David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn unite over call to drive out 'hatred and poison' after Jo Cox's death

Posted On: 
17th June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron have united to pay tribute to Jo Cox, who was killed in her constituency yesterday. 

David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn made a show of unity in Birstall after the death of Jo Cox
Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The two leaders visited Birstall, the Yorkshire town where the attack took place, to lay flowers in memory of the Labour MP.

Mr Corbyn said the killing was an “attack on democracy” and urged all people to work not “to allow those people who spread hatred and poison to divide our society”.

John Bercow's full comments on Jo Cox's death

Jeremy Corbyn's full comments on Jo Cox's death

NASUWT comments on pupil premium report

Conservative leader Mr Cameron spoke of the need to “drive out” intolerance from public life.

The Labour leader and Prime Minister were joined by Commons Speaker John Bercow, Shadow Foreign Secretary and local MP Hilary Benn and Speaker’s chaplain Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

Parliament will be recalled on Monday to give MPs the chance to pay tribute to their colleague, while both the campaigns on either side of the EU referendum have suspended their activities.

In a display of unity, Mr Cameron, Mr Corbyn and Mr Bercow took turns to make short statements.

Mr Corbyn said: “She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her. It’s an attack on democracy what happened yesterday, it’s the well of hatred that killed her...

“It’s a tragedy beyond tragedy what happened yesterday. In her memory, we will not allow those people who spread hatred and poison to divide our society; we will strengthen our democracy, strengthen our free speech.”

Mr Cameron, meanwhile, urged people to “treasure and value our democracy” and to recognise the values of “service, community, tolerance” which he said encapsulated Ms Cox’s life.

“We should value and see as precious the democracy that we have on these islands, where 65 million of us live together and work together and get on together,” the Prime Minister said.

“We do have peace, we do have stability, we do have a measure of economic wellbeing better than other countries – obviously still to be spread far more widely – and it’s all underpinned by tolerance.

“So where we see hatred, where we find division, where we see intolerance, we must drive it out of our politics and out of our public life and out of our communities.”

Mr Bercow added: “Evil cannot be allowed and will not be allowed to triumph over good.”