An asylum seeker has remembered Sir David Amess as “really supportive” after the Conservative MP was killed on Friday.
The 69-year-old was stabbed several times during a “very distressing” incident at a constituency surgery in Essex.
Ahmad Jaber, 37, who is living in Southend-on-Sea, spoke to the MP when he came to the UK in September 2019 to pursue a Master’s degree at UCL, at the Institute of Education.
He told the PA news agency: “While I was preparing myself to start the studies, some circumstances changed back home because I come from an indigenous stateless community in Kuwait known as the Bidoon [which translates to without nationality].”
Mr Jaber said he “became under more risk” due to the potential for his academic work to expose the regime back in Kuwait.
Mr Jaber said that when he was moved to Southend-on-Sea on June 3 2021 by the Home Office, he was told by friends: “Oh no, your MP is Conservative, he would not help you because of stereotypes.”
He added: “I cannot judge someone without being in touch with him. So when I talked to him, he was very, very welcoming and a good listener I would say, because he listened to my message.
“I told him that I am suffering from this state of limbo, I am being ignored by the Home Office.
“I said look at it from this angle, I could work because I have a qualification. I have a Master’s degree.
“I could work and pay tax and support the economy instead of being dependent on the system, accommodation and subsistence, and it made sense for him. He said he understands and will take a look and help me, and he really did.”
When Mr Jaber was met with a generic response from the Home Office to his asylum claim, he said Sir David “contacted the Home Office again and said we need a genuine response, we need an update about this.
“He said if the response is not what we like, please call me again and I will continue supporting you until we achieve justice.”
When news of Sir David’s death broke, Mr Jaber was in the process of preparing a new statement to send to the Home Office.
He added: “I wanted to submit it back to Sir David. I was really disheartened when I heard of his departure, but now I don’t care about my situation.
“My heart, my thoughts are with his family. I cannot imagine how much sadness his family is in right now and I can only send them strength and I am sure he will be remembered for me and everyone I know.
“He made justice in my case at least. He was very supportive… he didn’t let me down.
Sir David was remembered as a “decent man” and a “true gent” by fellow politicians across the spectrum.
Former Conservative prime minister Theresa May said the MP was “a decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties”.
She said: “A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.”
Mike Adamson, chief executive of British Red Cross, said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news. David Amess MP visited British Red Cross volunteers and supported us in our work.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues, and the local community.”