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British MP Jo Cox Has Died After Attack Near Leeds; Cameron Speaks out on Jo Cox's Killing; Aired 4-5p ET
Aired June 16, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Christiane Amanpour with continuing breaking news coverage. There is huge shock and
sadness here in United Kingdom, where a member of Parliament Jo Cox has been killed in a brutal attack. She is a 41-year-old mother of two, and
she was shot and stabbed in broad daylight. Following a meeting in a local constituency in West Yorkshire. Police say a 52-year-old man has been
arrested in connection with the attack and they are working on the assumption that it is a lone incident.
Tributes are pouring in for the MP who has been described as a rising star of the Labour Party. The British Prime Minister David Cameron has
expressed sorrow and frustration over the killing. A short time ago he praised her passion, her compassion and her commitment to parliament and to
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news and my thoughts are with Jo's husband Brendan and the two
children and their wider family. We have lost a great star. She was a MP, great campaigning MP with huge compassion with a big heart and people are
going to be very, very sad at what has happened, dreadful, dreadful news.
It's right that we're suspending campaign activity in this referendum. Everyone thoughts will be with Jo's family and with her constituents at
this terrible time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: There seem to have been an outpouring of grief and tributes to the kind of person she was. What do you know of Jo Cox?
CAMERON: Well I know she was a very strong campaigning MP. She had a great track record of caring about refugees and she had a very big interest
in how we could look after Syrian refugees. And the right thing to do in our world. She had a huge heart. She was a very compassionate campaigning
MP. She was a bright star. No doubt about it. Her staff and her constituents a star in Parliament and a star right across the House. And
we've lost a star. But above all, I'm thinking of her husband, Brendan, the children, the family and her constituents you will be feeling this huge
sense of loss tonight. I think it is right we stop the campaigning activity. we think of them and think of what they have lost.
AMANPOUR: It is such a shock because this is not the kind of thing that happens here in United Kingdom. David Cameron mentioned that both sides of
the EU referendum campaign have suspended their activities and he paid tribute to Jo and her husband Brendan. I want to read you now in full what
Brendan Cox has said about his late wife. "Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives more difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full
of love. I and Jo's friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives, to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that
killed Jo. Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most
people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love, and two, that we all unite
to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate does not have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous. Jo would have no regrets about her
life, she lived every day of it to the full."
So let's go now live to Nic Robinson who is in Birstall near Leeds where the attack took place. Nic, what can they tell us? What is the latest
about this person they have in custody and about what the motive might have been?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Christiane, the police are still investigating that. They've been very cautious in saying too
much. That is normal, as we know, or the police here to be cautious in what they say. The forensic teams here still working. The forensic
officers have been going just the down the street behind me, around the corner, which is where the murder took place. There's shock and disgust on
the streets here.
I just talked to several people from this town who have been still trying to grapple with what happened here. they are saying -- people are saying,
how could this have happened? Why could somebody do this? How could somebody do this? They are absolutely horrified, shocked and disgusted.
The word disgusted was used several times. But specifically what are the police telling us about the man that they are holding at the moment. The
person that they believe is responsible for this murder. They're not providing those details, but that the operation of the street is still
The forensic team, another one of their vehicles going down the street just behind me. This does seem to be very much an ongoing investigation of this
crime scene. And they're going to have to do a lot of background checks. Who did he meet today? Who did he speak to? What was he saying today?
What was his mood today? Who did he meet yesterday? What was he doing earlier in the week? Who where his friends?
[16:05:00] Who was he talking to on social media? All those things will become familiar with the police doing to try to figure out why this
happened. As I standing here, Christiane, there are people arriving here with flowers I think this is going to be the beginning of so many people
here very, very tough time to reckon with what's happened in their very quiet community here, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: You know, as we see that and as we see the now empty screen behind you and the police tape. It is hard not to remember what happens,
for instance across the ocean in the United States. Just this week, all the news has been about a terrible killing in Orlando, Florida. And again,
it is not the kind of thing that we expect to happen here. That is what former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said. She worked for Sarah
Brown and also for Gordon Brown on various of their charity issues and other such humanitarian issues. And this is, obviously, going to really
send shockwaves through the British political establishment.
You say that they're bringing flowers. Any other details of how this went down? The details of the actual attack and somebody else was also wounded.
Is that correct.
ROBERTSON: It is. Another man, we believe, was wounded. The police say he was lightly wounded. What eyewitnesses have described here is that they
heard a commotion, a witness who was very close by, heard a commotion, heard some shouting, and went outside of the building he was in. And saw
parts of the attack or the end of the attack taking place. What we're told is that two shots were fired and the attacker also stabbed Jo Cox. A 52-
year-old man that's who the police say that they having custody of the moment.
