In June last year, just before the Brexit vote, UK Member of Parliament Jo Cox was murdered, becoming the victim of the sort of hate crime she was campaigning against. Her husband Brendan, who himself works on fighting hatred and division, talks to Alliance editor Charles Keidan about the public revulsion and response to her death, setting up the Jo Cox Foundation, the couple’s belief in community, and the need to combat the sense of alienation at the root of unease and tensions across Europe.
In the aftermath of Jo’s death there was a huge public response. Can you tell me what has happened subsequently and how that response has been channelled?
The year before June 2016, I’d been working on combatting the rise of far-right populism and building more inclusive communities. Jo and I had talked about this very regularly.
There is a general view that, since the Second World War, we have been moving in the right direction, with some bumps here and there, but sometime in early 2015 we both started to worry whether that was still true and that there was a threat to community cohesion, to the functioning of our democracies. It changed our priorities.