British MP Jo Cox murdered in brutal stabbing and shooting attack
Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being shot and stabbed outside her weekly advice surgery in West Yorkshire. A 52-year-old man is being held by police.
Cox was shot and stabbed outside Birstall library. She was airlifted to nearby Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition.
Various eyewitness accounts suggest the MP was shot during a row with a man. The gun has been described as either antique or hand made.
Some eyewitnesses report the attacker may have targeted Cox deliberately, shooting her up to three times, as well as beating and stabbing her while she was on the ground.
Another man reportedly intervened to help her, and was also injured.
The MP was reportedly left lying bloodied on the ground.
It is alleged the suspected attacker shouted ‘Britain First’ – the name of a far-right political group – during the assault. This has not yet been verified.
There was speculation among some fellow MPs that Ms Cox may have been targeted over her failure to vote against air strikes in Syria.
West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “At 12.53 today, police were called to a report of an incident on Market Street, Birstall, where a woman in her 40s had suffered serious injuries and is in a critical condition.
“A man in his late 40s to early 50s nearby also suffered slight injuries.
“Armed officers attended and a 52-year-old man was arrested in the area.
“Police presence in the area has been increased as a reassurance to the community.”
Forty-one-year-old Jo Cox is Labour MP for Batley and Spen, and is married with two children.
She is described as a campaigner and activist. Before her election to parliament Cox was head of policy at Oxfam.
She had also previously been national chair of the Labour Women’s Network, a senior advisor to the anti-slavery charity Freedom Fund, and is currently Chair of the Friends of Syria All-Party Parliamentary Group.
The Remain and Leave sides are suspending their campaigns for next week’s EU referendum following the attack.
On Wednesday, Cox had been tweeting in support of the Remain campaign, of which she is a strong advocate.
Prime Minister David Cameron has cancelled a trip to Gibraltar to attend an anti-Brexit rally.