YEP Says: Let’s remember Jo for her life, not her death

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A WEEK after the killing of Jo Cox as the Batley & Spen MP undertook those constituency duties which underpin Parliament’s relationship with the public, the wise words of Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds for the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, will resonate with many.

“I pray that Birstall will be remembered more for the manner of her living than for the manner of her dying,” he said during his House of Lords tribute. Though this view is difficult to comprehend when this small town is still coming to terms with the tragedy, the sentiment mirrors the mother-of-two’s humbling approach to life.

This was self-evident as Birstall, Batley, London and communities around the world united in solidarity on what would – and should – have been the 42nd birthday of Mrs Cox. Family, friends, strangers, they know that society is all the poorer for her untimely passing, as illustrated by the #MoreinCommon campaign.

In an era when public respect for politicians cannot be taken for granted, this indefatigable campaigner represented the best of public service. She approached every challenge, whether it be serving her constituents or her acclaimed work assisting Syrian refugees, from a perspective of love. Above all else, she was a conciliator who sought to advance the causes close to her heart.