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THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 2016


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7 News More In Common event celebrates Jo Cox ‘WE ARE FAR more united


and have far more in common than that which divides us.’ Thus ran the words of Jo Cox’s maiden speech to the House of Commons following her election in May 2015. Already influential, the Labour MPs words became a rallying call for mutual tolerance and inclusivity across the UK following her murder by a right wing extremist thirteen months after giving her speech and just days before her 42nd birthday. On Saturday (Sep 3) in the Castle


Rooms near St Michael’s Church, around fifty people came together in a simple celebration of Jo Cox and the uniting sentiment that she had expressed. The


Kelvin Mason Aberystwyth Reporter kelvin.mason@herald.email


event in Aberystwyth coincided with many others around the UK, including in her home town of Batley in Yorkshire, the constituency she represented. The Hope Not Hate charity also organised More In Common events in Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and Leeds among other places. In Batley, Jo’s sister, Kim, told those assembled, ‘This is the type of day Jo would have loved – the community she loved coming together.’ More In Common is a national


campaign to bring communities back together in response to the hatred


unleashed in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU. It is driven by Hope Not Hate, a charity sponsored by the Jo Cox Fund which was set up following her death. Supporters of More In Common held over 80 community and public events around the country at the weekend. From community fun days and picnics to estate clean ups and strangers meeting to talk over cups of tea, thousands of people united together to celebrate what they had in common and, if needs be, discuss their differences. Supporters in the Aberystwyth area


had planned a picnic at the castle, but gale force winds and driving rain meant a last minute change of plan. One of the event organisers, Ian Bell, told the


Herald: “It was very fortunate that St Mike’s were able to come to the rescue and the event was re-located to the Castle Rooms at very short notice.“ All those who attended the event


enjoyed an indoor picnic and were encouraged to have a cup of tea with someone they had not met before. Although it was not compulsory, everyone joined in the spirit of the event and chatted with a stranger, or at least someone they didn’t know so well. Town and county councillor Alun


Williams told the Herald: “It was great to see such a good turnout in Aberystwyth for this UK-wide initiative inspired by the words of Jo Cox. We could all do with being reminded of those words at times and it was good to see people


in Aberystwyth understanding this important message and supporting the event.“ Co-organiser Rachel Seabrook,


echoed Alun Williams’ sentiment: “ It was lovely to see people coming together and sharing a cup of tea and a chat. Aberystwyth is a very friendly and welcoming community, and it’s great to celebrate that.“ The gathering was entertained by Cr


Gobaith who sang songs of tolerance, peace and justice, including a rousing chorus welcoming refugees to Britain. Ian Bell concluded: ‘It was an


extremely positive event and the organisers would like to thank everyone who came and made their own unique contribution. Diolch o galon i chi gyd.’


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