Neighbour of man held in Jo Cox murder probe says he 'never spoke about politics or race'


Murder suspect Tommy Mair helped Asian people with their English language skills and never spoke about politics or race, family and neighbours said today.

Mair, 52, who is being questioned by detectives over the murder of MP Jo Cox, is alleged to have shouted "Britain first" during the fatal incident.

But Scott Mair, 50, said his brother had a "history of mental illness, but he has had help".

Mair's mixed-race half-brother, Duane St Louis, also told reporters he had never expressed any views about Britain, politics or racist tendencies.

An image and floral tributes for Jo Cox
Tributes for murdered MP Jo Cox (Matt Dunham/AP)

Neighbour Diana Peters said: "I've known him since he was eight years old.

"Almost daily we chatted. We never spoke about politics.

"He told me he was doing English as a second language to the Asian community in Dewsbury.

"That's what he told me, as far as I'm aware that was right, three days a week.

"He was a man of routine, he had certain days, as far as I was aware he had three days or part days doing the teaching, he did gardens for locals, he did the garden for a councillor who lived round the corner.

"He did gardening for neighbours. You couldn't ask for a more pleasant neighbour. I never ever saw him lose his temper.

"He never had a visitor that I'm aware of, doesn't have friends, nobody ever comes to the house."

Police search a vehicle outside a property in Lowood Lane
Police search a vehicle outside a property in Lowood Lane where Tommy Mair lives (Nigel Roddis/PA)

Mair is believed to have been born in Newmilns, near Kilmarnock, Scotland, to father James Mair, a lace spooler in the textile industry, and mother Mary Mair.

But as a boy he moved south with his brother Scott, to live with his grandparents in Birstall, West Yorkshire.