Great Get Together events honour Jo Cox – BBC News

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jo Cox’s parents and sister visited Birstall Market Place as events honouring the murdered MP began on Friday

The family of murdered MP Jo Cox say they hope they are “doing her proud” as events honouring her take place.

The Great Get Together is based on the message in her maiden speech in Parliament that “we have more in common than that which divides us”.

More than 100,000 events are taking place across the UK over the weekend.

The family said people’s responses to this week’s Grenfell Tower fire in London and recent terror attacks showed how people could come together.

Mrs Cox’s mother Jean Leadbeater said: “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.”

Image copyright Silversky
Image caption Pupils at a school in Birmingham created a human chain in honour of Mrs Cox

The events, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation, began on Friday, the first anniversary of the mother-of-two’s death, but most will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Mrs Cox was fatally shot and stabbed in Birstall in her Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen on 16 June.

Her parents and sister attended a ceremony at Upper Batley High School, where the conference centre was renamed in honour of their daughter, and visited Birstall Market Place, close to the scene of the murder.

Kim Leadbeater, Jo’s sister, said: “We decided very early one that we would not remember how Jo died we would focus on how Jo lived.”

Image caption The weekend’s events reinforce Jo Cox’s message that “we have more in common than that which divides us”

She said the response to the Great Get Together showed people had an appetite for something positive after the “really horrendous” things that had happened in the past 12 months.

“What you see when those horrible things happen is that people do come together and we see the best of community spirit,” she said.

“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.”

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