Again, going back to no motive given. There are very few precise details, but what the witnesses describe happening. Is this attack happening
between two cars just on the pavement very close to the library, which was where Jo Cox had been? This was her, what's known here, as her surgery.
When she would meet. Not a medical surgery, but a surgery where the MP would meet constituents who would have concerns and have concerns about or
perhaps how the Council was behaving, or other issues local to them. And she would have been listening to that and trying to find ways to help them
with their legal issues. And leaving that attacked between these two cars is perhaps all the details that we have at the moment.
With the with the fact that the police are still working on this crime scene, it gives the impression that, at the moment at least, that they are
all details there that they still want to make sure that they fully recover and fully account for in this process.
AMANPOUR: Nic, we're going to just flashback a little bit and see how the authorities actually broke the news of Jo Cox's murder. It was an
emotional press conference earlier. Just take a listen to the West Yorkshire police chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEE WILLIAMS, TEMPORARY CHIEF CONSTABLE, WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE: Just before one o'clock today Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen borough was
attacked in Market Street, Bristol. I'm now very sad to have to report that she has died as a result of her injuries. Before going into further
detail I would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends at this tragic time. Jo was attacked by a man who inflicted
serious and sadly ultimately fatal injuries. Subsequently, there was a further attack on a 77-year-old man nearby, who has sustained injuries that
Shortly afterwards a man was arrested nearby by local uniformed police officers. Weapons including a firearm have also been recovered. At 1:48
p.m. Jeff Cox was pronounced deceased by a doctors who was working with a paramedic crew that were attending to her serious injuries.
This is a very significant investigation with large numbers of witnesses that have been spoken to by police at this time. There is a large and
significant crime scene and then it is a large police presence in the area. A full investigation is underway to establish the motive for this attack.
There are specifically trained officers with Jo's immediate family, who are fully aware of what has taken place. And we would ask the media to respect
their privacy at this very difficult time.
Additional offices are working in the local community this afternoon and evening in order to provide reassurance and support to our communities.
Clearly, as his inquiry is a very early stage, and we have an individual under arrest. We are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time.
[16:10:04] We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident at present.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, there you have the Chief Constable, Dee Williams, saying not looking for anyone else at present. Going back to Nic there in
Birstall. Nic, do you have any latest information?
ROBERTSON: Christiane, just painting the scene a little earlier today, in the last few years Birstall has had a market, this is Market Street, the
central town. This would be a Thursday market day would the town have been busier than normal. It is not clear if that is why Jo Cox was at our
offices here, or if that is why the killer chose to strike on this particular day. But it is one of those fights as we hear that the police
say that this is a large crime scene that they're looking at. That they're looking at a very large number of witnesses. So on a busy day, like market
day here in Birstall, that is going to give the police perhaps more opportunity to hear from more people who might have seen this killer
approaching Jo Cox. And what he was doing in the in the minutes and hours leading up this. Because of course that is good to be critical for the
police to understand why this happened. And that of course, is what so many people are waiting to find out, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic, thank you. Just as we look again at these pictures of the late Jo Cox. Many of them taken outside Parliament. We remember that the
Prime Minister of Great Britain across the aisle Conservative Prime Minister has paid glowing tribute to her. Also the leader of the Labour
Party, Jeremy Corbyn has just released a statement on her murder, just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Come together and express our deepest condolences to Jo and her family. We've lost a wonderful woman. We've
lost a wonderful member of Parliament, but our democracy will go on. Her work will go on. As we mourn her memory, we'll work in her memory to
achieve that better world she spent her life trying to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Again, she was 41 years old. She leaves behind a husband Brendan and two children. Mr. Corbyn also said that she had a life long
record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. And as news of her death is reverberated around this country, so too has the facts and
figures of the kind of humanity she was dedicated to, children against slavery, for instance, the Syrian refugees. She spent a lot of time
working on these deep human issues and is very complex and often violent work world that we live in.
And as we said both "Leave" and "Remain" sides have suspended their events. They have suspended their campaigning and it is being a very bitter and
divisive campaign within one party is able to the conservative party. A lot of it has centered around immigration. There is a big, big fear about
lots of aspects of immigration in this country, and it has emerged as the number one issue on the minds of those people who say they are going to
vote to leave the EU.
And I say that because Jo Cox had been tweeting about the referendum. She has been saying for instance on Brexit, "Immigration is a legitimate
concern, but it's not a good reason to leave the EU." She says, "Remain stronger in my hubby," she is talking about her husband Brendan Cox and
children, "Taking part in the battle of the Thames, because we are stronger in," #remain.
