Brendan Cox

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Person.png Brendan Cox Powerbase Sourcewatch TwitterRdf-icon.png
Brendan Cox.jpg
Alma mater London School of Economics, London South Bank University
Spouse Jo Cox

Employment.png Director of Policy and Advocacy

In office
June 2011 - September 2015
Employer Save the Children

Employment.png Special Adviser to the Prime Minister

In office
January 2009 - May 2010

Employment.png Executive Director

In office
June 2006 - January 2009
Employer Crisis Action

Employment.png Senior Press Officer

In office
2003 - 2006
Employer Oxfam

Brendan Cox is a former Special Adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown[1] whose wife Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, was murdered on 16 June 2016 by Thomas Mair.

President Obama invited Brendan Cox and the couple's two young children to the White House on 23 September 2016.[2][3]

On 17 February 2018, Brendan Cox announced his immediate resignation from the Jo Cox Foundation and More In Common – the charities he launched to honour the memory of his wife – and apologised for the "hurt and offence" he has caused to women, saying he was "deeply apologetic" for his inappropriate behaviour:

"I accept I have made mistakes, behaved badly and caused some women hurt and offence. I take responsibility for what I have done. I apologise unreservedly for my past behaviour and am committed to holding myself to much higher standards of personal conduct in the future."[4]

Kuenssberg interview

On 21 June 2016, the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg was granted an exclusive interview with Brendan Cox. The full interview was not broadcast, but Kuenssberg summarised the edited version as follows:

Yesterday, Jo Cox's family watched as the House of Commons, filled with her political friends and colleagues honoured her.

Today, with quiet dignity, her husband Brendan explained why he believes politics was behind her death. He said:

"She was a politician and she had very strong political views and I believe was she killed because of those views. I think she died because of them and she would want to stand up for those in death as much as she did in life."

As the referendum debate rages, he told me why she feared for our political culture, not just here in the UK but around the world, detailing her belief that the tone of the debate has echoes of the 1930s, with the public feeling insecure, and politicians willing to exploit that sense. He told me she was:

"very worried and from left and right." He added: "I think she was very worried that the language was coarsening, that people were being driven to take more extreme positions, that people didn't work with each other as individuals and on issues, it was all much too tribal and unthinking."

But Brendan Cox spoke movingly of his desire not just to protect and build on her political achievements - to but to guard the memories of her as his wife, and the mother of their two young children. He told me:

"Most of all I will remember that she met the world with love and both love for her children, love in her family and also love for people she didn't know. She just approached things with a spirit, she wasn't perfect at all you know, but she just wanted to make the world a better place, to contribute, and we love her very much."

Brendan decided to speak out today because he wanted to thank the public for the extraordinary support shown to the family in the last few days. Tomorrow, friends of hers are planning a day of memorials to remember her around the world, including a major event in London's Trafalgar Square.[5]

Next MP for Batley and Spen?

From a partial transcript of the Kuenssberg interview, Brendan Cox is recorded as dismissing the suggestion he could run to be the next MP for Batley and Spen:

"No. No, my only, overriding priority at the moment is how I make sure that I protect my family and kids through this. Jo was a passionate feminist, somebody who actively campaigned to get more women into parliament and I think she would have been very annoyed with me if I decided that when an angry man kills a young female MP she would be replaced by another man, so I hope that whoever replaces her will become another female MP."[6]

Parliament pays tribute

On 20 June 2016, Parliament was recalled for MPs to pay tribute to Jo Cox. Brendan, and their two children Lejla and Cuillin were in the public gallery to hear the tributes, along with Mrs Cox's parents Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, sister Kim and other family members.[7]

Save the Children

In November 2015, Mail Online reported that Brendan Cox had resigned in September as Save the Children’s director of policy and advocacy after complaints against him by women members of staff. A well-placed source said Mr Cox strenuously denied any wrongdoing but agreed to leave his post. An insider said:

"Some people were unhappy there was no proper internal investigation into the allegations. Brendan packed his bags and left suddenly."

One individual[Who?] who has worked with Save the Children said:

"Several of the women complained about inappropriate behaviour by Brendan. When the charity did nothing about it they threatened to make a huge fuss. Shortly afterwards it was announced that Brendan was leaving. Then we heard (Chief Executive) Justin Forsyth was going as well."[8]

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Peak KinnockArticle19 September 2016Craig Murray"11,000 people saving £2 a month might not save a dying little baby, but would exactly pay the £264,000 per year salary of Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive of Save the Children and wife of MP Stephen Kinnock. Misery for some is a goldmine for others."


References