BATLEY, England (Reuters) - The funeral of lawmaker Jo Cox, whose murder shocked Britain in the run-up to last month’s EU referendum, was being held on Friday in the northern English constituency she represented.
Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two young children, was shot and stabbed in the street in the village of Birstall, West Yorkshire, on June 16 as she made her way to an advice session for the people she represented in parliament.
The slaying of the opposition Labour Party lawmaker a little over a year after she was elected, horrified politicians and the public, and overshadowed the final days of referendum campaigning.
Cox, who was an ardent supporter of Britain remaining in Europe, had campaigned for Syrian refugees and had praised the positive impact immigration had had on her constituency, Batley and Spen, a semi-rural area near the city of Leeds.
Her husband Brendan Cox said on Twitter before the private service he was “thinking of all victims of hatred today”.
“Jo would ask us not to fight hate with hate but draw together to drain the swamp that extremism breeds in,” he said.
A 52-year-old local man, Thomas Mair, has been charged with Cox’s murder and will go on trial in November.
Reporting by Darren Staples, writing by Paul Sandle, editing by Stephen Addison