Banbury MP pays tribute to murdered Labour MP, Jo Cox

Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen
Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has spoken of her sadness at the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last Thursday.

“Parliament was recalled on Monday. The Conservative girls all had lunch together before putting on our white roses and going to the Chamber to hear the many moving and emotional tributes to Jo,” said Mrs Prentis, who modified her Friday constituency engagements to reflect the suspension of EU referendum campaigning.

“While it was a sombre occasion, those who spoke did a brilliant job in summing up how loved, admired and respected Jo was by colleagues across the party divide.

“The service in St Margaret’s was very poignant and a fitting send-off to an astonishing woman.

“Despite the desperate sadness of Jo’s murder, I know she would have wanted us to carry on promoting the causes that she cared about so deeply. Democracy must thrive and, while Jo’s life has tragically ended, the legacy of her years of hard work and dedication must go on.”

“I was horrified and deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of her death. Jo was a passionate campaigner, a brilliant MP, and a devoted wife and mother. The women in Parliament do get to know each other well. Everyone who knew her admired her zest for life. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and staff at this very sad time.

I was keen to ensure it was business as usual on Friday. I had a busy constituency surgery at Banbury Town Hall and then opened the revamped Cherwell Community Bank. I had planned to participate in a debate on the EU with North Oxfordshire Businesses but, given the suspension of the campaign, I spoke about my life as a Member of Parliament and my work on prison reform with the Justice Committee. In the afternoon, I opened the fantastic new dementia lounge at Lake House, and finished off the day with a busy Pub Tour at The Lion in Wendlebury. As with any Friday in the constituency, it was busy but I was glad that I went ahead with plans and was overwhelmed by the good wishes and thanks I received from constituents throughout the day. Thames Valley Police were extremely supportive; I was very impressed.”