20/06/2016 House of Lords


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My Lords, Jo Cox was clearly a remarkable woman. I never met her,


tragically the first thing I knew about her was that she had been


killed. We are shocked that a young woman in the prime of her life has


been stabbed and shot dead in the streets of town like Birstall on


Thursday lunchtime. We are sad that a husband has lost his wife and two


young children will never see their mother again. And we are horrified


because Jo was a member of Parliament killed by a constituent


whilst she was going about her work serving the people of Batley and


Spen. My Lords, we have learned a lot about Jo over the past few days.


None of us could fail to be impressed by her dedication and


commitment, both before and since entering Parliament. She was a woman


who clearly cared about other people. She had travelled far, had


wide horizons, and she thought big. For me, most moving has been hearing


what with clearly a woman with a passion for the world say in her


maiden speech how proud she was to come from Yorkshire and be


representing the place where she had grown up and the people she had


grown up amongst. The impression she gave this stranger, listening to


have the first time, was that Jo Cox was a woman who knew who she was,


and I really like that. My Lords, we are not just paying tribute to Jo


Cox today. We are standing in solidarity. Shoulder to shoulder


with the other house of parliament. The House of Commons has lost one of


its own in the most dreadful circumstances. It is not the first


time, over the last 40 years we have lost Robert Bradford, Anthony Berry


and Ian Gow at the hands of IRA terrorists. One of them was holding


a constituency surgery at the time of the attack and his caretaker was


also killed. Thankfully, Stephen Timms survived a violent attack by a


constituent as did the noble Lord Lord Jones though tragically the


Lord's assistant was killed in that attack. But Jo Cox is the first MP


to be killed in the line of duty by a constituent. My Lords, today, as


leader of this house and behalf of all noble Lords, I would like to pay


tribute to all members of the other place. Our elected colleagues who


follow their vacation to improve things for the benefit of those they


represent. Their route to Parliament is rarely easy and it can take


years. It's usual for them to have to accept failure many times before


being selected, to represent their party, hopefully in a winnable seat,


and often not before they have had to stand and lose in a hopeless one.


Those who do make it work tirelessly for their constituents, not to say


in weight since the bucket every wake -- in Westminster, but every


week in their constituency. But as the last election showed, they could


be rejected if the electorate are fed up with their party at large.


The British people deserve the best public servants to represent them in


Parliament. Jo Cox was clearly a great public servant for her


constituents. And thankfully in that respect, she was far from alone.


Marking her death, tragic and unfair as it is, present at least one


opportunity for the sake of good democracy and it is this. For those


of us who know how hard MPs work for to raise awareness of their


commitment to the people they represent. My Lords, behalf of the


whole house, I offer my sincere condolences to Jo's husband,


children, parents, sister and all her family and friends. On behalf of


the Conservative Party in this house, I offer all of our colleagues


on the Labour benches our deepest sympathies for the loss of their


dear friend. And finally, my Lords, on behalf of the House of Lords, I


offer our condolences and respect to our colleagues in the other place.


My Lords, may I thank the leader for her comments today. The murder of Jo


Cox MP almost defies words. It is so devastating, so heartbreaking, any


words are inadequate to express the scale and depth of the loss. The


loss to Brendan and her children, her parents, sister and family, and


that wider family or friends, colleagues and constituents. And it


is a loss that has affected everybody who knew her, but also so


many mayor who had not yet get to know her. And it is not just a loss


for her and what she was, but the loss of what would have been and


what more she would have done. It is a loss that is so profound and


overwhelming, that we, individually and collectively as a nation, are


the poorer for it. Jo was clearly very special, exceptional.


