Alongside the rest of the country, we at LGiU are shocked and saddened beyond measure at the brutal murder of Jo Cox.
We knew Jo a little. As a new member of the CLG committee she asked us in to brief her a couple of times. She was, as everyone has said of her, insightful, intelligent and principled. She clearly had a great political future in front of her.
Her assassination is first and foremost a tragedy for her family and friends, but it is also a real loss to public life and the common good.
At LGiU we work every day to promote the values and virtues of democracy. Jo, like every elected representative in the country from the parish council to the Prime Minister, was an embodiment of those values.
We still do not know to what extent Jo’s murder was politically motivated, but whatever the motivation it remains a direct attack on our democratic freedoms.
We are immensely fortunate to live in a part of the world in which political disputes are settled by argument not by violence, in which people enter politics to do good not to line their pockets and in which our political representatives are directly accessible to us not glimpsed through the windows of a bullet proof car or behind a phalanx of bodyguards.
So if a brutal attack like this makes anyone more careful about what they stand up for in public, makes MPs review security at their surgeries, or makes any good person think twice about going into politics, then, in very real way, it diminishes each and every one of us.