Click HERE to read my latest column in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald.
It is with deep sadness that I write this week’s article. I still can’t believe that my colleague Jo Cox died in such a horrific and brutal way doing the job she loved. It left all MPs feeling numb and so very sad. It must be beyond devastating for Jo’s family and I cannot put into words their pain.
On Monday I sat in the House of Commons listening to tributes to Jo Cox, surrounded by a sea of white roses in her honour. With every word spoken I admired Jo Cox more and I kept thinking about how much more she had to give and how many more lives she could have helped and saved.
I did not know Jo Cox personally, but I did know she was a fantastic speaker, campaigner and prolific questioner – standing up for her constituents. She took to the role of MP like a duck to water.
I remember listening to her in the chamber and checking when she entered Parliament, she was so good and I was so impressed to find she was a new MP like me.
I remember walking past her in a corridor when she was with her children, I thought how cute and small they were. She looked so natural as a mother, yet as well as a mother she was such an energetic, bold, hard-working MP and campaigner – a very impressive woman.
Jo’s smile did light up the chamber and now I hope we can light up the world with what she stood for – hope, tolerance, peace, unity, freedom and justice. Jo died serving others and it is our duty to now serve her memory.
We must continue to believe in democracy and MPs must not be afraid to do their job or be an active member of their community. We may be public servants but we are also people. MPs do face an onslaught of social media abuse and a number of MPs have had death threats.
It is important we spread the word that MPs can never agree with everyone on everything but they are always thinking about what is best for their community and country.
We cannot give in to hate and that is why I am so grateful for the countless recent emails that I have had thanking me for my work.
With the limited word limit I cannot come close to doing Jo Cox justice. I can say though that Parliament lost a fantastic MP, as did the constituents of Batley and Spen. The saddest thing of all is that two little children have lost their mum and one man has lost his wife.
If you are in a position to give a little then visit gofundme.com/jocox. All funds go to three causes Jo cared so much about.