Newspaper headlines: Jo Cox killing, Cliff Richard cleared and England's 'great escape'

"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy and a zest for life that would exhaust most people."

The tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox from her husband Brendan becomes a headline in Friday's papers as they report the death of the 41-year-old, who was stabbed and shot in the street in her West Yorkshire constituency.

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The mother-of-two was attacked near the library in Birstall, where she was holding a surgery, by a man who witnesses heard shout "Britain first".

Mrs Cox was a supporter of the Remain campaign in the EU referendum and had called for more Syrian refugees to be given safe haven, and the Daily Mail reports police are investigating the possibility the attack was motivated by her political views.

Daily Mirror columnist Ros Wynne-Jones writes of the Jo Cox she knew.

"How absolutely incomprehensible that a woman so full of life... could be dead. How impossible that a former aid worker who had survived multiple war zones should die so brutally outside a Yorkshire library," she says.

The Financial Times says in a world of growing scepticism about the political classes Mrs Cox, MP for Batley and Spen since the May 2015 general election, "stood out for her years of unblemished altruism".

In the Daily Telegraph, former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell remembers Mrs Cox as an "utterly fearless" newly-elected MP, a "five-foot bundle of Yorkshire grit and determination absolutely committed to helping other people".

"Public discourse about politicians is becoming ugly," writes Michael Deacon in the Telegraph. "MPs are decent people with honourable motives. People go into politics with the aim of changing lives for the better... And I think this is a day to remember that."

Polly Toynbee reaches a similar conclusion in the Guardian. "This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve," she says.

But the i reports "politicians and the public were united in grief and shock".

The paper's front page features a photograph of the late MP outside Parliament and the headline "Mum. 'Proud Yorkshire lass'. MP. Shot dead while serving the people".

'Assault on democracy'

As a 52-year-old man is arrested over the killing of Jo Cox, the Daily Mirror wonders whether "Britain's spirited and open system of politics could be changed forever".

The front page story in the Times suggests police were poised to put extra security in place for the MP following a stream of harassment in messages over a three-month period.

There is no known link between the attack and the messages, says the paper, but it notes the killing also comes less than a year after a number of women MPs raised fears about their safety.

In a leading article, the Times says: "Whatever led to this terrible crime, its context is a new and vicious mood of public discourse that can quickly turn extreme, especially on social media."

For the Daily Telegraph, an "assault upon one MP is an assault on our entire democratic process".

Violence against MPs in Britain is mercifully rare, says the Guardian, and to single the MP out was "to turn a gun on every value of which decent Britons are justifiably proud".

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The Daily Express says "the accessibility of our politicians is one of the great things about our democracy. That the essential trust between elector and elected has been breached makes this awful event all the more tragic".

In the view of the Sun, the death of Mrs Cox is "beyond comprehension... our democracy has been robbed of a new MP of great talent and potential".

What the commentators say...

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Media captionGuardian deputy editor Paul Johnson and Tim Collins, managing director of Bell Pottinger communications agency and a former Conservative MP, join the BBC News Channel to review Friday's front pages

'Flimsy evidence'

The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to take no further action against Sir Cliff Richard over allegations of historical sex abuse prompted the singer to issue a strong-worded statement. And the leader writers agree there are questions over the handling of a case which had been hanging over the star for nearly two years.

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The experience, says the Daily Express, must have taken a terrible emotional and financial toll on Sir Cliff and police and prosecutors need to reconsider pursuing inquiries based on "scandalously flimsy evidence".

There are fresh questions for the South Yorkshire force about the length of time it took to clear Sir Cliff, whose name was publicised before he was interviewed and was never arrested, says the Times.

The Daily Mail calls the case one of the most "unedifying episodes in British justice" and remains critical of the police action - and the BBC's decision to film their initial raid on the singer's Berkshire home.

"Officers must investigate sexual abuse without fear or favour. But the lengthy delays in this case, and the torrent of publicity with which it began, leave a bitter taste," it adds.

Sir Cliff, says the Sun, has been "put through hell by sex abuse fantasists aided and abetted by the scandalous ineptitude of the police".

The Daily Telegraph says Sir Cliff is right to call for a complete review of procedures. "This needs to cover not just the police but the prosecutors and the issue of search warrants by the judiciary."

The Daily Mirror examines whether people accused of sex offences offences should be granted anonymity before conviction. Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman says they should as the "stigma" of being questioned remains for life, but Mirror columnist Alison Phillips warns against shrouding the justice system in secrecy.

'Last-gasp winner'

Finally, England's Euro 2016 clash with Wales makes it on to the news pages, with the Daily Mail carrying photographs of empty streets and packed bars and asking: "Was anyone at work yesterday afternoon?"

The Sun's story focuses on the match itself in Lens and the goals from "supersubs" Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge that helped England secure a 2-1 stoppage time victory.

"St George slays dragons," is its headline.

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The Daily Telegraph describes the last-gasp result as manager Roy Hodgson's "great escape".

"Bottom of Group B as the half-time team talks were conducted, England ended the day on top with four points," says the paper's chief football correspondent Jason Burt.

Wales, who beat Slovakia in their first match, are still in a strong position to join England in the knockout stages "but it was an excruciating way for this tough, obdurate side to lose a game that carried so much importance", says the Guardian.

The Daily Mirror reports on the "carnival scenes" in Lens between the two sets of supporters "without any hint of trouble for the massive police presence".

And it was also a memorable day for Northern Ireland who are hailed by the Daily Star as the "Kings of Lyon" after a 2-0 victory over Ukraine gives them a chance to qualify from Group C for the knockout stage and a possible meeting with England.

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