Election 2017

General election campaign paused to remember MP Jo Cox

Jo Cox Image copyright PA

Politicians held temporary election 'truce' on Sunday, putting their campaigns on hold for an hour to remember Labour MP Jo Cox.

Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and other party leaders stopped campaigning to honour the mother-of-two who was murdered last June.

Her widower Brendan Cox said it would "send a powerful message" ahead of the first anniversary of her death.

A cross-party fundraising event was held in her former constituency.

Mr Cox said the co-ordinated suspension of campaigning would send a message that "whatever our political disagreements, we really do hold more in common and show a united front against hatred and extremism in all its forms".

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Media captionAndrew Marr speaks to Brendan Cox, husband of the murdered MP Jo Cox, about the pause in campaigning and plans to mark the anniversary of her death.

He added: "Elections are huge moments of national importance and deserve to be taken seriously. But we also need to get a better balance.

"We spend way too much time fixated on the areas we disagree with each other and need to create more moments where we come together as a country.

"That's what I'm focused on and after polling day, I am sure that's exactly what people all over the UK will be crying out for."

'Kids planning party'

Mrs Cox used her maiden speech in the House of Commons to say: "We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us."

To mark the anniversary of her death, Mr Cox has organised the Great Get Together from June 16 to 18, where thousands of community gatherings such as street parties, picnics and coffee mornings will be held across the country.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paused his campaign during a visit to an arts centre in Liverpool. He tweeted: "We paused from #GE2017 campaigning to pay tribute to those working to unite communities across the UK. #MoreInCommon"

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was observing the hour while attending a community picnic in Kendal in his Cumbria constituency.

Green leader Caroline Lucas went to a church project in Brighton which will be involved in the Great Get Together.

Image copyright Scottish Labour
Image caption Members of all the main political parties shared lunch at a cafe in Edinburgh during the hour-long break from campaigning

A Conservative Party spokesman said the prime minister was due to pause her campaigning for an hour on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Cox told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that the trauma of his wife's death was "for us, as a family... something that goes on and on.

"Individual days can be worse - and better. It's not just the big moments.

"The kids are incredibly excited about the Great Get Together, they love planning a party. They know that their mum would have loved it."

In Edinburgh, prospective MPs from across the different parties joined Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale at a cafe to remember the Labour MP.

And in Mrs Cox's former constituency of Batley and Spen, in West Yorkshire, the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green candidates were at a farmers' event raising money for a special care baby unit.

Labour candidate Tracy Brabin tweeted a photo of five of the six of the constituency candidates stopping for a cup of tea there together.

The 41-year-old was shot and stabbed multiple times by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair in her constituency. Mair was later handed a whole-life prison sentence for her murder.

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