AN EX-MINER given a bravery medal after he was stabbed trying to prevent the murder of Yorkshire MP Jo Cox by a neonazi has died.
Tributes poured in from the family of the former Batley & Spen MP yesterday to Bernard Kenny, who died of cancer on Monday night aged 79.
On June 16 last year Ms Cox was shot and stabbed by Thomas Mair in Birstall, where she was on her way to a hold a surgery for constituents. She was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary.
Ms Cox had spoken proudly of the multicultural nature of her constituency in her first speech in the House of Commons, saying “we have far more in common than that which divides us.”
Mr Kenny saw the attack and grappled with Mr Mair. He was stabbed in the stomach and was later awarded the George Medal for his courage. He shunned publicity in the aftermath of Ms Cox’s murder.
In a statement on behalf of the Cox family, Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “It was with deep sadness that we heard from Bernard Kenny’s son, Phil, that his dad had passed away on Monday.
“Having kept in touch with the Kenny family since Jo’s murder, we were aware of his illness.
“Bernard was a true hero and a shining example of Yorkshire and British bravery.
“He restored our faith in humanity and we will be forever grateful for the attempt he made to intervene when Jo was killed.
“Our thoughts and love are with Doreen, Phil and the whole Kenny family and with Bernard’s many friends at this time.”
Mr Kenny was a member of the Mines Rescue Service at a time when Yorkshire had more than 60 coal mines.
In March 1973 he was a member of the rescue team which went into Lofthouse colliery, outside Wakefield, after it was flooded when a developing pit face broke through into a long-abandoned mine shaft.
Millions of gallons of water inundated the face, hurling rocks and debris and killing seven miners. Six of the bodies were never recovered.