Britain is in a state of mourning today after British Parliament member Jo Cox was shot and killed shortly after a meeting with her constituents Thursday. Jo Cox was a 41-year-old mother of two who worked at Oxfam before being elected as a Labour MP last year. She was known for her passionate support for Syrian refugees and was a member of Labour Friends of Palestine. British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to her on Thursday.
Prime Minister David Cameron: “This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news, and my thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and the two children and their wider family. We have lost a great star. She was a MP, great campaigning MP with huge compassion, with a big heart, and people are going to be very, very sad at what has happened. Dreadful, dreadful news. It’s right that we’re suspending campaigning activity in this referendum, and everyone’s thoughts will be with Jo’s family and with her constituents at this terrible time.”
Jo Cox is the first member of the British Parliament to be murdered in over 25 years. Her death came just a week before the major Brexit vote, when British voters will decide whether the country should stay in the European Union. Cox was a vocal advocate for Britain to stay in the EU. During the attack, eyewitnesses said, her assassin, Thomas Mair, shouted “Britain First”—a possible reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name which is pushing for Britain to leave the EU. The Southern Poverty Law Center says Mair is a longtime supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. This comes as today marks the first anniversary of the attack by white supremacist Dylann Roof on the historic AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, that claimed nine lives. We’ll have more on the Charleston anniversary and Jo Cox’s murder after headlines.