On Thursday, June 23, it was announced worldwide that a majority of citizens in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This decision, now known as ‘Brexit,’ shocked the world. It has changed Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world, in many ways for the worse, which is why many lawmakers were trying to stop it before it occurred. One such lawmaker was Jo Cox. She was a 41 year old woman for the opposition Labour Party, and a member of parliament, voted in during the year 2015. She spent much of her time being an outspoken advocate for the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union. Unfortunately, this is what got her killed.
Cox was on her way to meet constituents in Birstall when she was stabbed and shot by a pro-Brexit fanatic. 52 year old Thomas Mair was arrested for her murder soon after the death. Apparently, he shouted ‘Britain first!’ right before firing. Britain First is the name of a right-wing nationalist group in the United Kingdom who denied any connection to Mair. Activities were suspended for the day be referendum groups while Cox’s colleagues, family, children, and friends mourned. Four days later, Brexit occurred.
Jo Cox grew up in West Yorkshire and led a life based on helping others. Her time in Cambridge, however, was when she truly learned how to make an impact in the world. After she graduated, she became an aid worker in developing countries. She also became the head of policy at Oxfam, a group fighting for a world without poverty. Additionally, Cox advised the wife of the former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, Sarah Brown, on women’s and children’s health campaigns.
Jo Cox’s desire to help the people did not end at philanthropic efforts. She was dedicated to exploring options for the future of social care, and to changing social policy to better care for the people. She chaired the Labour Women’s Network, working to get more women into parliament with appropriate training. Her desire to better the world only became more pronounced when she was elected into parliament. She became a regular campaigner, and was especially active in the debate over whether or not Labour should support military in Syria. She argued that there was a humanitarian case for action in Syria.
Cox is known for her dedication to helping the people, and for negotiating to convince other lawmakers to join her side of the issues. She was passionate about pressing world issues and dedicated to making the world a better place. Her accomplishments are numerous, as are her campaigns to help the people of the United Kingdom and those all over the world, including child refugees stranded in Europe. She left behind a legacy of caring for others and fighting hate.