There are no words to adequately describe the depth of sadness caused by the senseless and horrendous murder of Jo Cox.  A young woman, a wife, a mother to two young children who had been chosen to serve as a Member of Parliament by the community in which she grew up.

There has been an incredible outpouring of emotion in the wake of Jo’s passing.  I continue to receive emails and social media messages from West Lancashire residents wanting to express their shock, their sadness and their outrage over Jo’s murder.

The strength of our democracy and our society is in the capacity for us all to hold and express freely our individual views.  For such a violent act to be perpetrated against an individual representing people has weakened our democracy. 

Out of deep respect and remembrance for Jo’s humanity and belief that we can secure a better future for people we must strengthen our democracy not allow it to be permanently damaged.

We must strengthen our resolve that the essential link between a Member of Parliament and the people they serve should not be broken.  We must be careful about, and sensitive to, the personal safety of MPs and staff yet continue to be available and accessible to constituents.

In all the tributes to Jo Cox there is a constant reference to her enormous capacity to be a real force for change, a drive and desire to make a difference in the hope of realising a better future not just for the people of Batley and Spen but the across UK and internationally. Sadly, her potential will now never be fully realised but it is a mantle that we can all take on.

My condolences are with Jo’s husband Brendan their two young children, and her family and friends at the saddest of times in their lives brought about in the most unnecessary but most heartbreaking of circumstances.

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