A WEEKEND of events to mark the first anniversary of the murder of local MP Jo Cox began this morning with a poignant Big Sing in Heckmondwike.

School pupils from across the Batley and Spen constituency, which Mrs Cox represented, gathered at 10am to sing a number of songs in memory of the mother-of-two, who was killed a year ago today.

Pupils from Spen Valley High School, as well as those from Heckmondwike Grammar, the school Mrs Cox attended, gathered at Heckmondwike Green to begin their musical performance.

Hundreds of youngsters sang together, including tracks such as Wings by Birdy, True Colours by Cyndi Lauper, and Julian Lennon's Saltwater.

Other schools involved were members of the Spenborough Co-operative Trust, such as Heckmondwike Primary, and Littletown, Roberttown and Hightown junior and infant schools.

Mrs Cox's family were in attendance, including her sister Kim Leadbeater.

Mrs Cox died on June 16 last year outside a constituency surgery at Birstall Library after being shot and stabbed by far right extremist Thomas Mair, who was later handed a whole-life prison sentence for her murder.

The Jo Cox Foundation, set up after her death, has been encouraging communities to hold their own events as part of The Great Get Together in celebration of Mrs Cox's belief that we all have more in common than that which divides us.

Speaking at the end of the event Ms Leadbeater thanked the pupils and said they were amazing.

"You've put Heckmondwike on the map - let's keep it on the map. You guys can do whatever you want, just keep believing in your dreams.

"Be proud of where you are from. Let's take our area and community forwards together with strength and with unity."


Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, she later added: "We didn't know what to do today, but my first instinct was to be in the community, and with the community that Jo loved, and that loved Jo.

"This community is what's got us through the last 12 months and will get us through today."

Tens of thousands of community events are expected to take place up and down the country over the weekend as part of The Great Get Together.

There will be street parties, picnics and bake-offs, a number of which are being held in the late MP's constituency of Batley and Spen.

In Bradford, a Great Get Together picnic and fun day will take place in City Park on Sunday between noon and 4pm.

In addition, the event will be followed by The Big Iftar from 8pm to 10pm, allowing those observing Ramadan to break their fast together.

For details of events near you, click here.