Jo Cox, a “rising star” in British politics, was killed in broad daylight Thursday afternoon as she met with her West Yorkshire constituents.
Police have arrested a 52-year-old man in connection with the stabbing and shooting of Cox, who would have turned 42 next week. She was shot three times and stabbed multiple times, according to the BBC.
According to the Guardian, police are looking into claims the suspect, identified in British media reports as Thomas Mair, shouted “Britain First” as he carried out his attack. Britain First is the name of a far right group that is opposed to immigration and favours exiting the European Union, but it remains unclear if there is any connection.
Cox, elected as a Labour MP in the May 2015 general election, representing the constituency of Batley and Spen, was a supporter of Britain staying in the European Union — something that will be voted on in a general referendum on June 23
She had just Wednesday taken part in a protest on the River Thames — on which she lives in a houseboat with her family.
She tweeted a photo of her husband, Brendan Cox, and their two children taking part in the protest flotilla.
Brendan Cox tweeted this photo of his wife and the mother of his two children.
In a statement released shortly after police confirmed Cox had died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the attack, her husband said their family now had to begin a new chapter in their lives that would be “more painful, less joyful, less full of love.”
But Brendan Cox said the family and the couple’s friends would have to work to honour what she stood for as a politician and a mother.
“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now. One, that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous,” he wrote in his statement.
While she was a fervent supporter of Britain remaining in the EU, she was also a vocal advocate for immigration, refugees and bringing an end to the Syrian conflict.
She was critical of Britain’s reluctance to deepen its military involvement against Islamic State extremists, but abstained in a vote on air strikes because she said the plan didn’t devote enough attention to stopping the “brutality” of President Bashar Assad.
According to her website, she took on the role of co-chair of the Friends of Syria All Party Parliamentary Group and also worked with parliamentary groups dealing with Palestinian issues, Pakistan and Kashmir.
But first and foremost, she was proud of being born and raised in Yorkshire.
She used her maiden speech in Parliament, last June, to herald the diversity in her constituency and regional economic development in Northern England.
WATCH: Remembrance vigils were set up for Jo Cox in Birstall and outside the Houses of Parliament in London on June 17. Fiona Mitchell recorded this video showing sad scenes in Birstall marketplace as mourners laid flowers to pay their respects to the late MP
Prior to becoming a parliamentarian, she worked with the international aid agency Oxfam, holding several positions over the course of a decade — including head of the organization’s European Union office in Brussels.
She also worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a campaign to “end the scourge of modern slavery.”
Melinda Gates called her “a brilliant champion for women and the world’s poorest.”
Cox was also working on the launch of a research institute to promote the views and needs of women in the United Kingdom, according to the bio page on her website.
“Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people,” her husband, Brendan, wrote in his statement.
“Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.”