Dozens of people congregated outside the British Parliament in London on Thursday to hold a vigil in memory of Jo Cox, the lawmaker who was stabbed and shot to death earlier that day in northern England.
Mourners laid flowers next to a large photograph of the Labour Party politician, who was a vocal humanitarian and advocated for Syrian refugees, reports Agence France-Presse. Several of her peers and colleagues lit candles as Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, gave a moving speech.
“What’s happened is beyond appalling. We are here in silent memory of her loss,” he said. “This is a shocking occasion and I hope everybody realizes hatred will never solve problems. Only people coming together will solve problems.”
Cox, 41, was representative for the Batley & Spen constituency in West Yorkshire and a mother of two, who had been campaigning for Britain to remain in Europe ahead of the E.U. referendum next week.
She was killed Thursday after being attacked outside a library in the northern village of Birstall. Witnesses describe seeing a man shooting and then stabbing her as she lay on the pavement. A 52-year-old man, who has been identified by locals as Tommy Mair, has been arrested, according to the Associated Press. Police would not speculate on a motive for the attack but a witness reportedly heard the suspect shout “put Britain first” several times, the BBC reports.
Mourners at the vigil wrote messages of condolence on a placard set up by activists. One read: “We are not Remain, Leave, Tory, Labour or Lib Dem tonight. We are Britons with a belief in parliament and democracy.”
In her home town of Birstall, hundreds of people packed into a church Thursday evening local time for a special service, reports the BBC.
“She grew up in this community, she lived for this community, she served this community and, in the end, she gave her life for this community,” the Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, told the congregation.