FRIENDS and supporters of murdered MP Jo Cox gathered for picnics and fetes in her memory.

The Batley and Spen MP was shot and stabbed by far-right terrorist Thomas Mair during the EU Referendum campaign on June 16 last year.

To commemorate the anniversary of her death, Brighton and Hove Labour politicians answered the calls of her widower Brendan, who wanted the weekend to celebrate everything the country had in common.

Tens of thousands of picnics, street parties and bake-offs took place up and down the country as part of the Great Get Together, backed by the Duchess of Cornwall and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

MP Peter Kyle, who sat next to Mrs Cox on the Commons’ benches, hosted a lunch on Hove Lawns with friends and other members of the Labour Party between noon and 3pm.

In Field House off Lewes Road, Brighton, a summer fete was planned and there were more picnics taking place in Norfolk Square Garden and Blakers Park.

Jill Stevens, 68, of Salisbury Road, Hove, attended the Hove Lawns picnic after getting to know Mrs Cox through the Labour Women’s Network campaign which helps more women train to stand in public office.

She said: “Jo was the first chairman of the network. I got to know her there in my role as communications officer for the campaign and we worked closely together. I knew her for about ten years, I think of her as a girl, she was a similar age to my children.

“She was a fantastic woman; energetic, honest, great fun, she was lovely.”

Peter Kyle said the event was a “meaningful legacy” for the “remarkable” Mrs Cox, who had become a close friend as well as a like-minded politician when they were elected at the same time.

He recalled fondly how she tried to help in finding him a partner.

He said: “She knew I was single and would try to set me up with her friends. She would ask me the kind of men I was interested in.

“I knew her very well, she was great fun and she was great bringing people together.

“We worked closely together and also saw each other socially. We were both former aid workers so immediately had that in common.

“When we were facing difficult decisions, debates or votes on key issues we used to meet and challenge each other’s views and arguments, testing each other’s thinking. We would go away, come back in 24 or 48 hours, and do it again.

“On the anniversary of her death I looked through the text conversations we had.

“These reminded me that she was funny, very maternal, caring and steely. It’s very important to remember she was a tough and professional politician.

“She was the type of MP I still aspire to be.

“I think the main message of this event is to talk and listen to people. Sometimes we are familiar with people’s faces but might not have met them before. For me, this is what community is all about.”

Mr Cox said he was “awed” by the way in which the UK had embraced his wish for communities to come together.

He enjoyed the sunshine in Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire, accompanied by his wife’s parents Gordon and Jean Leadbeater, her sister Kim and hundreds of people at the centre of the town in the heart of her constituency.

He said: “When we first thought about this we were thinking of just bringing some people together. We didn’t think it would have anything like the scale and the traction that it’s had. We’ve been awed by it.

“Of course it’s partly about Jo but, actually, I think it’s tapping into something more important even than that which is a sense that our communities want to come together again. Politics at the moment is so divisive. What Jo’s killing was designed to do was to tear our communities apart. I can think of no better response to that than a moment like this that brings our communities together – people from different backgrounds.”