PM leads politicians' tributes

PM leads politicians' tributes

PRIME Minister David Cameron visited Birstall last Friday as a fundraising drive in memory of Jo Cox took off.

He laid flowers at the statue of Joseph Priestley along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

Helicopters circled overhead while on the ground there was a throng of media and well-wishers.

Mr Cameron said: “Where we see hatred, where we find division, where we see intolerance, we must drive it out of our politics, our public life and our communities.

“If we truly want to honour Jo, what we must do is recognise that her values – service, community, tolerance – the values she lived by and worked by; those are the values we need to re-double in our public life in the months and years to come.”

Mr Corbyn said: “Jo was an exceptional, wonderful, very talented woman, taken from us in her early 40s when she had so much to give and so much of her life ahead of her.

“It’s a tragedy beyond tragedy what happened yesterday. In her memory, we will not allow those people that spread hatred and poison to divide our society, we will strengthen our democracy, strengthen our free speech.”

Mr Bercow added: “Today I think everybody is united in grief, in horror, and in an overpowering respect for someone we came to know, whose talents we admired, and whose passion we admitted on a daily basis.”

By 9pm that night more than £150,000 had been raised for the Royal Voluntary Service, Hope Not Hate and White Helmets.

On Monday the appeal topped £1m, just as MPs were lining up to pay their respects after Parliament was recalled.

Brendan Cox and his two children watched from the gallery as MPs spent an hour remembering Mrs Cox.

One of the most moving speeches came from Leeds West Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who broke down in tears at the end.

She said: “It is ironic that after travelling the world to some of the most damaged, war-ravaged places, Jo died so near to her home.

“But she died doing the job that she loved, in the place that she loved, representing the people she loved.”

By yesterday (Thursday) the total raised was £1,375,154, with donations from more than 36,000 people worldwide. See https://www.go fundme.com/jocox.

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