“Jo Cox was taken from us cruelly last year. As she made her way to a constituency meeting in Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire – the place where she was born and which she served as a fantastic Member of Parliament – her life was tragically cut short.
One year on, it is with great sadness – but with warm memories – that I send my deepest condolences to her husband, Brendan, and their two children, Lejla and Cuillin – as well as to her family and friends. The pain that they have had to endure is unimaginable and my thoughts are with them all.
Jo spent her life serving and campaigning to bring people together through her charity work and her work as a Member of Parliament. As she so poignantly described in her maiden speech: 'We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.' Her warmth, generosity and compassion will be a lasting legacy.
I didn’t know Jo until she was elected and therefore I was privileged to know her for just one year. But in the year that I did know her, I saw and heard her a great deal. She made a huge impact on me and my strong sense is that she made a huge impact on everyone around her. She came into politics for all the rights reasons and was doing a magnificent job.
It is most fitting her inclusive nature has inspired The Great Get Together, which will take place this weekend. In her memory, thousands of people will host or attend street parties and celebrations of that life, celebrations that will boost community spirit.
Jo’s killing was an attack on democracy which shook the world. It was an act of terror, designed not only to strike an individual but to undermine our freedom.
In her honour, in Jo’s honour, and as we begin this new Parliament, it is incumbent upon us all to rededicate ourselves to our democracy, and stand together in the face of those who seek to destroy it.”