Jo Cox’s husband gives first Irish interview about the death of his wife




Almost one year ago, British Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed as she canvassed in her native Yorkshire.

Thomas Mair, a white supremacist who killed her in protest of her support for refugees, was convicted for her murder.

Mrs Cox’s husband Brendan has written a book to celebrate his wife’s life and to tell the story of how his family and Jo’s have survived the first year after her death.

Mr Cox joined Ryan Tubridy this morning to tell his story in his first Irish interview.

Speaking of the morning of his wife’s death, Mr Cox said he was on his way to lunch with his colleague when he received the call from his wife’s parliamentary assistant who told him that she had been attacked.

On the way to the train station he was given more information and was told his wife had been shot and stabbed.

"That was obviously the first moment that I realised it was serious," he said.

"I remember thinking on the way to the train, just be okay, doesn’t matter if you’re injured, we’ll pull you back together, we’ll make everything okay, just don’t die."

He was on the train to Leeds when the call came from Mrs Cox’s sister informing him that she had passed away.

"In those first few days and weeks it’s just a sort of feeling of shock and just disbelief and then practicalities take over because of the kids, 3 and 5 at the time," Mr Cox said.

" I knew I couldn’t do anything about what happened but I wanted to make sure I did everything possibly could to protect the kids and to make sure I did everything right by them."

He explained to Ryan how he met his wife 10 years before her death when they both worked for Oxfam.

They had shared passions for politics, activism and the outdoors.

"We had this real connection right from the beginning," Mr Cox said.

He proposed to her on a Scottish mountainside, they married in 2009 on a remote island off a rugged Highland peninsula and had two children named Cuillin and Lejla.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Mrs Cox campaigned in economically deprived countries on issues such as discrimination and poverty. She worked as an assistant to MEP Glenys Kinnock and later set up Oxfam International in Brussels.

Jo Cox’s husband gives first Irish interview about the death of his wife

Her year as a back-bencher Labour TD began in May 2015. By the time of her death in June 2016 she had founded and co-chaired the Friends of Syria group, had set up the Loneliness Commission and had attended to 4,372 constituency cases.

Brendan also explained to Ryan that she struggled with some elements of being an MP.

"She hated the polarisation but actually she loved the job because it enabled her to make a difference at an international and national level," he said.

Speaking about the image chosen for his book entitled, ‘More In Common’, he said, "I think it captures Jo as a person, this sort of informality, but also the warmth that comes across in the photo."

"Being an MP was a very small part of who Jo was, she was a mountain climber, an activist, an adventurer, a mum, a sister," he told Ryan.

"She was somebody that had a real presence, she was this ball of energy and enthusiasm and she was just somebody you wanted to spend time with and I was lucky to spend 10 years of my life with her," he said.

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