Hundreds pay tribute to slain MP Jo Cox

Hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects to Labour MP Jo Cox ahead of her private funeral.

Mrs Cox’s funeral cortege travelled through her Batley and Spen constituency in West Yorkshire, slowing down in the town of Heckmondwike before continuing to Batley. The mother of two young children died on June 16 after being shot and stabbed outside a library in Birstall.

Her killing, which came days before her 42nd birthday, provoked a wave of shock around the UK.

Members of the public, including schoolchildren, gathered in Heckmondwike to say a final farewell to the MP.

Well-wishers applauded as the funeral cars made the journey through the town. Many threw flowers in the path of the cortege as it passed the market place. Children from Norristhorpe Junior and Infant School were among the first of the mourners to throw white roses in the path of the cars.

One woman walked into the road as the cars passed to lay a large bouquet on the bonnet of the grey hearse, which was strewn with roses and sunflowers.

Mrs Cox’s coffin could be seen in the back of the vehicle surrounded by white floral tributes.

Mrs Cox had only been an MP for just over a year when she was killed, having been elected for the Batley and Spen constituency, where she grew up, in last year’s general election.

Her dedication to a range of causes, both as an MP and in her previous work with development charities, has drawn praise from all sides of the political spectrum and prompted calls for a rethink of the public’s attitude to public figures and the nature of political discourse.

Mrs Cox’s widower, Brendan, led tributes to his wife .

Before this, former prime minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Birstall market square together to add their tributes to a sea of floral memorials, yards from where the tragedy happened.

Mr Cameron praised the young MP as “a voice of compassion whose irrepressible spirit and boundless energy lit up the lives of all who knew her”.

Mr Corbyn said British society had lost “one of our very best”.

Earlier this week, Mrs Cox’s family issued a statement, which said: “We have been overwhelmed and touched by the love and support people have shown us since Jo’s death. We are deeply grateful to all who have reached out to us.

“Knowing that so many people share both our grief and our determination to take forward Jo’s legacy is a source of great strength at what otherwise feels like a very bleak time.

Thomas Mair, 52, has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murdering Mrs Cox. He is also charged with grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

He is due to go on trial in November.


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