Tributes flow in for 'compassionate, principled and beautiful' Jo Cox
Labour MP, 41, was shot and stabbed in her West Yorkshire constituency.
Senior Labour figures have led the heartfelt tributes to Jo Cox after the Labour MP was murdered in her constituency.
The MP for Batley and Spen was attacked following an advice surgery for constituents. She was taken by helicopter to Leeds General Infirmary where she later died from her injuries. A 52-year-old man known locally as Tommy Mair has since been arrested.
Campaigning on the EU referendum was suspended after the first reports of Cox’s injuries emerged.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.
“Jo 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 she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.
“Jo 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. 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. In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.
“We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.”
Deputy leader Tom Watson stated: “The whole of the Labour movement is devastated at Jo's death. We have lost a colleague so young who had much more to contribute to public life. She was our future.
“It is hard to comprehend how a compassionate, principled and beautiful person can be taken away from us so cruelly. It's even more devastating because she was doing what she did best - serving her constituents. We grieve her loss. Our love and prayers are with Brendan and Jo's family.”
Former prime minister Gordon Brown said: "Our memories will be for ever scarred by this moment. Our hearts will always be hurt at our country’s loss.
"Jo Cox was the most vivacious, personable, dynamic and committed friend you could ever have. Whenever you talked to her, the compassion in her eyes and the commitment in her soul shone through. Years of public service advancing the causes she cared passionately about should have been ahead of her."
The prime minister responded to the "absolutely tragic and dreadful news" from Gilbraltar, where he cancelled a planned rally.
David Cameron said: "We’ve lost a great star. She had a big heart and people are going to be very, very sad at what has happened.
"She was a very strong campaigning MP. She had a great track record of caring about refugees and had taken a big interest in how we can look after Syrian refugees and do the right thing in our world. She was a star for her constituents, a star in Parliament and a star right across the House.
“It’s right that we are suspending campaigning activity in this referendum and everyone’s thoughts will be with Jo’s family and her constituents at this terrible time.”
Jo Cox's husband Brendan tweeted a photo of his wife this afternoon. They were joined by their two young children yesterday on the Thames campaigning for staying in the EU.
In a statement released later, he said: "Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.
"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.
"She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her."
Politicians from across the political spectrum also expressed their shock and paid tribute to Cox on Twitter.
Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images