Neil Coyle, the Labour Member of Parliament for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has paid tribute to close friend and fellow MP Jo Cox after she died from a stabbing and shooting attack in Birstall, West Yorkshire yesterday.
MP Neil, who joined parliament at the same time as Jo, told the News that the attack was a “horrible day for democracy”.
He said: “A truly grim day. Jo was a real gem – always a ready smile, a bundle of energy and a clear mind for what she was seeking to achieve.
“Despite her five foot stature she was also a formidable force and to think of her struggling with a man armed with a gun and foot long blade is so desperately sad – made much more so by the thought of her husband and young children losing their loved one.
“A horrible day for democracy.”
MP Neil attended a service today at Southwark Cathedral to pay his respects to Jo with a tribute and the lighting of a candle.
Jo, 41, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was attacked by a man who allegedly shouted “Britain first” on Thursday afternoon.
The man was arrested nearby and Jo died from stab and bullet wounds.
Jo’s husband, Brendan, said in a statement that she “would have wanted two things else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her”.