Rotherham MPs pay tribute to Jo Cox

A ‘TALENTED compassionate and committed member of parliament’, a ‘pointless waste of a beautiful woman’.

These were the words of our local MPs who paid tribute to their fellow politician Jo Cox MP who was killed yesterday as she left her weekly library surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire.

The-mother-of-two (41) was the newly elected Labour MP for Batley and Spen — the former aid worker had only been in her seat since May 2015.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said she met Mrs Cox when she joined parliament last year.

Ms Champion said: “Because, like me, she was not from a political background we naturally bonded and I tried to help her as much as I could.

“Also her area of campaigning was the same as mine — trying to prevent violence against women and girls, helping the most vulnerable, and issues around child protection.

“Over Syria, I genuinely didn’t know what was best to do and she had been out there as an aid worker and had spent a lot of time there, so I spent a lot of time asking for her advice.”

Ms Champion said Ms Cox had a “big glow” around her and was “bouncy and positive”.

She added: “I thought ‘I’m going to like this woman’, and I did.

“She was a woman who was 100 per cent committed to getting a fairer world, she was passionate about making sure that everybody could reach their potential and trying to make the world more just.

“So it’s particularly horrific that someone has taken her life, she did no harm to anyone and only ever wanted to do right to people.

“It’s not right, a total, pointless waste of a beautiful woman.”

Ms Champion held a surgery in Rotherham on Friday (June 17) and said initially the horrific attack did worry her.

“It makes you think, ‘oh my god it could happen to me’, but my job is serving my constituents and the only way I can do that is by talking and meeting with people.

“I’m not going to let one horrific thing stop me from doing that.”

John Healey, Wentworth and Dearne MP, said: “All of us as Labour MPs are reeling from Jo Cox’s tragic killing. It is shocking and deeply sad. 

“Her children have lost their wonderful mother and we'’ve all lost a talented, compassionate and committed member of parliament. 

“She was a tribute to the Labour Party and to British politics, and has left an impressive legacy after a cruelly short time in office.

“Being part of the community we serve is exactly what being an MP is all about — and this is just how Jo lived and worked. My thoughts go out to her friends, family and constituency staff at this terrible time.”

Sir Kevin Barron MP said: “Jo Cox was a much loved colleague within the Parliamentary party and will be sorely missed. 

“She worked tirelessly for social justice before she was in Parliament and continued this work after she was elected, her unwavering commitment to helping those in need was amazing to see and an example to the rest of us.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP said Mrs Cox had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. 

She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before being elected for her hometown constituency.

Mr Corbyn said: “Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. 

“It is a profoundly important cause for us all.

“Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.”