So referring yesterday to the battle of Britain that was taking place on the River Thames with a flotilla by Nigel Forage and his vote to leave
campaigner. And that was met by a flotilla of other votes which was spearheaded by the popstar and international campaigner Bob Geldof and on
one of those boats for remain was Brendan Cox. So it is exactly a week to go until the polls and we are going to go now to Richard Quest who is in
the heart of middle Britain there in Stoke-on-Trent.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY EDITOR-AT-LARGE: A good evening to you, Christiane, yes, you join me here in Stoke-on-Trent and I was interested to
hear what you are saying on immigration because yesterday I was just about 50 miles away over on the East Coast of England in a place called Boston.
Now Boston has 13 percent of its population, Christiane, that comes from elsewhere in the European Union, and pretty much to a man and a woman in
the marketplace I heard again and again leave, leave, leave go. We want out of the European Union.
[16:15:00] So what is happened and I can tell you now, Christiane, is having reported up and down the country over the past few weeks. What has
happened is that this atmosphere -- the sort of atmosphere that Jo Cox fought very strongly against, has become febrile. It's become fervent.
There is an animosity that you referred to the back on the River Thames. This is something we have never seen before in politics in the U.K. And
tonight in the north of England I can tell you there is a deep introspection as to how the politics of the country, Christiane, and the
politics of this referendum have gone so dramatically wrong.
AMANPOUR: Richard had been you on your back the bus up and down the central part of the country and many of the places where, you know, in
London we don't get to see or hear from the people there. That are obviously, very clear concerns about how today's economy and the social and
technological progress is helping or hurting some people. You are the business maven of this network. Can you tell our audience about what
people are saying and how that actually dovetails with reality in terms of what the economy is what it may be or may not be in or out? And
particularly how immigration plays into the British economy?
QUEST: The reality is that is that there's pretty much just about unanimity on the idea that there will be an economic shortfall if the U.K.
leaves the European Union. The IMF says it, the World Bank says it, the Treasury says it, the Bank of England says it. But here's the problem.
Those comments are seen by the other side is a threat. And Christiane, you need look no farther than the last 24 hours when the British finance
minister basically said to the British people vote to leave and your taxes are going up by a couple of pence, even more for higher paid. And that was
perceived as a threat. He says it is a promise almost back on economic reality. But the fact is that the politics of fear over this referendum on
now so ingrained.
And Christiane. I talked to the older generation you talk to them. They say leave. I want my country back. I want my sovereignty back. I do not
want to be ruled by Brussels. I want that I Berlin is doing today what he could not do in the second world war. It says venal and it is as blunt as
that. But then you talk to the younger generation who may not come out in such numbers and they say, I want to be able to go and work overseas. We
need the immigration. Who else is going to do half of the jobs that the immigrants do in this country. And that really is the nutshell. That is
the environment upon which today's murder has taken place. How it will play out, Christiane? Whether it strengthens the "Leave" campaign as a law
and order or whether it strengthens "Remain" as civility in the future and what we want. We really do not know. It is too soon.
AMANPOUR: Indeed it is. We have absolutely no idea at the moment for the motive. But we don't know the motive for this really horrific murder in
plain daylight of a very young and hard-working MP. But let me carry on to follow on from what Richard was just saying about the immigration about all
these issues and taking place in the referendum.
So Jo Cox as we said, had been campaigning hard for the "Remain" campaign. She used her maiden speech in Commons to praise the benefits of
immigration, as Richard was just talking about. She said, "Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration. Be it of Irish Catholics across
the constituency, all of Maltose and Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir." "While we celebrate our diversity. What
surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other
than things that divide us." That is Jo Cox. That is what she has said. Again, there is a picture of her on the banks of the River Thames and we
know that she spent half or part of the time while she was in Westminster on a boat on the Thames there.
I want to go to Caroline Flint who is also a Labour Party MP. Also her constituency is in Yorkshire. And she's on her way to the memorial for Jo
Cox in Birstall. She joins me now on the phone. Caroline, thank you for joining me. First I want to get, obviously, your reaction, your thoughts
at this terrible moment.
[16:20:03] CAROLINE FLINT, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY MP (via telephone): Well my thoughts are with Brendan, children and the family and also the staffers
of Jo as well. Because this lovely woman was doing her duty as a member of Parliament. Holding her surgeries in her constituency. Something we don't
hear much about, Christiane, because it's all what happens in Westminster. But much of what we do as constituency MPs is try to sort out the everyday
problems big and small for the people we represent. And you know, Jo was doing that today. And people should also be aware, Jo came from this
constituency. This is where she was brought up. Her dad worked in a toothpaste factory. Her mom was a school secretary. She spent her summers
working in that factory. And having given so much for so many years to working for Oxfam and working overseas. Working to raise our awareness,
our responsibility to help the poor countries of the world. She came in last year as a new MP eager to do her best. And it's an absolute tragedy
what has happened today. But also it's something about our British democracy and the way that our representatives go about their work, which
is also very wonderful and very precious and MPs feel very strongly about.
