Yesterday afternoon our local MP, Jo Cox, was murdered in our own local area. She was out and about in her local constituency doing her job and helping people in her own home town. This horrific murder has left us all shocked to the core. Not only because it is not the kind of thing that any of us expect to happen nor is it what politics is about, but also because we knew Jo. She was our local MP, a local “lass”.
Jo was tirelessly doing her job for her constituents. She believed in equality for all, she fought for victims of violence and injustice. In her first speech in the House of Commons she said –
“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than the things that divide us.”
Jo had worked for charities including Oxfam before she became an MP and had spoken up for several campaigns. Members of the choir met with her some weeks ago and she told us about the Commission that she was launching in September to combat Isolation and Loneliness within communities. She described her work and her goals with commitment, passion and determination. Here was a woman that would get things done! Her drive was amazing!
Jo was interested in what we were doing as a choir and listened intently to us as we explained the benefits that singing can bring to people. She supported what we were aiming to achieve and recognised that the improvements in health and wellbeing provided through singing would help in her campaign against isolation and loneliness in communities. Jo suggested that we visit Westminster to sing to MPs! A daunting prospect for us, but she believed that we could and would do it and so she was arranging it for later in the year.
What struck us all was her amazing energy, enthusiasm, and her belief that we can all work together to make the world a better place. Jo really cared about people.
We may not always see eye to eye with each other nor with the views of our MPs, but Jo was an exceptional person, working hard for others and speaking up for those that do not always have a voice. She wanted to do the right thing, she was committed to Yorkshire and its people. Jo was a “proud Yorkshire lass” who achieved her dream of representing her home town.
We must also remember that she was a wife and a mother and leaves behind two small children. Our hearts and prayers go out to them at this time.
We may not have known Jo long but she made a big impact on us. She made us believe in ourselves and what we could achieve. Her energy was infectious and you knew that she was a woman that would get things done! Jo was a real breath of fresh air in politics with her commitment and personal values. I’m sure that her legacy will live on through the people whose lives she touched. Her husband said yesterday that we “should all unite against the hate that killed her.”
RIP Jo Cox. Our parliament and the world will be a poorer place without you. we are proud that we met you and that you were our MP.