Physically tiny Yorkshire lass, five foot high, she was morally and


intellectually strong, driven by her values. She knew she had a role to


play in creating a better country and world. And for the all too short


time she was in Parliament, she brought those values with all the


skills, experience and knowledge from her past roles with Oxfam and


NGOs, working with Glenys Kinnock, to her life as a Labour MP. We have


heard her describe as a force of nature, decent and determined. She


made people feel good about themselves and what they could


achieve. She was passionate and serious and she was good fun. As one


of her friends in the House of Commons said, she was the best of


us, and she made the best of us. She saw that her role in politics could


be a force for good, a force that could make lives better. And that is


what brought her like so many others into politics. Our democracy will be


serious the undermined and weakened if his outrage stops our brightest


and best stepping forward into public life. When good people with


passion and principle tell their family and friends they want to be a


counsellor or member of Parliament, I want their families to be proud of


them. Not to fear for them. Yet the level of vitriol and violence


contaminating our public and political life will deter some of


the best people that we need the most. Almost every MP can report


threats and abuse, sometimes violent. And although social media


makes it easier, it is too easy just to bring the Internet. All of this


has coincided with a deterioration of political debate. Of course we


must argue our differences on policy with emotion and conviction, but too


many have gone beyond that. The tone of the debate and the language,


particularly around immigration and asylum seekers, shames many. The


drip feed of denigration and abuse poisons the very air that we


breathe. So those of us who can speak out and those of us who report


and write needs to think very carefully about past actions and


words and the way forward. In the words of Jo's husband Brendan, Jo


would have wanted us to, and I quote, all unite to fight against


the hatred that killed her. The hope for the future is that society comes


to the fore. As we have seen from the reaction from the public home


and abroad. And we saw the amazing coverage of the bravery of Bernard


Kenny who risked his own life, and the love and loyalty of her


assistant. My Lords... Excuse me. Over the weekend, my husband drew my


attention to a 1968 crore in of Martin Luther King -- goring of


Martin -- goring, saying, they think they have killed me, standing over a


picture of a cross legged Ghandi. Despite his death, his passion lived


on and through others achieved great things. So Jo's legacy has to be


that same inspiration. An inspiration to others to continue


her work. An inspiration to us all to be better. An inspiration to


those who have encouraged hatred and bitterness that they must stop. And


more than anything else, an inspiration to others to fulfil her


promise and legacy. In the book of consultancies in Birstall, this


message was left, and I can think of no finer tribute. -- book of


condolences. This is a message from a young woman who had met Jo and it


just says, you told me I would do great things. I am going to prove


you write and I am going to carry on your legacy. My Lords, at this time


of terrible shock and profound loss, I wish on behalf of the Liberal


Democrat inches to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the


constituents of Jo Cox, to our colleagues on the Labour benches and


above all to Jo's husband, children, parents, sister and wider family. My


Lords I am sure like many I have never had the privilege of meeting


Jo Cox. But as I have listened to the outpouring of tributes that we


have heard since the tragic event of Thursday afternoon, I realised that


part of my sense of loss is that I did not have the opportunity to know


such an incredible person. Jo Cox was a humanitarian, are deeply


committed public servants, in her role as an aid worker she spent time


with victims of rape in Darfur, with tribal elders in Afghanistan. She


touched the lives of many across the world. Her knowledge and experience


came together with her empathy and compassion and gave the voiceless


strong and powerful voice in Parliament. Where she showed vision


and courage are standing up for refugees and Syria. Jo Cox was a


woman of courage and conviction. She fought passionately for the things


he believed in, she fought for her constituents in Batley and Spen. She


fought for those overseas who could not fight for themselves. And she


fought to make this country a better place. My Lords, to be a member of


Parliament, is both after -- and honour and a privilege. It is


littered the elected but to serve your constituents, -- it is an


honour to be elected, but to serve your constituents is deep and


lasting honour. Tragically, Jo Cox lost her life in the line of


Parliamentary duty, representing the people she was elected to serve. To


be involved in politics is to be dedicated to public service, driven


by a desire to make things better for our community and country and


our world. And the days since her death, she has come to embody what


is decent and good in our democracy. Too often, we see fear and division


dominator Too often, we see fear and division


dominate our debate. Jo rejected that approach, she wanted to build a


country which was united. The words of her maiden speech in the Commons


have been often quoted, because the truth contained in death intercity


is there. -- in death intercity is there. We are far more in common


than that that divides us. It is time to stop the anger and ask


