British Member of Parliament Jo Cox died in hospital Thursday just hours after being shot and stabbed in a daytime attack.
Cox, a Labour Party MP for a constituency in West Yorkshire, was attacked near Leeds. According to The Telegraph, the 41-year-old mother of two was seen bleeding on the pavement near a local library where she was holding an event.
Cox was transported to hospital in critical condition where she was pronounced dead.
The man arrested in the attack has been identified by local residents as Tommy Mair, 52. He’s been described by neighbours as a quiet “loner” who did odd jobs; his brother told The Telegraph he has a history of mental illness.
In a statement, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn confirmed the death of Cox, calling it a “horrific murder.”
“The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country –will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today,” Corbyn said. “Jo Cox died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.”
On social media, British Prime Minister David Cameron called the MP’s death a “tragedy.”
“She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Breddan and her two young children,” he wrote.
The MP’s husband tweeted a photo of Cox just after the attack.
New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen stood in the House of Commons Thursday afternoon “to pay tribute to the life of Jo Cox, a mum of two beautiful children and a friend.”
Cullen described the slain politician as “a dedicated Labour MP and a long advocate of human rights in Britain and around the world.”
“Jo used her voice for those who have none,” Cullen said. “She dedicated her passion to those who needed it most and she harnessed her limitless love even — and especially — for those who allowed hate to consume them.”
Cullen, who spoke in a tense voice, then repeated the words spoken by Cox’s husband after the tragic events.
“Her husband Brendan said it beautifully: ‘She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now. That our children are bathed in love and that we all unite to fight against that hatred that killed her.'”
“To Brendan, to Jo’s beautiful children, we express our deepest condolences,” Cullen finished, appearing overcome with emotion, as his fellow MPs gave him a standing ovation.
The House later stood and observed a moment of silence in honour of Cox.
Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, also tweeted her condolences for Cox.
Cox was elected to the House of Commons only last year and represents a constituency in Yorkshire, northern England, for the main opposition Labour Party.
Cox had made finding a solution to the Syrian civil war a top priority and had been critical of Britain’s reluctance to deepen its military involvement against Islamic State extremists as part of that effort. In recent weeks she had been campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union ahead of the country’s June 23 referendum.
In the past two decades, two other British lawmakers have been attacked during their “surgeries,” regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints. A Labour legislator was stabbed in the stomach and injured in May 2010 by a female student radicalized by online sermons from an al-Qaida-linked preacher.
In 2000, Liberal Democrat lawmaker Nigel Jones and his aide Andrew Pennington were attacked by a man wielding a sword during such a meeting. Pennington was killed and Jones injured in the attack in Cheltenham, England.
– With files from The Associated Press and Global News’ Tania Kohut