Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old from Birstall, has been charged with murdering British MP Jo Cox on June 16. Mair was the sole suspect in the case and is expected to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court later today, according to the ABC.
Cox’s murderer, Thomas Mair, has been described by neighbors as being a “loner” with a history of mental health problems.
Police charge suspect in slaying of UK MP Jo Cox https://t.co/giEWP9ROwS— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 18, 2016
Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police, is leading the investigation into the murder and said that Mair has been charged with a string of crimes related to Jo Cox’s death.
Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox was a 41-year-old mother of two and her sudden murder has shocked Britain with vigils being held across the country. Mrs. Cox was stabbed and shot around lunch time while campaigning in her constituency in the village of Birstall, northern England, in front of several witnesses and was rushed to hospital. She was declared dead at 1:48 p.m., according to The Guardian.
It is understood that the special crimes and counter-terrorism unit at the Crown Prosecution Service are considering other charges that could be brought against Thomas Muir.
“We have now charged a man with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon,” Wallen said.
The question that remains is, why did Thomas Mair kill Jo Cox in broad daylight? One of the main motivators, as suggested by policewoman Dee Collins, is whether Mair was motivated by right-wing extremism.
“We are aware of the speculation within the media in respect to the suspect’s link to mental health services and this is a clear line of inquiry which we are pursuing,” she said.
“We are also aware of the inference within the media of the suspect being linked to right-wing extremism, which again is a priority line of inquiry which will help us establish the motive for the attack on Jo.”
“This is a very significant investigation with large numbers of witnesses who have been spoken to by police at this time,” Collins said.
Man charged with murder of British politician Jo Cox, West Yorkshire police say https://t.co/W4X7eruXAy— CNN (@CNN) June 18, 2016
Jo Cox supported immigration into the country and also supported Britain remaining part of the European Union. These vocal passions may also have contributed to the knife and gun attack.
Lady Doreen Lawrence, whose son was killed in 1993, warned that a message of hatred against foreigners and people of different religions is getting louder in the U.K., and the US and has named Donald Trump as one of the problems. Having lost her own son, she knows that there are no words to express a young person whose “life is still full of possibility, brutally snatched away from you”.
The West Yorkshire police said this is not the first time a British MP has been murdered — Ian Gow was murdered in 1990 — or the first time that Jo Cox was under threat. She had received two threats in the past, including “one of a sexual nature” at her offices in London, according to the New York Times.
The Metropolitan Police said Mrs. Cox had alerted them of “malicious communication” by a man in March, but the person whom officers detained, and then released with just a warning, was not the murder suspect. Cox also received some “very unpleasant” messages on social media, but the Inquisitr does not yet know if any of these messages were from the murderer.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called for tolerance in public debate as he attended a memorial close to the spot where Jo Cox was shot and stabbed on Thursday.
“She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her. What happened yesterday is an attack on democracy.”
“Where we see hatred, where we find division, where we see intolerance we must drive it out of our politics and out of our public life and out of our communities,” Mr Cameron said.
Jo Cox was a much-loved MP and supported several charities throughout her career. In recent years she developed a reputation for her compassionate work on immigration and women’s issues.
Syrians are mourning the loss of Jo Cox, a vocal supporter and champion of the Syrian people.https://t.co/FYUoJf7Lwo— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 18, 2016
In her death, her friends and family have created a fund in her memory and have raised more than $427,556 so far for causes close to Mrs. Cox’s heart.
[Photo by Matt Dunham/AP]