“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.
A statement from The Jo Cox Foundation:
Five years ago, on June 16th 2016, Jo Cox MP was murdered in her constituency of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire.
Jo’s death caused shock and dismay across the UK and the world. Jo’s family said they had been "overwhelmed and humbled by the support we have been given by so many people. From the thousands of messages we have received through to the dedication of so many individuals and organisations to continue Jo’s work".
The Jo Cox Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Su Moore as The Jo Cox Foundation’s new Chief Executive.
Our Ambassador Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox, is taking an unpaid leave of absence from the Foundation to pursue the candidacy for the parliamentary seat of Batley & Spen.
The Jo Cox Foundation is committed to working across political divides, and we will maintain that focus in the coming weeks and months. We also fully support the right of everyone to take part in the democratic process.
One of our key areas of work is around promoting respect and civility in public life, and we urge all candidates in the by-election to run a respectful and safe campaign.
We wish Kim and all candidates putting their hat into the ring the best of luck with the campaign.