Brendan Cox, who was married to the Labour Batley and Spen MP who was murdered by a far-right extremist last year, has urged people to remember the victims and not the person responsible for Wednesday’s attack, who just wants to “gain personal notoriety”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, Cox said: “We have to remember that the person who did this is no more representative of British Muslims that the person that killed Jo is representative of people from Yorkshire.
“This is an extremist, we have to tackle that extremism, we have to fight it with everything that we have but the way that we will do that, the way that we will defeat it is together and not by turning on ourselves.”
He added: “I think the first thing we need to do is to remember that this is a story about people who didn’t come home yesterday and the impact that that will have on their families, the thousands of lives that will be touched by it, the individual tragedies.
“And I think what helped me in the weeks after - not in the first few days because you’re so numb - but in the weeks after was that sense of public support.
“Those thousands acts of kindness, the posts, that sort of sense that the person you lost meant something not just to you but to others.
“And I think that one of the things that we need to be careful about at a moment like this is giving notoriety to the person that did it.
“One of the reasons that people do these horrific things is to gain personal notoriety and I would much rather remember... the heroes of this story, whether that’s Tobias Ellwood or PC Palmer who lost his life trying to defend our values and I think talking about them and remembering them is the way that we do justice in this horrific environment.”
He added: “The thing that I hated seeing in the weeks after was the name, the picture of the person who killed Jo because that was of no interest to me.
“I wanted to remember and think about Jo, the person who I loved and the person who had died and to remember her and to think about what she meant to me and to others.”
He added: “I’m going to do whatever I can to remember the name of the victims and not the name of the person that did this.”
His comments resonated with many people this morning:
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Cox later said: “These people won’t win, they’re not going to defeat our country by driving a car down a bridge and mowing down pedestrians. The only way they’ll win is if they sow discord and they drive us against each other.”
He added: “If you look around us, the people who are protecting us they’re from all faiths and backgrounds they’re all races and religions. We have to remember that we’re united against these extremists no matter what their background. If we do that we’ll succeed.
“These are extremists. We have to take them on and defeat them but without making the mistake that they represent the broader group.”