Jo Cox in pictures: Remembering the 'bright star' of Westminster

'She grew up in this community, she lived for this community, she served this community and, in the end, she gave her life for this community' 

Alexandra Sims
Thursday 16 June 2016 21:18

Regarded as one of the brightest stars among the new intake of MPs at the last general election, Jo Cox, who was killed after being shot and stabbed in her West Yorkshire constituency, is being remembered as a passionate campaigner for humanitarian issues, a champion of women’s rights and loyal figure to her constituents.

The 41-year-old MP of Batley & Spen represented the area she grew up in and remained an active member of the community.

Locally, she won a majority of 6,057 at last year's election and regarded it as a dream job to represent her area at Westminster.

The strongly pro-EU Ms Cox also worked as head of key campaigns for the Britain In Europe and as political adviser to the Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock.

On Twitter, Cox described herself simply as: "Mum. Proud Yorkshire Lass. Labour MP for Batley and Spen. Boat dweller. Mountain climber. Former aid worker."

Ms Cox, her husband and their two children promoting Remain on the Thames (Jo Cox/ Twitter )
Participating in the annual Parliamentary Tug of War
Supporting Macmillan Cancer Support in her constituency Batley & Spen
Jo Cox in the Commons, June 2015

Hundreds of people gathered at the parish church in Birstall to remember their local MP in a service mainly of silence, readings, music and prayers.

The Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Rev Dr Jonathan Gibbs, told the packed congregation: "None of us, I suspect, could believe the news when we heard it this afternoon.

"We still can't believe it as we come tonight overwhelmed by shock and grief and a tremendous sense of loss but, above all, in many ways, we're still numb."

"She grew up in this community, she lived for this community, she served this community and, in the end, she gave her life for this community."

He said he knew two things about Ms Cox. The first was that she was "a woman who was utterly committed to serving others".

The other, he said, was that she was "someone who was deeply committed to her own family as a wife and a mother".

She joined Oxfam in 2002, as head of their EU Office in Brussels, and became head of policy and advocacy in 2005. A strong campaigner for women’s rights, she chaired the Labour Women’s Network for four years.

She and her husband Brendan, a former executive at Save the Children, lived on a boat moored at Wapping, near London’s Tower Bridge, with their two young children.

Her husband called on people to “fight against the hatred that killed her” in an emotional tribute to his wife.

Visiting Forget Me Not Children's Hospice in Huddersfield
Visiting her local fish and chip shop (Jo Cox/ Twitter )
Visiting West End Juniors in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire (Jo Cox/ Twitter )

Politicians on all sides have paid tribute to the popular MP and both sides of the EU referendum debate have abandoned campaigning for the day.

The leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn said: "Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.

“We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace."

She was described by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron as a "bright star, no doubt about it".

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had previously worked with Ms Cox, described her as "the most vivacious, personable, dynamic and committed friend you could ever have."