UK Labour MP Jo Cox has died in hospital after being shot and stabbed on the street in by a man who yelled “Britain First!” – the slogan of many groups who are opposed to Britain remaining in the European Union.
Police have a 52-year-old man in custody over the attack, who The Sun have identified as local man Tommy Mair. They also allegedly have the murder weapons: a long knife and an old fashioned gun.
Eyewitnesses say that Cox had attempted to break up a scuffle between two men in Birstall, a village near Leeds, when the attack occurred. The attacker shot her three times, including once in the face, and stabbed her repeatedly with a long knife.
Her husband Brendan Cox tweeted a photo of Jo standing by the river Thames as a tribute, and has vowed “to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) June 16, 2016
Cox has been a campaigner in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union, and the attack comes just one week prior to the referendum. Britain First, a far-right, anti-EU group, have issued a video statement disavowing the attack, but are also attempting to prove that the attacker did not yell “Britain First”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn offered his condolences for Cox’s death, saying “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. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.”
Prime Minister David Cameron also condemned the murder, saying that Parliament had “lost a great star”. “This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news,” he said. “My thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan, their two children and their wider family.”
The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 16, 2016
Cox was elected to her seat of Batley and Spen in 2015.
Photo: Getty Images.