AMANPOUR: Caroline, as you head towards the memorial, can I just keep you on the phone for a little while longer to ask you about -- you've talked
about her meeting her constituents and that's probably what she was doing today -- give us a sense of what these so-called surgeries are. How much
time is spent with the constituents, in Westminster, et cetera. And what an MPs sort of week looks like.
FLINT: OK. So, I mean, at the end there's no job description, Christiane. Every MP does it in their own way. But surgeries they are basically where
members of your constituency -- some MPs have open surgeries. Where people would turn up at a time, which is advertise, and sit in the queue to raise
issues with their MP. Other MPs have appointments. I have seven surgeries a month in different parts of my constituency, because I don't have a town
center. People make appointments. Often people ring up and if we can start working on it on the phone to save them the time from coming to a
surgery will do that.
And I can tell you, Christiane, I'm nearly 20 years as a member of Parliament and you know, you think you have dealt with every single case
possible, but actually, you know, you haven't. It ranges from someone who comes to you who's had a bad experience in local hospital. Someone who has
seen some crime activity or constituent social behavior in the neighborhood. Somebody who needs a house. Somebody who is not happy with
what the government is doing on a policy. It is massively wide ranging. And what you try to do mostly as an MP is first of all, just trying clarify
what's going on.
Often the member of Parliament, if you're an honest, broker in all of this, we're not working for any big organization, public or private. We try to
get to the truth of what's happening. And to be honest, with my experience 80 percent of the time it's usually because the organization that is
helping this person is in communicating very well what they're doing. Other times things come up that are bigger issues that you then follow up
and Parliament as well. And it's the everyday job. And we split our time between Westminster and our constituents needs to do that. And that's what
Jo is doing today.
AMANPOUR: You just tweeted, Caroline, "Lost a good MP and a loving mum. Recently Jo Cox told some of us about applying calamine lotion to her
child's chickenpox spots. Mums get that." My goodness, I get that to. Every mum will get that. But I think will you be saying is remarkably
important for people to understand in this era that we are witnessing, whether it is across Europe, whether it is in Britain, whether it is in the
United States of his antigovernment, anti-establishment. You know, take out your anger on MPs or whoever it is. You just been telling the story of
a civil servant, of a public servant, and of somebody who very sadly ended up giving her life for her people.
FLINT: Yes, she did. I think that, you know, sometimes politicians get it wrong, and they should be held accountable that, Christiane. But you know,
most people of all parties going to public with a good heart to do things, to change things. And Jo had chosen to do her working life before an MP
how much she thought about others. And she was thinking about others today. We should be really proud of our democracy in our country and those
Democratic countries around the world.
[16:25:04] Because, you know, it's such an important part of something that maybe we take for granted. And people are trying to do their best to help
people to try and pass laws that really improve the lives of the people on the door steps in our constituencies. And I think there's something rather
ugly sometimes today, and maybe social media is part of that. In which is sort of like a virus of hostility and negativity. And you know, I would
never query holding people in power to account for what they do to explain themselves. But we have to understand the other side of what people in
public life do. And you know, we've all been there, Christiane. My daughter rang me today and asked me if I had surgeries. And she's 28 now.
She was eight when I became an MP. We are people in living communities as well. We are mums and dads and have families and are trying to do our
best. And we don't always get it right.
But you know, you each have values, our democracy and the people who work within it. And Jo was just trying to do her job.
AMANPOUR: Beautifully said, Caroline, it's obviously an incredibly emotional day for you and for her constituents and for this country.
Again, we don't see this kind of thing often here. Carolyn Flint, thank you very much indeed, as you on your way to the vigil to the memorial that
will be held for a Jo Cox over there in Birstall.