ourselves what sort of country we want to be. What can we do to truly


on a Jo Cox who in her life said no to the easy option of cynicism and


took the much harder route of making the world a better place. Jo Cox's


murder is a wake-up call to all of us. If we can show an iota of the


courage and love that she showed in her life, or one out of the


compassion of bravery that her husband has changed since her death,


-- one ounce of the compassion, we will create the better world that Jo


lived and worked for. My Lords, her family, friends, constituents, our


country and the global community, are so much poorer because of Jo


Cox's death. But the world and the lives of countless people were made


so much better by her life. Those named in the memory of her


remarkable life of compassion and -- so may the memory of her remarkable


life of passion and commitment remain with us all. I speak on


behalf of Lord Crewe game, who is absent and regrets not being here,


and I speak on behalf of my crossbench colleagues. I associate


myself and these benches with the remarks already made by the noble


Baroness Smith and noble Lords. We on these benches join others in


sending our condolences to the family and friends of Jo Cox, Madrid


parliament. In particular, our thoughts are with her husband


Brendan and that two children. They have had their wife and mother taken


away from them in such tragic, violent and cruel circumstances. The


remarkable and extensive tributes paid to Jo Cox from across the


political spectrum and across the world following her death is a


testament to her character, commitment, personality and respect


she was held in. Whilst admired and respected by all who knew her, Jo


Cox was not widely known nationally. But many today including myself


should sorely wish they had known and met her. One friend from a Hindi


charity, the name of which means shout or make noise, described her


as an advocate for the voiceless and those in poverty. Seeing her picture


in a T-shirt with the logo of the parliament tug-of-war fund rising


challenge between Lords and Commons, for MacMillan Cancer Support, defied


her. As a politician, a philanthropist and sportsperson. In


an e-mail forwarded to me, another friend of hers said this. Jo brought


out the best in everyone, even when she was being tough. Quick to put


people at ease, with her bubbly personality, even when recruiting


people to join her to climb her beloved did Scottish mountains,


apparently she enjoyed backing Munro 's. Her love of Scottish mountains


reflected in the name of her son. The same friend also talked about


humanity. She said Jo would see the same unanimity in the eyes of a


doubtful child, -- eight Darfur child, a Syrian refugee or a lonely


octogenarian. She worked for many charities but one close to my own


interest is when she worked with Sarah Brown and the White ribbon


Alliance to reduce maternal death in developing countries. Her efforts


made a difference. As an MP, she made a huge impact.


She spoke on subject close to her heart and raising concerns to


constituents. Clearly, she was a hard-working member of Parliament.


But she died a violent death while serving her constituents has shown a


light on this important component of our democratic process. -- that she


died. And the risks MPs face in the course of their duties. Even more so


how women MPs. We all owe much to those in public life, especially our


MPs. It is they who keep our democracy alive. For which, we


should be grateful. I pay tribute today to Jo Cox, member of


Parliament, whose life has been tragically cut short, but she still


had much more together. The nation clearly has lost a rising star. Our


thoughts and prayers are with her family and their great loss. I speak


on the half of the archbishops and bishops and the Church of England in


not wanting to repeat what has already been said, but to associate


ourselves with those remarks. With deep sympathy to Brendan and the


children and the wider family and to the members of the other place. We


live with our mortality and the fragility of civilisation. It is not


very deep and it can be easily penetrated. But when I heard of her


death in my office in Leeds I was reminded of those words from Julius


Caesar. Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant


never taste of death, but once. My Lords, there are many cowards around


who have died in -- inside. And Jo was the antithesis of that. She was


full of life, passionate, intelligent and she was always


generous. And her constituents, who I have spent the last few days with,


are unequivocal about that. She said in her maiden speech that she was


made in Yorkshire. And she went on to talk about manufacturing in


Yorkshire. But her credibility was not only that she was local and that


people knew where she had grown up and her family still live there, but


she had travelled the world, engaged with issues, many of which we


discuss, but of which we have very little first-hand knowledge. If I


want to hear about refugees, I prefer to hear someone who knows


what they are talking about, because they hang in there. And Jo Cox were


certainly that. Christians look through a resurrection shaped lens


called Hope. And appalling though her death is, I do want to pay


tribute not only to Herbert to her constituents, who over the last


weekend have had to engage with their own shock and grief in many


cases -- and in many cases anger. -- to her constituents. Many places


have opened and will continue to open to create a commonplace which


people can live with their emotions and responses in. With their own


memories of Jo Cox, not only their MP, but a daughter of their place.


