Obituary: rising star Jo Cox tipped as a future minister


Jo Cox served as the Labour MP for Batley and Spen for just over a year before her death at the age of 41.

During that time the married mother of two carved out a reputation as a plain speaker and solid operator who was spoken of as a future minister.

Ms Cox was born at Staincliffe Hospital and was raised in Heckmondwike and Batley, West Yorkshire.

Jo Cox.
(Labour Party)

She graduated from Cambridge University in 1995 and went on to be head of policy for Oxfam, and worked as an adviser for former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown's wife, Sarah, and Baroness Kinnock.

She was elected to the House of Commons in May 2015 after she secured a majority of 6,057 in the general election.

The MP abstained in last autumn's contentious vote on allowing British military action in Syria, insisting a more wide-ranging attempt at a solution to the conflict was needed.

Jo Cox.
(Yui Mok/PA)

Chair of the Labour Women's Network, Cox nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership contest last year, but voted for Blairite candidate Liz Kendall in the end.

Cox later said she regretted helping Corbyn get on the ballot paper, and pulled no punches after Labour's poor performance in last month's local and Scottish elections.

Cox was also an adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and to anti-slavery campaign group The Freedom Fund before entering Parliament.

Jo Cox takes part in tug of war event
Jo Cox (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

She was a supporter of the Remain campaign in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

When Cox secured her seat at Westminster, fellow Labour MP John Mann remarked: "She is one of the stars of the new intake."

She was due to celebrate her 42nd birthday next Wednesday.