RIP Jo Cox MP

I never met Jo Cox, but I was very much aware of her warmth, energy, talent and total commitment to standing up for the most vulnerable people in our world. She made a massive impact in the political world and was admired across parties.

I’m sitting here in shock, as many of you reading this will be, at the brutal and violent way in which her life was taken as she was going about her work. We had all taken for granted that she would be making the headlines for decades to come.

Every week, MPs get out there into their communities, helping their constituents with problems, helping them to break down barriers, often battling to get unwilling agencies of the state to accept that they have made mistakes and to sort things out. It’s an essential part of our democracy. They do it because they are decent people with a massive commitment to public service.

On behalf of LDV, I want to express our love and sympathy to Jo’s family and friends first of all, to our friends in the Labour Party who will be grieving and to everyone across politics and the third sector who knew and admired her.

Many tributes are being paid to her. In this post, I’ll include those from Tim Farron and Paddy Ashdown. Tim said:

I am utterly heartbroken at the news of the death of Jo Cox.  This is a devastating attack on our peaceful society. An attack on an elected representative is an attack on everyone.

She was outstanding representative who stood up for her community diligently.  She also stood up for the desperate and those in need – I am proud of the stance she took raising the plight of refugees.

Her compassion for the voiceless and dispossessed absolutely shone through to me. She was a star of the 2015 intake and was inspiring to listen to.

A young family has lost a mum and a wife, a community has lost a great MP and Parliament has lost an authentic and passionate voice.

It seems the vile politics of hate has gone from the darkened corners of the internet to violence on our streets. Our country is poorer for this mindless slaughter.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and with all her colleagues in the Labour movement and throughout her community. We stand with you.

Paddy added:

I am terribly shocked and saddened by this news and my thoughts are with her family. She was someone with extraordinary courage and a principled campaigner for a more enlightened policy towards refugees. She represented all that is best in our country and our political system.

Please feel free to share memories of Jo or pay tribute to her in the comments.

I’m just updating this to include the powerful statement from Jo’s husband Brendan which we should all share as widely as possible:

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 every day 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 poisionous.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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17 Comments

  • John Barrett 16th Jun '16 - 6:18pm

    Such sad news.

    No words can accurately sum up what many will feel.

    The statement from her husband says it all. “Hate is poisonous”

  • Eddie Sammon 16th Jun '16 - 6:23pm

    Devastating news. She had a big profile for someone who was an MP for only a year. I remember her mostly for striving for a solution to the crisis in Syria.

    She was an Member of Parliament, a wife and a mother of two, killed for serving others in her community. We should review security of MPs and public figures in the aftermath of this.

    Deepest sympathies to her friends and family.

  • This is terrible news.

    Jo represented the seat where my late Mum and Dad lived and where I grew up as a boy. It’s a shock to realise and recognise the place where she was attacked – opposite the old (now closed) Princess Cinema where we kids used to have such joy and spend our saturday morning pennies.

    I know from friends that she was very special – much loved and respected in Batley and Spen. She had a very warm heart. My heart aches for her husband and two young children. What an awful world it is sometimes.

  • Daniel Russell 16th Jun '16 - 6:34pm

    Jo Cox is my local MP. I can honestly say she was one of the best of us. Kind, diligent, hard-working, active. Throughout the EU ref campaign she has worked with my local councillor Kath Pinnock in a spirit of cooperation to fight for Britain’s place in the EU. It’s just devastating that her life has been cruelly cut short in the service of this constituency. More than anything else, I am heartbroken for two small children growing up without a mother. My deepest sympathies go to her family and friends.

  • What can you say about something as incomprehensible as this? Those of her consituents who I work with have a similar positive view of Jo Cox as Daniel. It is a real tragedy losing such a talented human being in this way.
    RIP.

  • Fortunately this is rare, my MP Nigel Jones was attacked and his assistant Andrew Pennington was killed. In that case a constituent with mental health problems. The local community gathered round as they are in this case. Assuming this is a similar case it shows how MPs need protection but also that mental health cases need early support and treatment.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 16th Jun '16 - 11:36pm

    Thank you to Jo Cox ,for at forty, going into party politics as a professional, and showing that not only can life begin at forty , but that politics is worth bothering with.

    How truly horrifying the result, that such a life should be ended so hideously .

    Any who could see her in any context even a few moments , could see the sincerity , the moderation , the intelligence of this fine woman and talented politician .

    Jo Cox was only a politician professionally , a year or so , and it is her work before that seems to have inspired that development in her career.It is as a charity worker and campaigner ,and in the area of refugees and the plight of those suffering , that she gave so much in years and effort.

    How fortunate to have had such a woman with us on the journey to a better world being somehow achieved and how senseless the loss of her.

    Violence against the vulnerable is a form of evil or wretchedness hard to tolerate . What a man the husband of Jo Cox must be to do as he has today in appealing for the unity his beloved wife believed in , a man we think of , as with his children , and all the family of this special woman lost to this world.

  • This was a horrible thing to hear of. My sympathies go out to Jo Cox’s family. But is sympathy really the proper response? Is it enough? Does it undo the wrong done? One can’t retrieve a life lost, but what does one do to make sure that life has meaning, in the end, and that the life is not lost in vain?

  • David, I wrote that within an hour of the announcement of her death being made. I didn’t think it was appropriate in that moment of shock to go beyond what I said.

    I think that we will all have views on what this means for our country and our democracy and about following the examples that Jo Cox set, but that’s for another day.

  • nigel hunter 17th Jun '16 - 9:51am

    This event is a tragedy. It highlights the way the referendum has gone. The dislike of others who also want food in the belly roof over their head has led to extremists mentally ill or not to the forefront

  • Richard Underhill 17th Jun '16 - 10:22am
  • Richard Underhill 17th Jun '16 - 10:55am

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36553442
    BBC News has shown extracts from Jo Cox’s maiden speech on the Victoria Derbyshire Show on 17/6/2016.

  • Terrible loss, her family should be in all our thoughts.

    As I was reading down, the list I was so pleased to see the comments on LDV being much classier than other places on the internet. Then I came across Nigel Hunters comments, couldn’t we just leave recriminations for a day. Everyone will have thoughts but the rush isn’t necessary.

  • Caron, I in no way meant my remarks to be a reflection on you. I was ruminating on my own sense of helplessness in the face of horror, and wondering what I might do that would go beyond sympathy.

  • Ruth Bright 18th Jun '16 - 6:41pm

    David-1 have you seen the extraordinary uplifting statement made by the sister of Jo Cox.
    She reassured the public that all of the messages of sympathy and admiration had been of some comfort.

  • @Ruth Bright
    It was both heart-rending and uplifting to see Jo Cox’s parents on the news actually smiling as they looked at the tributes left to their daughter. Though obviously destroyed inside, they were still able to find a little comfort, from somewhere.

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