We pray that she will rest in peace and that her family will find peace.


I pray that there still will be remembered more with the manner of


her living them in the manner of her dying. As we look to the future from


these benches, we would say with confidence that death of violence


and destruction cannot and will not have the final word. But if we want


to be the answer to our own prayers, then some 23 makes it clear. Then we


are the people who will be the rod and the staff that will enable her


friends and her family to continue as life continues for them. My


Lords, the tragic death of my great friend Jo Cox is devastating and I


send all my love to Brendan, their beloved children and her proud and


devoted parents, Gordon and Jean. She came to work with me in the


European Parliament is nearly 20 years ago as my diary secretary.


Within weeks, it was obvious that she is a hugely intelligent,


effervescent young woman who was going to do much more than the --


than administer my logistical needs. She very rapidly became an innovator


of thought and action. Our close and deep friendship was made then and it


has enriched my life ever since. I was overjoyed when she had her


lovely children and thrilled by her continual and earned successes,


including her election to her native Batley and Spen last year. She has


as I anticipate it being an outstanding parliamentarian. When


she left me, her capacity for original thinking, practical deeds


and team leadership showed that she was, as one of her colleagues said,


pocket rocket. For the internationalist course of a


development and justice she worked throughout her life. She was a


unique mixture of high intelligence, gaiety, bravery, energy and


kindness. And she had an endless capacity for hard work. Her whole


life was dedicated to her fellow human beings. In her constituents,


in Syria and Africa and elsewhere, where she offered practical and


useful compassion. She fought tirelessly on every front for


justice and against prejudice and poverty. She not only did nothing


bad in her life, she much more importantly, successfully strove to


always too good. Happily she was no saint, she was mischievous, Merry,


irreverent as well as focused, determined, resilient and brave. I


feel cheated by the lost of this precious and valiant young woman.


Our country and world has been robbed of a unique talent. I cannot


imagine what madness could have taken this truly wonderful young


woman from us. It has punished goodness with badness. It has left


so many of us feeling of emptiness. We must overcome that. Jo Cox would


have said... Don't mourn, work and organise and campaign for a better


world." I hope that we would and will heed her. Jo was beautiful


inside and out. She was brave, bold. As the world now knows, she was a


truly extraordinary woman, but she was also utterly normal. A


working-class Yorkshire lass with a strong family, she adored her


children and put them first. She was a wife, daughter, sister and friend.


She understood the community she served. She had expect drastic


capacity for connecting with people. -- a fantastic capacity. She climbed


mountains and in camp worked in countries torn apart by conflict.


Her enthusiasm for life was infectious. It is true that if you


bump into her during the day your day got better her life was devoted


to changing the world. Many of us say we want to change the world. But


that is exactly what she did. Through work with those fleeing war


and hunger and through her work as a member of Parliament. She was a


powerful advocate who gave a voice to the voiceless and fought


passionately against injustice. She was a great human being. She loved


this country, but she was a real European and a citizen of the world.


She was recognised as a young global leader. The fact that her 42nd per


code on Wednesday -- her 42nd birthday on Wednesday is being


commemorated is a testament to her global reach. She literally touched


lives throughout the world. In my book, Jo is the best sort of


politician. Labour to the call, but she understood there are good people


in most parties and sometimes, in order to bring about change coming


to reach out to those of different political persuasion. She knew how


to build bridges. And also have to disagree in an agreeable wary. Her


murder was a tragedy that they are terrible and lasting impact. But


also an attack on our society and democracy. As an optimist, hope and


believe it will have a lasting effect on the way we do politics and


the way politicians are regarded by the public. Public service should be


celebrated. Politicians follow a noble profession. Most do a great


job. Too often, they are undermined by the corrosion of cynicism and


from the content that is dangerous and contagious. Someone wrote in the


memorials... You cannot kill democracy. My Lords, we will not let


that happen. But democracy is fragile. Our politicians are


vulnerable. Her life and words are a testament to the fact that there is


more in our communities that unite us than divides us. And the Prime


Minister and Jeremy Corbyn laying wreaths gave us a message of unity.


