to Lady Julia Amess, Sir Amess’s widow, as they continue to work towards completing the memorial. It is clear that Julie’s dedication to fulfilling Sir Amess’s wishes is unwavering, and her determination to continue his work is a testament to her strength and resilience.

In memory of Sir Amess, Dame Vera Lynn, and all those who have selflessly served their country, the fund for the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue remains open for contributions. Donations can be made via Just Giving, online banking, or by mailing a cheque to the designated address. For more information about the appeal, visit dameveralynnmemorialstatue.co.uk.