Borough’s MPs urged to review security in wake of Jo Cox murder

Flowers laid for murdered MP Jo Cox
Flowers laid for murdered MP Jo Cox

The borough’s MPs have paid tribute to “warm, energetic and passionate” colleague Jo Cox as all parliamentarians have been urged to review their security.

Mrs Cox, a Labour MP for Batley and Spen, died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on Thursday.

She was in politics for all the right reasons – to make our country a better place

Yvonne Fovargue

The man accused of her murder - 52-year-old Thomas Mair - appeared at court in London at the weekend having been charged with numerous offences including grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, number 10 issued safety guidance to all MPs including advice on how to stay safe when they are “out and about”, suggesting if they have any concerns they should contact their local police.

Paying tribute to the mum-of-two, Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said: “Jo Cox was one of the standout stars of the 2015 intake and I am sure had a bright future ahead of her in the service of her constituents and the country.

“She was in politics for all the right reasons – to make our country a better place. But today my thoughts are with her family whose lives will be forever changed.” Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “Jo was a warm, energetic, passionate person. She was so proud to represent her community and to be a mum to two young children.

“The response from members of the public and the clergy in Wigan has been overwhelming. Like me they are finding it difficult to take in this senseless, horrific attack and all of our thoughts and love are with Jo’s family.

“It is a sad truth that abuse, hostility and threats have become a routine part of political life in recent years. The local police force in Wigan are an unwavering source of support and advice, and have done a great deal to ensure we can have a safe, decent debate in this borough.

“But following this awful murder, it is clear that all of us we must work together to stand up for the decency, humanity and democracy that Jo fought for all her life, and that we have discovered is both precious and fragile.”

Parliament had been in recess to allow MPs to concentrate on campaigning in the final days running up to the EU referendum on Thursday but the House was recalled.

At a special session in the Commons on Monday, MPs praised Mrs Cox’s commitment to causes such as the plight of Syrian refugees and her ability to work with colleagues on all sides of the House.

A memorial fund to raise money for charities she supported has reached more than £1m.