Thursday 24 October 2019

Boris Johnson sparks fury as he says best way to honour pro-EU assassinated MP Jo Cox is to 'get Brexit done'

Jo Cox
Jo Cox
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire in the House of Commons tonight as he said the best way to honour murdered MP Jo Cox would be to "get Brexit done".

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, which was elected to the seat after Ms Cox was killed by a man with far-right sympathies during the EU referendum campaign, called for the Prime Minister to moderate his language. Ms Cox was a supporter of the European Union.

Ms Brabin said: "As the woman who has taken over a seat left by our dear friend Jo Cox, can I ask him in all honesty as a human being please, please will he going forward moderate his language so that we will all feel secure when we're going about our jobs."

READ MORE: Neo-Nazi to spend rest of life in jail for murdering MP Cox

Tracy Brabin. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Tracy Brabin. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Mr Johnson replied: "Of course there will be an attempt to try to obfuscate the effect of this Act, but it does - the capitulation act, or the surrender act or whatever you want to call it - it does, I'm sorry, but it greatly enfeebles, it greatly enfeebles this Government's ability to negotiate.

"But what I will say is that the best way to honour the memory of Jo Cox and indeed the best to bring this country together would be, I think, to get Brexit done."

READ MORE: Widower of murdered MP and mum-of-two Jo Cox opens up about moment he heard about her death

Labour's Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury) said the Prime Minister had "continually used pejorative language to describe an Act of Parliament passed by this House".

She added: "We should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation that we do not like and we stand here under the shield of our departed friend with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day.

"And let me tell the Prime Minister that they often quote his words 'surrender act', 'betrayal', 'traitor' and I for one am sick of it. We must moderate our language and it has to come from the Prime Minister first."

Flowers surround a picture of Jo Cox during a vigil in Parliament Square (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Flowers surround a picture of Jo Cox during a vigil in Parliament Square (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Man arrested after Twitter post 'urging people to Jo Cox an MP'

She added: "He should be absolutely ashamed of himself."

Her words prompted applause from the opposition benches.

Mr Johnson said: "I have to say Mr Speaker I've never heard such humbug in all my life."

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. Photo: Reuters/Peter Nicholls
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. Photo: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, tweeted: "This Prime Minister is a disgrace. @paulasherriff made heartfelt plea for him to stop using inflammatory words like "surrender".

"She pointed at the plaque for murdered MP Jo Cox, and regular death threats MPs face, quoting such language.

"Johnson said "humbug".

"Utter disgrace."

His words drew widespread condemnation outside the House of Commons, with many politicians and members of the public taking to social media to voice their displeasure.

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