Jo Cox murder accused gives name as 'Death to traitors, freedom for Britain'


The man charged with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain" during his first court appearance.

Thomas Mair, 52, from Birstall, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

Cox, 41, died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on Thursday.

Two police cars and police vans arrive at Westminster Magistrates Court, London, where Thomas Mair was due to appear charged with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Police cars and vans arrive at Westminster Magistrates' Court (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Mair refused to give his correct name to the court and remained silent when asked his address and date of birth.

He wore a grey jumper, tracksuit bottoms and black shoes and was handcuffed to a guard in the dock during the hearing.

Mair was not required to enter a plea and his lawyer Keith Allen said there was no indication of what plea would be given.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ordered that he be remanded in custody until his next appearance at the Old Bailey on Monday, and suggested that a psychiatric report should be prepared, saying: "Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist."

Labour MP Jo Cox died in Birstall
Mother of two Jo Cox (PA)

Vigils were held across the UK on Friday evening as members of the public and politicians came together to lay flowers, light candles and stand in silence in memory of Cox.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Labour former deputy leader Harriet Harman were among those who gathered near the Houses of Parliament, where Cox had worked as an MP since being elected in May last year.

Parliament is to be recalled on Monday to allow MPs to pay tribute to Cox.

People offer floral tributes to Jo Cox.
People offer floral tributes to Cox (Kaname Muto/AP)