Kettering councillor apologises for Jo Cox Brexit remark

Cllr Anne Lee.
Cllr Anne Lee.

A Kettering councillor has apologised after appearing to link the tragic murder of MP Jo Cox to the Brexit campaign.

Cllr Anne Lee (Lab, Pipers Hill) made the comment on her official Facebook page on Saturday (June 20) ahead of the EU referendum this week.

The deleted Facebook post.

The deleted Facebook post.

The post, which was later taken down, read: “Another Saturday when we will do all we can to avert the Brexit disaster that this country seems to be sleepwalking to.

“The Remain campaign stands for peace, human rights, economic prosperity and international collaboration.

“The Brexit camp stands for fear and hate, as testified this week by the cold-blooded murder of Jo Cox.

“I am proud to belong to the same party as Jo.”

The post drew many negative responses, with some people calling for Cllr Lee to resign.

One said: “Think it maybe [sic] time to step down.

“Using this tragedy for any political gain is an embarrassment.”

Another said: “What a stupid and insensitive statement to make.

“Hang your head in shame.”

Cllr Lee now says former Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed what she meant to say in Saturday’s Guardian, when he said ‘unless we strive for a culture of respect to replace a culture that does little to challenge prejudice, we will be learning nothing from what happened to Jo. Only by tackling the prejudice and hate that killed her can we do justice to the meaning of Jo Cox’s life.’

Cllr Lee said: “That is precisely what I meant to say.

“The death of Jo Cox has deeply upset us all.

“I am sorry if my words were poorly chosen.”

Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in her constituency in Birstall on Thursday (June 16).

Thomas Mair, 52, has been charged with her murder.