The husband of murdered British MP Jo Cox has thanked the public for their “incredible generosity” after a memorial fund set up in her honor raised more than £1 million ($1.47 million) in just three days.
Cox, a 41-year-old parliamentarian from the Labour Party, died on Thursday (June 16) after being shot and stabbed outside a library in the Yorkshire village of Birstall. Thomas Mair, 52, was charged with her murder. When asked to give his name at a court appearance, Mair replied: ”My name is death to traitors. Freedom for Britain.”
The money raised will go to three charities Cox supported: the Royal Voluntary Service, a charity helping the elderly; anti-fascist advocacy group Hope Not Hate; and the White Helmets, a politically neutral search-and-rescue group in Syria.
In a statement released after his wife’s murder last week, Brendan Cox said:
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.
Yesterday, MPs paid their respects to Cox during an emotional session in parliament. Cox’s husband and two children, aged 3 and 5, sat in the chamber’s public gallery as politicians remembered their colleague.
“Her killing is an attack on our democracy, it is an attack on our whole society,” said Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Cox’s Yorkshire constituency “will go on to elect a new MP, but no one can replace a mother,” said Rachel Reeves, a Labour colleague from Leeds, as she broke down in the chamber.
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, who shared an office with Cox, said:
We must now stand up for something better because of someone better. In the name of Jo Cox and all that is decent, we must not let this atrocity intimidate our democracy. We must now work to build a more respectful and united country. Because this is our time to honor the legacy of the proud Yorkshire lass who dedicated her life to the common good and was so cruelly taken away from us in the prime of her life. Jo Cox, we love you, we salute you and we shall never forget you.
Tomorrow, on what would have been Cox’s 42nd birthday, public gatherings are planned in her honor, in the UK and beyond.