YEP Says: Remembering Jo and all that she stood for in life

Jo Cox on her wedding day.
Jo Cox on her wedding day.
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We make no apology for choosing not to put a picture of Thomas Mair on the front page of your newspaper tomorrow.

No doubt there will be publications which choose to permit his image to glare from the news stands, but to us, to the people of Jo Cox’s constituency, to her family and friends, he is not important. He is forgotten. He has no power.

He has been jailed for the rest of his life. And good riddance.

Instead of focusing on the hatred that caused Jo’s death, we choose to focus on the ‘outpouring of love’ that followed it.

Instead of carrying the image of a murderer on our front page we choose to feature a picture of Jo shining, happy and radiant on her wedding day.

Her family mourn a mother, daughter and aunt snatched from them at a tragically young age. They grieve an irreplaceable individual who inspired so many in her short life. Yet how typical that their first thoughts should be with others.

“There may have been one act of extreme cowardice on that day, but there were many acts of bravery,” said Jo’s sister Kim Leadbetter as the family praised all those who risked their own lives.

And then the words of Mrs Cox’s widower Brendan who said the response to his wife’s murder showed “Britain at its best” before saying that he felt “nothing but pity” for Mair.

To be able to speak with such humanity is to the family’s immense credit and a humbling tribute to the values championed by Mrs Cox as an aid worker and a Parliamentarian like no other.

Selfless to the very end, she urged her two colleagues to put their safety to first as her life ebbed away on the streets of the constituency that she was proud to call home. We echo the family’s praise of the witnesses called to give evidence; of West Yorkshire Police and legal representatives for their sensitive handling of this case.

While the personal safety of elected representatives must continue to be reviewed on a regular basis, the best tribute to Jo Cox is embracing her values, and the good causes she supported, in pursuit of a more civilised world.

As Mr Cox so correctly pointed out, a cold-hearted murderer intended to divide Mrs Cox’s constituency and country. How ironic that his actions caused the opposite effect.

#lovelikejo #moreincommon