Eddie Izzard in running to attend Jo Cox memorial event in Birstall, near Leeds
COMEDIAN and accomplished marathon runner Eddie Izzard is being lined up to appear at a memorial event at Birstall's Oakwell Hall & Country Park in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.
According to organises, Mr Izzard has been invited to the Jo Cox Foundation event and has indicated he wants to attend.
Julie Smith, who knew Jo before she became MP for Batley and Spen and was a close friend until her death in June last year, said the comedian had indicated his support for a previous event but was unable to attend due to diary commitments.
Julie Smith, who is involved with MoreInCommon, an arm of the Jo Fox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s death to raise money and awareness of the causes she championed, said: “We invited Eddie to another event in March but he was unable to attend and so sent some DVDs instead. We understand there’s a possibility he may be able to come to this event.”
Jo’s widower Brendan is also understood to be attending the event.
The Oakwell Hall event will include a number of fun runs, starting with a 2.5km family fun run at 9.30am (entry £12), followed by a 6-7km run at 11am (entry £20) and a mascot race at 1pm, starring Batley & Spen’s FairTrade Banana and possible the Batley Bulldogs mascot.
There will also be music from Batley Community Choir, food and other attractions.
Jo’s birthday would have been on June 22, just a few days before the planned event. Organisers are keen to attract as many runners as possible to take par in the day. All race entrants will receive a goody bag.
Jo Cox was born in 1974 in Batley, where she grew up, attending Heckmondwike Grammar School. She contested the Batley & Spen seat in May 2015 after previous Labour MP Mike Wood decided not to stand and won but was killed after being shot deliberately by Thomas Mair on June 16 last year.
The event shocked the nation and even brought campaigning to a halt during the Brexit referendum.
The Friends of Oakwell Hall will be providing refreshments on the day. A spokeswoman said they were expecting over 1,000 runners.
Race entries and more information via RaceBest or email [email protected]