Jo Cox – Tribute by Tim Farron Leader of Liberal Democrats

Jo Cox

Jo Cox

This morning with my kids all I could think about was the family who’ve woken up with their lives changed forever.

Yesterday a mum, who left home to do her job to serve her constituents, was cruelly and brutally taken from them. Her husband and their children are in my thoughts and prayers.

When something terrible happens, I feel it. I am not one of those who shies away from emotion. And I, like so many others, am really feeling it today.

In Orlando, when all those people were massacred for simply being themselves, the hurt was overwhelming. And here in Britain, we have seen terror on our streets and lost an incredible woman. 

Grief, sorrow, anger, frustration, confusion.

Jo Cox was a wonderful MP. Much will be written about her and she deserves all the tributes that are being paid.  

Very few politicians had her vision and courage when it came to standing up for Syria and for refugees. She was really affected by their plight and when she spoke in Parliament I was deeply moved.   She came to the Commons to make a difference, for something she believed in.  

For too long we have allowed division and hatred to thrive. Vitriol has risen, and only yesterday we saw the shameful and sickening sight of England fans taunting child refugees, while public figures went out of their way to fan the flames of prejudice. 

I am angry and upset at all those politicians, public figures and newspapers who wilfully stir up fear and hatred.  

Political debate has become a nasty place where personal attacks, blaming foreigners, migrants, the poor, the different, have become palatable.

Where has all the hope, and optimism, and decency gone?  It will be quoted many times over, but Jo’s words in her maiden speech couldn’t be clearer and couldn’t be more poignant – ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.’ 

Today I won’t be campaigning in the referendum, but I’m going to be in my constituency doing what MPs do; I will be holding an open-air surgery. 

This is how I, in my small way, can pay tribute to Jo.  

This is what I encourage all people in politics to do today. Be in your constituency, be in your ward. Be part of your community. Reach out, lend a hand, support, listen, comfort and help. This is what we’re here to do.

Tomorrow I will begin again to make the positive case for Europe.  

I am fed up with the anger and the hatred. It’s gone on for too long. I am a passionate believer that being part of Europe is better for our country, yet this debate has been suffocated by ego and dirty politics. 

We must turn a corner.  

Let this be a turning point for our country. When the world around us is fearful, confusing, and clouded, let us be the beacon of tolerance and hope.

Tim Farron

 

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3 Responses to Jo Cox – Tribute by Tim Farron Leader of Liberal Democrats

  1. Steve Carr says:

    That just about sums up what I am thinking!

  2. Nicholas Palmer says:

    Hi Mike,

    Perhaps you could include Jeremy Corbyn’s comments too? A very sad day.

    Thanks.

    Nick

    The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family — and indeed the whole country — will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox yesterday.

    Today, I have travelled to Birstall to bring the condolences of the Labour movement to Jo’s family and constituents.

    Jo Cox was an outstanding and inspiring new Member of Parliament, who had already shown in her life and work her dedication to the cause of peace and social justice.

    She was killed doing the job she was elected to do — representing the people she was elected to serve, doing her duty to the public and our democracy.

    We have requested, and been granted, the recall of Parliament on Monday. The gravity of what has happened means that I have decided, in consultation with our Deputy Leader Tom Watson, and our General Secretary Iain McNicol, to suspend Labour’s national referendum campaign this weekend. I have also asked that local campaigning is suspended until Sunday.

    The killing of Jo Cox was not only the tragic loss of a fantastic human being, woman, mother, wife, friend and comrade to so many of us inside and outside Parliament: it was an assault on democracy itself. It was an attack on the right of everyone to have their say in how our country is run and for those that the people elect to be able to listen to and represent them, without fear or favour.

    As Jo’s husband Brendan said in his extraordinary and poignant tribute, Jo Cox was also the victim of hatred and intolerance.

    Ours is a country where tolerance and respect for other people and different viewpoints have always been highly valued.

    Jo Cox stood for tolerance, justice, peace and human rights. We must come together as a country and face down hatred and intolerance in our society.

    We send Jo’s family, her two young children and her husband Brendan our deepest condolences and love. They are in the hearts of all of us.

  3. Kate Ames says:

    So well expressed. Nothing can make this alright, but good can come from it, if we make it happen.

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