Yesterday will go down as one of the most harrowing in living memory. Jo Cox, Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen, was fatally wounded following an attack upon leaving her constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. Despite spending only a year in the Commons, Jo earned the respect of members across the House for her unwavering support for those without a voice.
Following her death, tributes flooded in, with Shadow Cabinet member Hilary Benn describing her as “the best of humanity”. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, at a vigil last night in Parliament Square, paid tribute to an MP “loved and admired” amongst her peers. She leaves behind two young children and her husband, Brendan Cox, who described her as possessing “a zest for life that would exhaust most people”. In a heartbreakingly moving statement following her death, he spoke of a woman who “believed in a better world and fought for it every day of her life”.
The world weeps for her family, friends and those closest to her.
Much remains to be discovered about the motives of the attack. What is certain, however, is that the world is a lesser place without her. Last night, mourners across her constituency, the region, the nation and beyond lay in bed with heavy hearts. The world weeps for her family, friends and those closest to her.
The energy and passion which characterised her political life distinguished her as an exceptional public servant. Her commitment to serving and representing the local community was, according to her constituents, second to none. Her wholehearted pursuit of a better world is an example to all.
It seems most fitting to conclude by quoting her maiden Parliamentary speech: “We are far more united and have far more in common than which divides us”. Jo Cox 1974-2016 RIP