Calderdale MPs pay tribute to Jo Cox

Calderdale's MPs have paid tribute to Jo Cox who was shot to death in her constituency last week.

Monday, 20th June 2016, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2016, 5:33 pm
Jo Cox.

Holly Lynch told the House of Commons she would miss the Batley and Spen MP’s “warmth, spirit and laugh” at a special sitting of parliament.

She said: “She was a daughter of Yorkshire and fought tirelessly of those who had put her faith in her.

“She was the heart and soul of these benches. We are heartbroken. We will miss her every day and we will do everything in our power to make her and her family incredibly proud.”

Mrs Cox’s husband, two young children and family were sat in the public gallery watching as the Prime Minister joined those paying tribute to Mrs Cox.

On his website, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker posted: “This is absolutely tragic and incredibly sad news and my thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan, their two children, and all her family and friends.

“Jo made an instant impression in Parliament and was an intelligent, articulate and compassionate campaigner for her constituents on a wide range of issues.

“She had a great track record of caring about and campaigning for the most vulnerable in society and as the Chancellor remarked yesterday, her passionate and compelling case in relation to the wellbeing of Syrian refugees contributed towards a change in the Government’s policy on that issue. Just one of the many areas in which Jo made a huge difference, inside and outside of parliament.

“I was pleased to work with Jo on a number of local issues which affected both of our neighbouring constituencies here in West Yorkshire and I know that she was held in great esteem by her constituents who warmed to her personal touch and loving personality.

“She will be deeply missed by all of her constituents and all of her colleagues in parliament.”

As MPs, who all wore the white rose of Mrs Cox’s native Yorkshire, wiped away tears, David Cameron spoke of the sadness the country felt at the killing of the “loving, determined, passionate and progressive politician”.

He said: “We are here today to remember an extraordinary colleague and friend. Jo Cox was a voice of compassion whose irrepressible spirit and boundless energy lit up the lives of all who knew her, and saved the lives of many she never, ever met.

“Today we grieve her loss, and we hold in our hearts and prayers her husband Brendan, her parents and sister, and her two children who are just three and five years-old.

“We express our anger at the sickening and despicable attack that killed her as she did her job serving her constituents on the streets of Birstall.

“Let me join the leader of the Opposition in his moving words in praising Bernard Kenny and all those who tried to save her.

“But above all in this House we pay tribute to a loving, determined, passionate and progressive politician, who epitomised the best of humanity and who proved so often the power of politics to make our world a better place.”

Speaker of the House of Common John Bercow said the killing of the Labour MP “in this manner, of this person, our democratically elected colleague” - “was “particularly shocking and repugnant”.

MPs from across the country wore Yorkshire white rose as a mark of respect and a single white rose was placed in Mrs Cox’s usual seat.

Several Labour members, including Heidi Alexander, Stephen Kinnock and Carolyn Harris, were in tears before the tributes began.