Voices ring out across Glastonbury as festival-goers pay tribute to MP Jo Cox


Thousands of voices rang out across Glastonbury festival as campers joined in song to pay tribute to MP Jo Cox.

Singer Billy Bragg led attendees in a solemn version of We Shall Overcome as people spilled around the sides of the packed Park Stage to celebrate her life.

He was joined on stage by Emily Eavis, carrying her newborn baby, and more than a hundred women from the crowd who wore sashes in the purple, white and green of the Suffragettes.

Festival goers during a tribute to Jo Cox (Yui Mok/PA)

Brigid McConville, a former colleague of Mrs Cox at Oxfam, who had organised Glastonbury's More In Common event, which had been postponed from Wednesday when similar events were held around the world, said she would "never forget" the moment she heard the mother of two had been shot.

She said: "That was only a week ago and since then there has been a massive outpouring of grief and love because it feels like the attack on Jo was an attack on all of us."

Explaining Mrs Cox's work on maternal health, that had seen the issue raised by the G8 and UN, a cheer surged through the crowd.

Glastonbury Festival held a tribute to Jo Cox (Yui Mok/PA)

"The number women dying in childbirth is down by half, so that is an extraordinary contribution of Jo's," she said.

A minute's silence was then held for the Labour MP, who was killed on June 16.

The crowd joined in a march to The Sisterhood, the first women-only venue at the festival, which was officially opened in Mrs Cox's memory.

Musician Billy Bragg (Andy Butterton/PA)

Musician Billy told the crowd that it was a "terrible irony" the tribute fell on the day of the EU referendum vote.

It had originally been scheduled for Wednesday, which would have been Jo Cox's 42nd birthday, but was pushed back after many were delayed arriving at the site due to heavy traffic.

He said: "It's a terrible irony that we are gathered together today on perhaps the most decisive day in the modern history of our country. Whatever happens tomorrow, whatever your politics are, tomorrow morning we will have to begin the process of healing in this country.

"We, all of us, must try to live up to the words of Jo Cox, who said whatever the divisions between us, we have much more in common than the things that divide us. Tomorrow we must live by those words."

The late Jo Cox (Yui Mok/PA)

Placards bearing Mrs Cox's face were held aloft by members of Oxfam in the crowd. Rosie Bishop, who is working for the charity at the festival, said the tribute was "more emotional than I expected".

Jo Cox (Yui Mok/PA)

She said: "It's important we show that we support what she stood for, in terms of women's rights and her politics. It was amazing to see all these people come together and it was a wonderful atmosphere."

Tim Hunter, also an Oxfam worker, echoed Billy's words and said it was "especially poignant" that the tribute fell on the day of the referendum.