AVETERAN Conservative MP has spoken of his pride at being knighted in the New Year’s honours and thanked the activists who had supported him through seven successful general elections.

David Amess, Tory MP for Southend West, will become Sir David in the new year after being honoured for political service.

Sir David, 62, who is married to Julia and has five children, said he was looking forward to the investiture ceremony in 2015, particularly because he was a committed monarchist.

He thanked those who had supported his political career since he became a borough councillor in London in the Seventies.

Sir David said: “As far as my own situation is concerned, for me personally, for my family, for my friends, it is wonderful news, which I am excited about and extremely happy.

“I particularly want to thank all those people who supported me in three elections in Basildon, and four elections in Southend West.

“I owe them all a great debt of gratitude for the confidence which they have shown in me.

People go into politics wanting to make a real difference to people’s lives, to help and improve people’s situations.

“That is what I have always tried to do and intend to continue doing. I have always been a staunch monarchist, so I amvery much looking forward to the investiture ceremony.”

From 1983 until 1997, Sir David represented Basildon in Parliament until he swapped to contest the safer Conservative seat in Southend West, which he won in 1997 following the retirement of sitting MP Paul Channon.

He has retained the seat since and boasted a majority of more than 7,000 in 2010.

He normally adheres to Conservative party policy when voting in the Commons. However, he was very strongly in favour of the ban on fox-hunting. Sir David is also a strong anti-abortionist.

In June 2005, he supported a private member’s bill, introduced by Laurence Robertson, that sought to almost entirely ban abortion.