Four ex-Prime Ministers have united to remember Labour MP Jo Cox and ask the public to take part in an event in her honour.
Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have all recorded their thoughts in a specially commissioned video in support of Jo’s belief that we all have “far more in common than that which divides us”.
The 41-year-old was murdered a year ago outside a library in her Batley and Spen constituency, in an act of right wing extremism that left the nation reeling.
This weekend, thousands of events will take place across the country as part of The Great Get Together, aimed at uniting communities.
Urging people to get involved in the campaign, Sir John highlights British generosity, charity, and tolerance.
He said: “We see that tolerance in the remarkable improvement there has been, with very few exceptions, in race relations since the time I was a boy in Brixton. And also, of course, in the greatly increased tolerance there is of alternative lifestyles. That would have been almost impossible twenty, thirty years ago. Now I think it is relatively normal.”
Tony Blair points to courage in adversity: “Politics is often fierce and unrelenting and the political debate can be very bitter. But it shouldn’t take the murder of Jo, or the terrible events of the past few weeks, to remind us that ordinary people can do extraordinary acts of courage, kindness and generosity towards strangers and friends alike. Or that respect for each other and a common sense of humanity ultimately surpasses everything else.”
Gordon Brown pays a personal tribute to the politician and mum-of-two: “Jo was strong for those who were weak. Jo reached out to those who were out of reach. Jo included those who were excluded. Jo was passionate about those who needed and deserved our compassion. And Jo has this in common with all of us. That we do feel the pain of others. And we do believe in something bigger than just ourselves.”
Finally, David Cameron highlights humour and pride in the country: “When Jo Cox said we have more in common than that which divides us, she was spot on. Think of those things. Common sense, decency, respect for others, tolerance, a sense of humour, pride in our country. And that’s what inspires The Great Get Together this weekend.”
The video will be shown in full on Channel 4 at 10pm on Friday.
Speaker John Bercow also paid tribute to the Yorkshire-born politician, who championed combating loneliness and helping Syrian refugees during her time in Parliament.
“One year on, it is with great sadness – but warm memories – that I send my deepest condolences to her husband, Brendan, and their two children, Lejla and Cuillin – as well as to her family and friends,” he said.
“The pain that they have had to endure is unimaginable and my thoughts are with them all.
“Jo’s killing was an attack on democracy which shook the world. It was an act of terror, designed not only to strike an individual but to undermine our freedom.
“In her honour, and as we begin this new Parliament, it is incumbent on us all to rededicate ourselves to our democracy, and to stand together in the face of those who seek to destroy it.”