British Jewry condemns slaying of Labour lawmaker

June 16, 2016  

(JTA) — The Board of Deputies of British Jews joined the chorus of condemnations over the slaying of a Labour Party lawmaker near Leeds, in northern England.

Jo Cox, 41, died Thursday from wounds she sustained after being shot and stabbed several times on the street, the Bristol Post reported. Police arrested a suspect, a 52-year-old man. His alleged motive remains unknown.

“The Board of Deputies wishes our condolences and prayers to all of Jo Cox’s family after her senseless murder today,” the Board of Deputies wrote on Twitter after word of her death spread. Before that, the organization said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Labour MP Jo Cox after today’s horrific events.”

Cox had passionately campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union in a June 23 referendum. According to some testimonies, the man believed to have shot Cox shouted “Britain first” before killing her, though other witnesses said they did not hear the shout.

Her husband, Brendan, said she would want people “to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her,” the BBC reported.

In Labour, Cox was one of several lawmakers who openly criticized the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, for what she said was insufficient action to bring to a halt expressions of anti-Semitic speech and vitriol against Israel by party members and supporters.

Corbyn, who has acknowledged his party’s anti-Semitism problem but also appeared to downplay its severity, “personally needed to act faster and go much further” in tackling anti-Semitism in the party, Cox told The Independent last month.

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