Cameron urges tolerance, parliament recalled after MP killed
British Prime Minister David Cameron called for tolerance in public debate on Friday near the spot where MP Jo Cox was gunned down, as it was announced that parliament would be recalled Monday to pay tribute.
“Where we see hatred, where we find division, where we see intolerance we must drive it out of our politics and out of our public life and out of our communities,” Cameron said in the northern English village of Birstall.
He was joined by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, the day after the Labour MP was murdered outside the library where she regularly met with her constituents.
“Today our nation is rightly shocked. It is a moment to stand back and think about some of the things that are so important about our country,” Cameron said.
The prime minister urged people to “value and see as precious the democracy we have on these islands”, adding that Britain’s peace, stability and economic well-being were “all underpinned by tolerance”.
Corbyn said that he had asked the speaker and Cameron to recall parliament so that MPs could pay their respects to Cox, a former aid worker and mother of two children who was elected for the first time last year.
“Parliament will be recalled on Monday so that we can pay due tribute to her on behalf of everybody in this country who values democracy, values the right of free speech and values the right of political expression, free from the kind of brutality that Jo suffered,” Corbyn said.
A 52-year-old man is in custody following the brutal attack, in which Cox was shot two or three times and then repeatedly stabbed as she lay on the pavement, according to eyewitness accounts.
Bercow, the speaker, added: “Evil cannot be allowed and will not be allowed to triumph over good.”
The murder leaves Cox’s parliamentary seat of Batley and Spen vacant.
Cameron’s Conservative party said Friday that it would not contest the constituency in a forthcoming by-election out of respect for a “much-loved” politician.