British lawmaker Jo Cox, 41, died on Thursday after being shot and stabbed in her constituency in northern England, prompting the suspension of campaigning for next week’s EU referendum.
Below are details of Cox’s life:
– Cox was born in the northern town of Dewsbury in 1974, and grew up in the parliamentary constituency she represented.
– She attended Cambridge University, becoming the first in her family to attend university, graduating in 1995.
– Cox worked in North Carolina on US President Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign, as well as working in Brussels for Member of the European Parliament Glens Kinnock.
– She also worked in senior roles for aid agency Oxfam, and later on a campaign to prevent deaths in childbirth with Sarah Brown, the wife of former British prime minister Gordon Brown.
– Cox was married with two young children.
– Following her election to parliament in 2015, Cox was outspoken in support of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“Responsible debate is paramount,” she wrote on her website at the start of the referendum campaign in February. “I fear, however, that we won’t get it. What I do know is that Britain should be engaged and leading in Europe not disengaged and waving goodbye.”
– In her first speech after becoming an MP she praised the positive impact immigration has had on her constituency, Batley and Spen, a semi-rural area near the city of Leeds in northern England that has seen high levels of immigration from South Asia.
“Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir,” she said in the speech on June 3 last year.
“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.
– Cox co-chaired a parliamentary group “Friends of Syria”. The group’s stated aim is: “To build a greater understanding in Parliament of the current conflict in Syria and to allow parliamentarians to discuss the diplomatic, humanitarian and military options for UK policy.”
In May this year, she criticised Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama for putting the Syrian civil war “on the ‘too difficult’ pile.” She abstained in a December 2015 vote on whether to approve air strikes in Syria.
LABOUR LEADER JEREMY CORBYN
– Cox was one of the 36 Labour Members of Parliament who nominated Socialist Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after the resignation of Ed Miliband following the party’s defeat in last year’s general election. She later voted for a different candidate and in May this year criticised the party’s performance in local elections.
“Jeremy needs to personally recognise that this isn’t good enough,” she told the BBC on May 6. “He needs to take responsibility, he needs to set out a route map to power in 2020.”
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