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Wednesday, 02 May 2018

Jo Cox events to 'bring people together' extended in Scotland

Written by Paul Ward

Events to commemorate the life of murdered MP Jo Cox are to be expanded in Scotland this year with more support from the Scottish Government and local councils.

Mrs Cox's sister, Kim Leadbeater, is to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other party leaders in Edinburgh on Wednesday to discuss plans for The Great Get Together between June 22 and 24.

The Scottish Government has already pledged its support to the UK-wide event which encourages a range of activities to bring people together.

It was inspired by Mrs Cox's maiden speech as an MP, which contained the line "we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us".

This year's events will take place around what would have been the Labour MP's birthday and two years since she was murdered by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair as she arrived to host a surgery in her Batley and Spen constituency.

The Great Get Together is also expected to be supported by Glasgow and Edinburgh councils this year with events to be staged in Scotland's two biggest cities.

Motions calling for the local authorities to support the event will be discussed at full council meetings this week.

The Edinburgh text, in the name of Councillor Cammy Day, notes "that the organisers hope to build on last year's success, which saw thousands of events across the UK, and to extend the reach of the event in Scotland by involving as many cities, towns and communities as possible".

Ms Leadbeater said: "Right now, it can feel like our country is deeply divided. But we know that when we get together that brings out the best in our people and our communities.

"Last year we saw Great Get Together events take place all around the country, bringing together people from across Scotland's diverse communities, and I can't thank people enough for that.

"Those events were inspired by my sister Jo. She touched so many people when she said that we had more in common than the things that divide us."

She added: "This year, we're repeating the Great Get Together and holding it to coincide with Jo's birthday.

"In Scotland, this year's Great Get Together is going to be even bigger than last year and we're really pleased that Glasgow and Edinburgh City Councils are planning to support our events.

"We want people across Scotland to host events that bring people together in their local area.

"There are so many benefits to living in closer communities, but that involves reaching out and meeting people we might otherwise never encounter."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jo Cox Foundation / PA Wire.