Jo Cox's widower calls for 'no to hatred march'

The Labour MP died in 2016 after being shot and stabbed by a man who held far-right views

Widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, Brendan Cox, speaks at an event to celebrate Jo Cox's life in Trafalgar Square, central London, on June 22, 2016, on what would have been Jo's 42nd birthday. 
Murdered British MP Jo Cox's family marked what would have been her 42nd birthday on June 22 with a river tribute and a rally in London on the eve of Britain's European Union referendum. The commemoration in the city's central Trafalgar Square was set to be matched with similar events taking place in cities around the world, among them Beirut, Nairobi, New York and Paris.
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The widower of murdered MP Jo Cox has called for a “no to hatred” march, condemning both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic rhetoric, intimidation and attacks.

Brendan Cox, whose wife died after being shot and stabbed outside a library in her constituency in Yorkshire in 2016 by a man who held far-right views, said the rally should express solidarity with civilians in both Gaza and Israel.

After the weekend’s pro-Palestinian protest and counter-protest by members of the far-right, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “I wonder if we should organise a no to hatred march.

“Condemning anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim rhetoric, intimidation and attacks. Expressing solidarity with civilians in Gaza and Israel.”

He added: “Thinking about doing something very soon. Ideas welcome.”

It has so far attracted 470 comments and 2,500 likes.

Officers made 145 arrests – mostly counter-protesters – as they prevented a violent crowd from reaching the Cenotaph in central London on Saturday. Nine officers were injured.

They had been attempting to reach the cenotaph after now-sacked home secretary Suella Braverman claimed that a pro-Palestine rally should not be held on Armistice Day. The government had called for the pro-Palestinian march to be banned, highlighting the risk of violence, falling on Armistice Day. It was given the green light by the police.

Ms Braverman had been accused by opposition politicians, police and some party colleagues of interfering with the operational independence of the police and “emboldening” far-right counter-protesters.

She previously spoke of pro-Palestinian “mobs” and described Gaza demonstrations as “hate marches”, citing police bias for allowing Saturday's protest to go ahead on Armistice Day.

Police suggested Ms Braverman's comments were a “significant factor in sustained far-right attacks” on officers.

Ms Braverman doubled down on calls for pro-Palestinian protests to be stopped and warned that London's streets are “being polluted by hate, violence and anti-Semitism”. She hit out at “sick” chants and placards at Saturday's march.

However, her remarks on Sunday made little mention of far-right counter-protesters.

The march was the largest pro-Palestinian rally yet, drawing around 300,000 people, following Hamas’s attack on Israel and its retaliation against the militant group.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said on Saturday: “This operation took place in unique circumstances, against a backdrop of conflict in the Middle East, on Armistice Day, and following a week of intense debate about protest and policing. These all combined to increase community tensions.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked Ms Braverman on Monday, bowing to days of pressure following criticism she had stoked community tensions.

She was replaced by James Cleverly as Home Secretary, while David Cameron was appointed Foreign Secretary and will take a seat in the House of Lords.

Updated: November 13, 2023, 3:14 PM