Tragic MP Jo Cox to be celebrated with Portobello memorial service

SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford speaks in the Commons, where two roses were placed on Jo Cox's empty seat. Picture: PA
SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford speaks in the Commons, where two roses were placed on Jo Cox's empty seat. Picture: PA
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A CELEBRATION event is to take place in Portobello tomorrow to remember MP Jo Cox, who was shot dead last week.

Kim Wallace, a friend of the Cox family who lives in Portobello, has organised the event at the foot of Marlborough Street for 4pm.

The killing of the 41-year-old mother of two outside the public library in Birstall in her West Yorkshire constituency has prompted an outpouring of public grief.

Ms Wallace said: “It would have been Jo’s 42nd birthday tomorrow, and this is a chance to show the world there’s more that unites us than divides us.”

Events under the #MoreInCommon banner are also taking place in Batley and Spen – Jo’s constituency – London, Nairobi, New York, Washington DC and Brussels.

The man accused of her murder was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing before a senior judge at the Old Bailey.

Thomas Mair, 52, from Birstall, is charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

At an initial hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, Mair refused to give his name, instead saying he was called “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.

When asked to confirm he was Thomas Mair at the Old Bailey yesterday, he replied: “Yes, I am.”

He made his first crown court appearance before Mr Justice Sweeney via video link from top security Belmarsh prison. Grey-bearded Mair sat with his arms folded beside a prison officer.

There was no application for bail and he was remanded in custody.

Mair will appear at the same court for a preliminary hearing before Mr Justice Saunders at 10am on Thursday. The case is being heard under the terrorism protocol.

Mrs Cox’s young children were at the House of Commons yesterday to hear emotional tributes to their mother as 
Parliament was recalled to pay its respects.

Three-year-old daughter Lejla sat on her father Brendan’s lap, while son Cuillin, five, snuggled up to his grandmother in the gallery overlooking the chamber.

They heard Prime Minister David Cameron praise their mother as “a voice of compassion whose irrepressible spirit and boundless energy lit up the lives of all who knew her”, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that, with her death, British society had lost “one of our very best”.