17 June 2016
A Labour Member of the British Parliament, MP Jo Cox, was Thursday murdered in her home constituency of West Yorkshire just after leaving a series of meetings with constituents at a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire.
The brutal attack proved fatal as she died at the hospital after being shot twice.
While police have arrested a man in connection with the attack, it is uncertain whether the motive for the attack was political, based on the late MP’s position on the Brexit referendum for Britain to remain in the European Union as eye witness accounts reported that the attacker shouted, “Britain First” before carrying out the attack against the MP.
Jo Cox, 41, is survived by her husband, Brendan and two young children. In the hours after her death, her husband posted a simple photo of his wife on twitter.
In a statement released hours after her death, her husband paid tribute to his late wife:
“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 poisonous.”
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in a statement said the whole of the Labour party, the Labour family “and indeed the whole country will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox”, and praised her lifelong record of public service.
“Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy,” he said.
“In the coming days there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband, Brendan and their two young children.”
Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, also paid tribute to the late MP: “Whenever you talked to her, the compassion in her eyes and the commitment in her soul shone through.
“She went to some of the most dangerous places in the world. The last place she should have been in danger was in her home town.
“People will say that this does not happen in Britain. This should not happen in Britain. And we must resolve that this will never again happen in Britain.”
News of Cox’s death led to a wave of sympathy and tributes from many international leaders and politicians as well.
Former U.S. congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a shooting attack in 2011, was among those who sent words of sympathy.
“Absolutely sickened to hear of the assassination of Jo Cox,” she wrote on Twitter. “She was young, courageous, and hardworking. A rising star, mother, and wife.”
Cox had argued this week in a local newspaper that a “vote to leave is a risk that is simply not worth taking”, and that a remain vote was “the patriotic choice”.
She was also very vocal about her pro-immigration position.
Many of Cox’s colleagues have described her as an eloquent and effective lawmaker who was widely and universally liked and whose death has shaken the British government.
Both sides of the Brexit debate suspended campaigning for the day after the news broke, with British Prime Minister David Cameron canceling a trip to Gibraltar where he would be campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
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