Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being shot and stabbed outside her weekly advice surgery in West Yorkshire. A 52-year-old man is being held by police.
Cox was shot and stabbed outside Birstall library. She was airlifted to nearby Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition not long after 13:00 BST, but reportedly died before she arrived.
Various eyewitness accounts say the MP was shot during a row with a man. The gun has been described as either antique or hand made.
Some eyewitnesses report the attacker may have targeted Cox deliberately, shooting her up to three times, as well as beating and stabbing her while she was on the ground.
There are unconfirmed reports that the attacker, thought to be named Tommy Mair, shouted “Britain first” during the attack. [‘Britain First’ is an extreme-right political party in Britain.]
Another man reportedly intervened to help her, and was also injured. The MP was left lying bloodied on the ground.
Police say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident, and regard this as a lone attack. A number of areas are still being searched by police.
Just after the incident, West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “At 12.53 today, police were called to a report of an incident on Market Street, Birstall, where a woman in her 40s had suffered serious injuries and is in a critical condition. A man in his late 40s to early 50s nearby also suffered slight injuries.”
Forty-one-year-old Jo Cox was Labour MP for Batley and Spen and leaves behind a husband and two young children. She is described as being a campaigner and activist. Before her election to parliament Cox had been head of policy at Oxfam.
She had also previously been national chair of the Labour Women’s Network, a senior advisor to the anti-slavery charity Freedom Fund, and was current Chair of the Friends of Syria All-Party Parliamentary Group.
The Remain and Leave sides in the June 24 referendum vote on leaving or staying in the European Union are suspending their campaigns following the attack.
On Wednesday, Cox had been tweeting in support of the Remain campaign, of which she is a strong advocate. Cox was one of the Labour Party MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for party leader. She later supported a different candidate.
Report on The Guardian here.
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