MP Jo Cox who was shot dead last Thursday
TRIBUTE TO JO COX BY HELEN HAYES MP
I first met Jo a few weeks before the 2015 general election at an event that had been organised for Labour Party candidates.
She was an adventurer, who having lived all over the world, chose to settle in a houseboat on the Thames.
Jo was also a mum to two beautiful, very young children. She always referred to them as ‘my babies’ and she would dash home as often as she could in the early evening to put them to bed before returning to Parliament to vote.
My parliamentary colleague and friend, Jo Cox, was brutally killed yesterday while she was carrying out her duties as a constituency MP. What happened has touched the heart of the whole nation.
Jo had only been an MP for a year. I was in the chamber for her maiden speech when she spoke so movingly about the people of Batley and Spen who she was so proud to represent. Jo also spoke about the diverse nature of her community and of Britain saying ‘there is more that divides us than unites us’. She was right.
At this terrible time our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children who will now grow up without their beloved mum. As Brendan said yesterday, the two things Jo would have wanted are to bathe their children in love and for everyone to unite together against the hate that killed her.
The Mayor of Croydon Cllr Wayne Lawlor has opened a book of condolences in the town hall which you may wish to sign. He also hosted a flag-lowering ceremony this morning which I attended together with representatives of the two main political parties.
The attack on Jo was also an attack on democracy. It is important that MPs are as open, accessible and visible as possible. I will continue to meet as many constituents in Croydon North as I possibly can, and the next of my regular residents’ meetings will go ahead as planned tomorrow morning in Broad Green. I have asked the police to review security measures in my office in Thornton Heath to make sure that my staff are safe.
Our best tribute to Jo is to continue the work she believed in for an open, diverse and compassionate society.