A European Union Brexit rally in Aldershot has been cancelled after an MP was shot and stabbed in the street and died.

Labour MP for Batley and Spen Jo Cox was attacked after holding a constituency surgery in West Yorkshire on Thursday (June 16).

The 41-year-old was shot and stabbed, with an eyewitness saying they heard the attacker shout "put Britain first". A man was arrested nearby.

In a short statement on Friday (June 17) morning, Sir Gerald Howarth 's office said: "Due to yesterday’s tragic events I regret to inform you tonight’s Aldershot Leave Rally at the Empire has been cancelled in memory of Jo Cox."

Chaired by Aldershot MP Sir Gerald, the rally was due to hear from the Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove MP; Diane James MEP, deputy chairman of the UK Independence Party; Major General Tim Cross and Daniel Hannan MEP, Secretary General of the European Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists.

An email from Sir Gerald to those due to be speaking in the debate said: "Following yesterday’s tragic events I regret to inform you that tonight’s Aldershot Leave Rally at The Empire has been cancelled as a mark of respect for Jo.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this dreadful time."

Sir Gerald added that his office are considering moving the rally to Wednesday June 22 at 7.30pm.


Tributes to Jo Cox, who leaves behind her husband and two young children, have flooded in from politicians including David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mrs Cox's husband Brendan said in a heartbreaking statement that she would want people "to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her."

Sir Gerald also paid tribute to her. He said: "The cold-bloodied killing of a young female MP, full of promise, in a quiet country town has caused understandable revulsion across the nation and beyond.

"Our hearts go out to her family and friends, especially her husband and children.

"This brutal atrocity follows previous incidents when other MPs were attacked while holding their surgeries and, of course, the murder of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary Ian Gow and other MPs killed and maimed by the IRA, some still suffering to this day.

"Members of Parliament do not have, nor do they want, special protection as they go about their business of engaging with constituents, but perhaps this tragedy will serve to remind the public of the risks to which people in public life are exposed.

"The constant denigration of MPs has given encouragement to increasing abuse, not least in the form of disgusting abuse towards some female MPs.

"Members of Parliament across the political divide are committed to serving those they represent and the wider country; no good can come from this tragedy but I hope it will place that service in a more favourable perspective."