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Memorial plaque for Jo Cox to be unveiled in House of Commons


Jo Cox's children helped design a memorial plaque

Jo Cox's children helped design a memorial plaque

Jo Cox's children helped design a memorial plaque

A memorial plaque for murdered MP Jo Cox will be unveiled in the House of Commons next month, bearing a coat of arms her children helped design.

The coat of arms has the motto "More in Common", inspired by Ms Cox's maiden speech in the Commons in 2015.

The design, which will be unveiled on May 20, includes representations of her support for women in politics and the Cox family's love of the water and mountains.

Mrs Cox's children Cuillin, six and Lejla, four, contributed to the design process and will unveil the memorial at a unique "family day" in Parliament, when MPs and staff will be invited to bring their children into the Commons chamber.

Commons Speaker John Bercow will answer questions from youngsters and then host a children's party - the first of the "Great Get Together" events the Jo Cox Foundation is backing to mark the anniversary of her death.

Labour MP Mrs Cox was murdered by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair as she arrived to host a surgery in Birstall, in her Batley and Spen constituency, on the afternoon of June 16, 2016.

Her death came just over a year after her maiden speech in the Commons, in which she said "we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us".

Mr Bercow said: "Jo Cox was recognised, both inside the House and by all who had the privilege to know her, for her empathy, conviction and her passion for what she believed in. It will be an honour to host the first of the Great Get Togethers in her memory. Jo - her life and legacy - will not be forgotten."

Labour MP Jess Phillips, who is carrying on her former colleague's work to make Parliament more family-friendly, said: "It will be amazing to see the chamber full of kids enjoying themselves and I'm sure it's exactly what my friend Jo would have wanted to see.

"The place has never seen anything like this before, but I'm betting the children will be a lot less rowdy than their mums and dads can be sometimes. It's not always easy being an MP and a mum, but Jo showed that serving your constituents doesn't have to be at the expense of being there for your kids. And if we can make it easier for women with young children to go into politics if they want to then we'll be doing Jo proud."

Tory MP Crispin Blunt said: "During her short time in Parliament Jo Cox understood that MPs can be at their most effective when they reach out across the political divide. We have many more political causes in common than is appreciated, but what we almost always have in common are families, who bear the pain and cost of our vocation without the freedom to answer back for themselves.

"This applies to MPs' children particularly. It is a very suitable reminder of their long-suffering and involuntary support that the unveiling of Jo's shield will have children at the core of the event."

The main Great Get Together event will be held from June 16-18, with members of the public encouraged to host gatherings such as street parties, picnics and coffee mornings.

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