Welsh MP Kinnock calls Jo Cox 'incredibly popular person'

The Labour MP for Aberavon Stephen Kinnock has called Jo Cox "an incredibly well-liked and popular person" in a statement read out at the trial of the man accused of her murder.

Stephen Kinnock and Jo Cox had been friends for over 20 years. Credit: PA

Mr Kinnock, the son of former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, said he first met Mrs Cox when he was living and working in Brussels in the early 1990s.

She had gone to work there as a researcher for his mother Glenys Kinnock, who was then a member of the European Parliament, and Mrs Cox became a firm family friend.

Mr Kinnock said his mother encouraged Mrs Cox to go into politics - but instead she initially went to work for Oxfam, being posted to Russia.

The pair were selected as MPs in March 2014, and Mr Kinnock said she enjoyed using the experiences she gained while working abroad to help people in her constituency.

Jo and I often talked about the work in the constituency being what kept us sane. I think that if the job was just about being in Parliament, Jo would have felt very frustrated. She liked being able to help local parties and enjoyed holding local surgeries and being active in the community.

– Stephen Kinnock MP

Mr Kinnock said he last saw her a week before her death, when she hosted a party on her houseboat for a new intake of MPs.