Labour MP Jo Cox murdered in gun attack
A Labour MP has died after a shooting in an attack in her constituency.
Jo Cox, who served as the Labour MP for Batley and Spen since May 2015, has been killed in a shooting outside her regular advice surgery at a library.
After a scuffle with a gun-wielding attacker, she was shot and stabbed several times. One other man, 77, sustained minor injuries in the attack.
Ms Cox was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance, but has now passed away.
52-year-old Tommy Mair has been arrested in connection with the attack.
The Manchester Evening News reports that a man allegedly shouted “Britain First” during the attack, but police said it is too early to confirm a motive. A gun and a knife have been recovered.
West Yorkshire police said: “At 12.53 today, police were called to a report of an incident on Market Street, Birstall, where a woman in her 40s had suffered serious injuries and is in a critical condition.
“Armed officers attended and a 52-year-old man was arrested in the area. There are no further details at present.
“Police presence in the area has been increased as a reassurance to the community.”
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country – will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.
“Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.
“Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.
“Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.
“Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.
“In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.
“We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.”
Her husband Brendan Cox said: “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love.
“I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.
“Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.
“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.
“Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children.”
The MP was previously national chair of the Labour Women’s Network.
A supporter of LGBT rights, she recently called on the Government “to take further steps to end discrimination and bigotry against LGBT people in the UK and around the world”.
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Events across the political spectrum have been cancelled after the tragic news, with campaigning suspended in the EU referendum.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Our memories will be for ever scarred by this moment. Our hearts will always be hurt at our country’s loss.
“Jo Cox was the most vivacious, personable, dynamic and committed friend you could ever have. Whenever you talked to her, the compassion in her eyes and the commitment in her soul shone through. Years of public service advancing the causes she cared passionately about should have been ahead of her.
“Sarah and I were privileged to work with Jo and her husband Brendan over many years and in her tireless efforts on behalf of poor and desolate children and mothers. She she went to some of the most dangerous places in the world. The last place she should have been in danger was in her home town.
“People will say that this does not happen in Britain. This should not happen in Britain. And we must resolve that this will never again happen in Britain.
“My and Sarah’s thoughts and prayers are with Brendan and their two young children Cuillin and Lejla this evening They will have all our support in the difficult days ahead. For them and for those of us who were Jo’s friends, this is a devastating day. And it is a devastating blow to our democracy.”