Accused murderer of Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, tells court his name is "death to traitors"

 
Jake Cordell
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Thomas Mair arrives at court to be charged with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox
Thomas Mair arrives at court to be charged with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox (Source: Getty)

Thomas Mair, who is accused of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox, told a courtroom his name was "death to traitors, freedom for Britain," in an appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning.

The 52 year-old man repeated the statement when asked by the judge before refused to tell the court his real name and remaining silent when asked his date of birth and address, according to those present. Mair was remanded in custody for a bail hearing at the Old Bailey which will take place on Monday.

Mair was arrested almost immediately after the horrific attack on Cox, which happened after she held a constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire on Thursday. The Labour MP was shot and stabbed in the street, while another 77-year old man was hospitalised as he "bravely intervened" to try to break-up the attack.

Read more: Jo Cox's brutal killing is an attack on democracy

Reports from at least one witness at the scene claim the person who attacked Cox shouted "Britain first" or "put Britain first" as they were carrying out the brutal attack. There was speculation as to whether it was a reference to the far-right nationalist party of the same name.

Subsequent reports claim "Nazi regalia" was found at Mair's house in police searches following his arrest on Thursday.

The political world was united in grief at the abhorrent attack, with prime minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appearing together at a vigil in Cox's Batley and Spen constituency to pay tribute. Parliament will be recalled on Monday so that fellow MPs can pay their own respects.

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An online appeal set up to raise money for charities supported by Cox surpassed its £250,000 target within a matter of hours, with more than 9,000 people having donated money to The Royal Voluntary Service, Hope not Hate, and the White Helmets. The running total - at time of writing - stands at £278,750.

Cox had only joined parliament in 2015 having been a human rights campaigner and charity worker previously. The prime minister said he first met her on a trip to Darfur in 2006 where she was working to support refugees. Chancellor George Osborne credited her with changing government policy over its response to the Syrian crisis.

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