Moving message from Tim Farron about Jo Cox MP’s murder

Our party leader, Tim Farron has just sent this moving message to Liberal Democrat members:

This morning with my kids all I could think about was the family who’ve woken up with their lives changed forever.

Yesterday a mum, who left home to do her job to serve her constituents, was cruelly and brutally taken from them. Her husband and their children are in my thoughts and prayers.

When something terrible happens, I feel it. I am not one of those who shies away from emotion. And I, like so many others, am really feeling it today.

In Orlando, when all those people were massacred for simply being themselves, the hurt was overwhelming. And here in Britain, we have seen terror on our streets and lost an incredible woman.

Grief, sorrow, anger, frustration, confusion.

Jo Cox was a wonderful MP. Much will be written about her and she deserves all the tributes that are being paid.

Very few politicians had her vision and courage when it came to standing up for Syria and for refugees. She was really affected by their plight and when she spoke in Parliament I was deeply moved. She came to the Commons to make a difference, for something she believed in.

For too long we have allowed division and hatred to thrive. Vitriol has risen, and only yesterday we saw the shameful and sickening sight of England fans taunting child refugees, while public figures went out of their way to fan the flames of prejudice.

I am angry and upset at all those politicians, public figures and newspapers who wilfully stir up fear and hatred.
Political debate has become a nasty place where personal attacks, blaming foreigners, migrants, the poor, the different, have become palatable.

Where has all the hope, and optimism, and decency gone? It will be quoted many times over, but Jo’s words in her maiden speech couldn’t be clearer and couldn’t be more poignant – ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.’

Today I won’t be campaigning in the referendum, but I’m going to be in my constituency doing what MPs do; I will be holding an open-air surgery.

This is how I, in my small way, can pay tribute to Jo.

This is what I encourage all people in politics to do today. Be in your constituency, be in your ward. Be part of your community. Reach out, lend a hand, support, listen, comfort and help. This is what we’re here to do.

Tomorrow I will begin again to make the positive case for Europe.

I am fed up with the anger and the hatred. It’s gone on for too long. I am a passionate believer that being part of Europe is better for our country, yet this debate has been suffocated by ego and dirty politics.

We must turn a corner.

Let this be a turning point for our country. When the world around us is fearful, confusing, and clouded, let us be the beacon of tolerance and hope.

Tim Farron

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This entry was posted in Obituaries.


  • <3

  • A thought…shared by the Lord Mayor of Bradford at a vigil in Centenary Square:

    Another era, another party, another gender ….but another Jo. It was said of Grimond that “he gave politics a good name.” You will understand why I remember that as we think about Jo Cox today.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Jun '16 - 4:43pm

    What a beautiful smile Jo Cox had. What a warm expression.What a lovely face. When I see a face like that I feel like smiling.When I think she was also shot there it is hard to not feel hate.

    She had a fine voice. A resonant sound. A particular accent. When I think that such a voice is silenced it is hard to feel anything but sad.

    When hatred gives way to sadness it is I suppose for the best. Who can feel like smiling now and who can know what to say.

  • Floating Voter 17th Jun '16 - 5:51pm

    I hope that Lib Dems put up a candidtae in the bye-election, as in Eastbourne after Ian Gow’s murder by the IRA which was a worse attack on democracy, being by a powerful anti-democratic organisation rather than by a lone gunman

  • Ruth Bright 17th Jun '16 - 6:34pm

    A normal, contested by-election would be a fitting tribute.

  • David Allen 17th Jun '16 - 7:16pm

    Ian Gow’s murder by the IRA was an attack on all of us, and as Floating Voter says, an attack by an anti-democratic organisation against democracy itself. A normal contested by-election was an appropriate response to that murder.

    By contrast, Jo Cox’s murder appears to have been (at least to some extent) a politically partisan attack, albeit an attack for which nobody but the murderer himself bears any responsibility.

    It is a difficult question, but it seems that the murderer probably sought to achieve a partisan political goal. The most fitting response, I would argue, would therefore be to demonstrate that no such goal will be achieved by violence. To demonstrate that most clearly, all the political parties should invite the Labour party to nominate an appropriate successor, and the byelection should not be contested.

  • John Minard 17th Jun '16 - 7:25pm

    it’s essential we know how her killer was radicalised – it’s the most essential question now to follow the trail and build up to this awful cruel act.

  • paul barker 17th Jun '16 - 8:24pm

    The best tribute to Jo Cox would be to win the vote for Remain by enough of a margin to settle the issue permanently & close down the endless “debate” on immigration.

  • @paul barker
    “close down the endless “debate” on immigration.”

    You don’t perhaps think that we are in this mess because politicians attempted to do that already?

  • @paul barker – re: ” the endless “debate” on immigration.”

    You obviously have not read the article Jo wrote for the Yorkshire Post that another LDV article links to. If you had you would know and understand why immigration is an issue regardless of Leave/Remain.

    Also, I find it offensive that given the agreement, that seems to be holding between the two campaigns, that you are trying to use Jo’s death to support a particular side in the referendum, when as yet it is totally unclear what exactly motivated the suspect to attack Jo – because as yet we do not know if the suspect actually intended to kill Jo, or if Jo happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • “it’s essential we know how her killer was radicalised”

    It absolutely is not. It is totally wrong to let a murderer, whether deranged or evil, influence our national politics. We don’t take lessons on LGBT issues from the Orlando killer. We must not take lessons, either for or against the EU, from the Batley killer.

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