AN Essex MP has offered his condolences to the Royal Family after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Maldon MP John Whittingdale had met Prince Philip several times in the past.

Mr Whittingdale said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our country owes him a great debt for the tremendous support which he gave to Her Majesty Queen, but also for his leadership in the many areas in which he achieved so much – for young people, for conservation, for science and engineering and for the military.

“I was privileged to meet him on a few occasions and was always impressed by his keen interest and his sharp humour which helped to put everyone he met at ease.”