Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being shot three times in the street near her office by an attacker 'who shouted Britain First then kicked her while she lay bleeding'
- West Yorkshire MP was arriving at her local office when she was attacked by a man who wrestled her to the ground
- Attacker said to have shouted 'Britain First' as he kicked mother-of-two before shooting and repeatedly stabbing her
- 53-year-old man, named locally as gardener Tommy Mair, was arrested at scene after armed police flooded the area
- Political leaders have now sent their thoughts to 41-year-old victim's husband Brendan and their two young children
A Labour MP has died after she was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed in a shocking attack as she arrived at her constituency surgery.
Mother-of-two Jo Cox, 41, was airlifted to hospital after a gunman opened fire on her in Birstall near Leeds.
Witnesses said the man was at the office before she arrived and shot her three times, once in the head, before stabbing her as she lay on the ground.
Her husband Brendan tweeted a photo of his wife two hours after she died from catastrophic injuries.
A 53-year-old - named locally as gardener Tommy Mair - has been arrested by police and his house is currently being searched by forensic experts.
Popular MP Jo Cox has tragically died after she was shot three times and stabbed repeatedly by a man as she arrived for a constituency meeting in Birstall near Leeds today
+29Ms Cox, pictured, with her husband Brendan on election night when she was elected as an MP for the Batley and Spen area
+29Two hours after her death, Ms Cox's heartbroken husband Brendan tweeted a photo of her standing by the houseboat they stayed on when they were in London
+29Locals have named and identified 'loner' Tommy Mair as the 53-year-old man who has been arrested by police in connection with the attack
+29Police are searching a number of addresses this evening in connection with the killing, including the home of the attacker, pictured above
David Pickles, a neighbour of Mr Mair, said: 'He's just quiet. He kept himself to himself. He lived by himself. He's been on his own for about 20 years. I've never seen a lot of people visiting or anything like that.'
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.
'In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo's husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.
David Cameron added: 'The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children.'
Campaigning for the EU referendum by Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave has been suspended for the day after the attack.
Commenting on the attack, temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins said: 'Just before 1pm today Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, was attacked in Market Street, Birstall. I am now very sad to have to report she has died as a result of her injuries.
'Jo was attacked by a man who inflicted serious wounds that later proved fatal. There was a subsequent attack on a 77 year old man nearby.
'She was pronounced dead by a paramedic crew at the scene. This is a very serious investigation with a large number of witnesses. There is a large crime scene. There are a large number of police officers in the area. A full investigation will take place.
'Additional officers are working in the area this afternoon. Clearly as this inquiry is at a very early stage and as we have a 52-year-old man in custody, we cannot comment further at this time. It is too early to comment on any motive. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.'
+29A picture has been circulated on social media that is said to show the suspect being arrested after the attack in Leeds this afternoon
+29A picture was taken of the man believed to be the suspect seconds after he was tackled to the ground by two uniformed police officers
+29A view of the scene of the shooting outside the library in Birstall, where Ms Cox was attending a meeting
+29Police officers are maintaining a 'significant and large crime scene' in the area where Mrs Cox was killed this afternoon
+29Police and forensics officers carry out searches in the area of Birstall where Mrs Cox was fatally injured this afternoon
+29Forensics officers examine potential evidence, including a bloodied shoe and handbag found near where Mrs Cox was attacked, right
MOTHER-OF-TWO WAS AID WORKER BEFORE ENTERING COMMONS
Jo Cox worked for Oxfam before she entered parliament as MP for Batley and Spen at the general election last year.
A mother of two young children, she is married to Brendan Cox, a former adviser to Gordon Brown who has also been chief executive of Save the children.
The 41-year-old also worked closely with Mr Brown's wife Sarah on efforts to prevent mothers and babies dying needlessly in pregnancy.
Since entering the Commons, she has made a name for herself by campaigning on Syria issues, including calling for the UK to enforce a no-fly zone.
In 2015 she abstained in a vote on whether we should join airstrikes.
Ms Cox nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader, but is regarded as a moderate within the party and is very popular among her fellow MPs.
She added: 'We have recovered some weapons, including a firearm, and we will be able to examine those very closely.
'We are attending a number of scenes as part of this investigation and we will be looking very closely at what evidence we may or may not be able to recover.'
Witness Clarke Rothwell who runs a cafe near where the attack took place, told the BBC he believed the MP had been shot and stabbed multiple times.
He said: 'He [the attacker] was stabbing her as well, he was stabbing her with his knife.'
Another witness, Sam Watson, added: 'The man walked away calmly and nobody wanted to approach him.'