There are times for debate, but also to stand together. Despite the fact


she worked in the most difficult and fragile parts of the world, where


lives are degraded, she never ceased to love people and love life. She


was generous in friendship, fun and I will remember her for many things.


My fondest memory of a -- is of an early evening last summer. Summer at


the cottage, that was the only way for the adventurous family to cook.


Her beautiful children were running around whilst she and others put the


world to rights. The tone of democracy, decency and tolerance was


set by Brendan on a remarkable statement he crafted so soon after


her murder. Me that they continue in our politics and public life. May


her unquenchable spirit live on. My auntie said she voted for Jo Cox


this week. What she said was that she voted Remain because she was


advised to do so. Jo Cox talk to her and my aunt thought she was lovely.


And she voted for her and joined the rest of the world in our admiration


for this woman, who we hope our politicians should be like. I was


born in Batley and Spen and so was my family. My father was a Labour


Party member and I am proud to have been made in Yorkshire as well.


I joined ordinary people to pay respect to this amazing woman and


her family in Birstall yesterday. There was such a sense of deep


sadness and loss, and talking to people, they know the international


and national significance of the political assassination of the local


and much loved MP. Ordinary, decent Yorkshire folk who cannot believe


that this happened in their town. I was not sure whether I should speak


today because unlike others, I only knew and grew to admire Jo Cox in


the last few years. But my family and friends said a local Yorkshire


voice should be heard in this House today. And that I was to say that


this is not what the people Batley and Spen alike. And to say how


terribly shocked they are at the waist of the lovely, warm, vibrant,


effective, honest and special politician who belonged to them. And


they wonder, like my auntie Marie, who said yesterday, what have we


done to create a world where this can happen? Jo was committed to


bringing the voices of those outside the corridors of power inside its


walls and in that spirit I wanted this House today to hear from a few


of those who do not work in Parliament but who you Jo as a


friend, mother and a college. From her school friends, Louise and


Heidi. We have always known Jo was special. We're not surprised at how


many people man know this. We love you like a sister. You will be


greatly missed, you funny, bright and wonderful girl. From Katie, a


university friend. Jo was human, she had fears and she spoke about them.


But she ensured that love triumphed over fear. Jo radiated love. From


Simon and Jenny, family friends. We remember Jo on her wedding day,


tucking up our wedding dress to play football with the children, running


around the woods, taking the kids on a hike to spot badges at night,


cooking us nettle soup. Her fingers tingling because she couldn't find


the right goals. Dancing at a festival. She will live a great hole


in this world, but let it not be in vain. From Michelle, I would go


around the office tidying up after her, picking up bits of clothing,


cycling gear, he straighteners. She was a stickler on making sure I had


blocked out time in the diary so she could be with the children. I will


miss my friends so very much but I will always be inspired by her. From


Tom and his family. The last time we saw her and be said a light-hearted


fare well, she said this of motherhood. I love creating moments


of magic for them, it is my favourite part of being a mother.


And she did every single day. But maybe without realising it, she did


the same for every person she met. She sought solutions, not barriers.


She attacked problems like a bag of nettles and blitzed them into soup.


