The sister of Jo Cox has won high-level recognition for her efforts to build on the murdered West Yorkshire MP’s legacy of care and positivity.
Kim Leadbeater was today named as the 1,000th recipient of Theresa May’s Points of Light award, which is given out to people who make a difference in their community and inspire others.
In a tweet, Downing Street said Kim had been chosen for “continuing her sister Jo Cox’s inspiring work”.
The tweet included the hashtag #moreincommon, in a nod to a phrase famously used by Jo in her maiden speech in the House of Commons.
And, in a letter to Kim, Mrs May wrote today: “In the face of the most terrible act that sought to divide our communities, you have rejected the hate that marked your sister’s murder to continue Jo’s work and ensure that Jo’s determination to change the world has lived on.
“I am humbled by the depth of your courage and by the strength of your belief in the best of humanity which has led you to honour Jo’s legacy in such an inspiring way.”
Kim has helped organise a succession of events in memory of her sister, who was killed in her Batley & Spen constituency by neo-Nazi fanatic Thomas Mair in June 2016.
They include two Great Get Together community celebrations, with a third already confirmed for June 21 to 23 next year.
Other events have included the Run For Jo, held at Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall, and the Jo Cox Way Bike Ride, which followed the route of the late MP and mother-of-two’s political journey from Spenborough to London.
Reacting to Downing Street’s announcement, Kim said today: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award. Very unusually for me I’m almost lost for words.
“Quite simply, when Jo was murdered my entire life changed forever, and I am still a long way from coming to terms with what has happened.
“However, the support I have received from so many people, including the huge number of hardworking volunteers across the country who have supported the Great Get Together campaign, has kept me focused.
“As a result, I remain resolute in continuing the work we have all started to bring people together and build strong communities where everyone has a sense of identity and belonging.
“So, this recognition is for all those amazing people too – they are the many, many ‘points of light’ up and down the country, who will continue to shine in Jo’s memory and prove that we do indeed have ‘more in common than that which divides us’.”