Tributes on the Thames to tragic MP Jo Cox as family make way to Trafalgar Square rally
PUBLISHED: 18:57 22 June 2016 | UPDATED: 19:20 22 June 2016
PA/Press Association Images
The Thames paid tribute today to tragic MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death almost a week ago as her family made their way up-river to the rally in Trafalgar Square on what should have been her 42nd birthday.
Husband Brendon and their two children, five-year-old Cuillin and his little sister Lejla aged just three—left their houseboat at Wapping’s Hermitage Wharf at 2pm for the 45-minute journey to Westminster Bridge for the rally.
Crowds lined the bridges from Tower Bridge onward as the vessel passed under, towing a little boat crammed with hundreds of flowers—the floral tribute from the Cox’s houseboat neighbours.
The London fireboat turned on its water cannon and other river vessels slowed and sounded their horns in tribute.
The family landed at Westminster just before 3pm, where the Labour MP worked in the Houses of Parliament.
They arrived at Trafalgar Square where tens-of-thousands were packed. Brendan paused to collect himself during his eight-minute speech to the crowd and said: “Thank you for the love that you have poured on our family since our world collapsed on Thursday.”
He also thanked “Jo’s amazing friends and even complete strangers who have managed to organise all of this in less than a week”.
He wished he wasn’t there today, because he told the crowd he would “rather be with Jo”, then added: “But I wanted to come and show my gratitude and that of all of our family.
“Your support has helped us. I wanted our children to see what their mum meant to you—they will remember today.”
His wife had just wanted people to be happy and for the world to be a fairer place.
“That’s where her politics came from,” he told the crowds. “Not from the libraries of Cambridge or any theoretical, narrow ideology, but from the streets and her own empathy.”
His wife had lived her life to the full. She was a mountain climber, a runner, a cyclist, an avid reader, a swimmer as well as “an awful cook, a great exaggerator, a middle lane driver—but above all she was a mum”.
Jo Cox was stabbed and shot last Thursday in her Yorkshire home town of Birstall, which she represented in Parliament for just 13 months after winning her seat in last year’s General Election. She was on her way to her weekly surgery meeting her constituents when she was attacked in the street.
Jo would have voted for Britain to remain in the EU in tomorrow’s referendum, Brendan revealed earlier this week, to build more common understanding and compassion to “dial down some of the rhetoric and the hatred” and just bring communities together.
But she was worried about the tone of the EU debate amid concerns that it was “whipping up fears and hatred” that prophetically was to cost her life.