The family of Sir David Amess has said they are “absolutely broken, but we will survive” following the murder of the MP on Friday.
They have also urged people to support the causes Sir David championed, as well as ask everyone to set their differences aside and show “kindness and love” to one another.
In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, they said: “The family would like to thank everyone for the wonderful, wonderful tributes paid to David following his cruel and violent death. It truly has brought us so much comfort.
“The support shown by friends, constituents and the general public alike has been so overwhelming. As a family it has given us strength.
“We have realised from tributes paid that there was far, far more to David than even we, those closest to him, knew.
“We are enormously proud of him. Our hearts are shattered. However, there was still so much David wanted to do – this we know from the events of the last few days.
The family added that it is “not the end of Sir David Amess MP”, rather that is the “next chapter, inviting supporters to help the causes he championed – including for a Dame Vera Lynn memorial which he was campaigning for.
They also asked people to support Sir David’s campaign for Southend to be awarded city status.
They continued: “Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David. He was a patriot and a man of peace. So, we ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness.
“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand. As a family, we are trying to understand why this awful thing has occurred. Nobody should die in that way. Nobody.
“Please let some good come from this tragedy. We are absolutely broken, but we will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man.
“We ask at this time that the family’s privacy be respected so that we can grieve in private.”
Police arrested a 25-year-old man at the scene of Sir David’s death on suspicion of his murder, understood to be named Ali Harbi Ali by Sky News, with officers being granted a warrant to detain him until 22 October.