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Jo Cox’s widower talks of challenges of bringing up children alone

Brendan Cox described how he and his late wife used to speak of their admiration for the way parents raised children solo.

The widower of murdered MP Jo Cox has spoken about the difficulty of being a single parent as he praised a campaign designed to tackle loneliness at Christmas.

In an interview with The Sun, Brendan Cox described how he and his late wife used to speak of their admiration for the way parents raised children solo.

Mr Cox, 39, is facing his second Christmas without Jo, mother to their two children Cuillin, six, and Lejla, four.

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(Jane Barlow/PA)

Extremist Thomas Mair, 53, was jailed for life for killing the Labour MP in the days before the Brexit referendum last June.

Mr Cox said: “Jo and I often talked about single parents and how much we admired them and how hard it must be. And it is, basically. It’s shit.

“It’s those little things like, ‘Does Lejla have a cough or has she got pneumonia? Is this bump supposed to be there? Are the kids getting on OK at school?’ All judgments you have to take as a parent that are all entirely on you.

“They’re very good with me. They frequently ask me how I’m doing. They’re just incredibly loving kids. We are a unit. We were always close but there’s an even stronger sense of us all looking after each other now.”

This week the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission called on the nation to have “mince pie moments” by arranging a festive get-together with a lonely neighbour.

Mr Cox, backed by celebrities including actor Bill Nighy, chef Delia Smith and pop star Tokio Myers, said: “Jo believed in stronger communities as the best answer to loneliness, and that’s even more true at Christmas.

“That’s the idea behind mince pie moments, an excuse for all of us to reach out to someone who is lonely, or strike up a conversation with someone in our street. It doesn’t take much to change someone’s day for the better and we hope mince pie moments might help us take the first step.

“We don’t have to be a nation of strangers, especially at Christmas.”

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