Eddie Izzard is backing event for Jo Cox legacy

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It is not everyday that a comedian is spotted tucking into a picnic one of West Yorkshire’s parks.

But Eddie Izzard was doing just that in Batley on Saturday, as he joined friends and family of the late Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox to promote a nationwide celebration in her memory.

The much-loved television and stage star is encouraging people to throw street parties, picnics and community events for The Great Get Together in Mrs Cox’s honour.

He said: “Millions of us don’t know our neighbours.

“Maybe you’re a bit busy, a bit shy, maybe you don’t know how to break the ice.

“This year, we’re going to shake things up with the Great Get Together.

“We’re calling on people across Yorkshire and from all over the UK to come together, break bread, chat and have a good time.

“A get together can happen anywhere, it can be big or small, indoors or outdoors. All it takes is a little knock on the door.

“Have a natter, have a good old chinwag. It’s as easy as that. Please join in and get involved.”

Mrs Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater and her parents Jean and Gordon were among those who attended the event, ahead of The Great Get Together on June 16 to 18.

Communities across the UK will stage thousands of events across the three days, to mark one year since Mrs Cox’s death.

Organisers The Jo Cox Foundation and The Big Lunch hope to create the biggest celebration since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, working with partners including The Premier League, Glastonbury Festival, The Women’s Institute, Scouts and Girlguiding and Help for Heroes.

It has been inspired by Mrs Cox’s words that there is “more that unites than divides us”.

Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “The Great Get Together is a perfect way to celebrate the life of my sister.

“Jo was passionate about people and communities and that’s what this event is all about.

“It’s about everyone getting together, irrespective of their differences, and recognising all that we have in common.

“We’re calling on as many people as possible to take part.”

Stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard is also well known for his marathon running.

And he will put his running shoes on once again for the Run for Jo event at Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall on June 25.

The event includes a 2.5k and a 6k run, as well as a mascot race and an afternoon of music and food.

All proceeds made will be donated to the Jo Cox Foundation.