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‘Death to traitors’: Accused killer of Jo Cox refuses to give name at court

Click to play video 'Suspect in Jo Cox’s death makes first court appearance' Suspect in Jo Cox’s death makes first court appearance
WATCH ABOVE: The suspect in Thursday’s shooting and stabbing of British MP Jo Cox identified himself as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” during his first court appearance today. Jacques Bourbeau has the latest – Jun 18, 2016

LONDON – The man accused of murdering British lawmaker Jo Cox gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” in court Saturday, following the killing that has brought campaigning ahead of the country’s EU referendum to a standstill.

Thomas Mair, 52, made his defiant statement as he made his first appearance in Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London after being charged overnight with the murder of the popular Labour Party lawmaker.

Mair refused to give his correct name and did not answer when asked for his address and date of birth.

READ MORE: Who is Thomas Mair? Police investigate far-right links in Jo Cox killing 

Labour Party lawmaker Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed to death Thursday after getting out of her car in the town of Birstall in her home constituency.

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The rare killing in broad daylight of a British politician has stunned the country and silenced what had been a furious campaign ahead of Thursday’s referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

WATCH: There has been a push by vocal spokesperson for the leave of the European Union campaign in the UK following the death of Jo Cox. Tom Clark has more.

Click to play video 'Push to leave EU following death of British MP Jo Cox' Push to leave EU following death of British MP Jo Cox
Push to leave EU following death of British MP Jo Cox – Jun 18, 2016

Both sides suspended campaigning as a sign of respect for Cox, who became the first sitting member of Parliament to be killed in a quarter-century.

Major campaign events and rallies are not expected to resume until Monday or later, but there were signs Saturday of low-level campaigning being reactivated, with the “leave” campaign adding new posts to its Twitter feed.

WATCH: Dozens arrive to lay flowers at memorial for slain British MP Jo Cox 
Click to play video 'Dozens arrive to lay flowers at memorial for slain British MP Jo Cox' Dozens arrive to lay flowers at memorial for slain British MP Jo Cox
Dozens arrive to lay flowers at memorial for slain British MP Jo Cox – Jun 17, 2016

Time is running out, and analysts say they expect the campaign tone to be more conciliatory and less confrontational when it resumes.

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It is not clear what, if any, impact the killing of Cox may have on the referendum vote, which is expected by many observers to be close.

Mair was charged with murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit a crime, and other gun-related charges.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said in court that a psychiatric report should be prepared “bearing in mind the name he has just given.”

Mair will be kept in custody at Belmarsh Prison until his next court appearance, set for Monday at the Old Bailey courthouse.

He was not required to enter a plea during the brief session Saturday, during which he was handcuffed to a guard throughout the proceedings.

READ MORE: Who is Jo Cox? British MP killed on West Yorkshire street

Authorities have not offered a motive for the killing. Counter-terrorism police were involved in the investigation looking for possible links, but the charges filed did not include terrorism offences.

Cox was a former aid worker who championed immigrant rights, bringing an end to Syria’s civil war and keeping the United Kingdom in the European Union. The day before her killing, Cox joined her husband and two young children in campaigning for the pro-EU cause on the River Thames, where the family had lived in a houseboat since her election last year.

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WATCH: British police investigate far-right links in Jo Cox killing 
Click to play video 'British police investigate far-right links in Jo Cox killing' British police investigate far-right links in Jo Cox killing
British police investigate far-right links in Jo Cox killing – Jun 17, 2016

Vigils have been held across the country in her memory and Parliament has been recalled Monday to honour her.

U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned her husband from Air Force One to express condolences and released a statement praising her commitment and service.

READ MORE: Syrians mourn loss of their ‘champion’ British MP Jo Cox

“The president noted that the world is a better place because of her selfless service to others, and that there can be no justification for this heinous crime, which robbed a family, a community, and a nation of a dedicated wife, mother, and public servant,” the White House statement said.

Police have praised the bravery of a 77-year-old man who tried to aid Cox during the attack and was seriously injured. The man is recovering in hospital.

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The attack has raised security concerns for other members of Parliament who routinely meet with constituents in public meetings.

It has long been a tradition in Britain for lawmakers to hold regular “surgeries” in which they discuss local, national and international issues with residents of their district.

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Pogatchnik reported from Birstall, England.