Jo Cox, MP. – Statement from the Hannah Mitchell Foundation
Jo Cox was many things – an outstanding Member of Parliament for the West Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, a much-loved local campaigner, a champion of the refugees displaced by wars, a great person to be with. She was also a member of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation, the campaign for democratic devolution in the North of England. She shared our vision for the North, and for Britain and Europe, that was democratic, prosperous, multi-cultural, socially inclusive and egalitarian. She was convinced the vision could only be realized if Britain remained part of the European Union.
Because she worked tirelessly towards this vision, Jo Cox was assassinated. On June 16th, she was stabbed and gunned down in her constituency by a man associated with fascist organisations. Though he acted alone, and may have planned Jo’s murder alone, he was not in any simple sense a lone killer. All actions arise within particular contexts and these help shape and drive those actions forward. The context in which Jo’s killer acted was that of the Referendum debates and, particularly, the toxic, anti-foreigner, anti-EU Leave campaign. Its propaganda, whether it flowed from Farage and UKIP, from Johnson, Gove and others on the far right of the Conservative Party, or from the likes of the Sun and Daily Mail, provided a warped ideological legitimation for Jo’s assassination.
For everyone who seeks a better future for the North and for Britain, as Jo Cox did, the best and most immediate way to honour her life and work would be to vote Remain on June 23rd.