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Jo Cox family in message of unity on anniversary of MP’s death

More than 110,000 events honouring Jo Cox will take place this weekend.

The family of Jo Cox has paid tribute to communities in Manchester and London and said “we need to be united” as they attended a string of events to mark the anniversary of her death.

The murdered MP’s parents, Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, said the thousands of events being held across the UK in Mrs Cox’s memory would help to send out a message of hope.

More than 110,000 events are expected to be held across the UK this weekend as part of The Great Get Together, an initiative set up by Mrs Cox’s family and husband Brendan.

Mr and Mrs Leadbeater reflected on events in the UK over the past year, including the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London as well as the Grenfell Tower fire.

Mrs Leadbeater said: “In the light of this horrendous year, I think we are making a difference.

“Seeing communities coming together, seeing West London, that’s an amazing sight, all colours, creeds, everybody pulling together.

“I think we’re getting through, maybe it will take a while but the message will get through. We need to be united. Hate doesn’t do anything, it’s hope that counts.

“And hopefully we’re doing Jo proud by doing the things that she would have been doing.”

Mr Leadbeater added: “The cases of Manchester and London were terrible.

“Our heart goes out to the people who spent the night hoping their loved ones are safe but probably coming to realise they may not be.

“We were lucky that Jo died with friends, that’s a hard thing to say, and she was buried up here with her family, and that’s vitally important.”

Mrs Leadbeater said the anniversary of Mrs Cox’s death would be “difficult” for the family but they were attending a number of community events in her honour.

She said: “It’s what Jo would have wanted. She wouldn’t have wanted us to sit at home and do nothing, this is what it’s all about.”

Kim Leadbeater, Mrs Cox’s sister, said the reaction to The Great Get Together was “amazing”.

She said: “I think what it shows is that people have got a real appetite for something positive to bring people together.

“The world feels like quite an unstable place at times, it feels quite scary at the moment.

“We’ve had a lot of really horrendous things happen in the past 12 months, whether it’s the Manchester attack, or the London attack or this horrendous fire this week, but what you see when those horrible things happen is that people do come together and we see the best of community spirit.

“And with The Great Get Together, what we’ve got is a reason to come together that isn’t a bad reason. It’s actually a really, really good reason we’re encouraging people to come together.

“People want this. People want a reason to be positive and look forward.”

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