19 Jun 2016

Family of slain MP Jo Cox pay tribute

1:08 pm on 19 June 2016

The family of murdered British MP Jo Cox have visited the village where she died.

Jean Leadbeater (L), the mother of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, listens as Kim (L), Jo's sister, reads a tribute in Birstall, northern England.

Kim Leadbeater reads a tribute to her sister, Labour MP Jo Cox, as their mother Jean Leadbeater listens. Photo: AFP

Mrs Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on Thursday.

Visiting Birstall with her parents Gordon and Jean, her sister Kim Leadbeater described Jo as "perfect".

The family read floral tributes left at the scene and thanked the crowds gathered there for their support.

Speaking in the market square, Kim Leadbeater, Mrs Cox's sister, described the events as "surreal" and read out an emotional tribute.

"From a very young age, all Jo ever wanted was for everyone to be happy. Our parents instilled in us a real glass-half-full mentality.

"And whilst I sometimes tend to add a large measure of Yorkshire cynicism to this, Jo generally did not.

"She only saw the good."

Ms Leadbeater said the tributes paid to her sister had "genuinely made a difference" and helped the family through some dark times.

"I could not watch the overwhelming outpouring of love without speaking on behalf of Jo," she said.

"Jo would want us to focus on that which unites us not which divides us. She will live on through good people in the world."

Mrs Cox, who was married with two children, was about to attend a constituency surgery when she was killed.

A 77-year-old man who came to her aid was also injured and remains in a stable condition in hospital.

'Death to traitors'

The man charged with the murder was remanded in custody when he appeared in a London court last night.

Thomas Mair gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain", when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

When asked to state his name he said "My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain".

The 52-year-old faces charges of murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

The defendant, who was wearing a grey tracksuit, refused to give his correct name and did not reply when asked to confirm his address and date of birth in court earlier.

He did not enter a plea and is next due to appear for a bail application hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday.

His lawyer, Keith Allen, told the court legal aid had been applied for.


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs