Comedian Eddie Izzard joined hundreds of runners at a memorial event today to honour murdered MP Jo Cox.
The Run for Jo event, at Birstall’s Oakwell Hall and Country Park, was a chance for the community to remember their MP and to celebrate everything she had worked towards. And, as her sister Kim Leadbeater said afterwards, this was more important now than ever before.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “We had the Great Get Together last weekend which was fantastic, and it’s been followed by a second great event.
“It’s been non-stop fun and warmth and people coming together. There’s a real appetite for bringing people together.
“We have to counter and provide balance for all the very bad things that are happening in the world at the moment. That is more important than ever.”
A memorial plaque was unveiled to Mrs Cox in Parliament on Saturday designed by her two children Cuillin, six and Lejla, four, and an estimated 1,000 people took part in yesterday’s event, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s death to raise money and awareness of the causes she championed.
The idea behind the event came from a group of Mrs Cox’s friends who wanted to organise something to honour her birthday, which would have been on June 22. Her family and widower Brendan Cox were joined by comedian Eddie Izzard, who had offered his support having met the MP many years ago.
“Eddie Izzard has just been brilliant,” Ms Leadbeater said. “It seems everybody who has ever met Jo wants to do something.
“He probably had about 1,000 selfies with people, but he carried on!”
The event haD been months in the planning and Mrs Cox’s family thanked volunteers and those taking part for their efforts in remembering her.
“There’s scope for this to grow and become an annual event,” said Ms Leadbeater. “It’s been unbelievable.”