Northumberland County Hall flag at half mast in honour of murdered MP Jo Cox

The Union Flag at County Hall, in Morpeth, is flying at half mast.

The Union Flag at County Hall, in Morpeth, is flying at half mast.

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The Union Flag at County Hall in Morpeth is flying at half mast, as a mark of respect to murdered MP Jo Cox.

The 41-year-old mother-of-two was shot and stabbed in the street in Birstall, West Yorkshire, yesterday as she headed to a scheduled constituency surgery. A 52-year-old man has been arrested.

Today, leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey paid his respects. He said: “Our sincerest condolences are with Mrs Cox’s family and friends at this devastating time​ and I will be doing a letter of condolence to the family early next week. The Union flag is flying at half mast at County Hall as a sign of respect.”​

Passing on information from Northumbria Police, Coun Davey added: “The Chief Constable has contacted all our local MPs to express his condolences and offer advice and support. Their safety at this time is our main priority.

“There is not believed to be any risk at this stage to our own Members of Parliament, local councillors, or anyone in our communities. However, we understand people may have raised concerns and we are here to help.

“Should you have any concerns, please speak to your local neighbourhood officer or contact police on 101.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commisioner Vera Baird QC this morning sent condolences to Mrs Cox’s family.

Commissioner Baird said: “I send my personal sympathy to Jo’s family for their terrible loss, my thoughts are with her husband, Brendan, and their children as they confront a tragedy that they could never have expected and which is very hard to understand.

“I send too my support to parliamentary colleagues, especially those we know locally as they come to terms with the loss of a fine colleague.

“Jo was a special MP, with a wonderful combination of values, warmth and a drive to make positive change happen for the people of Batley and Spen and for people more widely. Her short elected term will be remembered for her care for humanity and for its promise for the future.”

Meanwhile, officers from Northumbria Police are investigating tweets posted on the account of the north-east chapter of National Action, a group that holds regular avowedly racist demonstrations and has campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, the force said on Friday.

One of the tweets glorified the suspected killer, Tommy Mair. Another read: “only 649 MPs to go.”

Northumbria police said its intelligence officers were investigating the account, which is believed to be controlled by someone outside the region. “Depending on what comes back with our inquiries, we will send a package to the [relevant] force to get that person arrested,” the force said.

Asked if it stood by the tweets posted on one of its regional accounts, National Action said: “We have no interest in participating with this nation in any empty gestures of pity. Anyone who chooses to wallow in such depraved moral signalling deserves only ridicule.”