The UK Parliament will be recalled from its recess on Monday, 20 June so MPs can pay tribute to Labour's Jo Cox, Jeremy Corbyn has announced. The Labour leader, appearing alongside David Cameron and John Bercow in Birstall on 17 June, said the prime minister and speaker of the House of Commons had backed his proposal.
The move comes after Cox, 41, was fatally shot and stabbed following a constituency surgery in her West Yorkshire seat of Batley and Spen. Police have arrested a 52-year-old man, named locally as Thomas Mair, in connection with the incident.
"Jo was an exceptional, wonderful and very talented woman, taken from us in her early forties when she had so much to give and so much of her life ahead of her," Corbyn said.
"It's a tragedy beyond tragedy what has happened yesterday. In her memory, we will not allow those people that spread hatred a poison to divide our society, we will strengthen our democracy and free speech."
The killing came with a week to go before the EU referendum on 23 June, with groups on both sides of the Brexit debate suspending campaigning in reaction to Cox's death. The Conservative Party has also announced that it will not contest a future by election for Batley and Spen out of respect to Cox.
"Following the tragic killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, the Conservative Party have decided not to contest the forthcoming by-election as a mark of respect to a much-loved and respected politician," a spokesman for the party said.
Mourners have paid tribute to the mother of two in Birstall and Parliament Square, Westminster. George and Margaret Aitken, who are on holiday in London from Edinburgh, spoke to IBTimes UK. "We are absolutely stunned by this event, you know, it's just awful," the couple said, describing their reaction to the news as "utter disbelief".
They added: "It shouldn't happen any time, but why to somebody who is doing good for her constituency? Everybody that's been interviewed at her home constituency has nothing but good to say about her."
Cox's husband, Brendan, also made his own tribute to his late wife. "Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo's friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo," he said in a 16 June statement.
"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhausted most people.
"She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous. Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full."