UK PM: delivering Brexit would honour murdered pro-EU MP

UK PM: delivering Brexit would honour murdered pro-EU MP

The UK’s embattled new prime minister Boris Johnson has caused widespread anger by telling MPs they should honour the memory of the murdered remain-backing Jo Cox by delivering Brexit. 

She was killed by a right-wing extremist shouting “Britain first”. 

An aeroplane dragged a banner reading “vote leave” above an event to mark her death. 

Tracey Brabin, who succeeded Cox as MP for Batley and Spen following her 2016 murder during the divisive EU referendum campaign, said Johnson should remember “his words have consequences”.

“He just proved that he has no emotional intelligence because then to say that the best thing we can do to remember Jo is ‘to get Brexit done’ when Jo was a passionate remainer – only the day before her tragic murder she was on the Thames with her family campaigning to stay in the EU – it just seemed extraordinary,” Brabin said. 

“It got gasps around the chamber because remember that Jo worked cross-party – she had friends in all parties. And just the crassness of it was deeply shocking.”

Labour MP Paula Sherriff’s said many MPs face death threats from people using the same sort of language as Johnson, which the prime minister dismissed as “humbug”. 

Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Johnson’s language “was indistinguishable from the far-right”.

Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, said he felt “a bit sick” to hear her name used. 

“The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in, passionately and with determination. But never to demonise the other side and always hold onto what we have in common,” he tweeted.

The Labour Party is wrestling with its own Brexit policy with the trade union Unison backing a party conference motion committing the party to fight for remain in a people’s vote. 

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer said the party would legislate “immediately” for another EU referendum to take place within six months after it took office.

Starmer said: “I have a very simple message today: If you want a referendum: vote Labour. If you want a final say on Brexit: vote Labour. If you want to fight for remain: Vote Labour. Labour will let the people decide.”

Unison is reported to be prepared to vote against Corbyn’s position of putting off a decision on which side to support until after a general election.

More than 80 grass-roots constituency Labour organisations have called for a people’s vote and for the party to campaign “energetically” for remain.


Labour continues to try to attract leave voters. Picture credit: Eurasia Times 



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