A host of celebrities have revealed what they think unites us a nation in memory of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
Ed Sheeran, Helen Mirren and Andy Murray are among those who have taken part in a special video ahead of this weekend’s Great Get Together, organised in honour of the politician who was killed a year ago by the foundation set up in her memory and other community groups.
Inspired by Jo Cox’s assertion that ‘we have more in common than that which divides us’, a variety of household names recorded their ideas for what brings the entire country together, from fish and chips to the British love of pubs.
On Saturday more than 100,000 events will take place across the UK aimed at bringing communities together - something the Yorkshire-born politician’s family said she would want them to continue to strive for.
The 41-year-old mum of two died after being shot and stabbed by a right-wing extremist outside a library in her Batley and Spen constituency on June 16 last year.
Iona Lawrence, director of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: “Millions of people will be taking part in the Great Get Together this weekend.
“Over 110,000 separate events are being planned in every corner of the UK. It’s going to be a lot of fun and will show, as Ed Sheeran says in this little video, ‘the things that unite us as a country are the things that are meant to tear us apart, but they actually make us stronger’.”
Jo’s widower Brendan has released a book in her memory - the proceeds of which will go towards the foundation - and the Sun, Mirror, Telegraph and Guardian have joined forces to carry editorials in support of the weekend’s events.
The Sun and Mirror said: “Today, we have come together with rival newspapers to print this message to support a hugely important event this weekend.
“Called The Great Get Together, it has been organised by the family of murdered MP Jo Cox.
“She said that in Britain we “have far more in common than that which divides us.”
“She was right. It’s part of what makes Britain such a great nation.
“So, a year on from her death, her family is asking all of us to forget our differences and unite in a spirit of unity.
“Everyone is being encouraged to organise or take part in events, including street parties, all over the country.
“After the turmoil of the past few weeks, it’s just what Britain needs.
“We hope you will get behind it, have some fun, and celebrate what we really do have in common.”
The editors of the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, Katharine Viner and Chris Evans, under a joint by-line, wrote:
“One year ago, an act of terrible violence robbed the nation of a passionate and principled woman. MP Jo Cox represented some of the best aspects of our political tradition, and her proclamation in her maiden speech to Parliament – that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us – has profoundly touched many since her death.
“Jo’s maiden speech went on to characterise a Yorkshire spirit of proud independence and nonconformity – and to back that up by raising some difficult issues for government. As editors, Jo’s desire to ask tough questions of those in power resonates strongly with us.
“Against this backdrop, it has never been more important for the press to provide balanced, professional but, above all, tough scrutiny to political leaders of every stripe.
“As the Great Get Together launches this coming weekend in memory of Jo Cox’s life and work, we two editors have no hesitation in uniting, if for one day only, to share the fine sentiment of George Orwell, that ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’.”