Hichem Ben Abdallah, 56, was in the cafe next door to the library when he heard screaming and went outside.
He said: 'There was a guy who was being very brave and another guy with a white baseball cap who he was trying to control and the man in the baseball cap suddenly pulled a gun from his bag.
'He was fighting with her and wrestling with her and then the gun went off and then she fell between two cars and I came and saw her bleeding on the floor.'
It was earlier thought Ms Cox had intervened in a fight between two men but it is now believed she was attacked.
After around 15 minutes, the shop owner said emergency services arrived and tended to her with a drip.
Mr Abdallah said the weapon looked handmade and that the man who had been wrestling with the assailant continued to do so even after he saw the gun.
He said: 'The man stepped back with the gun and fired it and then he fired a second shot, as he was firing he was looking down at the ground.'
Aamir Tahir, of The Dry Clean Centre, said the gunman was heard shouting 'Britain first'.
He said: 'The lady I work with heard two loud bangs. I wish I was there because I would have tried to stop him.
'Apparently the guy who did it shouted 'Britain first' and if I had been there I would have tackled him.'
Britain First is the name of a far-Right group which said it was 'not involved and would never encourage behaviour of this sort'.
Daniel Blyth, a company director from Birstall, told the paper he saw seven police cars 'racing up' the road to the scene.
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: 'Very concerned about reports Jo Cox has been injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jo and her family.'
+29A jacket, handbag and shoes were left at the scene. They are believed to belong to the MP who was attacked
Emergency equipment left at the scene where Ms Cox was attacked during a scuffle today
Police are currently at the scene of a home in Birstall, pictured, understood to belong to Mr Mair
Cambridge graduate Ms Cox was elected to the seat of Batley and Spen at the last general election in 2015.
She is national chair of Labour Women's Network, has worked for Save the Children and the NSPCC.
She is the mother of two young children and is said to enjoy mountain-climbing, boating and running.
Earlier this year MPs were given an 'enhanced' security package amid heightened fears about the threat of attacks.
The move by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) came after the Commons vote on bombing Syria saw protests outside MPs' constituency offices and homes. There have also been concerns that backbenchers could be a soft target for Islamic State extremists.
Details of the extra security measures were not published, but they are thought to include more funding for alarms, locks and CCTV in constituencies and homes. Police carry out assessments of what risk MPs face.
Mr Cox and the couple's children drove a boat down the Thames yesterday, opposing Nigel Farage's 'flotilla'
+29Brendan, Ms Cox and the children lived on a houseboat on the River Thames when she was in London
Labour MP Ms Cox has been campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU in recent weeks
Mrs Cox voted in April for the UK to accept 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian child refugees, saying that she 'would risk life and limb to get my two precious babies out of that hellhole'
ATTACKER SAID TO HAVE SHOUTED 'BRITAIN FIRST' BUT WAS IT IN SUPPORT OF FAR-RIGHT PARTY?
Eyewitnesses claim the gunman shouted 'Britain first' as he carried out the horrific attack on Ms Cox.
Britain First is a group,which formed in 2011 and is led by former British national Party councillor Paul Golding. It is in favour of preserving what it deems 'traditional British culture' and is against immigration.
Ms Cox, a Labour politician, had been voting to 'Remain' in the EU ahead of the referendum.
It has raised suspicions that her attacker was opposing her political views when he fatally shot her.
However, Britain First has issued a statement denying any involvement or encouragement in the attack, suggesting that the phrase 'could have been a slogan rather than a reference to our party'.
A spokesman said: 'Britain First obviously is not involved and would never encourage behaviour of this sort.'
The watchdog authorised £77,234 of spending on additional security measures last year - more than double the sum in the previous 12 months.
Fellow MPs today sent their best wishes to their colleague as she remained in hospital.
Yvette Cooper wrote: 'Terrible, terrible news. Thoughts and prayers with good friend Jo & with her family.'
Boris Johnson added: 'Just heard the absolutely horrific news about the attack on Jo Cox MP. My thoughts are with Jo and her family.'
And Sadiq Khan tweeted: 'Shocked to hear terrible news about brilliant MP and friend Jo Cox. Thinking of her and praying for her and family.'
A Labour spokesperson said: 'We're aware of the incident that happened this afternoon. All our thoughts are with Jo Cox and her family. We cannot give any further updates at this time.
Read more: MP Jo Cox dies from injuries after she is shot by man who shouted 'Britain First' | Daily Mail Online
So. Are they going to label this guy a terrorist too? They should do.