The widower of Jo Cox has told how the outpouring of support he and his family received in the days after her murder showed ‘Britain at its best - compassionate, courageous and kind’.
Speaking today outside the Old Bailey, where a jury found Thomas Mair guilty of the Batley and Spen MP’s murder, Brendan Cox said his wife’s killer was ‘so devoid of love and consumed with hatred that this became his desperate and cowardly attempt to find meaning’.
The campaigner and activist, who had two children with his wife, said in the statement how his family’s lives ‘collapsed’ after the brutal murder.
The killing of Jo was a political act, an act of terrorism - but in the history of such acts it was perhaps the most incompetent and self-defeating.Brendan Cox
He said: “To the world Jo was a Member of Parliament, a campaigner, an activist and many other things - but first and foremost she was a sister, a daughter, an auntie, a wife, a friend and above all a mum to two young children who love her with all their being.
“All their lives they have been enveloped in her love, excited by her energy and inspired by her example.
“We try now to focus not on how unlucky we were to have had her taken from us. But how lucky we were to have her in our lives for so long.
“I’d like to add my thanks to Kim’s- first for the response of the public in Jo’s constituency of Batley and Spen and across the UK.
“From the people who tried to help Jo on the day and put their own lives at risk, to the well wishers who have sent us their love and thoughts in the past few weeks.
“This has been Britain at its best - compassionate, courageous and kind. It has given us great strength and solace in the past few weeks.
“Secondly thank you to the police, the wider emergency services and the courts who have all done their jobs to the highest standard.
“For the person who did this, we have nothing but pity that his life was so devoid of love and consumed with hatred that this became his desperate and cowardly attempt to find meaning.
“The killing of Jo was a political act, an act of terrorism - but in the history of such acts it was perhaps the most incompetent and self-defeating.
“An act driven by hatred which instead has created an outpouring of love.
“An act designed to drive communities apart which has instead pulled them together.
“An act designed to silence a voice which instead has allowed millions of others to hear it.
“As a family we will not respond to hatred with hatred.
“We will love like Jo did. And know that although she is dead the ideas and values that she held so dear will live on. And know that although she is not with us, her energy and her love are hard wired into our children for the rest of their lives.
“Finally, we also hope the country will take something from this. That Jo’s death will have meaning.
“That those in politics, the media or in our own communities who seek to divide us will face an unassailable wall of British tolerance and the articulation of Jo’s belief - that we hold more in common than that which divides us.”
Earlier, speaking on the witness stand at the Old Bailey, Brendan Cox paid tribute to his wife, who was shot and stabbed to death by Thomas Mair in Birstall on June 16.
In the statement, he said: “We have no interest in the perpetrator. We only feel pity for him....we are here because we want to tell you about Jo. What she was and what she meant to us.”
“Jo was interested in everybody, driven not by her ego but her desire to help.”
Mr Cox told the court that the Batley and Spen MP was “connected to her community and proud of the world”, but added: “Our kids always came first.”
He said: “She never wanted to be AN MP. She wanted to be THE MP of her home town.”
Mr Cox said in his statement: “The killing of Jo, in my view, was a political act and an act of terrorism.”