Memorial service in Portsmouth for murdered MP Jo Cox
PEOPLE have gathered in Portsmouth to remember assassinated MP Jo Cox.
There was a minute-long silence as about 30 people paid their respects by the Workers Memorial in Victoria Park.
Two candles were lit next to a photograph of the murdered Labour MP, who should have been celebrating her 42nd birthday today.
Paulsgrove Labour councillor John Ferrett gave a speech after the minute silence.
He said: ‘It’s quite appropriate we are here by the workers’ memorial.
‘I have attended many workers’ memorial days here where we pay tribute and we remember those people who have lost their lives at work.
‘Jo lost her life doing her job.
‘She was doing her job as a constituency MP, representing people and dealing with the vulnerable in her community and trying to help them.
‘On the day she was trying to help her constituents, she was murdered in the street.
‘I’m very conscious of elected representatives in that we must be public-facing.’
He said the ‘link with the community’ must be maintained.
He added: ‘It was an attack on all of us – on the freedoms we hold so dear.’
Sue Mullan, 73, from Southsea, said: ‘Everybody has been so moved by this woman, who seemed such a wonderful beacon of hope and inspiration and positive feeling, who was so stupidly murdered.
‘It just seems so pointless.
‘This is a woman who wasn’t interested in promoting herself, she was interested in making life better for people.’
Elsewhere, the widower of Jo Cox led the tributes as thousands of people across the country and around the world paused to reflect.
Brendan Cox appeared moved as he addressed hundreds of people in London’s Trafalgar Square. which featured readings by actors Bill Nighy and Gillian Anderson, a moving speech from education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, and a personal message from U2’s Bono.
And in mother-of-two Mrs Cox’s home town of Batley in Yorkshire, her younger sister Kim Leadbeater spoke of her ‘caring, compassionate and inspirational’ sibling.
Mr Cox, who paused to compose himself during his eight-minute speech, said: ‘Thank you for the love that you have poured on our family since our world collapsed on Thursday.
‘Thank you to Jo’s amazing friends, and friends of friends, and even complete strangers who have managed, despite your own grief, to organise all of this in less than a week.
‘As amazing and deeply touching as all of this is, I wish I wasn’t here today. Not because I’m ungrateful to the organisers and you all for coming, but because of course I’d rather be with Jo.
‘But I wanted to come and show my gratitude and that of all of our family.
‘Your support and love has helped us all and I wanted our children to see what their mum meant to all of you. I know that they will remember today.’