Jo Cox,41, newly appointed Labour MP for Batley and Spen, has died after she was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed by a killer screaming, “Britain first”.
The incident occurred in Market Street, not far from Birstall Library where Mrs Cox was holding a constituency surgery. Police arrested a 52-year-old former psychiatric patient named as Tommy Mair. According to witnesses, Mrs Cox’s killer used either an antique or a home-made gun which he calmly reloaded between shots. As she lay bleeding to death, he repeatedly kicked her before walking away, having stabbed a 77-year-old man who tried to intervene. Hundreds of Mrs Cox’s friends and colleagues gathered for a vigil at St Peter’s Church in Birstall earlier.
Tributes flooded in from politicians including David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Jo cut a promising figure not just within her party but also in UK politics. A former Cambridge scholar, Jo’s working class roots saw her eventually winning the seat in the very county she grew up in. Jo was previously head of policy and advocacy for Oxfam Great Britain and head of Oxfam International’s humanitarian campaigns in New York. She also was an advisor to Sarah Brown (wife of ex British PM Gordon Brown), was the national chair of the Labour Women’s Network and was senior advisor for Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery effort. She leaves behind husband Brendan and their two young children.
In a statement made, Brendan urged people to “fight against the hatred” that killed his wife on Thursday night, after the Labour MP was murdered by a gunman on the steps of her constituency surgery.
Mrs Cox, 41, is the first sitting MP to be killed since 1990, when Ian Gow was the last in a string of politicians to die at the hands of Northern Irish terror groups.
The MP for Batley and Spen, in Yorkshire, since 2015, has previously spoken out against the “racism and fascism” of Britain First, an anti-Islam Right-wing group.