Husband of murdered MP Jo Cox urges unity not division
BRITAIN faces a “battle for hearts and minds” to see off both Islamist fundamentalism and white nationalism, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox said yesterday.
Ms Cox was shot and stabbed to death by neonazi Thomas Mair last spring. Her killer, who had links to US fascist group National Alliance, shouted: “Britain first” as he carried out the attack in the run-up to the EU referendum.
She received a posthumous award yesterday from her union GMB.
Her husband Brendan Cox, an international development worker, urged delegates to wipe out hatred as he collected the award at the union’s congress in Plymouth.
Referring to the attack on London Bridge this weekend, Mr Cox said: “As we’ve seen in the last few days, our values are under attack with an intensity that I haven’t experienced in my lifetime.
“Make no mistake, our country has beaten bigger threats in the past. I believe it’s time for us all to ask what we can do.”
He said tolerance was under threat from both “Islamist fascists” and “white nationalist fascists,” saying: “The first distort Islam, the second distort our nation.”
He said the police should have the “power and resources” they need, but warned: “A security response is never going to be enough. This is a battle for hearts and minds.”
Mr Cox said over 110,000 events had been organised for the Great Get Together weekend, an array of street parties, barbecues, picnics and bake-offs taking place across Britain on June 16 to 18.
The event is being supported by unions including the GMB, as well as the Countryside Alliance, faith groups and the CBI.
“The idea is simple — to ask communities to come together, share food with your neighbours and celebrate all that we have in common,” Mr Cox said.
“In doing so we’ll help drive out the extremists and build support for Jo’s belief — that we have more in common than the things that divide us. There could be no better tribute.”
GMB president Mary Turner described Ms Cox as a “dear friend of all of us” who “gave her life to the trade union movement … working to encourage women to enter public life.”