British parliament in rare recall for tribute to murdered legislator

Updated: 2016-06-20 23:54

By Chris Peterson in London(

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British parliament in rare recall for tribute to murdered legislator

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walks from Parliament to St Margaret's Church with Jeremy Corbyn (2nd R) the leader of the opposition Labour Party for a service of rememberance for Labour MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death last week outside her constituency surgery, in Westminster, London, June 20, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

British political leaders and legislators led tributes to murdered member of parliament Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death in the street in her constituency last Thursday, as parliament was recalled in a rare tribute on Monday.

As members of the House of Commons took their seats, Cox's place was marked by a single white rose and a single red one – a white rose is the symbol of her native Yorkshire and the red flower the symbol of the Labour Party, who she represented as representative for Batley and Spen, in Yorkshire.

Parliament is rarely recalled in the UK except in times of crisis, but MPs and members of the House of Lords were determined to pay tribute to Ms Cox, a mother of two who was only elected to parliament in 2015.

It was in recess ahead of Thursday's referendum, when Britons are to vote on whether to remain in the European Union or leave.

Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, said they had gathered in "heartbreaking sadness," and Prime Minister David Cameron said Cox was an "extraordinary colleague and friend."

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition and head of the Labour Party, told MPs “We have lost one of our own, and society as a whole has lost one of the very best.

Corbyn described her killing as “an attack on democracy, and our whole country has been shocked and saddened by it", adding "we can come together to change our politics to tolerate a little more and condemn a little less."

British parliament in rare recall for tribute to murdered legislator

A book of condolence for Labour Party MP Jo Cox is seen near her houseboat in Wapping in London, Britain June 16, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Cox was attacked by a man on the main street of Birstall in West Yorkshire Thursday as she prepared to run a regular advice session for constituents. The man allegedly shouted "Britain First," a slogan used by an ultra right-wing nationalist group, as he attacked her. Police are now investigating to see if the suspected killer has any ties to right wing groups.

Her death caused Cameron and other political leaders to call a 48-hour halt to campaigning for Thursday's referendum.

Cox was an ardent supporter of the Remain campaign, and many commentators have linked her murder to the extreme emotions exposed by weeks of often bitter campaigning.

Thomas Mair, 52, was remanded in custody by an Old Bailey Criminal Court judge on Monday, on charges of murder, possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, and grievous bodily harm.

At an earlier hearing on Saturday he had given his name as "death to traitors, freedom for Britain" before his lawyer provided his correct name and address.

He will appear in court again on Thursday.

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