The widower of MP Jo Cox who was tragically killed last Thursday has claimed she died because of her “very strong” views - and was worried about the direction of British politics.

Brendan Cox said the public reaction to her death had been “off the scale” and had made a “really important contribution” to the healing process for the couple’s two children.

He indicated that he would like to see a female MP take Mrs Cox’s former Batley and Spen seat, suggesting that would be “lovely symbolism”.

Mr Cox said his wife had concerns about the culture of politics around the world: “I think she was very worried that the language was coarsening, that people were being driven to take more extreme positions, that people didn’t work with each other as individuals and on issues, it was all much too tribal and unthinking.”

Tributes are paid to Jo Cox MP

Expressing his thanks for the “incredible” public support following her death, he said: “The two things that I’ve been very focused on is how do we support and protect the children, and how do we make sure that something good comes out of this.

Read more: Overwhelming response to Jo Cox charity fund — here's how you can get involved

Read more: Jo Cox memorial fund raises over £1m in just four days

“And what the public support and outpouring of love around this does, is it also helps the children see that what they’re feeling and other people are feeling, that the grief that they feel, isn’t abnormal, that they feel it more acutely and more painfully and more personally, but that actually their mother was someone who was loved by lots of people and that therefore, it’s OK to be upset and it’s OK for them to cry and to be sad about it.”

Time Line

Jo Cox murder - how events unfolded

  1. How events unfolded during the day

    MP Jo Cox dies following shooting in Birstall - latest tributes

  2. The MP in profile

    Who is Jo Cox? The Batley and Spen MP in profile 

  3. Everything we know about what happened

    Jo Cox murder: everything we know so far 

  4. Eyewitness reports

    What happened to Jo Cox? Eyewitness claims attacker shouted 'Britain First' before shooting her three times 

  5. Britain First leader says killer 'probably wasn't a member' of far right group

    Britain First leader says Jo Cox attacker might have shouted 'is it time to put Britain first?" 

  6. Jo Cox has tragically died of her injuries

    Breaking: Jo Cox MP dies after attack in Birstall today 

  7. Jo Cox obituary

    Jo Cox obituary: Batley and Spen MP so proud to serve her home town 

  8. Jo Cox's husband Brendan's statement

    Jo Cox's husband's heartbreaking statement after MP's murder 

  9. Police statement in full

    Jo Cox murder: West Yorkshire Police's statement in full 

  10. Hero police tacked suspect despite being unarmed and not wearing stab vests

    Watch: Moment Jo Cox murder suspect is arrested by hero police

  11. Tears and sadness at the vigil in Jo's memory

    Jo Cox murder: Emotional vigil held in memory of Batley and Spen MP 

  12. Book of condolence opened in Batley

    Jo Cox murder: Moving tributes pour in for MP as book of condolence opened in Batley

  13. Leaders unite

    In pictures: David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn unite in Birstall tribute to Jo Cox 

  14. A local campaigner

    This is what Jo Cox did for her constituents... 

  15. More than £1,000,000 raised for Jo

    Overwhelming response to Jo Cox charity fund — here's how you can get involved 

  16. Online condolence book

    Leave your tribute to Jo Cox in online condolence book 

  17. Terrorism link probed

    Anti-terrorism officers probe Jo Cox murder suspect 

  18. Thomas Mair charged with murder

    Thomas Mair charged with murder of Jo Cox MP 

  19. Mair's first court appearance

    Jo Cox murder accused Thomas Mair gives name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain" in court 

  20. "He never spoke to anyone"

    Jo Cox murder: Accused Thomas Mair's house boarded up as neighbours describe their shock 

  21. Tributes from Jo's devastated family

    Jo Cox murder: MP's heartbroken family visit Birstall and thank hero who tried to save her 

  22. A hero tried to save her

    How a brave pensioner was stabbed trying to save Jo Cox 

  23. "A good Samaritan"

    Jo Cox was a 21st Century Good Samaritan 

  24. Main parties won't contest Batley and Spen seat

    Batley and Spen by-election: Labour will be allowed to keep the seat 

  25. MPs wore white roses in Jo's honour

    Opposing MPs may break with tradition to honour Jo Cox in the House of Commons 

  26. Hero Bernard Kenny who tried to save Jo

    Revealed: First picture of hero pensioner who made desperate bid to save MP Jo Cox's life 

  27. Tributes to Jo

    Light sculpture created for Jo Cox memorial service in Huddersfield tonight
  28. People pay tribute to Jo on her birthday

    Worldwide tributes planned for Jo Cox on her birthday 

  29. Mair's first appearance in crown court

    Jo Cox murder: Accused Thomas Mair appears at the Old Bailey court 

  30. MPs pay tribute in parliament

    Poignant tributes to murdered MP Jo Cox at Westminster 

  31. More than £1,000,000 in four days in Jo's memory

    Jo Cox memorial fund raises over £1m in just four days 

  32. Calls for Bernard to receive the highest honour

    Hero Bernard Kenny released from hospital four days after Jo Cox attack 

  33. Jo worked hard to support refugees

    Refugee Week: Five ways Jo Cox MP helped refugees