When so much has been written and said about her death, I hope people


will remember Jo for her life but of more than anyone I knew, she cruelly


let her values, not just exposed them. When I lose my way and my


voice, I hope the memory of Jo bath eye friendship and unwavering


commitment to fight for a better world will strengthen me with some


of her courage and optimism. Of the many messages from her houseboat


neighbours, he is just one. -- UAs. She is very special for her kindness


and care and will be remembered by everyone who knew her, also people


who heard about her. Her body was kindness and care. Lastly, another


university friend, Jane Brady. Most of all, Jo was a man who deeply


loved her children and want to do well to be a better place for all


children. The last time we spoke, she was very tired. The kids had


been poorly and she wondered if she really was making a difference. I


just want to say to her, look at the world now, Jo, it is so much better


for having had you in it. My Lords, it is most impossible to express how


devastated I am by what has happened to Jo. Jo was a truly remarkable


person. Remarkable for the wonderful food that she and Brendan could


produce in the tiny, cramped galley of their narrow boat. Remarkable for


their love of wild country in the borders of Wales or amongst their


beloved Scottish mountains. Remarkable of all for the


astonishing amount that she had achieved in only a year as an MP. Jo


will also be remembered as a remarkable, bright, energetic and


highly respected student at Pembroke College in Cambridge, the college of


which I am now the master. She was and is much loved by her fellow


students, and especially by those who taught her. As students and


fellows have in recent weeks been collecting funds to support Syrian


refugees. We will now be making our collective donation in Jo's name. In


due course, we will hope to establish a studentship in her


memory for a refugee student or for someone from a background like hers,


who might otherwise find it difficult to come to Cambridge. Jo


stood for the politics of hope and love. She has been cruelly taken


from us by fear and hate. And there has been too much fear and hate, has


there not, in recent weeks? We must dedicate ourselves to continue her


work. I knew Jo because we back -- both worked for the connects, for


the browns, for the labour women's network, and we both had a habit of


ending up in refugee camps. In the run-up to Jo's election as an MP she


told me that my diary had nearly put her off. The thing is, she said, my


constituency could never caused me as much grief is yours. This is the


only thing Jo was wrong about. Jo has suffered more than anyone of us


in Parliament. Joel has given more than any one of us in Parliament.


Therefore, Jo now represents more than anyone of us in Parliament. Jo


represents civilisation in much the same way as her murderer represents


barbarism. Glenys told us that she was no saint, but let me tell you


why she was an angel. She is one of a tiny percentage of the world's


population, a truly, truly infinitesimal percentage of the


world's population, who genuinely care about other people's children


as much as they care for their own, and then act on it. But apart from


being an angel, Jo was also a proper policy person and she would want us


to be talking about the policies as much as the personality. And because


she was an angel, she would most likely be the first to point out we


mustn't just rage against her murderer, we must seek to understand


what leads an isolated, mentally ill man to kill. What is it that whipped


him up into a frenzy? Who is it that whipped up into the frenzy? Because


it was not Jo. Ordered all of us with him into a frenzy? Was it


written pubs -- Britain's public discourse that whipped him into a


frenzy? Then our cultural discourse must change and that must be Jo's


legacy, a kinder, more tolerant Britain. And in that kind of


Britain, one of the first questions is, just how many isolated and


mentally ill people are there among us? Which policy failures have


contributed to their plight, and why aren't those isolated and mentally


ill people not our priority, not an afterthought? Why are we not heeding


the police when they say the single biggest shared factor of extremists


who carry out terror attacks, whether Islamic extremists or white


British nationalists, is untreated mental health issues? Jo would ask,


why are our mental health services Cinderella services? In fact, she


did ask that in Parliament. And why do poorer communities in general and


refugees in particular is always have to pay the highest price? This


is what Jo said a few weeks ago when speaking in favour of the amendment


on refugee children. She said, Syrian families are being forced to


make an impossible decision. Stay and faced starvation, rape,


persecution and death, or make a powerless journey to find century.


Who can blame desperate parents wanted to escape the horror?


Children being killed on the way to school. I know I would risk life and


limb to get my two precious babies out of that hellhole. And it is hard


to think about Jo's precious babies today, even if they have an


extraordinary family and a father, Brandon, who radiates love and is


surely the most dignified man in Britain. -- Brendan. Jo concluded,


any MP who has seen the desperation and fear on the faces of children


trapped in camps across Europe must surely feel compelled to act. I urge


them to be brave and bold, that is what Jo said. That is how I conclude


this tribute to Jo. I urge everyone who contributes to Britain both


black public discourse to be brave and bold. -- Britain's public


discourse. I ask parliamentarians to transcribe her kindness into


legislation because that is how we drain the hate that killed her.


Tragedy brings focus, Jo represent us now in a way others do not. Her


words mean even more narrow and unless we heed the tone of her


words, how life could have been lost in vain and not just for the sake of


Jobar for British democracy, that can never be. The Jo Cox was proud


to be a member of the Labour Party, and that made the family as proud of


her. There are some people in families as well as political


parties who you try to judge but Jo was someone who improved your day.


