Politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed their shock and horror at the death of the popular Labour MP Jo Cox.
Jerremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, 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 Forum before she was elected MP … Jo was dedicated to getting us to live to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights, and she brought those values and principles with her when she became MP.”
David Cameron described Cox as a committed and caring MP.
The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, expressed his condolences.
Campaigning for the EU referendum was suspended for the day. Boris Johnson, who had been touring East Anglia, said before news broke of Cox’s death: “Just heard the absolutely horrific news about the attack on Jo Cox MP. My thoughts are with Jo and her family.”
The US news cable network CNN cancelled the scheduled screening of a referendum debate out of respect for the MP.
Cox, 41, was head of policy at the charity Oxfam before she became an MP last year. Before news of the death was announced, Mark Goldring, chief executive of the charity, said: “Oxfam is deeply shocked to hear the news. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jo and her family at this difficult time.”
The Labour MP John Mann said Cox was an “absolutely outstanding” MP and he was “totally shaken” by the attack. He told the BBC: “She is one of the real stars of the new intake, not just on the Labour side but on all sides. She is hard working, eloquent, everyone likes her, she’s one of the real stars of the future.”
Cox was co-chair of the Friends of Syria all-party parliamentary group and an active member of parliamentary groups working on Palestine, devolution, Pakistan, Kashmir and Yorkshire’s regional economy.
Before her election as MP for Batley and Spen, she spent a decade working in a variety of roles with Oxfam, including head of policy, head of humanitarian campaigning based in New York, and head of its European office in Brussels.
Immediately before standing for parliament, Cox was working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Freedom Fund, a charity working to end modern slavery. She was also in the process of launching UK Women, a research institute dedicated to better understanding the views and needs of women in the UK.
Her husband, Brendan, used to work for Save the Children. He posted a picture of his wife an hour before her death was announced by police.
There were many messages of support from friends immediately following the attack.
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