Jo Cox verdict: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says MP murder was 'attack on democracy'
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn described Jo Cox as an 'ambassador of kindness and compassion' following news that Thomas Mair has been found guilty of her murder.
He said: “Jo Cox believed passionately that all people can achieve their full potential given the opportunity. Her murder was an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion.
“Jo’s values were lived out in her last moments, when she bravely put the safety of her staff before her own.
“Jo is someone the Labour Party will forever be extremely proud of.
“The single biggest tribute we can pay to Jo and her life will be to confront those who wish to promote the hatred and division that led to her murder.
“Jo was a loving mother and wife. I hope that the verdict has delivered some sense of justice to those grieving, particularly Jo’s family, who all of our thoughts are with at this time.”
The two colleagues who were with Mrs Cox during the deadly attack have also issued a statement.
Fazila Aswat, the MP’s office manager, and senior caseworker Sandra Major said: “On Thursday, June 16, our friend and boss, Jo Cox, was brutally murdered.
“So many lives were changed forever, including ours. However, our thoughts will always remain with Jo’s very young children, husband and family – especially her parents who have lost a child in the most horrific circumstances.
“We takes some comfort from being with Jo on the day, as she was not alone, we were with her and both loved her and feel honoured to have been with her in her last moments; despite being one of the worst days of our lives.
“We would like to thank everyone who has provided us with support and warm wishes during this dark period.”
The MP’s family has also been in the thoughts of others who knew 41-year-old Mrs Cox.
Paula Sherriff was elected in 2015 alongside Mrs Cox and represents the neighbouring Dewsbury and Mirfield constituency.
She tweeted: “Thinking of Jo Cox’s brave, dignified and courageous family today x
Others outside the political world have also begun to share their thoughts.
The vicar of Birstall, the Rev Paul Knight, said: “We’re relieved that it’s gone this far and that it’s wrapping up, really.
“We want to concentrate on the good things that can come out of this.
“Jo was so positive and changed so many lives. We want to make sure that’s the thing that’s remembered, not the guy that did it.”
Speaking outside Birstall Library, Mr Knight said: “We’re getting back to a normality but we’ll never forget Jo. That’s what we promised.”
He said: “Everybody always says that kind of thing doesn’t happen round here but it did.
“And we had deal with it and there was an incredible outpouring of grief.”
The Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield, had this to say on behalf of the Church of England Diocese of Leeds.
“The murder of Jo Cox MP was a very dark day in the life of our nation,” he said.
“The trial of Thomas Mair and today’s verdict have demonstrated the vital importance of justice and the rule of law which are at the heart of our nation.
“We pay tribute to Jo’s wonderful example of service and to the bravery which she demonstrated right to the end of her life.
“We also pay tribute to the dignity and courage of her family and we will stand with them and continue to hold them in our prayers in the months and years ahead.
“Jo stood for the very best qualities which we look for in all our politicians.
“She believed firmly that ‘what unites us is greater than what divides us’ – a principle she lived by throughout her career.
“We stand with those of all faiths and none across West Yorkshire in affirming what Jo stood for and we will honour her memory by working together for a more peaceful, tolerant and united world.”
The Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, said: “Today justice has been done, but the grievous loss of an MP, wife and mother is not thereby resolved.
“As the community in Batley and Spen continues to look for healing, so do we continue to pray for Jo’s family in particular as they adjust to a world without her.
“What has been revealed during this trial indicates that a peaceful society needs to be vigilant in relation to those within it who seek to use violence to divide.”