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TRAGIC EVENTS OF 16 JUNE

June 17, 2016

My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of my parliamentary colleague, Jo Cox, who was so brutally murdered on the streets of her West Yorkshire constituency on Thursday.
First and foremost she was a mother, daughter and wife. I cannot begin to comprehend the unimaginable pain that those who loved Jo must be feeling. All of us with young children have been hugging them closer last night and this morning as our thoughts turn to Jo’s two daughters so tragically left without a mother at such a young age.

I must confess I barely know Jo Cox. We interacted during several parliamentary debates on international affairs but would invariably acknowledge each other in passing by in the vast array of corridors in the Palace of Westminster.

In recent times there has been a more coarse edge to political discourse here in the UK and beyond. A certain ugliness has become the norm with casual, populist accusations of dishonesty, unworthy motivations and lack of morality becoming commonplace. Perhaps we should not have been so surprised that verbal violence has turned into murderous rage.
But this is a debate we must collectively address in the weeks and months ahead.

Today we remember a valued colleague whose life has been so cruelly and prematurely brought to an end. Jo Cox shared my passions in relation to the momentous, collective decision that our nation must make in the next week. As parents we recognised that the best interests of our children and grandchildren must lie at the heart of this critical outcome.

Contrary to persistent cynicism so much of our work as MPs is driven by a desire to make a difference and to pass on to future generations a nation and a world more at ease with itself.