A statement from The Jo Cox Foundation:
Six years ago today, on 16 June 2016, Jo Cox was murdered while on her way to a constituency surgery in Batley and Spen. Those closest to Jo lost a devoted mum, daughter, sister, wife, friend, and colleague. The country lost a talented parliamentarian, passionate campaigner, and life-long humanitarian.
We made a grant to the foodbank run by the local Batley and Spen charity Purpose of Life, as well as to multiple others in the area, as part of a Covid grant to be spent on alleviating food poverty.
Encouraging civility in politics is a key part of our work to continue Jo Cox’s legacy. As the elections on 5th May 2022 draw closer, The Jo Cox Foundation invites candidates to reject intimidation and abuse, and shape the tone of political discourse by taking the Civility Pledge.
Robust debate and scrutiny are essential aspects of our democratic process; abuse and intimidation shouldn’t have to be. Abuse can make elected representatives feel they need to step down, and put potential future candidates off standing altogether. Women in particular suffer a disproportionate level of this behaviour. We all have a responsibility to challenge this.
“I am Batley and Spen born and bred and I could not be prouder of that.”
- Jo Cox
In the last five years, the town of Batley has witnessed a change in dynamics in terms of social cohesion and interfaith relationships. As someone who has first-hand experience of the positive social impact that being around people of different backgrounds can have, my view is that interfaith relationships have been undervalued. They have deepened my perspective and my understanding of how collectively we can work together to strengthen our communities. Many of us will have met or been around people of difference through our work, but how many of us choose to go beyond the workplace environment and reach out to those who are different to us?
We are devastated to hear the news of the death of Sir David Amess MP. We send our deepest sympathies to his family, loved ones, staff, and colleagues.
All elected representatives deserve to be safe, and to be treated with respect. Violence and abuse against them is utterly unacceptable. It endangers people and their families, and it endangers democratic life.
The Jo Cox Foundation is committed to working towards a future where no politician is subject to violence or intimidation.
This weekend the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, will host a G7 Speakers' Conference with the theme ‘Secure versus Open Parliaments?’. As attendees will discuss the safety of elected representatives, we have sent a briefing to the Speaker to share core insights from our work on civility in public life over the past five years.
Those attending the conference include: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives; Richard Ferrand, the President of the French National Assembly; Roberto Fico, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies; David Sassoli, President of the EU Parliament, and representatives from Germany, Canada and Japan.
With a Jo Cox Memorial Grant, Minority Rights Group (MRG) is working with grassroots organisations in East Africa to help develop early warning conflict tracking systems that can help to break patterns of violence.
In Northern Kenya, violence in the area has hindered development, consumed wealth and perpetrators have begun to target young people. This includes a recent killing of four students – two studying at university and two still in high school – in what was viewed as a revenge attack.
Over the past year, Jo Cox Memorial grant holders, MIFUMI, have been engaging communities in Tororo, Bukedea and Budaka districts in Uganda through a series of activities.
Its sole aim is to build a community that will recognise, challenge, and resist all forms of violence and abuse against women and children. This has included the development of a network that currently comprises of over 274 local community members, including frontline caseworkers, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, MIFUMI Women’s Rights Champions, MIFUMI Gender-Sensitive Men, and local duty bearers.