The governor of the Bank of England has paid tribute to MP Jo Cox as a “remarkable person” who dedicated her life to helping others.
Mark Carney had earlier cancelled a scheduled speech on the financial services sector to a dinner of City bankers in London after the news of Cox’s death. Instead of his planned speech, the Bank’s governor expressed his condolences and hailed the Labour politician’s political and charity sector work.
“On behalf of everyone at the Bank of England, I would like to express our horror at today’s events in West Yorkshire,” Carney said. “Our thoughts, condolences and prayers are with Jo Cox’s husband, her two young children, her extended family and her colleagues.
“While I did not know Jo Cox personally, I knew many of you did and that many, many more knew what a remarkable person she was. Jo Cox dedicated her life to helping others,” he added, citing her work with Oxfam, the NSPCC, the Freedom Fund, international action to stop deaths in childbirth and her more recent role representing constituents in Batley and Spen.
Canadian-born Carney also praised the British parliamentary system.
“This country is renowned the world over for the dedication, the innovation and the principles of its public servants,” Carney told the annual Mansion House dinner, where he had been scheduled to speak alongside chancellor George Osborne.
“I have always admired their ability to confront difficult issues, to engage in spirited public debate and then to strive for a better future.
“I have no doubt that this spirit will remain undimmed and such progress will continue. The best tribute that this room, this city and the country can give to the memory of Jo Cox is to renew our shared commitment whatever our differences to promote the common good in the United Kingdom and the world.”
Carney has been criticised by leave campaigners for what they see as inappropriately political comments from the independent central bank in recent weeks. He warned in May that a Brexit outcome in next week’s EU referendum could tip the UK into recession.
Earlier on Thursday, Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont, Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith wrote a Telegraph article accusing the Treasury and the Bank of England of a “woeful failure” to offer a fair analysis of what might happen in the event of Brexit. But David Cameron defended the Bank, saying the leave campaign’s criticism of the independent Bank was “deeply concerning”.
Separately, it emerged that Bernard Jenkin MP, a director of the Vote Leave campaign, had written to Carney warning him not to breach the pre-referendum “purdah” rules by talking about the referendum.
But Carney hit back, telling Jenkin that the Bank had simply been following its statutory duty to the UK people, according to the BBC, which saw the letters.
This article was written by Katie Allen, for theguardian.com on Thursday 16th June 2016 23.49 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010