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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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British Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being shot and stabbed on the street

A man was also injured in the incident.

BRITISH LABOUR MP Jo Cox has died after being shot twice and stabbed close to a library near Leeds.

YrGoeOpK Source: Twitter

The MP for Batley and Spen had been hosting an advice clinic at a library in Birstall, Yorkshire when she was grabbed by the hair and attacked by a man.

Cox was taken to Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition immediately after the attack.

West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman Dee Collins told reporters this afternoon that she was “very sad” to report that Cox has been pronounced dead.

A 52-year-old man has been arrested by armed officers. An eyewitness told the Manchester Evening News that the man shouted “Britain First” as he started the attack.

Police chief Dee Collins told reporters, “We are trying to establish what we do know about this gentleman.

At the moment the enquiries have just started. We are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time.

She added, “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

An eyewitness said the man walked “calmly” away from the scene “as if he wasn’t panicking”.

A man in his late 40s or early 50s was also “slightly” injured in the incident.

BBC The scene of the shooting. Source: BBC News

Witnesses

Clarke Rothwell, a cafe owner in Birstall, told the BBC that he was alerted to the incident by a “loud popping noise that sounded like a balloon burst – a loud balloon”.

“When I looked round there’s a man stood there in his 50s with a white baseball cap on and a jacket with a gun, an old-fashioned looking gun in his hand.

He shot this lady once and then he shot her again, he fell to the floor, leant over shot her once more in the face area.

“Somebody tried to grab him, wrestling with him and then he wielded a knife, like a hunting knife, just started lunging at her with a knife half a dozen times.”

Jo Cox shooting Police at the scene in Birstall, West Yorkshire, after Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and injured in an attack near Leeds. Source: Nigel Roddis

Meanwhile, local restaurant owner Hichem Ben-Abdallah told Sky News he saw a man who runs a local dry cleaners “jostling” with another man. That man then pulled a gun and the witness heard one shot.

When he came back out to look, he saw Cox on the ground with blood on her face.

PastedImage-44415 Birstall is south-west of Leeds Source: Google Maps

He said the man had a “gun from World War I”. Other witnesses say the gun looked “homemade”.

He added that the attacker first stabbed and kicked Cox before grappling with a man and shooting Cox twice.

Background

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has sent out a statement on Twitter:

Cox was elected to her seat in 2015 and was yesterday part of a flotilla on the Thames backing the Remain side in the Brexit vote. She was with her husband, Brendan, and two young children.

She is a former head of policy for Oxfam and advisor to Gordon Brown’s wife, Sarah.

Cox graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1995, where she first got interested in politics.

She helped to launch the pro-European campaign organisation Britain in Europe, and spent two years with European Parliament member Glenys Kinnock in Brussels.

She then spent a decade working for the aid agency Oxfam in New York, Brussels and war zones as the head of policy and of humanitarian campaigning.

On Twitter she has 10,400 followers and describes herself as: “Mum. Proud Yorkshire Lass. Labour MP for Batley and Spen. Boat dweller. Mountain climber. Former aid worker.”

‘Horrified’

She entered the House of Commons in the May 2015 general election, winning 43.2% of the vote.

Cox co-chairs the newly-formed cross-party parliamentary group on Syria.

She is also part of parliamentary groups working on Palestine, devolution, Pakistan, Kashmir and Yorkshire’s economy.

She was one of 36 of Labour’s 232 MPs who nominated veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn to become party leader last year.

Like the vast majority of Labour MPs, she was campaigning for Britain to stay in the European Union in the 23 June referendum.

Both sides in the EU referendum campaign have suspended their campaigning for the day and Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s talk to Irish people in Liverpool has also been cancelled.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the attack had “horrified” him.

“The fact that Ms Cox was attacked in this vicious way in the course of carrying out her duties for her constituents is deeply shocking. At this very anxious time, my thoughts are with Ms Cox, her husband, family and Labour colleagues.”

Additional reporting by AFP

Read: Bob Geldof and his ‘we’re going to need a bigger boat’ battle with Brexit>

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