The Life Of British Lawmaker Jo Cox, From Aid Worker To Rising Political Star

By Duchess Magazine

British lawmaker Jo Cox was shot dead on the streets of her northern England constituency on Thursday, in an attack that shocked a nation where gun violence and attacks on politicians are relatively rare.
Police said they had arrested a 52-year-old male suspect, but that it was too early to determine a motive for the attack.

A Rising Star

Cox, 41, was relatively new to politics, but had spent her career fighting against injustice and poverty.
She was elected to the U.K. Parliament for the opposition Labour Party in the last British national election in May 2015. Cox represented the north English constituency of Batley and Spen, in Yorkshire, where she had grown up.
As a teenager, Cox expected to follow in her father’s footsteps and work at the local toothpaste factory, but she excelled at school and won a place at the prestigious University of Cambridge. Cox was the first member of her family to graduate from university.
Cox threw herself into overseas aid work after graduating. She worked for the international charity Oxfam for a decade, traveling around the globe, including to the war zones of Afghanistan and Darfur. Back in the U.K., Cox dedicated herself to tackling child poverty and maternal mortality.
In her first speech in Parliament, just one year ago, Cox made clear she would bring her principles into the corridors of power, with a passionate defense of immigration to the U.K.
“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 her June 2015 speech. “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.”
U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, who survived a shooting attack in Arizona in 2012, wrote on Twitter that Cox was “young, courageous, and hardworking. A rising star, mother, and wife.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) attends a vigil to slain Labour MP Jo Cox in Parliament square in London on June 16, 2016. Cox died today after a shock daylight street attack, throwing campaigning for the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union into disarray just a week before the crucial vote.  / AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) attends a vigil to slain Labour MP Jo Cox in Parliament square in London on June 16, 2016.
Cox died today after a shock daylight street attack, throwing campaigning for the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union into disarray just a week before the crucial vote.
/ AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)


Police stand guard by a house suspected of being connected to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in Birstall, northern England on June 16, 2016. A British lawmaker died today after a shock daylight street attack, throwing campaigning for the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union into disarray just a week before the crucial vote.  / AFP / OLI SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Police stand guard by a house suspected of being connected to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in Birstall, northern England on June 16, 2016.
A British lawmaker died today after a shock daylight street attack, throwing campaigning for the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union into disarray just a week before the crucial vote.
/ AFP / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)


 

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