Newbury politicians have paid tribute to the “decent and kind” Labour MP who was gunned down in a horrifying attack in her constituency yesterday [Thursday].
Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, was shot and stabbed multiple times in an attack outside a library in the village of Birstall.
The 41-year old mother of two children was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but was pronounced dead at 1.48pm.
A man, named locally as Tommy Mair, aged 52, has been arrested by police in connection with the incident.
Paying tribute to Mrs Cox Newbury Labour said: “All of Newbury Labour Party send our condolences to the family of Jo Cox, the fantastic Labour MP who was cruelly and brutally murdered [Thursday] while she went about doing her job, representing the area in which she grew up.
“Jo was a tremendous MP who dedicated her life to defending human rights here and around the world.
“Her death is an assault on the true British values of common decency, freedom of expression, democracy and the truest of all which Jo stood for more than any other: that hope must triumph over hate.
“We mourn Jo today, a rising star we have lost but whose memory will go on shining brightly, her cause remaining our common cause, her battles we will continue to fight and her message of hope will go on resonating forever.”
Speaking to Newbury Weekly News the MP for Newbury Richard Benyon also paid tribute to the “decent and kind” Labour MP.
He said: “She was one of the brightest stars of the new intake and she had an ability to work across parties. She was extremely popular.
“It has really hit colleagues on all sides of the House.
“This attack has made me angry and I want to go and stand on the high street and say to people whether you vote for us or not we are elected to represent the constituency.
“How dare people attack anyone whether they are a parish councillor, an MP or an MEP, on the basis of the job they do.”
Speaking of safety for MPs and his staff he said: “Many of my newer colleagues have been quite shocked about the way they have been treated on social media from trolls and from other individuals.
"It has reached an unacceptable level of personal attacks.
“If anything good can come out of this ghastly event is maybe just a little bit of understanding that MPs are human beings.”
He added: “We are not going to be put off by insane acts such as that which befell Jo Cox.
“There has been a lot of verbal threats before this. In the last six months I have heard a dozen conversations where they are wondering whether or not to inform the police.
“I am concerned about my staff. Very often they are the ones that deal with the callers to the office while I am safe inside the security ring that is Westminster and they are in Newbury.”
He said that although he had not been on the receiving end of any physical attacks there had been instances where the police had been notified of individuals coming to the office or calling.
He added: “But I have never felt a moment’s qualm about doing my job.”