UK

Jo Cox George Medal 'hero' Kenny dies

Bernard Kenny
Image caption Bernard Kenny paid tribute to Jo Cox at a Batley Bulldogs rugby match

The man who was awarded the George Medal for trying to stop the murder of MP Jo Cox has died, his family says.

Bernard Kenny was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked Mrs Cox in Birstall, West Yorkshire in 2016.

Mr Kenny's son said the 79-year-old, who was honoured in June, had died on Monday morning.

Mair stabbed Mrs Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, 15 times and shot her three times.

Mr Kenny was seriously injured in the attack, but the cause of his death is not believed to be related to the incident.

Former miner

During Mair's trial, Mr Kenny told the court he had been waiting for his wife by the library in Birstall when he saw right-wing extremist Mair going "berserk".

He said he thought he could jump on his back and "could take him down" but was then stabbed in the stomach.

After the attack more than 80,000 people signed an online petition calling for Mr Kenny to be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bernard Kenny was described as "a true hero, a very brave man"

Former miner Mr Kenny is understood to have been part of the rescue operation during a 1973 Yorkshire mining disaster., in which seven men died.

Mrs Cox's husband, Brendan Cox, paid tribute to Mr Kenny on social media.

He tweeted: "Bernard Kenny was a hero, he personified the best of our country; risking his own safety to help others. Our thoughts & love are with his family."

Tracy Brabin MP, the former Coronation Street and EastEnders actress who was elected in Jo Cox's constituency after her death, said Mr Kenny was "brave and selfless".

She added: "Bernard will forever be remembered as a true hero, both as a member of the Miners' Rescue Team and as a constituent of Batley and Spen who risked his life to protect Jo Cox."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper has paid tribute to the 79-year-old, saying he was "a true hero, a very brave man".

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