The people of Batley put on a display of unity in solidarity with the family of MP Jo Cox.

Six days on from her shocking death four miles away in Birstall, thousands of people from all sections of the community turned out to celebrate her life, on what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Batley’s market place, close to her constituency office, played host to all those who wanted to pay tribute to the MP.

The occasion was one of six held simultaneously around the world for supporters and well-wishers, featuring songs, anecdotes and speeches.

Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater addresses the Batley crowd
Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater addresses the Batley crowd

A powerful message of love over hate was repeated by Jo’s widower, Brendan, sister Kim and speakers from local churches and schools.

Many were in tears as they watched widower Brendan speak about his late wife from the London memorial event on a large screen.

Kim said her sister’s life centred around helping people “from Batley to Burma and from the Spen Valley to Syria”.

She added: “My sister would want her murder to mobilise people to get on with things, to try to make a positive difference in whatever way we can, to come together and unite against hate and division and fight instead for inclusion, love and unity.”

Bilal Khan, 12, from Upper Batley High School, told the crowd: “She was an inspiration to us boys here in the Batley and Spen community, and also the whole entire world.”

A celebration of Jo Cox's life, held at Batley Market Place.
A celebration of Jo Cox's life, held at Batley Market Place.

Dewsbury MP, Paula Sherriff was again among the crowd to mark the death of her close colleague, along with fellow Yorkshire MPs Rachel Reeves and Dan Jarvis.

Ms Sherriff said it was “still hard to believe” that her friend was gone.

She said: “We’re grieving for Jo, that goes without saying.

“But we’re struggling to understand how we’ve come to this place where there’s so much hatred out there.

“We’re still in a sense of disbelief.

“In my office we’re going from being quite calm to just bursting out crying.

READ MORE: Who is Bernard Kenny? Meet the man who tried to save MP Jo Cox

READ MORE: Jo Cox died because of her strong political views, says her husband Brendan

Ms Sherriff said the public response to Jo’s death had been phenomenal.

“It’s really fitting that people have come together all over the world,” she said.

“It’s good for people to get together to share their thoughts and feelings.

“We can’t let Jo’s death be in vain. I’m more motivated than ever to tackle extremism and hate.

“I’m not going to go and hide away now. I’m determined to continue with Jo’s legacy.”

Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Jim Dodds, said: “It’s something you’d never imagine happening.

“I thought the tributes by Brendan and Kim were amazing, they were so strong.

“But we’ve got to make sure some good comes out of this.”

Jo Cox's parents at the celebration of their daughter's life
Jo Cox's parents at the celebration of their daughter's life

Kirklees Labour group leader, Clr Shabir Pandor, said: “Although Jo’s death has brought a lot of sorrow, her legacy must bring a lot of joy to people.

“Like she said, there’s a lot more that unites us, and we need to get behind that.”

Vicar at St Peter’s Parish Church, Birstall, Rev Paul Knight, will today hold another vigil in Birstall to mark a week since Jo Cox’s tragic death.

People are being invited to attend the market square at 12.50pm, the time she was attacked, and pay tribute until 1.48pm, the moment she was pronounced dead.

Rev Knight said: “The idea is to come and stand together and perhaps hold hands around the flowers.”