MP for Oldham East & Saddleworth Debbie Abrahams has paid a moving tribute to her colleague and ‘dear friend’ Jo Cox, who was murdered in Leeds yesterday.
Mrs Cox, 41, was killed in a frenzied attack in her constituency and members of all parties in the British government have spoken out in condemnation of the attack.
If you would like to leave a message for Jo & her family there is an online book of condolences https://t.co/85XbeR4lGe
— Debbie Abrahams (@Debbie_abrahams) June 17, 2016
Ms Abrahams echoed the thoughts of Mrs Cox’s husband Brendan, who called for the political establishment, and Britain as a whole, to come together in light of the tragic events.
“My thoughts are with Brendan and their two youngest daughters at what must be the darkest of times for them,” she said.
“As Brendan said, in Jo’s memory, we will unite in love and peace, not hate.”
The MP for Birstall made her first inaugural appearance in Parliament after last year’s general election, and Ms Abrahams said she brought warmth and energy to her work as a campaigner for social justice.
“She always lit up the room with the sheer force of her personality. She had a real love for life and a wonderful sense of fun.
“She was in politics because she wanted to make the world a better place, having worked in many countries across the world where conflict and injustice are rife.”
The murder has resulted in calls for more stringent security measures, but while she acknowledges the concerns, Ms Abrahams stressed the close contact between MPs and the public is a key part of the democratic process.
“Accessibility of MPs to their constituents is so important. That’s not something we should lose sight of,” she said.
“99.9% of people are thoroughly decent and respectful, even if they disagree with you.
“It’s important we don’t change how we interact with the people we represent, while taking time to reconsider our approach to the safety and wellbeing of MPs and our staff.”
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