Newspapers urge unity on anniversary of death of murdered MP Jo Cox

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Rival newspapers have come together to urge people to take part in an event to show unity on the anniversary of the death of MP Jo Cox.

In a joint editorial, The Sun and the Daily Mirror have printed a message to support The Great Get Together, which has been organised by the family of the murdered Labour politician.

The editors of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph have also published an opinion piece under a joint byline before the event's launch this weekend.

Scores of small picnics and community events will be held across the UK a year on from the day the married mother of two was shot and stabbed in her Batley and Spen constituency on June 16 last year.

In what is believed to be a first in the newspapers' histories, The Sun and the Mirror say they have come together to support the "hugely important" event to commemorate the life of Mrs Cox.

The message says: "She said that in Britain we 'have far more in common than that which divides us'.

"She was right. It's part of what makes Britain such a great nation.

"So, a year on from her death, her family is asking all of us to forget our differences and unite in a spirit of unity.

"Everyone is being encouraged to organise or take part in events, including street parties, all over the country.

"After the turmoil of the past few weeks, it's just what Britain needs.

"We hope you will get behind it, have some fun, and celebrate what we really do have in common."

The Guardian's Katharine Viner and the Telegraph's Chris Evans also paid tribute to Mrs Cox in an opinion piece published in their newspapers.

The message reads: "One year ago, an act of terrible violence robbed the nation of a passionate and principled woman. MP Jo Cox represented some of the best aspects of our political tradition, and her proclamation in her maiden speech to Parliament - that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us - has profoundly touched many since her death.

"Jo's maiden speech went on to characterise a Yorkshire spirit of proud independence and nonconformity - and to back that up by raising some difficult issues for government. As editors, Jo's desire to ask tough questions of those in power resonates strongly with us."

The message adds: "Against this backdrop, it has never been more important for the press to provide balanced, professional but, above all, tough scrutiny to political leaders of every stripe.

"As the Great Get Together launches this coming weekend in memory of Jo Cox's life and work, we two editors have no hesitation in uniting, if for one day only, to share the fine sentiment of George Orwell, that 'If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear'."

Organisers said the event, which is taking place between June 16 and 18, has the backing of more than 100 organisations including the WI, Scouts and Guides, English Heritage, Help for Heroes, Amnesty International, the RSPB, RNLI, Red Cross, Rotary Club and the Premier League.

A host of celebrities have also offered their support in a video to answer the question: "What unites us?"

For Ed Sheeran, it's fish and chips, Dame Helen Mirren says we love our pubs, Andy Murray chooses James Bond, while Bill Nighy thinks it's "toast - unless it's spread with Marmite".

Iona Lawrence, director of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: "Millions of people will be taking part in The Great Get Together this weekend.

"Over 110,000 separate events are being planned in every corner of the UK.

"It's going to be a lot of fun and will show, as Ed Sheeran says in this little video, 'the things that unite us as a country are the things that are meant to tear us apart, but they actually make us stronger'."