Sunday 23 October 2016

Jo Cox said she was 'fulfilled' in job on trip to Wales days before killing

David Hughes

Published 21/06/2016 | 17:17

Video grab taken from BBC News of Brendan Cox (Inset: Jo Cox) Credit: BBC News/PA Wire
Video grab taken from BBC News of Brendan Cox (Inset: Jo Cox) Credit: BBC News/PA Wire

Tragic MP Jo Cox had talked about how "fulfilled" she was in her job representing the people of her home town just days before she was killed.

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Her widower Brendan said they had talked about her first year as an MP during a family trip to Wales two weeks ago and how she loved the job because it "enabled her to make a difference".

Mr Cox described the former MP as a "bundle of energy" who had an "infectious enthusiasm for everything".

He said she was "just the sort of person you would like to spend your life with".

"She had a zest for life and an enthusiasm that was infectious," he said. "She was very funny.

"She was completely impractical, she was always late for everything. She was infuriating in lots of ways.

Jo Cox. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Jo Cox. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"But she was this incredibly human, warm person who cared about people on a very individual level, had no airs and graces, had no sort of focus on herself, very much wanted to make a difference, full of love."

In his first interview since her death on Thursday he said he wanted to preserve the "personal" memory of his wife for their two young children Cuillin and Lejla.

In death she had become "a symbol for something that's much bigger", he said. "There's a sense of creating more compassion, more love in the world.

"And the thing that I don't want to lose is that she was also their mum and that she just spent so many hours and so much time playing and loving them, and all of the normal sort of human imperfections and the things that made her annoying as important as the things that made her beautiful and incredible. So I want to protect the personal memory as well as the more political memory and the symbolism that she has taken on."

Mrs Cox reflected on her life in Parliament as Batley and Spen's MP during a family break in Wales two weeks ago.

"She struggled with some elements of being an MP, like she hated the abuse, she hated that people made judgments about her without knowing her. She hated the polarisation but actually she loved the job because it enabled her to make a difference at an international and national level.

"But also to help people on a very personal, individual level. She was on the way to surgery when she was killed.

"And one of the things that she loved, she loved just talking to people who had issues and helping them whether that was their drains or whether it was about their autistic child not getting a referral."

He added: "I remember so much about her but most of all I will remember that she met the world with love and both love for her children, love in her family and also love for people she didn't know.

"She just approached things with a spirit, she wasn't perfect at all you know, but she just wanted to make the world a better place, to contribute, and we love her very much."

He said she would want her legacy to be their children to be okay "despite the trauma of what's happened" and "to meet this hatred with love and to bring people together, not to push people apart".

Mr Cox said she would want to "build more common understanding and more compassion for each other on just a very basic level, just to dial down some of the rhetoric, some of the hatred and just bring some of our communities together more effectively".

Press Association

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