Now we've been monitoring the situation all day for our bureau here in London and we have course our correspondence is you seen Nic Robertson,
Richard Quest, and others. Phil Black is following all the developments and he joins me here onset. Phil, the emotion in Caroline's voice. You
know, there comes a time when you have to say it is not all demonizing that not all bad, the MPs. They actually do work hard. And it reminds me of
when I was in the United States, I covered the that the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Gifford, the Congresswoman who was shot in January 2011 by what
turned out to be a lunatic. We still do not know the motive of this killer. What more can you tell us about what you have been gathering what
news you can gathering today.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we been hearing all day, Christiane, for people who knew her, worked with her, lived in her
communities or worked with her and Westminster, they all paint a picture of someone who was, it would seem, universally admired. Not in some glib way
that people talk about that at the passing of someone in such an unexpected and terrible way, but in a really genuine heartfelt way. This was a woman
who was compassionate, caring, very dedicated, a mother of two young children. Someone who spent her early career, before joining politics,
only relatively recently, working for international bodies in New York and Brussels. A wide range of being an activist and a campaigner.
What we learned I guess is ideal for politics. We do not of the motive, as you've said, but what is clear is that she is a woman who was progressive,
compassionate and outward looking, no doubt. Every inch of someone who had international concerns. Although she became a Labour MP, a local MP a year
ago, she played active roles on various parliamentary committees concerned about things, including the Syrian conflict, notably. Were told that was a
particular passion for her, and the plight of the refugees as well. So we don't know why this person killed her, but if it was for her politics then
that paints a very clear image just the sort of politics that this person that this person sort of gets.
AMANPOUR: And it is just so important to talk about what you just said, that her concerns when not just to her constituency and obviously to her
family, but around the world. She was deeply touched by the plight of children, by the plight of women and it is not fashionable today in the
West. To actually care that much about what is happening to the kids and the women and the men who are, you know, being killed and slaughtered and
thrown out of their country in Syria. And she really did make a stand. And she did, also, it is not fashionable, to turn to talk up in favor of
immigration and she has in all these other tweets and all the things that she did. So she really did put herself on the line politically as well.
BLACK: This is steely, courageous politics of the British context, I think absolutely. Immigration is not a popular issue here. It is probably the
most divisive issue within the country of the moment. Being more generous to refugees is a tricky thing to argue in favor of here as well.
AMANPOUR: This government is not being generous to refugees. Very few have come into Britain.
BLACK: Indeed, and tonight David Cameron paid tribute to her for the concern that she showed on this issue in particular.
[16:30:00] This is an island nation, which he can be very generous, but one that can be very cautious in terms of who it allows in, and it is a
sensitive issue. You could have almost argued that this the whole reason for having a referendum on our membership in the European Union altogether.
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, it's so interesting because you know it has turned out almost to be a referendum on immigration policy. And it's just
so tragic that this woman has been killed and caught up at this particular highly divisive and very, very, you know, hate filled moment on immigration
and on these kinds of issues that face, not just Britain but much all of the West. I read also that, you know, she is 41 years old. As we said she
came in in the 2015 new crop of MPs. She apparently was the first member of her family to go to university. She graduated from Cambridge University
in 1995. And as you heard Caroline Flint said, instead of taking a gap year. She actually worked in her father's, I think, toothpaste factory.
She was also really working class roots.
BLACK: She is from the area of her constituency, which is not always the case of British politics. You've got a lot of what they call stars that
had parachuted in. So she was someone who is raised and schooled in the north of England. Who then went away, studied, became a very -- well
worked very hard in a wide range of nongovernment organizations, notably Oxfam for some 10 years or so. Someone who helped us, we been talking
about with antislavery campaigns. Helped former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's wife Sarah Brown with things she was concerned about as well. So
she was someone who clearly, not a career politician, someone who had passions and interest that took her from her hometown, but also ultimately
brought them back to where she came from as well. And so, yes, that's where you last year she was elected as a local MP. But as we have been
talking about, she continued to fight for these international issues.
Everything that we are talking about here paints this picture that says, yes, she was someone who could was concerned herself very passionately with
these outward concerns that are not always very popular in British domestic politics. And she fought for them passionately.
AMANPOUR: So we're going to come back to you in a moment to talk about other issues, particularly the campaign has been suspended for this
referendum one week from today. But as we've said, of course, Britain is in shock following the murder of the MP Jo Cox. It happened in broad
daylight in her local constituency near Leeds. The Prime Minister, David Cameron has led the tributes to the 41-year-old mother of two, describing
her as a great star. Hala Gorani, she wraps up the early part of the story is much as we know it.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): British member of parliament Jo Cox was attacked in her constituency in Northern England, shortly after
noon on Thursday. Local media say a man shot and stabbed her outside a library in Birstall near Leeds where she was meeting local people.
Eyewitnesses described hearing screams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They weren't normal stream. They were like panicking and then where bullet I heard there was a woman lying on the floor.
GORANI: A man in his 50s, was arrested at the scene, and a number of weapons recovered by police. Cox was taken to a nearby hospital, but
doctors could not save her.
