Camden and Haringey and Barnet politicians express shock following death of 'incredible' MP Jo Cox
PUBLISHED: 13:38 17 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:16 20 June 2016
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Politicians in Camden and Haringey have expressed their shock and sadness at the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in West Yorkshire yesterday.
The 41-year-old MP, who was married with two young children, died from wounds after she was shot and stabbed in Birstall, a town in her constituency of Batley and Spen.
A man reportedly shouted “Britain first” during the attack on Mrs Cox as she made her way to a constituency surgery in the town centre library.
The MP was pronounced dead shortly after the attack, and a 52-year-old man, named locally as Tommy Mair, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
As news of Mrs Cox’s death came through yesterday afternoon, politicians from all parties took to Twitter to express their shock and sadness.
Holborn and St Pancras Labour MP Keir Starmer was good friends with Mrs Cox having entered Parliament at the same time as her last May.
Mr Starmer said today: “Jo was an inspiration. Every day she fought for a better world with guts and determination. She was widely loved and respected. Words cannot describe how devastated we all feel. All our thoughts are with her husband, Brendan and her beautiful children.”
Hampstead and Kilburn Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said today: “Jo was not only a fantastic public servant but also an amazing person.
“She reached out to me before I became an MP and the memory of having dinner on her boat will always stay with me.
“She made a huge impact in Parliament in such a short time. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and the children.“
Ms Siddiq has recently spoken out about the vicious trolling that many MPs are now subjected to on social media, revealing that she has received death threats.
Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: “I am heartbroken. We have lost a fierce campaigner for international development, a champion of refugees, a fantastic constituency MP and a woman of kindness, of optimism and of compassion.
“The tragic events of last Thursday, and indeed of the last week have made us shed many tears, but we must remember that at such times of tragedy the words from Jo Cox’s iconic maiden speech: ‘We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’.
“My thoughts, love and prayers are with Jo’s family and loved ones at this most difficult time.”
Finchley and Golders Green Conservative MP Mike Freer said: “The murder of Jo Cox at her constituency advice surgery has shaken all MPs. To be murdered whilst simply holding a surgery, when MPs are doing their job, their best, to help local people is especially horrific.
“I can’t imagine the pain her family is going through now.”
Mr Freer’s office has just completed a security review that additional measures are being put in place.
In 2011, Mr Freer said he was threatened by a group of men while conducting a constituency surgery at North Finchley Mosque in north . He was escorted to a locked part of the building to wait for police after 12 people forced their way in, and one sat at his table and used abusive language.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, put out a statement yesterday saying: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.
“Jo Cox had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.
“Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.
“Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.
“Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.
“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. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.
“We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.
Camden Council meetings held a minute’s silence at the Town Hall last night, with Camden leader Sarah Hayward tweeting of her shock, referring to Mrs Cox as “such a lovely, bright person”.
Camden’s leader of the Conservative group, Claire-Louise Leyland, also expressed her sense of disbelief, tweeting: “Horrifying news that @Jo_Cox1 has died after being attacked earlier today. A dedicated public servant working hard for her community.”
All campaigning for the EU referendum was suspended for two days as a mark of respect for Mrs Cox,