A week after British parliamentarian and pro-Europe campaigner Jo Cox was brutally shot and killed, her district voted to leave the European Union (EU) in Britain’s historic referendum. Voters in Kirklees voted to leave by a margin of 55% to 45%, following a turnout of 70% in the district.
Flowers, teddy bears, and notes were laid outside a polling station in Cox’s hometown, Batley. Cox was shot and stabbed after meeting with constituents on June 16. Two days later, Thomas Mair was charged with her murder. When asked by the court to give his name, he said: “My name is death to traitors. Freedom for Britain,”
Two days prior to the referendum, Cox’s widower Brendan and their two children led a vigil on what would have been her 42nd birthday. Thousands joined the family in paying tribute to the MP, who believed in the benefits of immigration and integration and campaigned fiercely to stay in the EU.
Kirklees’ results echoed the rest of the country’s decision, which backed Brexit by a margin of 52% to 48%. While Labour councillors were clearly disappointed with the result, a small group of UKIP supporters in the town cheered the result.
With Brexit campaigners already backtracking on promises they had made in the run up to the vote, some are already petitioning for another EU referendum.