Jo Cox's sister says she 'will not be beaten by what has happened'

Updated: 

The sister of Jo Cox has praised the "many acts of bravery" on the day of her murder as she vowed to continue the Labour MP's legacy.

Kim Leadbeater said Cox's killer Thomas Mair had committed an "act of extreme cowardice" and the 41-year-old MP's death had had a "ripple effect".

Speaking outside the Old Bailey after Mair was given a whole life sentence, Leadbeater thanked those who witnessed the attack on June 16 for their actions and for coming forward.

Kim Leadbeater
(Philip Toscano/PA)

Passer-by Bernard Kenny, 78, was stabbed as he tried to halt the onslaught by jumping on Mair's shoulders from behind, while Cox's colleague Fazila Aswat and constituency caseworker Sandra Major tried to intervene.

Leadbeater said: "Jo would have been extremely impressed although not at all surprised by the courage of her staff and constituents during this process and indeed on June 16.

"There may have been one act of extreme cowardice on that day but there were many acts of bravery, particularly from Fazila and Sandra and Bernard Kenny. We think about them often."

Jo Cox
(Jo Cox Foundation/PA)

Leadbeater said the family would now take their time to come to terms with their loss and try to uphold the values Cox stood for, such as "compassion, tolerance, acceptance, understanding and a determination to continue to fight for what is right".

She said: "I for one will not be beaten by what has happened and I know I am not alone. It is the last thing my sister would want and it is not who I am.

Memorial for Jo Cox
(Yui Mok/PA)

"I will channel my energy into ensuring Jo's legacy continues and as a family we will respond with strength, love, positivity and enthusiasm."

Leadbeater also praised the West Yorkshire Police investigation and singled out the officers who arrested Mair near the scene for their "selfless courage and bravery".

She thanked those involved in the trial process, including judge Mr Justice Wilkie, the jury and Mair's defence team.