DEE WILLIAMS, TEMPORARY CHIEF CONSTABLE, WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE: And now very sad to have to report that she has died as a result of her injuries.
Before going into further detail I would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends at this tragic time.
GORANI: Police say another man at the scene was lightly wounded.
Cox has been an MP since last May, a member of the opposition Labour Party.
CORBYN: We've lost a wonderful woman. We've lost a wonderful member of Parliament, but our democracy will go on. Her work will go on.
GORANI: Cox, like most in her party supported Britain staying in the European Union. She has been vocal on the issue ahead of a referendum on
it next week. Cox's family were out campaigning on a flotilla on the River Thames yesterday. Since the news of the shooting, both the "Leave" and
"Remain" camps announced that they would suspend their campaigns.
Prime minister David Cameron canceled his planned rally in Gibraltar Thursday night saying, "It is right that all campaigning has been stopped
after the terrible attack on Jo Cox. A local counselor, who knew Cox, spoke to CNN shortly after the attack.
LISA HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR, LIVERSEDGE AND GOMERSAL: And absolutely stunned. And as you probably would realize I'm incredibly upset
as well. You know, a young woman being attacked in this way she also had a husband and children and family. It's heartbreaking.
GORANI: just hours later Cox's husband tweeted this picture of her along the River Thames. The motive of her attacker is not yet clear.
AMANPOUR: And her husband tweeted that picture with no words, but he has of course issued a very poignant tribute to his wife.
[16:35:02] Joining me now is the Labour Councillor, Shabir Pandor. He is from Jo Cox's constituency. He worked with her in the local community and
I am reaching him by phone. Mr. Pandor, tell me about the woman you knew and tell me if you know any more about this investigation into how and why
could have happened.
SHABIR PANDOR, LABOR COUNCILLOR (via telephone): Jo was immersed in our issues. One of the best people anyone can meet. She was warm. She had a
personality that will like a magnet she would attract people, draw people in. And the constituency she represented was very calm and very diverse.
But things like this doesn't happen. It's just completely unheard of. It's a complete shock I've gotten messages, inundated with emails, phone
calls, people concerned with what's happening. With while the news was breaking out until 5:15 and then the police confirmed about the tragic
murder. You know, people are generally concerned. People are feeling stunned, numbed and I think it's going to take a few days for the news to
And this was the kind of personality we had in Jo. She was a person who had massive talent, massive ability. Full of compassion, full of caring,
she was a very hard worker. Basically the kind of thing she actually promoted locally, nationally and internationally was all geared toward a
good cause. But not just the rhetoric, but she actually meant things, she actually delivered it, she actually worked it, she actually breathed it.
And it's going to be a massive, massive loss to Parliament. That we've lost one of our best parliamentarians so early in her parliamentary career.
She'd only been there a year. It made a big difference. And I'm sure parliament will reflect on this in kind of work not only for her, in her
memory. But the legacy and the work must continue, because this is a lot of stuff that she actually believed in.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Pandora, we don't know why this person did this to her. We don't know the motive. But we do know that it's happened in a very, very,
very tough political atmosphere. An atmosphere of heightened divisions. An atmosphere that revolves a lot around immigration and many of the issues
that have been raised during this EU referendum campaign. Do you have any thoughts as to the atmosphere around what happened today and can you see
potentially any link to that at all?
PANDORA: I think of politicians in my found in my Councillors jobs in a national parliamentarian. You know, we actually go about doing our work
day-to-day campaigning day to day surgeries casework. And this is the thing, this was so unpredictable and so isolated. It's only when the
investigation is taken to court and then the police carry out the investigation that we will understand the facts. I think it's not wise to
actually speculate, because we have lost one of our great parliamentarians. I've lost a very, very dear friend. I've actually, you know, not just knew
her, but I knew her family, I knew her mum, I knew her dad and her husband Brendan, her kids. So what we have to make sure we respect that and let
the authorities carry out the investigation. Anybody that's got any information and they can actually share that information and let's get down
to the root causes of it. And understand why this is happened. And there's no need to speculate at all. You're sure that something like this
can happen, but it's very isolated. But if a shock like this happened to a community this could happen in.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Pandora, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
Reaction to the murder of Jo Cox is pulling in all social media. We'll bring a lot more of that to you. But first we going to take a short break.
[16:42:35] AMANPOUR: Reaction to the murder of Jo Cox is pouring in on social media. The leaders of this nation have also paid tribute. Prime
Minister David Cameron has tweeted, "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."
