“Any man’s death diminishes me,” wrote John Donne. Taken literally, that would be prescribing a Gospel of perfection, making an impossible demand on frail mankind. But some deaths do diminish us all, among them the murders of David Amess and Jo Cox. They were both good people who had earned respect and affection. In each case, this was reflected in tributes that were heartfelt and sincere, expressing an aching sense of loss and grief.

David had been an MP for 38 years. But he never grew stale. That would have been unthinkable. He had been elected to the privilege of service in the Commons and I suspect that to the end, every time he entered the Palace of Westminster, he was as proud as he had been on his first day as an MP. It is hard to imagine that he would ever have retired, and he would have made an excellent Father of the House that he loved.