TRIBUTE: bright light has gone out

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The unutterably tragic events of last Thursday, when my colleague Jo Cox MP was murdered on the street in the village of Birstall in West Yorkshire, have been difficult to get to grips with.

Jo was a ball of energy and passionate advocate for all those issues which were close to her heart.

She always had a smile, a spring in her step and an enthusiasm for getting stuck in, which was endearing and enthusing in equal measure.

She took part in the annual Macmillan House of Commons Tug of War only a couple of weeks ago and I had the greatest privilege of being on the team with her, laughing about how inept we all were, but happy to get stuck in and help raise money for such an important charity.

A bright light has gone out with her untimely death and leaves two small children who will now not have their mum with them in their daily lives.

As one who lost a parent at a very young age, this is what hurts most: knowing that they will never be able to know her as we have all had the privilege to do.

But, from out of this dreadful tragedy, it has been deeply heart-warming for me to receive so many kind messages from constituents and people that I have worked with on campaigns more widely, thanking me for doing what it is that we do as MPs; something that we consider to be a true privilege and honour.

There is nothing more worthwhile than being able to speak out on behalf of an individual, a group, a community or a campaign, where they cannot do so themselves.

To change the course of a policy, or to build stronger solutions to a problem, or to fix something which is broken and damaging, are outcomes which are worth fighting for.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP