Tributes to Jo Cox have been pouring in from UK political parties and across the world after the popular Labour MP was killed in her constituency.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised the mother-of-two’s “deep commitment to humanity” while the prime minister said Parliament had lost “a great star”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and French President Francois Hollande were among those sending their sympathies.
Mrs Cox, 41, died after being attacked in her West Yorkshire constituency.
Both official EU referendum campaigns have suspended activity as a mark of respect.
The Batley and Spen MP was shot and stabbed in what has been described as an “horrific” assault outside her constituency surgery on Thursday.
As news broke, visibly emotional colleagues paid tribute to her. Labour’s Lucy Powell told the BBC: “It’s absolutely devastating. Jo was a wonderful, wonderful woman, parliamentarian, mother, wife and her life has been taken through an act of warped hatred and we are all the poorer for it. But she loved life, she had a wonderful life while she was here and she would want us to celebrate that life now.”
And Labour’s Joan Walley, who was being interviewed live when the news that Mrs Cox had died broke, told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “Nothing has prepared me to be in a situation where I’m live on BBC radio to pay tribute to a really, truly special and compassionate woman, who totally believed in public service, who totally believed in eradicating poverty, who totally wanted to see environmental improvements, with a young family and a whole life in politics in front of her.”
Another Labour MP, Jess Phillips, said: “My heart is broken. She was amazing, a brave giant who stood against bullies” while the Conservative former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “It is an unspeakable and un-understandable event that has taken place and Parliament and her constituents will be much the poorer for her passing. But it’s her family and those two little children who we must be thinking about now.”
Mr Cameron, speaking during a visit to Gibraltar where an EU referendum campaign rally was cancelled, said “This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news. My thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan, their two children and their wider family.
‘We’ve lost a great star, she was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion and a big heart.”
Chancellor George Osborne said he was “incredibly sad” to hear the “shocking news”.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the pain Ms Cox’s family and friends must be enduring was “unimaginable”, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time.”
Mr Corbyn said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country – will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.
“Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.
“Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.”