UK

Jo Cox murder: Her voice is strengthened, not silenced, says husband

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Media captionBrendan Cox: 'She fought for her beliefs'

"Her voice has been strengthened by all this and not silenced," believes Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox.

"How she lived is more important than how she died, and what she stood for is more important than the hatred that drove this act."

What, then, about the contrast between Jo's life, and that of her killer, Thomas Mair?

"He said I think, at the time, that he did what he did for Britain. But I think that Britain would be ashamed of him," Mr Cox said.

"I have no interest in him. I have some pity that his life was so devoid of love and so consumed with hatred that he thought this was an OK thing to do, but I have no interest in how he feels or what he thinks."

'Unbelievably cowardly'

Mr Cox said he is not able to forgive the man who brutally murdered his wife.

"In order to talk about forgiveness you have to have some acceptance of how wrong and how evil what he did was, and I have seen no suggestion of any of that.

"From the way the trial was conducted, it feels like somebody who is both unbelievably cowardly and driven by hatred, but if those things were to change then it would be a different scenario.

"I think one of the reasons this happened was for a sense of notoriety and I don't want to bestow that," he added.

Although living in the aftermath of his wife's murder still feels "like a bad dream", Mr Cox said he and his two young children, aged four and five, find comfort in reminding themselves of the sort of person she was.

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"Probably every other night, I ask people who knew Jo to write a story for the kids about something they did with Jo or a memory of Jo, and I'll read out one of those to the kids and they love them," he said.

"We have a lifetime of stories. Jo packed in probably 80 or 90 years into the 40 she lived.

"I'll remember her for her zest for life, an enthusiasm in almost all circumstances and about most things, an empathy towards other people and a love both of our family but also just of others."

Obituary: Proud Yorkshire lass Jo Cox

He said: "A lot of what Jo worked on was very worthy and important but she was also very mischievous and very fun and great just to play around with and to hang around with, so we'll remember all of that as well.

"When we were on the way to the funeral and there were thousands and thousands of people lining the streets of Batley, [their son] Cuillin said 'I knew people loved mum but I didn't know this many people loved her'."

"We talk about Jo every day, we talk about the things that made her amazing and we talk about the things that made her annoying... because that also made her so human and so endearing."

'Driven by empathy'

It is also through Mrs Cox's work as an MP that many people will remember her.

"She was driven by a very powerful sense of empathy and so when she would meet people who had a problem, she would be committed to dealing with that problem no matter how difficult or seemingly unsolvable," her husband said.

"I used to get very frustrated because every week when she would be up in the constituency at her surgery and she would call me up and say, 'I've missed the train again', and I would be very irritated.

"But she would say, 'it was because somebody turned up and their child support allowance hadn't come through and they didn't have any money for the weekend'. She had a very personal, human connection with people."

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Image caption "She wasn't driven by an ego. She only wanted to be an MP for her hometown," her husband Brendan Cox said

When asked how the family are trying to move forward with their lives, Mr Cox said one of the main things they want to achieve is to continue his wife's vision through the Jo Cox Foundation, which has raised more than £2m to help with issues such as loneliness, Syrian refugees, autism, and encouraging women in politics.

"For us this is the beginning of something," he said, explaining that their mission is to "make sure that in the years after, what's happened to Jo awakens something which is about bringing our communities back together".

"It's what she said, we do have more in common than that which divides us.

"We are in a place in the world where that message is even more necessary and Jo, if she was alive now, would be spending the vast majority of her time on making that case and that argument.

"She's not here, so we are going to do that in her name."

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