Jo Cox would be ‘gutted’ to see election used to spread division, says widower

The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox has said she would have been “gutted” to see the election used “to denigrate minorities and spread division”, ahead of the eighth anniversary of her death.

Brendan Cox said their children will mark the anniversary, and what would have been her coming 50th birthday, by putting on a concert of her favourite songs.

In a post on X, he said they will be “remembering all she meant to us and to so many others”.

“Jo would be gutted to be missing this election, and her chance to play a role in making our country better,” he said.

“She believed passionately in the potential of politics. She’d also be gutted to see some people willing to use it to denigrate minorities and spread division.”

However, he said his late wife would be “most gutted” not to see what their children have become.

“Their love, kindness and spirit of adventure- all of which they have inherited from her,” he said.

“We miss her everyday but cherish what we had & what we built together. Her work and her love continues.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute to Ms Cox ahead of her anniversary.

“It’s an awful anniversary,” he said.

“Jo was a friend of mine, we came into Parliament on the same day.

“And I think the best that we can take from this is Jo’s own words in her maiden speech when she said: ‘We have far more in common than we do that divides us.’

“And that’s the spirit I think of this anniversary and what Jo would have wanted us to be talking about today.”

The Batley and Spen Labour MP was stabbed and shot by a far-right extremist in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on June 16 2016.

The incident occurred just days before the Brexit referendum.

Her sister, Labour politician Kim Leadbeater, is now running to represent the constituency.