Slain UK lawmaker remembered as '21st Century Good Samaritan'

(Photo: Brendan Cox)Slain British lawmaker Jo Cox photographed next to the barge on which she had lived in London.

A pastor leading a memorial service commemorating the life of slain British lawmaker Jo Cox has described her as a "21st Century Good Samaritan."

The Rev. Paul Knight told the congregation at St. Peter's Church in Birstall, near Leeds in northern England that the 41-year-old Member of Parliament was "someone with whom Jesus would have been so pleased."

The Church of England priest said, ""Her humanity was powerful and compelling and we would do well to recognise her as an amazing example, a 21st Century Good Samaritan."

"Jo was someone who went out of her way to help others. She grew into a fervent advocate for the poor and oppressed.

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"And though she must have been angry at times about what she saw here and around the world - those places she visited and worked - she seemed to me, at least, to be one who could fight with a passion and a disarming smile."

Knight read the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible and praised the bravery of Bernard Kenny, a 77-year-old, who tried to help the Cox after she was attacked outside the Birstall library and who is recovering in hospital, The Guardian reported.

"There is much wickedness in our world. But thank God there is so much goodness, goodness that does not recognise colour nor nationality. Kenny showed the same passion for the stranger as Jo Cox did," he said.

Cox was a Member of Parliament representing the opposition Labour Party in the constituency in which she grew up when she was attacked, first shot, then stabbed, as she left a meeting in which she had met local residents on June 16.

She had been campaigning for a "remain" vote in the scheduled June 23 referendum, known also as the 'Brexit vote" when Britain will go to the polls to decide whether to remain in the European Union. This debate has stirred up some bitter political fights.

The 41-year-old former aid worker, who leaves a husband and two children, had been conducting an open meeting known in British parlance as a "constituency surgery" listening to local constituents looking for help or airing grievances.

Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old local appeared in a London court on June 18 charged with Cox's murder.

'FREEDOM FOR BRITAIN'

When asked his name, he replied, "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain."

Lawmakers from all parties in the British Parliament paid tribute to Cox in a specially called meeting on June 20.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Cox, had "lit up the lives of all who knew her, and saved the lives of many she never ever met."

"We express our anger at the sickening and despicable act that killed her as she did her job serving her constituents on the streets of Birstall," he said.

"But above all in this house, we pay tribute to a loving, determined, passionate and progressive politician who epitomized the best of humanity and who proved so often the power of politics to make our world a better place."

He called for lawmakers to continue her legacy "by uniting against the hatred that killed her."

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, described fellow MP Cox, who was elected at the 2015 general election, as an "inspiring" new Membrer of Parliament.

"She was brutally murdered on the streets of this village, doing the job she was elected to do, representing the people she was elected to serve, doing her duty to the public and our democracy," he said.

"Ours is a country where tolerance and respect for other people and different viewpoints have always been highly valued. We must not allow those who peddle hatred, terror and division to poison and degrade our national and political life," he asserted.

 

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