She was a passionate believer in the power of good, and many dark corners


of the world have lost a passionate human rights defender. So many


people have lost a woman who was a joy and an inspiration to work with.


People who she had worked with for nearly two decades, in Parliament,


in the Labour Party offices, at party headquarters and party offices


up and down the country. Even before she became an MP, how many friends


-- how many friends, as well as my friends and from -- former


colleagues in Gordon Brown's offices, valued her insight and


compassion, not least in the work she did with Sarah Brown and women's


health. They are all part of this tribute to Jo, who loved life, her


country, our world and most of all her family. I met Brendan when he


was a student and I know that he has shown himself to be so brave and so


strong. We mourn their loss but he and her family should know that all


of us are absolutely and resolutely united and determined to counter the


hate that killed Jo and to prove that hate dart-mac sorry, that hope


does beat hate. I did not know Jo very well and of course I had every


expectation and hope I would get to know her better and work more


closely with her in the months and years ahead. She came to see me some


three years ago as chair of labour women's network to talk about an


idea she had for a women's think tank. We discussed what that might


look like but of course, we went onto other issues, international


development, women in Parliament, and other passions. I assumed that


with power, with a charming energy, that think tank would go ahead, but


it was not to the because some few short months later she was elected


and the think tank was put on the back burner, maybe something we


should ponder again. She came to see me about a year ago with a friend.


She brought that friend, who was a Conservative who wanted to be a


woman MP will stop not all members of other parties are so generous as


to share their friends with other parties, and indeed, a living


embodiment of power, as she says, we have far more in common with each


other than things that divide us. My Lords, initially, I was concerned


that this terrible, tragic death would put women off coming forward.


But I wonder if in fact that is the case. I hope perhaps that her


passion, her inspiration, compassion, will fact encourage


women who have got what it takes, the resilience, to do so, there


could be no better tribute to her if they do. For 20 years, I knew and


cherished Jo Cox as a friend dart-mac Order. I do apologise but I


think there are two speakers because the noble Lord is going to conclude


the tributes. My Lords. Jo Cox was my MP.


She was savagely attacked and murdered on the street just yards


from where we were due to campaign on an issue about which we both


cared passionately. Europe. That was not to be. Jo had strongly held


principled views. She was willing to work with all those who would make a


difference. Following her murder there has been an outpouring of love


for Jo. The floral tributes placed in the marketplace grow daily.


Yesterday over 100 came within just one hour. The messages speak of real


help given, concerns listened to, anxieties lightened. People in her


constituency of Batley and spend knew who she was. Jo in her too


brief time as our MP visited countless schools, community groups


and businesses. Everywhere she went she gave support and encouragement.


Be ambitious. Yes you can, was her mantra. Be positive. The hopeful.


The evening she died, the local church held a vigil, the church was


packed. Literally, standing room only. They included people from all


faiths and none. Christians, Muslims, Sikhs together. Morning.


The following day I had reason to work into Birstall. In Yorkshire,


when you meet someone in the street, you say hello. That day the mood was


heavy, sombre. Nobody wanted to speak. So there were no words. But


there was an understanding that what had happened to Jo was a tragedy


beyond words. And awful barbaric attack on her, a huge, overwhelming


sense of loss of a special person whose life was so brutally cut short


and, yes, a sense of anger that our democracy had been violently this


merchant. -- besmirched. I was speaking to some people yesterday.


Jo had been to their school several times. At first they said no one was


interested in politics, it was pointless. But no more. Jo Hart MPs


to many to show what could be campaigned by political campaigning.


