Jo Cox's husband says MP's death will build an 'unassailable wall of tolerance'

A life sentence has been handed down to white supremacist Thomas Mair for Mrs Cox's murder

Jo Cox's husband says MP's death will build an 'unassailable wall of tolerance'

Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox, speaking outside the Old Bailey in London after Thomas Mair was found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. Picture by Philip Toscano PA Wire/PA Images

The death of MP Jo Cox will mean those who seek to divide people in Britain will "face an unassailable wall of... tolerance", her husband has said.

Brendan Cox promised to respond to hatred with love, "like Jo did", as he spoke on the steps of the Old Bailey following the life sentence handed down to neo-Nazi Thomas Mair for her murder.

The 53-year-old killer was described as a terrorist for shooting and stabbing the 41-year-old mother-of-two outside a constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, while shouting "Britain first".

On his arrest, the loner told police he was a "political activist" and at his first magistrates court appearance, when he was asked for his name, he responded "death to traitors, freedom for Britain".

When Mair's home was raided, officers found Nazi memorabilia and far-right books and it soon emerged he had links with international white supremacist groups dating back to the 1990s.

He had also collected a dossier on Mrs Cox and her political history.

His trial heard that Mair, who has a half brother from Grenada, looked up matricide on the internet.

His searches included phrases like "son kills mother for miscegenation", a word meaning the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabiting, sexual relations and procreation.

Speaking after Mair's whole life sentence was handed down, Mr Cox said: "To the world, Jo was a member of Parliament, a campaigner, an activist and many other things.

"But first and foremost she was a sister, a daughter, an auntie, a wife, and above all a mum to two young children who love her with all their being.

"We try now not to focus on how unlucky we were to have her taken from us, but how lucky we were to have her in our lives for so long.

"To the person who did this we have nothing but pity - that his life was so devoid of love and consumed with hatred that this became his desperate and cowardly attempt to find meaning," he added.

"The killing of Jo was a political act, an act of terrorism, but in the history of such acts, it was perhaps the most incompetent and self-defeating.

"An act driven by hatred which instead has created an outpouring of love. An act designed to drive communities apart which has instead pulled them together. An act designed to silence a voice which instead has allowed millions of others to hear it.

"As a family, we will not respond to hatred with hatred. We will love like Jo did and know that, although she is dead, the ideas and values that she held so dear will live on.

"We hope the country will also take something from this - that Jo's death will have meaning.

"That those in politics, the media and our own communities who seek to divide us will face an unassailable wall of British tolerance and the articulation of Jo's belief that we hold more in common than that which divides us."