The Labour Party leader, she was in Labour MP. Jeremy Corbyn, released a statement saying in part, "The whole of the Labour family and indeed the
whole country is in shock and grief at the horrific murder of Jo Cox." And Sarah Brown, wife of the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who Cox worked
for, tweets, "Jo Cox, her great spirit was ever present in her campaigning, parliamentary work and her deep love for her family. RIP." It includes
this photo from Cox's husband, Jo Cox has been described by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as a fearless campaigner working on the half of some of
the world's poorest and most marginalized people. And in her first speech to the House of Commons just over a year ago, she said, that her
constituency had been deeply enhanced by diversity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JO COX, LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: The thing that surprises me time and time again as I travel around the consistency is that we far more united
and have far more in common, then that which divides us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We're going to go live now to Nic Robertson who is in Birstall near Leeds where the attack took place earlier today, Nic.
ROBERTSON: Christiane, since we last talked the memorial at the foot of the statute here just across the market square from where am is growing.
It's a memorial of flowers. I've seen mothers and daughters, fathers as well, with their young children, bringing the children along with the small
bunches of flowers. These are very small personal tributes and laying them at the foot of the statue the MP, Mary Craig from Wakefield was here as
well, laying her tributes. So there are politicians coming here to pay that tribute, along with the local townspeople. People have described the
sense of feeling here as shock, of disgust, of questioning how this could have happened, why this happened. People want to know and understand that.
But the police operation is still going on here.
[16:45:01] We've seen about half a dozen uniformed officers. They looked like they finished conducting a search. They were leaving the area, but
the forensic teams are still here involved. The whole area still, of course, cordoned off. The police say that this is a wide investigation
that they have many, many witnesses they want to see. Of course this town itself earlier today was bustling with its once a week market, it's
Thursday market. So lots of potential witnesses for the police. They would hope to contact and people to come forward to speak to them, but for
now the focus here, at least in terms of the people arriving that we are sitting here, is the come look and to see to try to understand, but to pay
their tribute. So those tributes that they pay were flowers at the foot of the statue on Market Square here, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic, while we're waiting for more news from the investigators just bring us back to date with exactly what happened. It was a lone
gunman apparently and another person was wounded but not life-threatening. Tell us what's happened to the person who actually did that horrible thing
ROBERTSON: The police arrested him, recovered weapons. We understood that from eyewitnesses, they believe that that Jo Cox was shot twice and
stabbed. And that the police have recovered weapons, but the man is in their custody that they are not looking for anyone else involved in this
attack. They have the person that they believe is responsible. And the questions now with him, and this is not what the police are letting any
details leak out. So far at least is trying to figure out his motive what brought him to do this? What events are precisely led to this? The police
investigation hearing is continuing. I am looking for another line of officers here ready to take up that duty this evening. The other officers
who just left being replaced by these offices here.
The police have said that they will have many, many offices here in the investigation trying to reassure the community here, these police officers
are going below the wire here, the type, the police type of securing cooling off the area. They appear to be going and to be involved in some
part some way with the search. But we're told there will be many police here through this evening through the night, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nic, thank you and we obviously are going to be really, really, really looking at who this person was. Who this killer was? Why he did
it? Because it comes and it really terribly divisive time in this country.
Now in the United States, this has happened many times in many different parts of the U.S. We've seen what happened in Orlando. I covered the
shooting of Gabrielle Gifford's, a Congresswoman from Arizona back in January 2011 and that was by a lunatic who had severe mental issues. The
U.S. State Department spokesman, Admiral John Kirby, even weighed in and he had this to say about the brutal attack on Jo Cox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: All member of the U.K. Parliament, Ms. Jo Cox was murdered today in Birstall, near Leeds, in
Northern England doing her public duty. Of course, we offer our sincere condolences to Ms. Cox's family and friends and all the British people.
Obviously, were going to refer you to U.K. authorities for this. Who we understand are already investigating this heartbreaking incident. But
again, we thought it was important right at the top here to stress our condolences for this terrible crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So reaction from the State Department. This is of course a special relationship between the United States and Great Britain and a lot
of pain will be felt over the other side of the Atlantic as well, particularly in light of what has been going on than the last week or so.
Now Jo Cox is the first British lawmaker killed in office since 1990. When the IRA killed a member of parliament. MPs don't have full-time
Joining me now on the phone is Steve Park. He is a former royalty and diplomatic protection officer and managing director of Global Security
Resources. Mr. Park, thank you for joining me tell me. Tell me about what kind of security an MP like Jo Cox would have had? Mr. Park, I hope you
can hear me. I am trying to reach you to ask you about the kind of security that an MP, such as Jo Cox might have had. We're going to try to
get back to Steve Park when our phone line can be reconnected.
In the meantime, the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has also released a statement morning Jo Cox's death. He said, "Everyone who met Jo knew that
she was special. In the year she was an MP she made more impact than others make it a whole parliamentary career."
