Thursday

2nd Feb 2023

UK campaign suspended after deadly attack on MP

  • Labour MP Jo Cox died of her wounds (Photo: Reuters)

[UPDATED 16 June at 18.40] The EU referendum campaign was suspended Thursday afternoon (16 June) after an MP, who later died of her wounds, was shot and stabbed in the street.

Labour MP Jo Cox, who supported the Remain side in the EU campaign, was attacked by a man who reportedly shouted "Britain first".

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  • The attack took place a week before the EU referendum (Photo: secretlondon123)

The incident took place in Birstall, in northern England, next to a library where Cox usually met people from her West Yorkshire constituency.

Witnesses quoted by British media said Cox and the man wrestled before he pulled out a gun and a knife. Others said Cox intervened in an altercation between two men before the shooting and stabbing occured.

Cox was taken to Leeds hospital. Her death was announced by the chief constable of West Yorkshire police.

He said the investigation was going on and that police was not able to discuss the motivation of the attack, which is said was a lone action.

“The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family—and indeed the whole country—will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today," Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement.

“Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all," he said.

The Stronger In, and Labour In For Britain and Vote Leave campaigns have suspended their campaigns for at least the day.

Prime minister David Cameron cancelled a campaign meeting in the British enclave of Gibraltar, in Spain, scheduled in the evening.

"The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy," he said. He had said earlier that it was "right that all campaigning has been stopped after the terrible attack on Jo Cox".

The Conservative MP and leader of the Leave campaign Boris Johnson spoke of "absolutely horrific news" and cancelled a visit to Ipswich.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-EU Ukip party, said he was "horrified to hear of the attack".

From St Petersburg, where he is attending an economic forum, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he "was deeply shocked by news of terrible attack against MP Jo Cox".

When the news of Jo Cox's death was announced, a minute of silence was observed at the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg.

The attack against Cox took place just a week before the 23 June EU referendum. Leave was ahead in the latest polls.

If political motivation related to the referendum is confirmed, the event could weigh on voters' minds.

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