A tribute to Jo Cox, MP

 In Blog, CEO's blog

Jo Cox was MP for Batley and Spen, a constituency in Yorkshire. When in London she chose to live with her family in east London, on a barge at Wapping.

We never knew her, but like so many others around the country, I have been shocked and moved by the events of last week – but also inspired by the principles she stood for. Many others are better placed to pay tribute to her but some words of her own I saw could have been just as easily about our east London community and showed her commitment to social mobility:

“Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir.”

“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” Maiden speech, 3rd June 2015

Writing in the Yorkshire Post she said:

“Social mobility is the simple idea that your chances in life should be based on your talent and character not your background. A sort of life-sized Britain’s Got Talent.”

And in an interview with a newspaper she noted an issue just as live today as when she was at university and observed:

“That where you were born mattered. That how you spoke mattered… who you knew mattered. I didn’t really speak right or know the right people. I spent the summers packing toothpaste at a factory working where my dad worked and everyone else had gone on a gap year.”

Parliament has been recalled to pay tribute on Monday, and there are celebrations of her life planned this week and later.

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