(LONDON) — British officials from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to their late colleague Jo Cox, who was murdered in a knife and gun attack on June 16.
Parliament had been in recess ahead of the European Union referendum on Thursday but was recalled to honor Cox. Members of Parliament were allowed to sit together rather than with other members of their party as they usually do.
Cox, 41, died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside a public library where she was meeting with her constituents in Birstall, West Yorkshire. Her death has prompted an outpouring of public grief.
Earlier Monday, the main suspect in her murder, Thomas Mair, 52, was remanded in custody. The case is being heard under the terrorism protocol. Mair was previously charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offense and possession of an offensive weapon.
Many parliamentarians were in tears as Speaker of the House John Bercow began the tributes.
“Colleagues, we meet today in heartbreaking sadness but also in heartfelt solidarity. Any death in such awful circumstances is an outrage and a tragedy,” Bercow said.
“Jo was murdered in the course of her duty serving constituents in need. She fought for them, just as she fought for others at home and abroad who were victims of poverty, discrimination or injustice,” he said.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Quite simply, there are people on our planet today who are only here and alive because of Jo.”
“Jo’s politics were inspired by love and the outpouring and unity of tributes we’ve seen in the past few days show the extraordinary reach and impact of her message,” Cameron said, describing her as a committed democrat and a passionate feminist.
Cox, a former humanitarian worker, was known for her work on Syria-related issues. Wednesday would have marked Cox’s 42nd birthday.
Following the emotional tributes, MPs walked together to St. Margaret’s Church nearby for a service in her honor.
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