Especially the girls. We in Batley and Spen have lost a remarkable


girl. The country has lost a spirited advocate for the poor and


dispossessed wherever they live. Her family has lost the person they


love. We are all the poorer for her passing. My Lords, Jo Cox erupted in


my inbox about six months ago. The voice was demanding not to be


ignored. As I soon discovered, not to be resisted either. She demanded


that I work with her to help identify the cause of the starving


in the besieged cities of Syria. I met with her, how could I


conceivably resist? I was very privileged to do it. I'd worked with


her for some months. I have to say, she did the work, not me. I have to


say, she writes extremely well. She wrote. Her energy and commitment


moved the public debate to public attention. Yesterday, I looked at


the last time I saw her, three weeks ago. In two big fashion, she wrote,


I'm sorry to disturb your bank holiday break, please will you sign


the above attachment. I did, of course. I wrote back and said, you


are wonderful. Of course, thanks. I have so much to do with the


referendum I have so little time to do anything else. I said, the people


of Syria are so lucky to have you. She wrote back, keep up the good


work, X. What else would you expect? We talked about the starving in


Syria and how we could make politics more sensible. How we could deliver


on her passion expressed in her maiden speech to celebrate


diversity. We spoke about a poem and she insisted I send it to her. I


have to confess, I forgot. I will quote it now because I think it sums


up the value of life as some others have said cut too tragically short


but lived extraordinarily well. Goes like this: we are all the more one


because we are many. We have left an ample space for love in the gap


where we were sundered. In our likeness shines the radiance of a


common creation like mountain peaks in the morning sun. Those were the


values for which she lived her life and, perhaps, for which she may have


died. If we do our best to live to those values, our politics will be


more successful, our nation more successful and secure. My Lords, may


I express my gratitude for my colleagues on all sides of the house


to Jo Cox and say also to those who haven't voiced their sympathy this


afternoon that we do understand that it is nonetheless deeply felt and


sincerely felt. For 20 years I knew and cherished Jo Cox as a friend and


as a young woman of great personal and political vivacious must. In


life, she was brilliant in all respects. Her death was appalling in


its ugly brutality and dreadful injustice. As I reeled with a


horrified shock of hearing what had happened to Jo, I confess, my Lords,


I felt misery mixed with hatred. Hatred for whoever had terrified and


killed her. Hatred for The Times and the conditions which had made


someone feel that they were justified in being brutally extreme.


Then I realised that my outrage was useless. Not for the first time, I


recognised that hate cannot be beaten with hatred. Jo Cox would


have said do not hate in my name. She might even have quoted Gandhi.


And I for an eye makes the whole world blind. Then she would have


offered a brave, rational response to the malicious incoherence of an


environment in which a minority of people think they can write and


speak and do violence to anyone if they have an excuse of enthusiasm,


or Offense, of partisan ship, or even of a what form of Pat Richards.


My lord, Jo's response would not have lacked passion. She was never


cold or clinical. This spirited woman would have centred on realism


and been driven by rationalism. She would have pursued the cause of the


rage and put bold ideas into action to counteract them. We know that


because that is what she always did when confronted by a new monetary,


bigotry, injustice or the needs of her constituency. Now, we are part


of the reasonable majority and we must employ truth against divisive


fiction and distortion. Reality against prejudice. Hard-headed


common-sense against delusion. We have two combat hatred in its


public, lethal forms, in the bilious preaching of demagogues, in the sly


dog whistles of populists and when it loses as a cowardly, anonymous


social media secretion. I Lords, maladjusted individuals may claim


their responsibility is diminished, politicians and newspapers with


voices that shape views may not. We have to fight hatred that is incited


and nourished by those whose purposes are served by fostering


fear, fear of change, fear of insecurity, fear of foreigners. That


is our duty, not simply to ourselves but to our democracy and to the


British people's sense of decency. We cannot allow Benham to displace


mutual respect. We cannot permit intolerance to intimidate tolerance.


We cannot accept that a convention of hating can ever be allowed to


prevail over the greatest, strongest, most civilised British


quality, of live and let live. History teaches too many lessons. If


temporary rationality concedes ground, the space is invaded by


intemperate, irrational, always with horrific results. That is why we and


all who recoil from the politics of hate must never make the concession,


we must never stop confronting those who seek political profit from


encouraging the neuroses of the threat and resentment. Young Jo Cox


did not concede. That's why her short life was so productive, so


radiant it deserves to be forgotten. Because it was unforgettable. Here,


here. I beg to move that the house do now adjourn. That the house to


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