Politicians from across the divide unite to mark memory of Jo Cox MP
- Credit: Archant
Proving they really do have more in common on the Common, politicians from across the parties sat together for a musical picnic in Saffron Walden to commemorate the MP Jo Cox.
On Saturday, June 17, candidates for the county council and general elections, Lib Dems, Mike Hibbs and Hilary Shibata, the Green Party’s Edward Gildea, The Mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Richard Freeman from Residents for Uttlesford and Simon Trimnell Labour, joined Conservatives, the newly elected MP for Saffron Walden, Kemi Badenoch and County Councillor, John Moran.
Cllr Hibbs said: “It was extraordinary how everyone got on. We all sat together eating strawberries, Kemi brought a cake. We talked about politics but in a relaxed way. It really worked.”
Several hundred people took picnics to the event, one of hundreds across the country. Labour MP Jo Cox, (a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge) was killed by a right-wing extremist last year. In her maiden speech in Parliament, she said “We have more in common than that which divides us.”
The event was opened by Saffron Walden Mayor, Councillor Richard Freeman, entertainment was provided by the Joanna Eden Choir, singer-songwriter James White and youth theatre group Hyperfusion.
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People hung messages on a knitted rope strung between the trees, symbolising the knitting together of the community. One said: “Walden is made by Waldeners. I like the kindness, and ability to absorb all members of the human race.”
Another said: “Saffron Walden has been my home for 30 years. It is a network of people from all walks of life.” Another message read: “‘Just can’t bring myself to move away. Loving SW since 1979.” The knitted string of labels will be displayed in the town’s library.
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Last year’s mayor, Councillor Sarfraz Anjum presented a cheque for £602.26 to Amnesty International, who had a stall at the event. The money was raised by his Mayor’s Charities Appeal.
Organiser, Clare Mulley said: “We would like to thank all the societies that came along, Saffron Walden library and everyone who brought a picnic to join us. What a great town and great community. We remembered the wonderful MP, Jo Cox, whose belief in community we were both demonstrating and celebrating. We hope it will be an annual event.”