BREAKING: Labour MP Jo Cox Murdered On Street — Suspected Killer ‘Mental Health Problems’
16 Jun 2016
A British member of parliament has succumbed to her injuries after being “stabbed and shot” in an attack in her constituency in Yorkshire.
Helen ‘Jo’ Cox was pronounced dead at 1:48pm this afternoon, shortly after being “stabbed and shot” outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds. A 52 year old male has been arrested in relation to the killing, and police said this afternoon that they are not seeking any more suspects.
Update — Suspected killer may have had “mental health problems”, in receipt of “psychotherapy and medication”
The suspected killer of MP Jo Cox has been named locally as Thomas Mair, who has featured in a number of local news reports in recent years as a mentally ill man who claimed to be benefitting from local voluntary opportunities.
An archived 2010 article about a country park which welcomed Mr. Mair from the Pathways Day Centre for adults with mental health problems to volunteer in building a “faith garden” reported Mr. Mair as saying: “I can honestly say it has done me more good than all the psychotherapy and medication in the world.
“Many people who suffer from mental illness are socially isolated and disconnected from society, feelings of worthlessness are also common mainly caused by long-term unemployment.
“All these problems are alleviated by doing voluntary work.
“Getting out of the house and meeting new people is a good thing, but more important in my view is doing physically demanding and useful labour.
“When you have finished there is a feeling of achievement which is emotionally rewarding and psychologically fulfilling.
“For people for whom full-time, paid employment is not possible for a variety of reasons, voluntary work offers a socially positive and therapeutic alternative.”
A 2011 article from Batley News about the same initiative also featured a picture of Mr. Mair (right).
Update 1845 — Local: Suspected killer had no political views
Thomas Mair, who has been named locally as the man arrested on suspicion of killing Labour MP Jo Cox was not politically minded, according to locals who knew him reported by the Daily Telegraph. A neighbour said he wasn’t a member of a political party and had never expressed interest in the EU referendum.
62-year-old Kathleen Cooke told the paper: “I am really shocked. He walked past my house this morning and said hello like he always does… He is just a quiet bloke who keeps himself to himself.
“He is very helpful and he helps local people with their gardens. There is one neighbour who is a bit frail and he keeps her garden tidy. He has helped me cut my hedge a couple of times.
“He has lived here for 40 years and has never been in any trouble and has never caused any trouble. He sometimes used to shout at the local kids if they played too near his house but that is fairly normal.
“I don’t think he belonged to any political party and I never heard him express any views about Europe or anything like that. To us, he was just Tommy, a local bloke we all knew
Update 1830 — Widely quoted local admits he didn’t hear “Britain First”
Local restaurant owner Hicham Ben Abdallah, widely quoted across the media as having claimed Mr. Mair shouted, “Britain First” has told Breitbart London “No, no. I did not hear that”.
Update 17:45 — Eyewitness on “Britain First” — “Never heard that”
Eyewitness tells reporters he didn’t hear anyone shout “Britain first”, saying: “Never heard that”. pic.twitter.com/DWhzqe7ayi
— Ben (@Jamin2g) June 16, 2016
Update 17:40 — Labour MP Maria Eagle deletes tweet claiming killer shouted “Britain First”
BREAKING: Maria Eagle has now DELETED her tweet about the “Britain First” claim/shout pic.twitter.com/na2dDOAdqp
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) June 16, 2016
Update 17:35 — Prime Minister Gives Condolences
The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 16, 2016
Update 16:55 — Remain Campaigners Rush To Blame Brexit For MP Attack
Within an hour of news breaking of a 52-year-old man allegedly shooting and stabbing Labour MP Jo Cox many online moved to link the event to the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Yet there is presently no indication the attacker was a Brexit campaigner. Read more on Breitbart London
Update 16:30 — Britain first spokesman speaks to LBC radio
Britain First spokesman Jayda Fransen has told LBC radio: “It’s hearsay. we’re not hearing anything from within our organisation. We are as shocked as anyone to hear these news reports. This is hearsay and this is all we know.
“We’re a registered political party and we hold legal protests. We absolutely condemn this kind of behaviour. We think it is disgusting in fact. Attacking an MP is an attack on democracy.
“I’m very interested to see if this is yet again another example of the left wing media taking something out of context and trying to pin it on an organisation with which it has nothing to do.
“We have a very strict code of conduct. We are very active as a political party and street movement – we hold a lot of legal protests – so we have a very strict code of conduct.
“At the very top of that is: there is no violence tolerated at all. We detach ourselves from all other and distance ourselves from other groups that have been formed who carry out that kind of behaviour who give true patriotic Brits a bad name by their behaviour. All of our activists are well behaved. This has nothing to do with our activists.”
