Jo Cox MP

The murder of Jo Cox, a passionate campaigner and MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, is shocking, devastating and incredibly difficult to comprehend.  

Her husband, Brendan Cox yesterday put out a statement emphasising her importance as a wife and mother but also as a campaigner: “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.”  

All of the tributes paid to her have spoken about how she was someone who saw a world filled with injustice - whether it was at a global, national or local level - and rolled her sleeves up and found ways of changing it. That is true whether she was fighting for Syrian refugees, women’s rights or most recently for the UK to remain in the EU.

Jo’s death is all the more poignant because she was killed while undertaking her constituency duties as an elected representative. There is a lot that is wrong about our politics. At Unlock Democracy we spend our time highlighting how it is broken and campaigning to fix it. Jo Cox was an inspiring example of the people who get involved in politics because they want to make a difference and to show that at its best politics can change people's lives. It would only compound the tragedy of what happened yesterday if it resulted in our elected representatives being harder to reach or becoming more remote.

We still don’t know the motivations for Jo’s murder, there will be time to debate that later. There are big questions that need to be addressed about the nature of our political debate and the violence of the language that is used particularly towards women MPs. Today our hearts go out to Jo's friends and family, including her husband Brendan and their two children, at this awful time. As campaigners and activists we are inspired by Jo’s example and remember her best by continuing to fight for a better world.