England

Great Get Together events honour Jo Cox

St Anne's Square, Manchester Image copyright Great Get Together
Image caption Events have been organised across the UK including St Ann's Square in Manchester, where flowers were laid to the victims the arena bombing

The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox said his wife would be "incredibly humbled" by the events taking place in her name.

Brendan Cox said the 120,000 events taking place showed the country was "crying out" for sense of togetherness.

The Great Get Together is based on the message in Mrs Cox's maiden speech in Parliament that "we have more in common than that which divides us".

Mr Cox said "the thing that really drove Jo was bringing communities together".

"She wanted to bring people together of different types and backgrounds and she would be incredibly humbled by the scale of the response," he said.

"I think we know of about 120,000 events so far across the country. And I think what that shows is just the sense that the country's crying out for these moments of togetherness."

Image caption Brendan Cox said the events were about bringing people from all backgrounds together

The events come as 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to stop Mrs Cox's killer, was awarded the George Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

There were also awards for two PCs, who arrested the killer Thomas Mair, and Mrs Cox's senior caseworker Sandra Major.

'Hope counts'

Mrs Cox's family said people's responses to this week's Grenfell Tower fire in London and recent terror attacks showed how people could come together.

Mrs Cox's mother Jean Leadbeater said: "Seeing communities coming together - seeing west London - that's an amazing sight, all colours, creeds, everybody pulling together.

"I think we're getting through, maybe it will take a while but the message will get through. We need to be united. Hate doesn't do anything, it's hope that counts.

"And hopefully we're doing Jo proud by doing the things that she would have been doing."

Image copyright The Challenge/PA
Image caption Pupils at a school in Birmingham created a human chain in honour of Mrs Cox
Image caption The weekend's events reinforce Jo Cox's message that "we have more in common than that which divides us"

The events, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation, began on Friday, the first anniversary of the mother-of-two's death, but most will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Mrs Cox was fatally shot and stabbed in Birstall in her Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen on 16 June.

On Friday, her parents and sister attended a ceremony at Upper Batley High School, where the conference centre was renamed in honour of their daughter, and visited Birstall Market Place, close to the scene of the murder.

Kim Leadbeater, Jo's sister, said: "We decided very early on that we would not remember how Jo died, we would focus on how Jo lived."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption People turned out for an event in Heckmondwike in Jo Cox's constituency of Batley and Spen
Image copyright MORE IN COMMON
Image caption Mrs Cox's family joined the Friends of Batley Station's Great Get Together on Saturday morning
Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Even West Yorkshire Police were helping welcome people to events in Batley
Image copyright PA
Image caption Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined people at Glasgow Women"s Library for a tea party
Image copyright Cardiff Story Museum
Image caption Cardiff's Story Museum offered people the chance to say "hello" in different languages at its event
Image copyright Brighton Bike Hub
Image caption Brighton's Bike Hub has the bunting out for its Great Get Together summer fete
Image copyright Sandwell Council
Image caption Labour 's deputy leader Tom Watson spoke about Jo Cox at a Great Get Together at Sandwell Valley Country Park, West Bromwich

She said the response to the Great Get Together showed people had an appetite for something positive after the "really horrendous" things that had happened in the past 12 months.

"What you see when those horrible things happen is that people do come together and we see the best of community spirit," she said.

"And with The Great Get Together, what we've got is a reason to come together that isn't a bad reason.

"It's actually a really, really good reason we're encouraging people to come together."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites