Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1466112054

Jo Cox dead: Labour MP dies after shooting and stabbing in Birstall, West Yorkshire - latest updates

The Labour MP died just before 2pm after being attacked outside a library in her constituency 

Adam Withnall
Thursday 16 June 2016 14:02 BST
Jo Cox's husband, Brendan, posted a picture of his wife on Twitter shortly after she was attacked
Jo Cox's husband, Brendan, posted a picture of his wife on Twitter shortly after she was attacked (Brendan Cox/Twitter)

Labour MP Jo Cox has been killed in her constituency in Birstall, West Yorkshire. Here are the latest updates:

Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being attacked in her constituency near Leeds.

An eyewitness said the 41-year-old mother of two was left lying bleeding on the pavement after the incident in Birstall, West Yorkshire.

The attack took place near the town's library where she held advice surgeries.

Ms Cox was elected to the seat of Batley and Spen at the last general election in 2015.

The suspect was named locally as Thomas Mair.

Ms Cox was regarded by Labour colleagues as one of the brightest stars among the intake of MPs who joined the Commons at last year’s general election.

The 41-year-old former head of humanitarian campaigning at Oxfam made a mark by calling repeatedly for Britain to do more to help the victims of Syria’s civil war. She remained in regular contact with former colleagues in the aid world who are working to help refugees in the region. She called Commons debates on the plight of the refugees and believed the UK Government should do more both to help the victims and use its influence to bring an end to the conflict.

Mair's house was sealed off by police who were guarding the property as forensic officers worked in the garden.

Neighbours said he had lived there for more than 30 years - on his own for the last two decades since the deaths of his mother and grandmother.

They did not think he had a job or drove a car and described how he would do gardening chores for local people.

One neighbour, David Pickles, said: "He's lived there longer than me and I've lived here since 1975.

"I still can't believe it. He's the last guy I would have thought of.

"He's just quiet. He kept himself to himself."


Ms Cox is understood to be in a serious condition at Leeds General Infirmary.

BBC Look North has tweeted video of an extensive police escort for the ambulance arriving at the hospital.

There is now an armed presence at the hospital.

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:16

An eye witness told the Yorkshire Post the victim was "in a bad state".

Hichem Ben-Abdallah, owner of the nearby Azzuro restaurant, rushed to the scene after the first shot.

She said: “They’ve taken the victim to hospital - she’s in a bad state.

“I had customers. I was just serving them drinks, then all of a sudden we heard screaming.

“I saw a river of people rushing down the hill. They were screaming - and pulling something behind a car."

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:18

Another witness has told Sky a 65 to 70-year-old man wearing a baseball cap pulled a gun, which he described as looking like a "First World War gun" or "homemade". He said there were two shots - he saw the first, he and others ran away and then heard a second shot.

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:23

Hithem Ben Abdallah, 56, says the MP intervened in a row between two men when she was shot. 

He said: "There was a guy who was being very brave and another guy with a white baseball cap who he was trying to control and the man in the baseball cap suddenly pulled a gun from his bag."

After a brief scuffle, he said the man stepped back and the MP became involved.

He said: "He was fighting with her and wrestling with her and then the gun went off twice and then she fell between two cars and I came and saw her bleeding on the floor."

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:26

Police say a 52-year-old man has been arrested, according to BBC News.

And Dame Rosie Winterton has confirmed to reporters that Jo Cox is in a "critical condition".

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:28

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 14:29

Another eyewitness, this time on BBC News, has rejected earlier reports that Ms Cos intervened in an argument between two men.

"The altercation was always between the guy carrying the gun and the lady that got shot," he said.

"He purposefully set about attacking her. From what I saw it was just straight outside the library, he looked as though he'd been waiting for her." 

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 15:22

Here is the statement of West Yorkshire Police's chief constable, Dee Collins, in full:

Just before 1pm today, Jo Cox was attacked in Market Street, Birstall.

I am now very sad to report that she has died as a result of her injuries.

I would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends at this time.

Jo Was attacked by a man who inflicted serious and, sadly, ultimately fatal injuries.

Subsequently there was a further attack on a 77-year-old man nearby, who sustained injuries that are non life-threatening.

Shortly afterwards, a man was arrested nearby by local uniformed police officers. 

Weapons, including a firearm, have also been recovered.

At 1.48pm Jo Cox was pronounced deceased by a doctor who was working with a paramedic crew that were attending to her serious injuries.

This is a very significant investigation with large numbers of witnesses that are being spoken to by police at this time, and there is a large police presence in the area.

A full investigation is underway to establish the motive of this attack.

There are specifically trained officers with Jo's immediate family who are fully aware of what has taken place, and we would ask the media to respect their privacy at this very difficult time.

Additional officers are working this afternoon and evening in order to provide reassurance to our communities.

Clearly as this inquiry is at a very early stage and we have an individual under arrest, we are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time.

We are not looking for anyone else in connection to this incident at present. 

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 17:34

Downing Street has confirmed all campaigning in relation to the EU referendum next week has been suspended until Saturday at the earliest.

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 18:34

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has spoken to those gathered at Parliament Square as part of a vigil to pay tribute to Jo Cox.

In his speech, Mr Corbyn called Ms Cox's husband's statement "beautiful and moving".

MPs including Stella Creasy and Tom Watson lit candles and laid flowers.

Those gathered recited the 23rd psalm "the Lord is my shepherd” led by a Priest. 

Adam Withnall16 June 2016 20:08

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in