- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
I was shocked when I heard that Jo had been shot and stabbed going to her surgery. Jo was a brilliant MP and had a great future ahead of her with her commitment to helping those less fortunate and the voiceless. Jo was utterly committed to the Labour Party and gave evidence to the Learning lessons Task Force. At the meeting we discussed how she managed to against the national swing, increase the majority in Batley and Spen. My last image of Jo was earlier in the week smiling at her as we passed in the Cloisters. I could not believe she had died. A conscientious MP doing her work for her constituents. I feel so sad for her husband Brendan and her young children Cuillan and Lejla. Jo was a talented and valued colleague and friend. May she rest in peace.
Jo Cox became the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen in May 2015 increasing the Labour Party’s majority. Jo was born in Batley, West Yorkshire and was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School, a state grammar school, where she was head girl. Jo graduated from Cambridge before having a successful career in the third sector where she rose to the position of head of policy at the charity Oxfam.
Jo campaigned on issues related to the Syrian Civil War and founded and chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria.
The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Prime Minister David Cameron and Mr Speaker spoke at a vigil in Jo’s West Yorkshire constituency on Friday 17 June 2016.
Jeremy Corbyn: It’s a tragedy beyond tragedy what happened yesterday. In her memory, we will not allow those people who spread hatred and poison to divide our society. We will strengthen our democracy, strengthen our free speech.”
Mr Cameron : “If we truly want to honour Jo, then what we should do is recognise that her values – service, community, tolerance – the values she lived by and worked by, those are the values that we need to redouble in our national life in the months and years to come.”
Mr speaker: “Today I think everybody is united in grief, in horror and in an overpowering respect for somebody who we came to know, whose talents we admired, whose passion we observed on a daily basis. There are legitimate differences, as the prime minister and the leader of the opposition have said, and those differences on matters of policy will always be there and that’s part of the democratic dialogue.”
Jeremy Corbyn asked for Parliament to be recalled to pay tribute Jo and the Prime Minister has confirmed that this will take place on Monday 20 June 2016.