Politics has become more ‘brutal and toxic’ since Jo Cox’s death, says her sister

A woman lays some flowers at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, in tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

A woman lays some flowers at Parliament Square opposite the Palace of Westminster, central London, in tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

The sister of Jo Cox said the calls for ‘calmer, kinder politics’ following the assassination of the Labour MP has been ‘forgotten’.

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Kim Leadbeater, whose sister was murdered in her Batley and Spen constituency by extreme right-wing terrorist Thomas Mair on June 16 2016, said the "language of politics has become even more brutal and toxic".

Speaking on the eve of the third anniversary of the Labour MP's death, Leadbeater said: "Personal insults and vicious verbal abuse are in danger of been normalised.

"Candidates, MPs and others in public life are subject to intimidation and physical attacks so regularly it has almost become commonplace.

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"I worry that we have learnt nothing from what happened to Jo, and I would hate any other family to have to go through what we have been through, and continue to go through, every day."

She added: "Everybody agreed that we needed a calmer, kinder politics where we treat each other with respect and where violence or the threat of violence had no place.

"Today it feels like all that has been forgotten and the language of politics has become even more brutal and toxic."

In recent months, politicians have been pelted with milkshakes while others have been on the receiving end of insults and death threats.

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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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