County unites to mourn for Jo Cox and Orlando victims

At St Paul's Art Centre in Worthing a vigil was held for victims of the Orlando shootings and Jo Cox. Picture: Steve Robards
At St Paul's Art Centre in Worthing a vigil was held for victims of the Orlando shootings and Jo Cox. Picture: Steve Robards

Communities and figures across the county have paid tribute to MP Jo Cox and the victims of the Orlando shootings.

In Worthing, a vigil was held at St Paul’s Art Centre in Chapel Road on Friday which was organised by The Nice Party Facebook group.

The mayor and deputy mayor of Worthing attended the event along with members of the public, who lit candles and put out pride flags to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

There were also speeches by organiser Victoria Emerson and minister Andrew Fadaju.

Victoria said she was moved to organise the event after seeing news coverage of the Orlando massacre on television.

“I’m a mother with an eight-month-old girl, and you turn on the TV and think ‘gosh, what kind of world have I brought my daughter into? What is she going to grow up around?’

“But then you remember that 90 per cent are actually lovely, peace-loving people, and I thought ‘let’s get those peace-loving people together to show our support’.”

Sara Collins started two books of condolence for the deceased, and plans to send them to the American embassy in London and the Labour Party headquarters.

The Arun Gay Society also offered their condolences.

A statement said: “Members of the Arun Gay Society offer their heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the friends and families of all those who were senselessly killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.”

You turn on the TV and think ‘gosh, what kind of world have I brought my daughter into? What is she going to grow up around?’

Victoria Emerson

The incident will also be raised at their next meeting, held on July 2, with a view to organising their own tribute.

Michael Northeast, who is a Labour councillor for Littlehampton Town Council and Arun District Council, paid tribute to fellow party member Jo Cox.

He said: ‘It’s so sad that it takes something as tragic as this to change the public perception of MPs and councillors from corrupt, self-opinionated gold diggers to just ordinary people willing to stand up and champion their local communities.

“People who are trying to ensure they are the loving, caring neighbourhoods we all strive to protect, promote and live in.

“We have lost a very brave mum, wife and MP. So very, very sad. Rest in peace Jo Cox; so much still to give.”