Cheryl Gillan – 2016 Speech in Tribute to Jo Cox


Below is the text of the speech made by Cheryl Gillan in the House of Commons on 20 June 2016.

Jo Cox was a politician who spanned continents and political parties. Among other causes, she campaigned alongside many of us on behalf of people with autism. With her death, we have lost a powerful advocate.

When I came into this House in 1992, I sat alongside the first woman MP for Batley and Spen, Elizabeth Peacock. She held her surgeries for 14 years in the Birstall library, and she exchanged letters with Jo when Jo was still at school. Like all of us, she has been shocked to the core by this tragedy. She asked me to say that the attack on Jo was an attack on our democracy and on the very basis of our Government and political system. She will mourn the loss of an outstanding friend in politics.

Jo’s family will mourn her as irreplaceable. We will mourn a woman of talent and humanity, a rising star and a bright light, whose voice may now be extinguished but whose spirit, which epitomises our democracy, will not be forgotten. It will inspire not only her children but many generations of politicians still to come