Speaking on the third anniversary of the murder of the MP Jo Cox, her sister has called for the country to unite and celebrate the many positive things we share and remember all that we have in common.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s three years since Jo was killed. I still can’t think about that day and the pain doesn’t go away. But I’m determined to do all I can to follow Jo’s example and remain positive and focused on what we can all do to bring the country back together.
“Like Jo, I’m a people person and as an Ambassador for her Foundation I talk to people from all walks of life. I know I talk a lot, but I listen a lot as well. And what I hear is that most people are keen to move beyond the anger and bitterness that we see and hear all around us.
“Jo’s words in her first speech in parliament, when she said we are more united and have more in common than that which divides us, are as true today as they were then. Maybe even more so.
“We are working hard to create a powerful legacy for Jo by bringing people and communities together, and encouraging conversations and understanding. The huge amount of support from all across the country for The Great Get Together next weekend, on what would have been Jo’s birthday, shows that there is a real desire to set aside our differences and remember what unites us.
“Jo’s murder hit our family harder than anyone can know. But we were comforted by the way in which so many people responded with love and an understanding that it was more than just an attack on a wonderful mother, daughter and sister.
“Everybody agreed that we needed a calmer, kinder politics where we treat each other with respect and where violence or the threat of violence had no place. Today it feels like all that has been forgotten and the language of politics has become even more brutal and toxic.
“Personal insults and vicious verbal abuse are in danger of been normalised. Candidates, MPs and others in public life are subject to intimidation and physical attacks so regularly it has almost become commonplace. I worry that we have learnt nothing from what happened to Jo, and I would hate any other family to have to go through what we have been through, and continue to go through, every day.
“For me, the best answer is for all of us to show that we are better than that. This weekend will be difficult for us as a family but we will get through it by remembering how lucky we were to have had Jo in our lives. And next weekend we will be joining many thousands of people all over the country in celebrating everything we have in common through The Great Get Together. You can easily find out what’s going on near you and there is still time to organise something in your own street or community.
“As I said, I’m focusing on the positive, and would like to say a big thank you to everybody who is taking part and remembering Jo with us. Whatever you are doing, have a great get together.”