'We will never forget her': Tributes to Jo Cox flood in on sixth anniversary of her death

Emotional tributes have been paid in Parliament and beyond to late Yorkshire MP Jo Cox on the sixth anniversary of her death.
Moving tributes have been paid to Jo Cox on the sixth anniversary of her deathMoving tributes have been paid to Jo Cox on the sixth anniversary of her death
Moving tributes have been paid to Jo Cox on the sixth anniversary of her death

At the start of the day's Parliamentary business on Thursday, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: "Today marks the sixth anniversary of the death of Jox Cox who was murdered on her way to meet constituents in her Batley and Bank constituency.

"She was doing what so many of us do as constituency MPs and that was what made her death all the more shocking.

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"May I express on behalf of the whole House our sympathy with her family, friends and colleagues on this sad anniversary. We will never forget Jo or her legacy. We remember her wise words that we have more in common that that which divides us."

Her husband Brendan posted on Twitter: "Six years ago today the person we loved most in the world was taken from us. Our family’s wish is that on this day we remember what we have in common, even with those we might disagree with. And to emphasise what connects us rather than what divides us.

"Tonight we will be celebrating Jo’s life with our own #GreatGetTogether where we’ll be fundraising to support refugees establishing news lives in this country. People who have lost everything being welcomed in the best traditions of British kindness and generosity.

"Jo’s murder was driven by hatred and designed to spread it. Instead it created an outpouring of love. And it’s Jo’s love that the kids and I will talk about today. Thank you as always for those of you (friends and strangers) who have been there for us through it all."

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West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin, who became the Batley & Spen MP after Ms Cox, said on Twitter: "On this dreadful anniversary sending love to Jo’s family, friends in #batleyandspen parliamentary colleagues & those who knew & loved her. She was a brave, bright & shining star & is deeply missed. The hate that took her from us will not win. Light eradicates dark."

A statement by the Jo Cox Foundation said: "Six years ago today, on 16 June 2016, Jo Cox was murdered while on her way to a constituency surgery in Batley and Spen. Those closest to Jo lost a devoted mum, daughter, sister, wife, friend, and colleague. The UK lost a talented parliamentarian, campaigner, and humanitarian.

"The causes Jo cared about still demand urgent action: protecting civilians in conflict, empowering women in politics, and building less lonely, more connected communities. We miss her voice and powerful advocacy on these crucial issues.

"Although Jo can’t be with us as we face today’s challenges, at The Jo Cox Foundation we are led by the values that guided Jo’s life: her sense of empathy, her belief in collaboration, and her ambition for change. We believe we have more in common than that which divides us.

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"The anniversary of Jo’s murder is a moment of reflection and an occasion to remember her life and legacy. As an organisation, we continue our work to bring about the kinder society that Jo dedicated her life to building - inspired always by the example that she set."

In a Parliamentary debate on Government policy in Syria on Wednesday, Labour MP Alison McGovern fought back tears as she paid tribute to Jo Cox and her legacy.

The late Labour MP for Batley and Spen was a campaigner on issues relating to the Syrian civil war, and founded and chaired the all-party parliamentary group Friends of Syria, which is now led by Ms McGovern.

Mrs Cox was killed in 2016 when she was shot and stabbed by a neo-Nazi outside her constituency surgery a week before the EU referendum.

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In her speech, Ms McGovern urged ministers to give an update on the Government’s strategy and diplomatic approach towards Syria.

The MP for Wirral South argued that “by turning away from conflicts like that in Syria, we allow the world to be a more dangerous place”.

As she was about to conclude, Ms McGovern fought back her tears as she quoted Mrs Cox describing Syria as “our generation’s test”.

Foreign Office minister Amanda Milling also paid tribute to the “legacy” of Mrs Cox and “her commitment to the people of Syria”.

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Ms Milling insisted the Government is “committed to supporting the people of Syria that have not been forgotten”.

Ms McGovern said: “We are often reactive when it comes to these crises. When an emergency happens in the case of Syria, or in the case of Ukraine, we all want our say, and that’s only right in a democracy. But these crises and conflicts have a sustained impact on the world around us, be it in Syria or any other conflict that has seen such abysmal treatment of our fellow human beings.

“So we in this House must have the persistence and seriousness of purpose, to give effect to our values, to defend our interests and the moral discipline to see things through to the end.

“New cycles move on. We must not.”

After a brief pause to fight off the tears, Ms McGovern went on: “Jo described Syria as our generation’s test. But when you fail a test, you learn your lesson. And we must do that, not just for Syrians, who deserve better from us all, but every victim of every conflict wherever they may be, that we may see them not as a victim of some foreign war but very much the business of this House.”

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