England

Jo Cox's family on Birstall visit say MP 'will live on'

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Media captionJo Cox MP death: She was "perfect" says sister

Labour MP Jo Cox will live on "through her wonderful children who will always know what an utterly amazing woman their mother was", her sister says.

Kim Leadbeater, said she "only saw the good in people".

Speaking in Birstall, where Mrs Cox died, she said tributes to her sister were "amazing. [From] proper Yorkshire people. Absolutely beautiful".

With her parents Gordon and Jean stood beside her, Ms Leadbeater described events on Thursday as "surreal".

'Outpouring of genuine grief'

"My parents and my partner and I are quite private people and Jo in true character had fully respected our wish to remain out of the public eye," she said.

"But, I could not continue to watch the overwhelming outpouring of genuine grief, sympathy and love that there has been since this horrendous incident occurred without speaking on behalf of Jo's family.

"We want to say a most sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has expressed their love and affection for Jo and sent their thoughts and sympathy to us.

"It has genuinely made a difference and helped us through some of the dark times in the last 48 hours."

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

Ms Leadbeater spoke of the MP receiving abuse on social media during her political career.

"But, she would still see the positive and talk about the silent majority who would not always shout the loudest but were in her corner," she said.

"Over the last 48 hours, people have not been silent. They have been vocal and passionate and have spoken from the heart. Genuine emotion with no hidden agenda.

"Jo would have loved it."

'She was perfect'

Ms Leadbeater said the family would never let her sister leave their lives.

"She will live on through Brendan, through us and through her truly wonderful children who will always know what an utterly amazing woman their mother was.

"She was a human being. She was perfect."

The 41-year-old mother of two became the MP for Batley and Spen in 2015. She was about to attend a constituency surgery when she was fatally injured on Thursday.

The family's visit to Birstall came after the man charged with her murder, Thomas Mair, made his first appearance in court.

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