FORMER army major and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis hopes Parliament will be recalled as soon as possible so people can pay tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox, who he describes as a formidable character, a great friend and a wonderful mother.
Security will “inevitably” need to be reviewed by politicians and their staff he said but today he and colleagues in Yorkshire will be mourning for a much loved colleague.
“I’m a pretty tough character. I went to the vigil last night which was very moving and people just dropped things. There were lots of members of the public, a lot of MPs and then I ended up going up to the scene. I could not believe it.
“She was a lovely person. I’ve known her for quite some time and her family. The boat they lived on...they lived an idyllic lifestyle and I saw the kids on the river with Brendan just the other day.
“It is devastating. There are no words for it really.
“At the vigil there was an eerie calm. The service was wonderfully comforting and brought people together. There was huge sadness and there was a lot of tears. A lot of disbelief. A lot of people were still numb with the shock and it was a collective outpouring of grief but it did provide an opportunity for people to come together and share their memories of Jo.
“She achieved a huge amount in her all too short life and the number of people whose lives she touched before she became into Parliament is just incredible. She was someone who dedicated her life to helping others and it’s so cruel that she has been taken in this way.
“In Yorkshire we are a team. That particular intake of 2015 were all very tight and very close. They arrived in Parliament together and they stuck together. Paula Sherriff, Mel Onn...all of them are devastated because we all feel as though we have lost not just a great colleague but a great friend.
“I know what it’s like to lose someone and it’s devastating for Brendan, her husband and devastating for her kids. And we are all stood by to support and do everything we can at this most dramatic of times.
“Just a short time ago Jo and I took part in a debate on educational attainment in Yorkshire. She was such a passionate advocate for Batley and Spen where she grew up and proud to represent the area. She had only been in Parliament for a year but she could own the chamber and commanded respect from across the house. And that debate just recently was a great example of her as a formidable character and fitting as it was an issue she thought was so important.
“Yorkshire, Parliament... the world is poorer for her not being in it anymore because she was someone passionate about helping others.
“I don’t know what happens now. Many of us are in a period of mourning and coping with the grief and I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m not sure at the moment if Parliament will be recalled. If it is, it provides us the opportunity to pay tribute in the House of Commons. I’m sure that Parliament will want to do that.
“This is extremely unusual and it’s important that Parliament takes the opportunity to pay tribute to her life and everything she achieved.
“Inevitably all members of Parliament will now review security of their offices, their staff and themselves and it’s right that they do that. Obviously we don’t know the full circumstances. What happened to Jo will emerge over time but in the short term colleagues will want to look very seriously about how they keep their members of staff safe.”