She also went to lengths to stress that the group is not “anti-Muslim” but rather, anti-radical Islam. She added: “We have an unofficial slogan: ‘love Muslims, hate Islam’. These people who follow this barbaric ideology are victims of it. Many of them have not been given a choice, and if they do try to exercise a choice to leave that barbaric ideology quite often they are faced with severe violence or death.”
The original claim for the “Britain First” shout was Aamir Tahir, a local dry cleaner. In the past few hours Mr. Tahir has told other news outlets that he “wasn’t there [at the scene]” and simply heard the allegation as second hand information.
Update 16:25 — Politicians express best wishes to Labour MP Jo Cox MP after she was shot and stabbed this afternoon
Horrified to hear of the attack on Jo Cox. Wishing her well.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 16, 2016
Deeply shocked by news of terrible attack against MP Jo Cox. Thoughts and prayers with her husband and children.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) June 16, 2016
Update 16:22 — West Yorkshire Police call press conference
Local police are set to hold a press conference at 5pm.
Update 16:15 — Doubt over “Britain First” cry
The originally quoted sources has suggested that he did not hear the ‘Britain First’ shout as reported. But another witness, named as Clarke Rothwell by the Telegraph, alleges the attacker did shout “Britain First! Britain First! Britain First!”
Update 16:10 — Eyewitness states the attacker did not shout “Britain First”
— Andy Bell (@andybell5news) June 16, 2016
Update 16:00 — ‘Britain First’ condemn attack
Responding to a single unconfirmed report that the attacker shouted “Britain First”, the Britain First press office responded to an enquiry by Breitbart London this afternoon and said: “We were as shocked as everyone else to hear about this. We would like to stress that these are unconfirmed eyewitness accounts at the moment.
“We do not condone violence, and we find this attack disgusting”.
Update 15:55 — ‘Remain’ campaigners move to politicise attack on MP Jo Cox
Along with numerous ‘Remain’ campaigners, a Brussels based newspaper has linked the attack with the Brexit Vote:
— Le Soir (@lesoir) June 16, 2016
Update 15:40 — Prime minister cancels trip to Gibraltar
It’s right that all campaigning has been stopped after the terrible attack on Jo Cox. I won’t go ahead with tonight’s rally in Gibraltar.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 16, 2016
Update 15:35 — Heavy police presence in Birstall
— Malik Walton (@Cameramal) June 16, 2016
Update 15:15 — MP intervened in argument
The Daily Mail newspaper reports Jo Cox MP was attacked after intervening in a fight between two men while she was out campaigning at around one o’clock this afternoon. Reports suggest the gun was pulled after Jo Cox MP became involved in the fight. If true, the report may suggest the attack was not necessarily targeted.
Update 14:55 — An unidentified male appears to have been injured in the altercation with the attacker and Jo Cox MP
Images have appeared of a man being tended to by police near the shooting of Jo Cox MP https://t.co/6vBAevSxy2
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2016
Update 14:50 — West Yorkshire Police have released 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.
“Armed officers attended and a 52-year-old man was arrested in the area. There are no further details at present.
“Police presence in the area has been increased as a reassurance to the community.”
Update 14:45 — Labour leader Corbyn expresses shock
Utterly shocked by the news of the attack on Jo Cox. The thoughts of the whole Labour Party are with her and her family at this time.
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) June 16, 2016
Update 14:40 — Referendum campaigning suspended
Vote leave announced they have suspended campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union this afternoon in respect for the near-fatal attack on Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox. De-facto leave campaign chief Boris Johnson said: “Just heard the absolutely horrific news about the attack on Jo Cox MP. My thoughts are with Jo and her family”.
The story so far:
A 52 year old man was arrested shortly after the attack. Witnesses described “an older man wearing a white baseball cap” who took a gun out of his bag and shot the member of parliament for Batley and Spen twice. Sky News has reported an eye-witness who said the attacker shouted “Britain First” as he committed the attack.
Britain First is a far right UK group that shares its name with what the attacker reportedly shouted today. The group recently held “knife defence” training courses during a “camping trip” in the Welsh mountains. They told supporters they learned skills like ‘knife defence’ and ‘rough camping’.
It has been reported the assailant pulled a gun after a bystander attempted to intervene in the male kicking Jo Cox while she lay injured on the ground. After the attack, the unidentified man is said to have walked “cooly away”.
Jo Cox was elected to parliament in 2015, after having worked in senior positions for the Labour party, including as an advisor to the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and to Baroness Kinnock. The MP was one of the Labour parliamentarians who nominated Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leadership race, although she ultimately supported Liz Kendall.