A great star, brilliant young woman: World leaders mourn Jo Cox’s killing

  • Reuters, London
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2016 14:25 IST
Tributes and candles left for murdered Labour Member of Parliament Jo Cox are seen in Parliament Square, London, Britain June 17, 2016 REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (Reuters)

British lawmaker Jo Cox was shot dead in the street in northern England on Thursday, causing shock across Britain and leading to the suspension of campaigning for next week’s referendum on the country’s EU membership.

The Kingdom was plunged into sorrow over the bloodshed in the otherwise peaceful campaign. Here are some prominent reactions to the death of Cox

Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband

“Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.”

Brendan Cox, husband of Labour MP Jo Cox, and their two daughters ride an inflatable dinghy as they take part in a counter-demonstration to support the Remain campaign on the river Thames in London on Wednesday. (Reuters)

“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron

“We have lost a great star. She was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion, with a big heart.”

“It is right that we are suspending campaigning activity in this referendum, and everyone’s thoughts will be with Jo’s family and her constituents at this terrible time.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

“We’ve lost a wonderful woman, we’ve lost a wonderful member of parliament, but our democracy will go on. Her work will go on. As we mourn her memory, we’ll work in her memory to achieve that better world she spent her life trying to achieve.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) stands amongst colleagues as he attends a vigil to slain Labour MP Jo Cox in Parliament square in London. (AFP)

“Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve.”

“In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children.”

Finance minister George Osborne

“Jo fought to help the refugees from the Syrian civil war – she gave a voice to those whose cry for help she felt was not being heard.”

“It changed attitudes and I know it contributed to a change in policy. She will never know how many lives she helped transform. Today, doing that job, she senselessly lost her own life.”

A police forensic officer picks up a bag from the crime scene where Labour MP Jo Cox was shot in Birstall, northern England on Thursday (AFP)

US presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

“I am horrified by the assassination of British MP Jo Cox, murdered earlier today in her district in Northern England. By all accounts, she was a rising star. It is cruel and terrible that her life was cut short by a violent act of political intolerance. It is critical that the United States and Britain, two of the world’s oldest and greatest democracies, stand together against hatred and violence. This is how we must honour Jo Cox -- by rejecting bigotry in all its forms, and instead embracing, as she always did, everything that binds us together.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

“The incident is terrible, dramatic and our thoughts are with the people affected – the Labour lawmakers, the politicians. I don’t want to connect this with the vote on Great Britain staying in the European Union.”

Messages from well wishers for murdered Labour Member of Parliament Jo Cox are seen on a board in Parliament Square, London (Reuters)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls

“Deeply sad for Jo Cox and the British people. Through her it’s our democratic ideals that were targeted. Never accept that!”

US secretary of state John Kerry

“I join you in expressing my deep sorrow that a young parliamentarian, who obviously was a young woman of enormous talent, has been killed in the conduct of her duties with her constituency. It is an assault on everybody who cares about and has faith in democracy. And our thoughts are profoundly with the family – her husband, her children – and with all of the British people, who I know feel the loss profoundly.”

At a vigil in Parliament square in London on Thursday. (AFP)

Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairperson of group of Euro Zone finance ministers

“The UK is a beacon for peaceful politics, and we hope that the British public ... can make their democratic choices serenely and in a safe way next week.”

Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen

“My thoughts are with her family, her friends, and the British people. It was a true shock to me that a British politician was killed during the campaign.”

A school girl arrives with flowers to leave in tribute to Jo Cox, near the scene where she was killed in Birstall near Leeds.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

“This is utterly shocking and tragic news, which has left everyone stunned.”

“She was held in huge regard as a brilliant young woman, who had already contributed a huge amount in her time in Parliament, and today she was simply going about her job as a local MP.”

US ambassador to Britain Matthew Barzun

“We are heartbroken by the loss to her family and country of MP Jo Cox. My love and our love to them, in this time of unbearable grief.”

Former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived shooting in 2011

“Absolutely sickened to hear of the assassination of Jo Cox. She was young, courageous, and hardworking. A rising star, mother, and wife.”

People leave St Peter's Church after a vigil in memory of Jo Cox (Reuters)

Max Lawson of Charity Oxfam, who worked closely with Cox

“Jo was a diminutive pocket rocket from the north. She was a ball of energy, always smiling, full of new ideas, of idealism, of passion. She gave so much to Oxfam.”

David Miliband, Former British foreign secretary

“People in need around the world have lost a tireless, effective and redoubtable champion today following the murder of Jo Cox MP. Her passionate advocacy, first of all working in NGOs and then in Parliament as an elected representative, on behalf of vulnerable and displaced people was a study in effective activism.”

John Curtice, polling expert and politics professor at University Of Strathclyde

“It’s fairly clear no one is quite sure what has happened. Until it’s clear who was responsible and what their motivation was or it might have been, all it does is stop the campaign when the ‘Remain’ side probably would not want it to be stopped.”

A card in tribute to Jo Cox (Reuters)

Mujtaba Rahman, Europe practice head at Eurasia Group

“This will hurt the momentum of the ‘Leave’ campaign, which has been gaining steadily in recent polls.”

“It will allow British Prime Minister David Cameron an opportunity to act like a statesman and retrieve the agenda, something he has lost over the last week.

“If the incident is confirmed to have been motivated by Brexit, it will also reflect poorly on the more strident elements of the Vote Leave campaign, potentially swinging undecided voters towards ‘Remain’.”

Alan Ruskin, global co-head of FX Research at Deutsche Bank

“Certainly people are talking about the possibility that this does influence the Brexit vote in favour of ‘Remain’. It is a tragic event all around. There is a sense, there is an immediate emotional reaction, but there is still a week before the referendum itself.”

“It definitely is seen as part of the story, the recovery of risk. Generally you are seeing so-called riskier assets recover. All the assets, whether equities, aussie/yen or sterling/yen are recovering. They are up on the perception of a higher probability of a ‘Remain’ vote.”

Read | 10 things to know about British MP Jo Cox who died in stabbing, shooting

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