Leeds & West Yorkshire

Jo Cox death: Husband leads tributes to shot MP

Jo Cox MP speaking in Parliament Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was about to turn 42

The husband of MP Jo Cox has urged people to "fight against the hatred that killed her" in the wake of her death.

In a powerful statement, her husband Brendan said she had a "zest for life that would exhaust most people".

He said her death marked a "less joyful" new chapter in her family's lives.

Elsewhere, her death was met with a flood of tributes, from both inside and outside the political sphere.

Mrs Cox, 41, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was attacked in Birstall on Thursday afternoon and later pronounced dead.

As news of her death spread, constituents left floral tributes at the scene of the attack.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People placed flowers near the scene where she was killed in Birstall, near Leeds

Full statement from Brendan Cox, Jo Cox's husband

"Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love.

I and Jo's friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.

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

She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.

Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.

Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full."


An un-named constituent, who broke down in tears while talking to BBC Radio Leeds, said: "She was trying to make everything better for us. Why?

"I met her quite a few times, it's just heartbreaking."

Oxfam, where Mrs Cox had worked before she entered politics, said it was "devastated at the loss of our much loved and admired former colleague".

Singer Billy Bragg described her as a "compassionate, public spirited internationalist".

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I have worked closely with Jo since she was elected and I am deeply shocked that such a talented young woman has been so senselessly attacked and killed whilst working in her constituency and serving her community."

Image copyright PA
Image caption A bunch of flowers placed at the scene in Birstall carried the message, 'Thank you'

Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs, the Bishop of Huddersfield, described her as a "woman of real compassion" and a "lovely human being".

"This reminds us of the vulnerability of the people who put their heads over the parapet, she's paid the ultimate price for that service," he said.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said: "Jo Cox had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity.

"Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights - and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP."

David Cameron tweeted: "The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. "

She started her political career as an adviser and later became head of campaigns pro-European pressure group Britain in Europe.

Before she was elected in the 2015 election, she also worked for charities including Oxfam, Save the Children and the NSPCC.

She was attacked close to the library where she was holding one of her weekly surgeries.

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