Nick Benson

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Former home secretary to chair Jo Cox charity

Former home secretary Jacqui Smith has been appointed chairwoman of the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016.

Ms Smith, who served as the UK’s first female home secretary from 2007-09, said she hoped to use the role to counter the “toxic level of public debate” in the country.

The charity undertakes initiatives to bring people together in line with the principle set out by Ms Cox that “we have far more in common than that which divides us”.

Ms Smith, who was already a member of the Foundation board, said she was “enormously excited and honoured” to be appointed to take over from Nick Grono.

“Many people feel that this is a divided country with an increasingly toxic level of public debate,” she said.

“Jo wouldn’t have stood for that. She would have reached out and built a movement for positive change – strengthening local communities, leading respectful national debate and advocating for a fairer world.

“I’m going to use my national experience and the inspiration of having known Jo to support the Foundation in delivering some really exciting plans over the coming years.”

Ms Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “We are delighted to have Jacqui join as chair of Jo’s Foundation. For my parents and I it means a lot that somebody with such a wealth of experience and enthusiasm is heading our board.

“Jo knew Jacqui and respected her enormously so she really is the perfect person for the role.”

Picture: File photo dated 07/05/10 of former home secretary Jacqui Smith who has been appointed chairwoman of the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016. (David Jones/PA).

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OTHER NEWS

Far too many homeless people still not safely housed, say charities

"Far too many" homeless people are still on the streets, in shelters and hostels, despite the Government aiming to have all rough sleepers safely housed by last weekend. Last week the Government asked local authorities to do everything to "get everyone in" by the end...

Pope encourages Catholics to contemplate ‘seven sorrows’ of Mary

On the Friday before Holy Week, Pope Francis asked people to keep a long tradition of Catholic piety by focusing on "the suffering and sorrows of Our Lady." "Honour Our Lady and say, 'This is my mother,' because she is mother. This is the title that she received from...

Let’s get back to nature

Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. By Hannah Stephenson. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, there’s lots of ways you and your family could enjoy it – and connect with nature and benefit...

How to make the most from your daily exercise

The government has announced strict new measures for tackling coronavirus. Now in lockdown in an effort to beat the virus, Boris Johnson announced last week that we are only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons: Shopping for basic necessities One form...