It was a privilege this afternoon to join TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady in a delegation from Congress House as we stood alongside the thousands in Trafalgar Square to mark the very sad passing of Jo Cox MP who was so brutally murdered last week.
My MU colleagues Maddy Radcliff, Jo Laverty and I arrived outside TUC HQ at half past three and we met the small number of invited union representatives before walking through the West End to take our place in the south-eastern corner of the Square. A series of guests speakers and performers gave heartfelt speeches, offered dedicated poems and performed some of Jo’s favourite songs, with the Yorkshire school choir’s rendition of ‘If I had a hammer’ proving a particular highlight. Emotional speakers included her husband Brendan, her sister Kim and the humanitarian Malala Yousafzai, who said: ‘Jo’s life is proof that a message of peace is more powerful than any weapon of war. Once again the extremists have failed.’ From the world of performing arts, singer Lily Allen, actors Bill Nighy and Gillian Anderson, U2’s Bono and the cast of Les Miserables all contributed moving segments in tribute to a caring mother and inspirational politician.