Helen Joanne Cox (née Leadbeater; 22 June 1974 – 16 June 2016) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Batley and Spen from May 2015 until her murder in June 2016. She was a member of the Labour Party.
Born in Batley, West Yorkshire, Cox studied Social and Political Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Working first as a political assistant, she joined the international humanitarian charity Oxfam in 2001, where she became head of policy and advocacy at Oxfam GB in 2005. She was selected to contest the Batley and Spen parliamentary seat after the incumbent, Mike Wood, decided not to stand in 2015. She held the seat for Labour with an increased majority. Cox became a campaigner on issues relating to the Syrian civil war, and founded and chaired the all-party parliamentary group Friends of Syria.
On 16 June 2016, Cox died after being shot and stabbed multiple times in the street in the village of Birstall, where she had been due to hold a constituency surgery. Thomas Mair, who held far-right views, was found guilty of her murder in November and sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.In July 2021, Cox's sister, Kim Leadbeater, was elected as the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, following a by-election.
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