[16:50:04] "She was also warm and funny -- I remember her telling me recently that she was going to get permission from the House of Commons to
park her little boat at Parliament, so that she could drive it to work. It is typical of Jo that she was serving her community today, doing what she
loved when this horrific attack happened. She was the best of politics. The best of Labour and I will miss her." That is London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
And of course, we saw in that photo that was tweeted by her husband as the news came through that she had died and had succumbed to her wounds. There
she is on the banks there of the Thames near parliament. And we know that she did spend much of her working time, while she was there at Westminster
on the Thames on her boat. Now although it was early in her career, Jo Cox had already made an impression. Her friend Robert Light spoke to CNN
before she died from her wounds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT LIGHT, COUNCILLOR FOR BIRSTALL AND BIRKENSHAW (via telephone): Jo was clearly going to be someone that was going to have a big political
career. She's been around for a short time, for about 15 months. But it clear that we would have expected to be on the front bench in some form in
the years to come. And that would have been great for our area. You know, because it's good to have someone who push their way their way in
Westminster and put us on the map. And to obviously, this does change your life. Something like this happens and she's going to come through and pull
through this and be able to start carry on that career. But it's a shock. Isn't it. It makes you question about what you do is as an MP and could do
go out and do these surgeries if you are at risk at this. I think it's something that all MPs and Councillors will be thinking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, there was Robert Light, hoping against hope that Jo Cox would pull through and would survive her grievous injuries. She didn't.
Lisa Holmes now is on her way into that memorial service. Into the that memorial service, into the church service. She is a conservative member of
the Kirksey's city council and joins us now from near Birstall.
Lisa, what can you tell me about Jo and how the community is coping right now.
LISA HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR, LIVERSEDGE AND GOMERSAL: Well, Jo Cox was a hell of lady, very hard working and very dedicated. I just
arriving at church now. And there are a lot of people here. I would image there are a lot of people here that have met Jo, but also those who ones
that haven't that just know a job in their MP are heartbroken, quite frankly.
AMANPOUR: Lisa, you are a Conservative Councillor, Jo was Labour, but in this moment, the community must be pulling together whatever side of the
aisle they're on. Described to me a little bit more what you are seeing. Tell me paint a picture of the vigil.
HOLMES: Well actually not inside. I just arrived. The people try to get in there. So pay their respect to Jo and to remember her. They need to
remember Jo and I can assure you that there will be no political cause in that church this evening. We're all coming here just because it's Jo. And
as a person typical, a lot of us knew her, not only as an MP but a we considered a friend. I may have been in the normal sense of things. I
used to go out socializing with on many occasions at events. We always talked. We always go on very well. And I just think that shows what kind
of woman Jo was. That she could get on with everybody and we all are here now because we care. I'm shaken, as you could probably tell.
AMANPOUR: I can tell, I can tell. I do not know whether you can stay with me for a little bit longer but I want ask you, you know, this paints a
really brutal picture of how difficult it is to be a public servant. Sometimes of how much passion and work and time of a person's life goes
into it. Many people, you know, are often blaming politicians for what goes wrong and as you know in this anti-establishment era that we living
in, politicians are amongst, you know, the lowest on the popularity ladder there.
But you have painted a picture of how you all work so hard for the good of your constituents. Is this going to have a chilling effect do you think?
HOLMES: We just had a briefing with Chief Superintendent, Angie Couple, all our concerns.
[16:55:02] You know, we got through this. Certainly with Councillors we don't do this for money, because we're very badly paid. We do this because
we care about where we live. We care about the community we represent. Just like Joe did with her constituency. And you do this job because you
care about people in the area. And I think we're all shaken, because, you know, we've realize actually, there is a very bad side to this one today.
Besides that, they might like's and something that you might have still have yet to see. And yes, I think we're all shaken by that. But this has
happened to literally, OK she was an MP, but because of the way she was going out there working hard and doing her job. And it basically because
of anything, it was a random attack, but it's a big worry to us all, yes.
AMANPOUR: Lisa Holmes, thank you very much for joining us at this, obviously, incredibly painful moment for you and everybody, her family,
people in her district and people across this country. You've been hearing tributes for Jo Cox that have been pouring in from across the U.K. and
overseas in Washington. We just showed you from the State Department. Now the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has expressed his sorrow on
Twitter saying in French, "Profound sadness for Jo Cox and the British people. Through it our Democratic ideal was targeted. Never accept it."
So you are watching our continuing coverage on this brutal killing of a British MP, Jo Cox. I'm Christiane Amanpour, thank you for watching. The
news continues here on CNN.