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Tributes paid to murdered MP Jo Cox at Macmillan Cancer Support Tug of War fundraiser

The late MP made one of her last public appearances prior to her death at the 2016 event.

2018-06-06

Tributes were paid to murdered MP Jox Cox during Macmillan Cancer Support's 32nd Tug of War fundraising event in Westminster on Tuesday night (June 6).

The annual charity event at Westminster Abbey College Gardens, which sees members of the House of Commons battle it out in a tug of war competition against members of the House of Lords, has raised over £3 million for Macmillan since its conception in 1987.

The event two years ago marked one of Ms Cox's last public appearances before her murder at the hands of a right-wing extremist in June 2016, and Tuesday night's women's match between the House of Lords and House of Commons was dediciated to the late politician's memory.

Ms Cox's killer, Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old unemployed gardener, was given a whole-life tariff after being found guilty of murdering Ms Cox to advance neo-Nazi ideology in the run up to the Brexit referendum.

Jeremy Vine, who was compering Macmillan's Tug of War event, paid tribute to Ms Cox at the start of the evening, and the BBC radio presenter thoughts that were later echoed by Labour MP and former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin, who took over Ms Cox's Batley and Spen constituency following a by-election in October 2016.

"This evening was very special to me because two weeks before Jo was killed she'd done this," Ms Brabin told Attitude after her team of female MPs defeated the female Baronesses.

"I wanted to come back this time and say 'you might want to divide the nation and destroy and kill MPs, but we will come back and come back stronger'."

Brabin, who made appeares in CasualityEastenders and Emmerdale before making the transition into politics, continued: "It's very hard to replace Jo - it's obviously impossible. I can't be her, she was amazing.

"It was really important to me tonight to win - I can't tell you how stressed I was [about] the idea of not winning on a night that's so special and so symbolic."

The winning female MP team. Pictured from left: Tracy Brabin MP, Jo Churchill MP, Rebecca Pow MP, Michelle Donelan MP, Dr Therese Coffey MP, Angela Rayner MP, Helen Grant MP, Wendy Morten MP, Kelly Tolhurst MP.

"And also [the team is] cross-party, so I think it's important to say also that we have more in common and we can work together."

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said: "It’s always fantastic to see parliamentarians from all sides of the political spectrum pull together for our Tug of War event.

"All of the incredibly generous donations from spectators and teams will help us to continue to support the 2.5 million people living with cancer throughout the UK."

For further information on Macmillan’s Tug of War event please visit macmillan.org.uk/tugofwar.