Thousands gather in London for Jo Cox vigil

  • 23/06/2016
People attend a special service for murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox, at Trafalgar Square in London (Reuters)
People attend a special service for murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox, at Trafalgar Square in London (Reuters)

Thousands of people have crowded into London's Trafalgar Square to pay tribute to MP Jo Cox, who was killed a week ago today.

Among those paying tribute was education activist Malala Yousafzai, herself a victim of an assassination attempt.

"Jo's life is proof that a message of peace is more powerful than any weapon of war. Once again the extremists have failed," she said.

Ms Cox's widower said her killing was an act of terror as he paid tribute to his late wife.

"Jo's killing was political. It was an act of terror designed to advance an agenda of hatred towards others," Brendan Cox said in a tearful speech.

"What a beautiful irony it is that an act designed to advance hatred has instead generated such an outpouring of love."

Cox's death has abruptly changed the tone of the final days of caustic campaign around a referendum on Britain's European Union membership, which takes place on Thursday, prompting a groundswell of support for a more positive campaign.

Cox's husband and their young son and daughter, whose London home was a houseboat, earlier waved to clapping crowds as they arrived by boat after mooring a dinghy filled with flowers in the River Thames outside the Houses of Parliament.

Before her election to parliament in May 2015, Cox had spent almost a decade working for aid agency Oxfam.

A fund set up in her memory has so far raised £1.3 million (NZ$2.66 million).

NZN