Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party has issued this tribute to Jo Cox:
The whole of the Labour party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country – will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.
Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.
Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.
Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.
Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.
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. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.
We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.
The Guardian reported earlier: The Labour MP Jo Cox is in a critical condition after being shot and stabbed multiple times after a constituency meeting. [“Dee Collins, the chief constable of West Yorkshire police, announces that Jo Cox has died.” The Guardian.]
Armed officers responded to the attack near a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on Thursday afternoon. A 52-year-old man was arrested in the area, police confirmed. The suspect was named locally as Tommy Mair.
Police added that Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, had suffered “serious injuries and is in a critical condition”. She has been taken by helicopter to Leeds General Infirmary.
Police also confirmed a man in his late 40s to early 50s nearby suffered slight injuries in the incident. They are also investigating reports that the suspect shouted “Britain first”, a possible reference to the far-right political party of that name, as he launched the attack. [Continue reading…]
BuzzFeed reports: In parliament Cox has proved herself a committed campaigner on the Syrian crisis. Last October she joined forces with Tory former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell to write an article in The Observer calling for more UK action to help desperate families in the region.
She also launched the all-party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group, which she now chairs. Cox abstained in the House of Commons vote on UK airstrikes in Syria, saying she was not against them in principle but “cannot actively support them unless they are part of a plan”.
Cox has described herself as a “huge President Obama fan” – indeed she worked on his first campaign in 2008 – but she has criticised both him and David Cameron for putting Syria on the “too difficult” pile. She warned last month this had led to the biggest refugee crisis in Europe in a generation and the emergence of ISIS. [Continue reading…]
Here is Cox speaking recently on the need to help Syrians.
Here she was giving her maiden speech last year, describing the diverse West Yorkshire constituency she represented: