This month has seen the tragic political assassination of the Member of Parliament Jo Cox, in an “act of terror designed to advance hatred towards others”, according to her husband. She was brutally stabbed and shot in her constituency.
In her political life, Cox campaigned for diversity; victims of the Syrian conflict; child refugees; Palestinians affected by the blockade of the Gaza Strip; and Muslims who suffered Islamophobia. She also worked with anti-slavery charity Freedom Fund and Oxfam.
Prior to being an MP, she had worked at Oxfam, an aid agency fighting global poverty, the Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her activism continued in Parliament as she was at the forefront on issues such as diversity, immigration, Syrian refugees and remaining within the EU. Cox was also an active member on parliamentary groups working on Palestine and had campaigned for Palestinians affected by the blockade of Gaza, and for Muslims who suffered Islamophobia in the UK.
In her maiden speech in the House of Commons, she said: “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
Her legacy will be one that will be difficult to match, both in term of the issues she championed as well as the passion, empathy she brought to the Parliament. She has been remembered in ceremonies across the world – in Trafalgar Square, thousands gathered to commemorate her death.
She is survived by her husband, Brendan Cox, and their two children, Cuillin and Lejla.
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