**Jo Cox ‘died for her political views’, says husband Brendan Cox in first interview
MP’s widower refuses to condemn those who use Ms Cox’s death as part of political debate
The MP Jo Cox was killed because of her “very strong political views”, her widower has said in his first interview since her death.
Brendan Cox said his wife - who would have been 42 on Wednesday - had become increasingly worried about the “coarsening” of the political debate around the EU referendum.**
Speaking in a pool interview with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Cox said the outpouring of public support and a £1 million charitable fund had been sources of comfort to the couple’s two children…
Ms Cox was shot and stabbed in the street in her constituency last Thursday, one week before the UK votes on its future in Europe.
**Asked if he was concerned about people using his wife’s death in the context of political debate, Mr Cox said: “She was a politician and she had very strong political views and I believe she was killed because of those views. I think she died because of them, and she would want to stand up for those in death as much as she did in life.”
Mr Cox said his wife had concerns about the culture of politics around the world: "I think she was very worried that the language was coarsening, that people were being driven to take more extreme positions, that people didn’t work with each other as individuals and on issues, it was all much too tribal and unthinking.
“And she was particularly worried - we talked about this regularly - particularly worried about the direction of, not just in the UK but globally, the direction of politics at the moment, particularly around creating division and playing on people’s worst fears rather than their best instincts. So we talked about that a lot and it was something that worried her.”**
Expressing his thanks for the “incredible” public support following her death, he said: "The two things that I’ve been very focused on is how do we support and protect the children, and how do we make sure that something good comes out of this.
“And what the public support and outpouring of love around this does, is it also helps the children see that what they’re feeling and other people are feeling, that the grief that they feel, isn’t abnormal, that they feel it more acutely and more painfully and more personally, but that actually their mother was someone who was loved by lots of people and that therefore, it’s OK to be upset and it’s OK for them to cry and to be sad about it.”
**Had she lived, the MP would have been out on the streets campaigning for a Remain vote in the EU referendum, he said.
But she was “worried about the tone of the debate” amid concerns it was “whipping up fears and whipping up hatred potentially”.