This afternoon, my colleague Jo Cox – the MP for Batley and Spen – was brutally murdered in the West Yorkshire market town of Birstall, between Leeds and Bradford. Jo came to see me in 2014 to ask for my support to become the Labour candidate for the constituency in the run-up to the 2015 general election and I offered to take some photographs of her to use in her publicity material. She was working at the time in international development, an area I was involved in as a member of the Select Committee.
After Jo’s election to Parliament with a healthy majority in the marginal Batley and Spen seat, I saw her regularly in Westminster and was impressed by her passion and commitment to Aid and Foreign Affairs, subjects she regularly spoke on in the House of Commons.
Jo often came into the division lobby in her cycling gear ready for her bike ride home to her husband Brendan and two young children. Like me, she loved cycling.
Jo was a popular, intelligent and committed MP who served her communities with dedication and passion and who will be missed by all who knew and worked with her. Her murder is an assault on all MPs, and everyone who works in public service, but we must not allow our open and democratic system to be destroyed by this tragedy.
My heart goes out to Brendan, her children, and all her family and friends.
Fabian Hamilton, 16th June 2016