Life in the usually bustling Southall junction of Broadway and Lady Margaret Road paused on Thursday as Indian community leaders and others came together to pay tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in her constituency last week.
Virendra Sharma, the senior Labour MP from Ealing Southall since 2007, led the tributes that saw people from various religions and countries of origin laying flowers and paying their respect before a portrait of Cox.
Sharma recalled Cox’s now famous words during her maiden speech in the House of Commons about there being “more in common” among people of various communities than that which divides them, and said Southall’s diversity reflected her values.
“She was doing her job in her constituency when she was killed. We have a lost a star in parliament. Our heart goes out to her children and family. But we can continue to keep her alive by adhering to her values,” Sharma said.
Southall in west London with its large community of Indian origin has been a Labour stronghold.
Onkar Sahota of the Greater London Assembly spoke on behalf of London mayor Sadiq Khan and said Cox won the hearts of the nation and beyond.
“We in the Indian community will continue to be inspired by her,” said Harsev Bains, chairman of Southall Community Alliance. Speakers included councillors and community leaders from Hounslow, Hillingdon and Ealing.
The Southall event was part of a series of events held in London, Cox’s constituency in west Yorkshire and abroad on Thursday. Several friends and colleagues of the late MP recalled her life and work, besides Pakistani education icon, Malala Yusufzai, at Trafalgar Square.