Jo Cox’s sister says partner asked her to quit as MP after Sir David Amess death


Kim Leadbeater told how she felt ‘scared and frightened’ after learning of the attack on Sir David Amess

Murdered Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater says her partner has asked her to step down as an MP following the death of Sir David Amess.

The Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire told how she felt ‘scared and frightened’ in the wake of the attack on Conservative Sir David at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

The married father-of-five, 69, who represented Southend West, was stabbed several times after meeting with residents at Belfairs Methodist Church in the town on Friday.

Police have now arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

The killing is being treated as a terror incident, as an early investigation revealed a ‘potential motivation linked to Islamic extremism,’ the Metropolitan Police said on Saturday morning.

The tragedy comes five years after the death of Ms Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.

Ms Leadbeater was welcomed to the House of Commons as an MP for the same constituency as her late sister in July this year.

When asked how she felt about the attack on Sir David, Ms Leadbeater said: ‘Totally shocked by what has happened to think that something so horrific could happen again to another MP, to another family.

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‘And scared and frightened – a real rollercoaster of emotions.’

The Labour MP said she was visiting a school when news of the attack broke.

‘My phone started going straight away, my mum and dad, my partner, my friends, ‘Are you OK?’ and I was OK,’ she said.

‘But the shock and the feelings for us as a family, obviously what we went through and another family are going through that again, it’s horrific.

Sir David Amess will be remembered for being ‘an animal lover’ and a ‘true gent’

“It’s hard to put into words how that feels for me.’

Ms Leadbeater said she was thinking about Sir David’s family, friends and the community he has represented for so long.

And she warned how many peoples lived will have ‘changed forever’ after the attack.

Jo Cox was murdered in 2016 (Picture: PA)

‘People still come up to me and talk to me about where they were when Jo was killed.

‘Their lives have just been changed,’ she said.

Ms Leadbeater also acknowledged the role of an MP held risks.

‘It’s so hard because you have a job to do,” she said.

‘I find myself now working as a politician and trying to do good things for people and it’s really important you get good people in public life, but this is the risk we are all taking and so many MPs will be scared by this.

Kim Leadbeater honouring sister Jo Cox in the Commons in September – as she told how she would
‘give literally anything not to be standing’ in her place. (Picture: REUTERS)

‘My partner came home and said “I don’t want you to do it any more” because the next time that phone goes, it could be a different conversation.

‘There are so many layers to this.

‘At the heart of it are David’s family and friends.

‘I know for them now that their lives will never be the same again, they will think about this every single day for the rest of their lives.

‘Even David’s staff – so many other people today will have been out there trying to do the right thing, trying to do a really important job in public life, and this happens.’

Tributes to Sir David, an MP for almost 40 years, near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (Picture: PA)

‘I cannot believe that this has happened.

‘It feels very raw for me.

‘I know from messages I have received from politicians across the political spectrum, for them it is incredibly raw.’

Ms Cox’s husband, Brendan, revealed how the tragedy ‘brings everything back’.

He tweeted: ‘My thoughts and love are with David’s family. They are all that matter now.

‘This brings everything back. The pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us following the loss of Jo.

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer visited the scene where Sir David was stabbed on Saturday (Picture: AP)

‘I hope we can do the same for David now.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer put their rivalry aside and stood shoulder to shoulder on Saturday as they visited the scene where Sir David was attacked.

Tributes have flooded in for Sir David, an MP since 1983, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among many across the nation paying their respects.

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