Shocking killing of Jo Cox

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Statement from the Socialist Party in England and Wales

The shocking killing of Labour MP Jo Cox it seems while conducting her constituency surgery has appalled millions. The Socialist Party completely condemns this act of brutal violence.

At this stage there is very limited information about the motivations of the man who killed her. However, reports have alleged that he repeatedly shouted ‘Britain First’ as he attacked, indicating that perhaps he was motivated by nationalism or racism.

If this was the case, even if he was not part of any organised right-wing group, big-business politicians on both sides of the referendum debate have dangerously whipped up racism and anti-migrant feelings.

Many planning to vote remain are doing so because they are repelled by the ‘little Englanders’ of the official leave campaign.

But Cameron and co are also competing to show who can talk toughest on migration. The groundswell of support for exit, the position supported by the Socialist Party, is in large part working class people taking an opportunity to show their opposition to the Tories and the capitalist establishment.

Nonetheless, a mass independent working class voice – arguing for a united struggle against austerity and racism – has not been heard in the referendum campaign.

As a result there is a danger, whatever the outcome of the referendum, that there could be an increase in violent attacks, particularly against migrants and ethnic minorities.

The workers movement needs to build a powerful movement to push back any growth by the far right as has been done repeatedly in the past.

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