Tributes paid to late murdered MP Jo Cox

Tributes were paid to Jo Cox at a special sitting of Parliament
Tributes were paid to Jo Cox at a special sitting of Parliament

Tributes have been paid in Londonderry to the late Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in Yorkshire on Thursday, June 16.

The Mayor, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific murder of Labour MP Jo Cox yesterday. The tributes which have been flooding the media are testament to the outstanding work she carried out on behalf of her constituents, and the values that inspired her to dedicate her life to championing the causes of others.

“As a fellow female politician I know the challenges of working in the public arena, and Jo Cox was undoubtedly a role model to women everywhere. She was dedicated to making society better for everyone and was deeply opposed to all forms of bigotry, injustice and anything which undermined the democratic cause.

“I want to express my condolences to her family and her Labour Party colleagues, who will be grieving her sad loss today.”

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: “Jo Cox was someone who showed enormous reserves of strength in her life which she put to the service of others.

“I would have chatted with Jo over a cup of tea in the Members’ Tea Room at Westminster. We had many of the same interests and took part in many of the same debates there. I also knew Jo before she was an MP with her role in Oxfam and the Freedom Fund. Only a year ago this week, I seconded the first Early Day Motion which she tabled.

“I admired her strength of view, and particular insights in debates – not least on Gaza. Indeed, I remember her making the point in one debate that she believed there would be peace in the Middle East in her lifetime.

“That memory of her saying ‘in my lifetime’ struck a particular chord with me yesterday when I was utterly shocked to learn of her death.

“Jo brought a huge empathy to her role as MP, as well as particular insights due to her involvement in a number of causes”.

The Foyle SDLP MP said Mrs Cox combined internationalism and localism with “guts and gusto”.

“She also brought a particular passion and compassion to the situation in Syria and the refugee crisis arising from there. She worked with others across party lines and beyond politics to help to mobilise more humanitarian engagement and attention to ‘atrocity prevention’.

“Jo was also a rooted constituency MP – strong for her communities and county and an articulate advocate of people’s needs, rights and circumstances – reflecting her constituents’ experiences and expectations.

“To see someone who believed so strongly in peace and the rights of others lose their life in such a brutal way is just dreadful. The guts and gusto she showed as a fighter for justice defended others but could not protect her from vulnerability to hateful violence”.