"Death to traitors, freedom for Britain" - Man says when charged with Jo Cox's murder

Barack Obama is among those paying tribute to the British MP

Jo Cox, murder, charged, Thomas Mair, West Yorkshire Police, tributes, Barack Obama,

Members of the public look at flowers and tributes in Parliament Square, London after Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death | Image: John Stillwell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A man who appeared in court charged with the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain."

Mrs Cox (41) died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on Thursday.

Thomas Mair (52) from Birstall, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

Mair refused to give his correct name to the court and remained silent when asked his address and date of birth.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot suggested that a psychiatric report should be prepared, saying: "Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist."

He was not required to enter a plea and his lawyer Keith Allen said there was no indication of what plea would be given.

The court was told that legal aid had been applied for.

Mair was remanded in custody until 20 June, when a bail application will be heard.

Meanwhile, a 77-year-old man who was stabbed in the abdomen while trying to help Mrs Cox remains in hospital with serious injuries. Bernard Kenny reportedly blew a kiss to his wife as he lay bleeding on the floor.

"It was a crazy scenario. There was blood pouring from his wound and at one point I feared he was going to die," Colin Frith, who helped Mr Kenny, told the Daily Mail.

"He was lying on the floor of a cafe and I was bandaging his chest and comforting him."

More than stg£280,000 (€356,000) has been donated by almost 10,000 people since a fundraising page was set up by Mrs Cox's friends on Friday.

The money will be distributed to three British charities: The Royal Voluntary Service, HOPE not hate, and The White Helmets.

Tributes paid

Vigils have been held across the UK to remember Mrs Cox, who came to politics from a career in aid work.

The Labour MP won the seat of Batley and Spen in last year's general election with a majority of more than 6,000 votes.

The British Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats have said they will not contest the by-election resulting from her death, allowing Labour a free run at keeping the seat.

Tributes have also come from world leaders, with US President Barack Obama even calling Mrs Cox's husband Brendan from Air Force One to express his condolences on behalf of the American people.

Mrs Cox had worked on Mr Obama's 2008 presidential election campaign before she became MP for Batley and Spen.

The White House said in a statement: "President Obama offered his sincere condolences on behalf of the American people to Mr Cox and his two young children, as well as to her friends, colleagues and constituents."

"The President noted that the world is a better place because of her selfless service to others, and that there can be no justification for this heinous crime, which robbed a family, a community, and a nation of a dedicated wife, mother, and public servant."

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn described her as "an exceptional, wonderful, very talented woman, taken from us in her early 40s when she had so much to give and so much of her life ahead of her."

And London Mayor Sadiq Khan called her "the best of politics", saying the way British politics is conducted is "poisonous" and that there needs to be a change of attitude.