Event to celebrate life of Jo Cox to take place in Morpeth

Jo Cox.
Jo Cox.

The team behind the inspirational campaign to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison will tomorrow (Wednesday) lead an event in Morpeth to celebrate the life and values of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Across the world people will be gathering together to celebrate Jo’s life, her warmth, love, energy, passion, flair, Yorkshire heritage and her belief in the humanity of every person in every place.

The Morpeth event will be at 4pm outside the aptly named Davison House in the town’s Sanderson Arcade. An hour-long tribute will be staged to mark the 42nd birthday of the MP for Batley and Spen.

She died after she was shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorkshire, last Thursday.

Penni Blythe, instrumental in the Emily Inspires! organisation of the Emily Davison centennial events in 2013, was contacted about the Jo Cox tribute by Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst who led the suffragette movement in Edwardian Britain.

“Unable to get to London, it seemed entirely appropriate for Morpeth to create our own event because Jo fought against hatred and division in the just the same way as Emily Davison did all those years before,” said Penni.

“When I started to spread the word, the response was instantaneous from so many people who wanted to show their solidarity with Jo Cox and what she stood for.

“I have absolutely no doubt Emily would have approved of, and wanted Morpeth, to pay its own tribute to her. Anyone and everyone will be welcome to attend to show the world how much Morpeth cares about what happened to her.”

Among those also paying tribute will be Morpeth Mayor Coun Andrew Tebbutt, who chaired the Emily Inspires! group, and Coun Alan Sambrook, Northumberland County Council’s civic head.

White carnations will be handed out and a bunch of white roses, the enduring symbol of Jo’s beloved Yorkshire, will later be laid at Emily’s grave in St Mary’s Churchyard.

Emily was brought back ‘home’ to Morpeth, the town of her family, four days after stepping onto the track to draw attention to the suffragettes’ call for women to have the vote, only to be struck and mortally wounded by King George V’s horse Anmer during the running of the 1913 Epsom Derby.

Coun Tebbutt said: “If Jo Cox and Emily Davison had lived at the same time, I am certain they would have stood side by side in the fight for equality and campaigned vigorously against discrimination of all kinds.

“Jo’s death has shocked the world, just as Emily’s did 103 years ago.

“It is appropriate that those of us who care deeply about real equality and the important role women MPs have in combating total inequality will gather outside Davison House to pay tribute to Jo Cox, an extraordinary woman of her time. Another woman who has paid the ultimate sacrifice.”