Tuesday 26 September 2017

Jo Cox: Thousands gather to remember slain MP on what would have been her 42nd birthday

Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP
Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP

Thousands of people have gathered around the world to remember the life of Labour MP Jo Cox on what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Her widower Brendan and two young children joined friends, colleagues and high-profile campaigners in London, as others met in her home town of Batley in Yorkshire, and at international events.

The crowd listens as Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP
The crowd listens as Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP

Earlier on Wednesday Mr Cox and his children made their way to the memorial along the river Thames by barge.

Colourful bunting was strung from bow to stern, and a Union Jack flag streamed from the back of the black and white boat, named Stormvogel.

Sat close to his daughter, who was wearing a life jacket, Mr Cox looked ahead as the vessel passed under the Millennium footbridge heading west towards Westminster.

Towed closely behind was a small black-hulled boat with "Yorkshire Rose" painted on the bow in white lettering, filled with red and white roses which were also stuck to its mast.

A woman reacts during a special service for murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox, at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain June 22, 2016
A woman reacts during a special service for murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox, at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain June 22, 2016

One of several #MoreInCommon events taking place across the country and around the globe was held in Trafalgar Square, London, where people used the inclusivity theme of the late MP's maiden speech in the Commons to remember Mrs Cox.

The mother of two died last week after being shot and stabbed in Birstall, near Leeds.

Lily Allen addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP
Lily Allen addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of the tragic MP

Those on the stage were greeted by a sea of placards, many carrying the slogan #LoveLikeJo and #MoreInCommon, while others were simply colour portraits of the smiling MP.

Hosting the event, Ms Cox's friend and television presenter Mariella Frostrup said the pair bonded over mutual passions including "feminism and dry white wine".

At Portobello Beach in Edinburgh, friends of Ms Cox gathered to celebrate her life.

Her photo was placed on the sand next to 300 candles arranged into the words "More In Common".

Kim Wallace, a friend and former colleague of Ms Cox and her husband, said: "Jo was fearless in standing up for her beliefs and was a force for good, bringing people together.

"Jo was irreplaceable in many ways, but most especially to her children.

"As a mother, my heart breaks that they now have to grow up without her.

"When something awful happens there can be a feeling of uselessness, but I believe it's important not to just let it go, leaving everyone that bit more sad and much weaker.

"Today's event is about a show of love. I wanted people in Edinburgh to have a chance to voice that they believe in Jo's values, to show we care about what happened to her and that we care about each other."

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray lit a candle at the event, while Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, made a speech on behalf of the organisation for which Ms Cox worked for eight years.

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