Family of Jo Cox urge people to remember everything Batley & Spen MP stood for on fifth anniversary of her murder
The family of murdered MP Jo Cox have called for people to remember her kindness and values as they mark five years since she was killed in her constituency.
Batley & Spen MP Mrs Cox was murdered on June 16, 2016, by far-right gunman Thomas Mair as she attended a constituents' surgery at Birstall Library in West Yorkshire.
Mair, who a court heard had been obsessed with white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies, was jailed for a whole life order at the Old Bailey for her murder and is thought to have harboured a hatred for Mrs Cox's stance on allowing refugees into Britain.
As today (Wednesday) marks five years since her death, her family and the charity set up in her name have led calls to remember the values the politician, mother and humanitarian stood for.
A statement published by the Jo Cox Foundation, which was founded following her death and works with local community projects, indicated that many appeared to have forgotten promises to drive out hate and extremism from public debate which were made following her murder.
"Not all those promises were kept. Divisions continued and, in some cases, deepened," said the statement.
"Five years on and women, whether in public life or not, don’t always feel safe going about their daily lives.
"Issues that Jo cared so passionately about – loneliness, the plight of civilians in conflict zones like Syria, the need to honour our commitments to those most in need around the world – still demand urgent action."
Su Moore, CEO ofThe Jo Cox Foundation, said: “When Jo was killed, we saw an outpouring of grief in the UK and around the world, both from those who knew her, and those who didn’t. But as well as sadness, we also saw respect, admiration and love.
"At the Jo Cox Foundation we’re proud to carry on Jo’s legacy every day, striving to build stronger communities, to encourage civility in public life and advocate for a fairer world. We’ll continue to place Jo’s values and beliefs at the centre of all our work for the next five years and beyond.”
Since its creation, the Jo Cox Foundation has founded and held four 'Great Get Together' festivals across the UK bringing people together for street parties, picnics and other events.
The work of the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission also resulted in the UK having the world’s first Minister for Loneliness, the first cross-Government strategy and a significant investment of £20m.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said: “The UK Government is proud to support the Jo Cox Foundation to continue its vital work.
"The Foundation ensures Jo’s memory lives on through their work to improve the lives of women around the globe, from supporting girls education and women’s empowerment to preventing gender-based violence.
"Over the last year thousands of women across Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda have benefitted from their grants, giving them support and training they need to enter politics or secure leadership positions.
"By working together, we can help make the difference that Jo Cox wanted to see in the world.”