Gordon and Sarah Brown have paid moving tributes to Labour MP Jo Cox who died today after a horrifying shooting and stabbing attack.
The 41-year-old MP for Batley and Spen in Yorkshire was a friend of the former Prime Minister and his wife.
They described her as ‘‘the most vivacious, personable, dynamic and committed friend you could ever have.’’
She worked closely with Mrs Brown as director of the Maternal Mortality Campaign to prevent mothers and babies dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth.
Her busband, Brendan Cox, was an adviser on international development to Mr Brown while he was Prime Minister.
Her death shocked the nation. She was shot and stabbed outside Birstall library in her constituency, and later died in hospital.
West Yorkshire Police have arrested a 52-year-old man.
Mr and Mrs Brown both paid tribute tonight.
Mr Brown said the last place she should have been in danger was her home town.
His statement read: ‘‘Our memories will be for ever scarred by this moment. Our hearts will always be hurt at our country’s loss. Jo Cox was the most vivacious, personable, dynamic and committed friend you could ever have. Whenever you talked to her, the compassion in her eyes and the commitment in her soul shone through. Years of public service advancing the causes she cared passionately about should have been ahead of her.
“Sarah and I were privileged to work with Jo and her husband Brendan over many years and in her tireless efforts on behalf of poor and desolate children and mothers. She she went to some of the most dangerous places in the world. The last place she should have been in danger was in her home town.
“People will say that this does not happen in Britain. This should not happen in Britain. And we must resolve that this will never again happen in Britain.
“My and Sarah’s thoughts and prayers are with Brendan and their two young children Cuillin and Lejla this evening They will have all our support in the difficult days ahead.’’
Mrs Brown said was heartbroken at the tragic news, and paid tribute to the MP’s ‘‘remarkable spirit.’’
She said: “For them and for those of us who were Jo’s friends, this is a devastating day. And it is a devastating blow to our democracy.
‘‘I am heartbroken. Jo had a truly remarkable spirit and passion that shone through in her work with Oxfam and with me on our countless campaigns for women and children.
“Jo cared about everybody but she reserved a special place in her heart for the most vulnerable and the poorest citizens of the world.
“She was fearless, she was endlessly upbeat and she reached out to so many to join her cause. Her mission was to make the world a better place.
“But above all else Jo had utter devotion to her husband Brendan and their two children Cuillin and Lejla.”