Following the unexpected and brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox on Thursday evening, British constituents and politicians have shared tributes, messages of sympathy, and statements of mourning honoring the late parliamentarian.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who cancelled a campaign rally in Gibraltar, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, along with other politicians, laid wreaths at Cox’s Batley and Spen constituency. Cameron also announced that Parliament and the House of Lords would be recalled on Monday in order to pay tribute to her.
On Friday, Commons Speaker John Bercow delivered a speech about Cox’s death, saying “Jo Cox was a quite outstanding member of parliament … she had a huge amount more to give and she was inspired by a moral passion, a fixity of purpose and a deep-rooted conviction.”
Vigils were held across the country and well into the evening on Friday night and scheduled into the weekend, many hosted by fellow MPs.
The online campaign organization Avaaz reports that over 20,000 left tributes to Cox on the website, and described it as an online vigil. Some of the messages were read aloud at the London vigil.
Close friends and relatives of Cox set up a GoFundMe in tribute to Cox to raise money for charity organizations The Royal Voluntary Service, HOPE not Hate, and The White Helmets, and wrote “Let’s come together and give what we can to help create that better world.” The fundraiser successfully brought in over £200,000 in less than 12 hours.
Fellow MP Naz Shah spoke to reporters after the vigil.
“She was one of those women who should have made history,” said Shah. “She’s the type of person legends are made of.”
A two-minute moment of silence was held in Parliament Square on Friday, with speeches of tribute delivered by fellow Labour MPs; Wes Streeting, Ed Miliband, and Harriet Harman.
“The solidarity we have seen in the last days has been overwhelming and, in time of overwhelming grief, it can be hard to find anything positive to hold on to,” said Streeting. “What we can all do is to pledge ourselves to build the world that Jo was fighting for. A world of humanity, decency, compassion, solidarity, human rights, social justice, of simple kindness.”
Cox’s death has dominated the British news cycle since Thursday, prompting USA Today to run a collection of headlines related to her death.
Joan Walley, fellow Labour MP, was being interviewed live for an unrelated event when news broke of Cox’s death. Walley responded to the news by saying, “Nothing has prepared me to be in a situation where I’m live on BBC radio to pay tribute to a really, truly special and compassionate woman, who totally believed in public service, who totally believed in eradicating poverty, who totally wanted to see environmental improvements, with a young family and a whole life in politics in front of her.”
Corbyn released a statement on Cox’s death, saying, “Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She… was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.”
[Photo By Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]