Labour Women expresses condolences on the death of Jo Cox MP

Labour Women
17 June 2016

We were so saddened to hear of the death of Jo Cox MP yesterday and we send our sincere condolences to her husband Brendan, her two young children and all her family and friends.  We would also like to express our condolences and solidarity to our sisters in the Labour Women’s Network in the UK Labour Party.  Jo was a former chair of Labour Women’s Network where she fiercely campaigned for supports to encourage more women into politics.

Jo stood up for what she believed in.  She fought and campaigned for what she believed was right, for what would make life better for people not only in her own constituency but also in places far from home, such as Syria.  She embraced the diversity of life and wasn’t afraid of difference.  The fact that she was killed while she was doing her job shocks and frightens us to our core.

We learn today that Jo had been receiving threatening and abusive hate mail for months prior to her murder yesterday, to such an extent that consideration was being given to increasing her security.  Unfortunately, this story of abuse is all too familiar in politics today.   The time has come for us to look at how we as society treat our politicians and those who put themselves forward to serve in public life.  It seems to be that women politicians in particular are subjected to a high level of threatening behaviour, be it online, behind anonymous Twitter accounts or physically in person.  We have to ask ourselves whether the attack on Jo Cox yesterday was the logical continuation of such abusive behaviour.  Is this the kind of society we want to live in?   

It behoves every single one of us to stand up to such abuse and call it out wherever and whenever we see it.  To quote the English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Rest in Peace Jo Cox.

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