LOCAL MPs Karen Lumley and Nadhim Zahawi have spoken of their horror and shock following the killing of Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire yesterday (Thursday, June 16).
“It is so sad and we are in total shock,” said a visibly shaken Mrs Lumley, MP for Redditch. “I was only talking to her on Monday about the EU Referendum, about which of course we held different views, but I considered her a friend of mine.
“This is just so terrible and our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”
Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford added: “I had only known her for a year but in that time I found her to be a remarkable human being.
“At her first Prime Minister’s Question Time it felt like she had been here so much longer as she fitted in so well. She was a wonderful person and an incredibly effective Parliamentarian.”
Referring to how Mrs Cox’s passion for the crisis in Syria has persuaded the government into a U-turn on the plight of refugees he said: “For a rookie MP to change Government policy is quite remarkable.
“And let us not forget that she was a young mother with two beautiful young children who yesterday had a mummy in the morning but who later no longer did.
“Her only crime was that she was doing her job for her constituents.
“For those haters who troll and abuse MPs in Parliament through social media and who demonise people in public life, my message to them is that you will never win and I hope when you look in the mirror you will hate what you see.”
In Redditch the Union Jack flying over Redditch Town Hall was lowered to half mast today (Friday, June 17) as a mark of respect following the death of Mrs Cox.
The flag had been due to be raised after the shootings in Orlando, Florida, however after the death of the 41-year-old mother of two, who had only been an MP for just 13 months, the decision was taken to keep it at half mast.
Ms Cox was attacked, shot and stabbed in broad daylight outside the public library in Birstall when she had left her constituency surgery with aides.
A 52-year-old man, named as Thomas Mair, was arrested shortly afterwards.
Councillor Bill Hartnett, the leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “This is a tragic, tragic loss of a young MP with a bright future, who was liked by everyone and quite rightly.
“There’s cross party support for her.
“I think she is the first female MP to have been murdered whilst doing her job.
“She did a lot of good work, especially for Oxfam in the past, and had only been an MP for 13 months.
“It is a tragic loss to everyone, especially her family and two small children who our thoughts are with.
“We will therefore be lowering the flag at the Town Hall for her today.”