Jeremy Corbyn and senior MPs from across politics have paid tribute to Jo Cox, who died today, after she suffered a violent street attack outside her constituency surgery.
The Labour leader spoke out soon after the death of the 41-year-old, while his deputy Tom Watson, Unite boss Len McCluskey and prime minister David Cameron also described their shock and sadness.
Corbyn praised Cox’s work in international development and offered his condolences to her family.
“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.
“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.”
Cameron, and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, echoed the tributes, saying it was crucial to put on hold the EU referendum campaigns for a time of mourning.
The prime minister said “this is absolutely tragic and dreadful news. My thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan, the two children and the wider family.
“We’ve lost a great star. She was a MP – a great campaigning MP – with a huge compassion and great heart. People are going to be so sad about what has happened. It’s dreadful dreadful news. It’s right that we are suspending campaigning activity and everyone’s thoughts will be with Jo’s family and her constituents at this terrible time.”
Kezia Dugdale, leader of the Scottish Labour party, said: “There will be time to talk about what the savage murder of an elected representative means for our democracy but that’s for another day. Today we mourn the loss of one of our own.
“Jo was an extraordinary woman. She devoted her life to helping people in the darkest places in our world. Our hearts are broken by the loss of one of our country’s brightest hopes. We mourn not just the woman she was but the loss of everything she would have achieved.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey added a call for action, saying the country must carry on her work “never letting division and despair win the day”.
“This is the most appalling crime. Two young children have lost their mum, Jo’s husband has lost his wife and a family has had a deeply loved member taken from them.
“Jo was doing what she believed in and was passionate about, standing up for the people and the community she represented.
“We must honour her in the best way possible, to carry on her work of uniting people and never letting division or despair win the day.”
Gordon Brown, former Prime Minster, who worked with Cox with his wife Sarah, said spoke of his determination that such a crime never happens again in Britain.
“Sarah and I were privileged to work with Jo and her husband Brendan over many years and in her tireless efforts on behalf of poor and desolate children and mothers. She she went to some of the most dangerous places in the world. The last place she should have been in danger was in her home town.
“People will say that this does not happen in Britain. This should not happen in Britain. And we must resolve that this will never again happen in Britain.”