Ceremony befitting a star held for tragic MP Jo Cox

Husband of the late MP Jo Cox.
Husband of the late MP Jo Cox.
0
Have your say

LADEN with flowers, the Yorkshire Rose made its way up the River Thames, hovering for a moment on the choppy waters just outside the Houses of Parliament.

This magnificent building was the place where Jo Cox spent the final months of her life, campaigning on issues that brought her love from constituents and acclaim from activists around the world.

Brendan Cox helps his children off a barge boat and onto Westminster Pier. Behind the barge a smaller boat covered in roses called the Yorkshire Rose was towed.

Brendan Cox helps his children off a barge boat and onto Westminster Pier. Behind the barge a smaller boat covered in roses called the Yorkshire Rose was towed.

The tiny boat covered in roses was accompanied by a barge, upon which sat Mrs Cox’s husband Brendan and their two children, Cuillin, five, and Lejla, three.

Despite the chaos and deep grief of the past seven days, the youngsters waved to the crowds as they pulled into Westminster Pier and were met by family friends, some dressed fittingly in sailor suits.

They had made the journey from their houseboat home at the Hermitage Community Moorings up the Thames as part of a day of celebration to mark the murdered MP’s life.

At Trafalgar Square thousands of people had gathered for a ceremony befitting a true star, which was called More in Common, a phrase taken from her maiden speech made to Parliament a year ago.

Brendan Cox arrives at Westminster Pier with his two young children Cuillin, five, and Lejla, three.

Brendan Cox arrives at Westminster Pier with his two young children Cuillin, five, and Lejla, three.

Journalist and close friend of Mrs Cox, Mariella Frostrup, hosted the event which involved a performance by singer Lily Allen who sang Jo Cox’s family’s favourite song Somewhere Only We Know live.

It was a tune the family would sing along to in the car on the way back from their holiday home near the River Wye.

Video clips of Mrs Cox sledging with her two children were heartbreaking to watching, while another family sing-along caught on camera had the crowd smiling in adoration at what a lovely, fun, mother she must have been.

Actors Bill Nighy and Gillian Anderson read out two poems in her honour – again friends and colleagues from her campaigning days at Oxfam before she went into politics.

Tears flowed when Bono introduced his special recording of Ordinary Love that U2 had put together just days ago in LA. Bono and Mrs Cox had worked together on the Make Poverty History campaign.

As the song was played out over loudspeakers pictures of her life flashed up.

They included a joyous image from her wedding day, surrounded by no less than 14 bridesmaids, and another snap of her at the summit of a mountain with her husband.

That friends, family and the charities she worked with had managed to put the event together in a matter of days was remarkable and a truly fitting tribute to her life that spanned the world.

Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who survived a political assassination in 2012, said those who kill in hate will never conquer.
She said: “I’m here today as living proof that they cannot win with bullets.

“Jo’s life is proof that a message of peace is more powerful than any weapon of war. Once again the extremists have failed.”

The global reach of her humanitarian work was plain to see as a message came in from the Syrian charity, the White Helmets and the crowd was full of those inspired by her efforts to ease international suffering.

Three girls from South Sudan attended, remembering the work she had done for their community over a decade ago.

Crowds gather in Trafalgar Sqaure for event #MoreInCommon to celebrate the life of Jo Cox.

Crowds gather in Trafalgar Sqaure for event #MoreInCommon to celebrate the life of Jo Cox.

Sarah Clarkson, from Wakefield, who watched the More In Common event in Trafalgar Square while her mother watched in Batley.

Sarah Clarkson, from Wakefield, who watched the More In Common event in Trafalgar Square while her mother watched in Batley.

Posters saying Love Like Jo were held up by thousands of people who had gathered to celebrate the life of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Posters saying Love Like Jo were held up by thousands of people who had gathered to celebrate the life of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Members of London's South Sudanese community who came to pay their respects to Jo Cox. They are dressed in the traditional colours and sashes of the suffragette movement.

Members of London's South Sudanese community who came to pay their respects to Jo Cox. They are dressed in the traditional colours and sashes of the suffragette movement.