THOUSANDS of people “got together” over the weekend to remember former Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox.
The third annual Great Get Together this year marked what would have been Mrs Cox’s 45th birthday – and people from all walks of life attended special events up and down the country to celebrate her life.
The weekend of events kicked off in North Kirklees when hundreds of school children paraded through Batley up to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as part of the ‘Step Into The Future’ programme.
It culminated in the popular Run for Jo at Oakwell Hall, as participants completed the 6.5km cross-country challenge or the 2.5km family fun run.
In between there were street parties, fun days, coffee mornings and sports matches – all organised to promote Mrs Cox’s legacy that “we have more in common than that which divides us”.
Mrs Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater, who started the Great Get Together three years ago with parents Jean and Gordon, said: “It has been absolutely wonderful to be at the Run for Jo and all weekend at the hundreds of events.
“It has been a really special weekend with the most fantastic atmosphere, so friendly, so warm, so like Jo.
“We are all tired out but it is so worth it. We have been surrounded by good people, who show us that good things are possible.
“Loads of families have attended, made up of different ages, different races, different religions, and different backgrounds.”
She added: “I believe the Great Get Together helps to heal some of the divisions that have scarred this country of late.
“I had hoped the reaction to Jo’s murder would lead to a more compassionate politics and stronger communities. Instead, it feels like things have got worse these last three years. I refuse to give up that hope, however.”
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “It was an absolutely brilliant few days across Batley and Spen, with so many people pulling out all the stops.
“To see so many people of different communities, cultures and faiths come together to celebrate just how much we all have in common was breathtaking and it was a privilege to be a part of it.
“A huge thank you to Jo’s family – Kim, Gordon and Jean Leadbeater – for leading the way with such kindness, generosity and humility and to everyone across our community who worked so hard to make it a success. You’ve done Batley and Spen proud once again.”