Lancaster MP: Jo Cox ‘always fought against the hate that killed her’

Jo Cox
Jo Cox

Lancaster MP Cat Smith has paid tribute to her friend and colleague Jo Cox, saying she hoped her children “grow up knowing that their mum always fought against the hate that killed her”.

Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, died on Thursday June 16, after she was shot and stabbed following a surgery in Birstall in her constituency.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn  (centre) stands during an impromptu vigil at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2016. The alleged gunman has been named locally as Tommy Mair, 52, who neighbours in Birstall have described as "a loner". See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) stands during an impromptu vigil at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2016. The alleged gunman has been named locally as Tommy Mair, 52, who neighbours in Birstall have described as "a loner". See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Ms Smith said that “how any one person can stamp out the life of someone so lovely, is just impossible to comprehend”.

Mrs Cox’s husband said the mother of two had fought for “a better world”.

Her attacker is reported to have shouted “put Britain first” at least twice. A 52-year-old man, named locally as Tommy Mair, has been arrested, the BBC has reported.

Ms Smith said: “Her life was cut short at 41 but she didn’t waste a day of it.

Flowers and candles at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, left in tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2016. The alleged gunman has been named locally as Tommy Mair, 52, who neighbours in Birstall have described as "a loner". See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Flowers and candles at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, left in tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2016. The alleged gunman has been named locally as Tommy Mair, 52, who neighbours in Birstall have described as "a loner". See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

“She lived life to the full, and lived out the values that she campaigned for in Parliament.

“To stand up for human rights, the campaign on behalf of Syria and child refugees, and making sure we don’t forget about people who are suffering.

“Before she became an MP she worked for Oxfam and was passionate about international development and childrens’ human rights in war zones.

“She did a lot of work on human rights in Gaza.”

Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died today after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died today after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Ms Smith said she met Mrs Cox before they were both elected in 2015, as she was involved in the Labour Women’s Network.

She said: The 2015 intake formed a very tight social group outside of Parliament, and she was an integral part of that.

“She was very bubbly, five foot nothing and full of life.

“As MPs we often get threats made against us but nobody expected this.

“It’s just such a shock for everybody.

“We can’t speculate about why (it happened), because we just don’t know, but we will find out why, and what the motives were.

“How any one person can stamp out the life of someone so lovely, is just impossible to comprehend.

“There’s now a three-year-old and a five-year-old who have lost their mum.

“I hope they know as they grow up that their mum always stood up against the hate that killed her, and we need to talk about everything she stood up for.”

Ms Smith and other MPs attended a vigil in Parliament Square in London on Thursday night to pay their respects.

Morecambe and Lunesdale Labour Party also paid their respects.

A spokesman said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened about the death of Labour MP Jo Cox.

“Jo died at the heart of our democracy, listening to the people she represented.

“Morecambe and Lunesdale Labour Party send our deepest condolences to Jo’s family and friends at this acutely difficult time.”

A 52-year-old man has been arrested after the attack, West Yorkshire Police said.