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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
British MP Jo Cox Dies After Being stabbed and Shot; Labour Party Leader Pays Tribute to Jo Cox; President Obama Speaks on Orlando Massacre. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired June 16, 2016 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time in 26 years a British politician's been killed while in office. Shot and stabbed to
death in the middle of a quiet English street. With a country locked in a bitter political debate that's now united in grief for Jo Cox member of
Parliament. As tonight her colleagues and her peers share their memories of a rising political star.
I'm Richard Quest, live in northern England in Stoke-on-Trent. Our special coverage of the murder of Jo Cox begins now.
A very good evening to you from Stoke-on-Trent. Tonight the United Kingdom, which has been divided on the question of Europe is coming
together, united in grief and shock. The murder of Jo Cox, a member of Parliament. Jo Cox was a rising star in Britain's Parliament representing
Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire.
She was murdered in broad daylight. Shot and stabbed on the very streets of her own constituency. Shortly after meeting the people that she
represented and that she was helping. Jo Cox is the first sitting British lawmaker to be killed since 1990, when the IRA assassinated Ian Gow, a
The police have arrested a 52-year-old man. Official say they are not looking for other suspects and an investigation into the killer's motives
is now under way. Cox was a supporter of the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. Just a week to go. In fact, this time next week the
polls will be almost ready to close in the so-called Brexit referendum. But out of respect, out of decency, out of decorum, the leave in the remain
camps have both halted their campaigning tonight.
The tributes to the late Jo Cox have been, obviously, pouring in. And a picture of her is merging of a woman, of an MP, of a mother, admired and
loved in death as in life. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has led the nations tributes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news in my thoughts all with Jo's husband Brendan and the two
children and their wider family. We've lost a great star. She was a MP, great campaigning MP with huge compassion. With a big heart and people are
going to be very, very sad at what has happened. Dreadful, dreadful news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Throughout the hour we're going to give you all the details that we got. We will discuss what might have been the motive, and we will bring
you -- take you to the scene, if you like. Hithem Ben-Abdallah owns the nearby Azerdo (ph) restaurant, and rushed to the scene after the first shot
and saw what happened. Hithem Ben-Abdallah joins me on the line. Can you hear me first of all?
HITHEM BEN-ABDALLAH, EYEWITNESS TO ATTACK (via telephone): Yes, Richard, I can. How are you?
QUEST: I very well, these are difficult days, sir. But tell us what happened? What did you see?
BEN-ABDALLAH: I was sitting in the restaurant with customers talking, sort of having a nice lazy peaceful morning if you like, lunch. Talking over
England and Wales match. That's the topic, Richard. And all of a sudden I could hear screaming of all many people. And then I turned around to the
front window. I saw passing by a huge number of people rushing down Birstall Street -- Market Street in Birstall. In front of me and in front
of the restaurant and basically it was like following the Torero in Spain. It's like that. Not in that thickness, if you like, Richard.
We rushed out and the customers to have a look what's going on. I saw man with a white -- like a dirty white baseball cap with the gray short coat
and wrestling with somebody else. And he appeared to sort of like be kicking or hitting somebody and pulling something as well in between two
[16:05:00] So there must be somebody there that he was hitting and kicking that I couldn't see, you know, in between two cars next to the curb. First
of all, I thought it was just a domestic violence. You know, a man and his wife or girlfriend or whatever, and somebody tried sort of like pull them
apart. We never thought much of it.
And then I we got back to the restaurant we heard another scream of the crowd and then that we were interested in finding out what we will was
going on. Then the guy with the with the white cap. He was somebody else, an Asian guy, Pakistani guy tried to restrain him. He pulled the gun, the
guy, the white guy pulled the gun from his bag. And he tried to cock it. It's about the size of a cucumber, actually, an average cucumber gun. And
it looked like an old aged, vintage firearm. Not a shotgun or something like that, or a makeshift sort of like a handgun. Handmade or something
like that. It's not a proper gun that we usually see on TV, Richard.
So the next minute we knew --
QUEST: Let me jump in here. Let me jump in here, Hithem, Mr. Abdallah. So you arrive at the scene. You see this altercation. You see the gun and
you see this whole other person who seems to be about to be attacked. At this point you didn't have any real idea of what was going on.
BEN-ABDALLAH: I could see foot in between two cars. So he was hitting somebody that is in-between two cars. Do you know what I mean?
QUEST: I do. And when did you discover what had actually happened? When did somebody tell you this was of course, Jo Cox who had been attacked.
BEN-ABDALLAH: When I heard the first shot and the second shot. When I heard the first shot and between the first shot and the second shot there
was about four or five seconds. No more than five seconds. For the first shot we saw a black hidden away to the back of the restaurant. And then
when he heard the second shot we just saw a black wave a little bit right around the back. Twenty, thirty seconds no more, and then we ventured out.
We ventured out again, out of the restaurant towards the library, which is next door to me. And basically we saw the crowd getting nearer and nearer
and screaming and crying and everything else.
I didn't recognize her. I never thought she was Jo Cox. I saw a lady laying down on the road away from the curb about six foot or five foot and
a half. And she was sacked with her knees up and leaning on her arm with her head held back. And her hair roughed up. She must have been pulled by
her hair as well. And blood running from her face and running down her leg. It's absolutely sad. I could not believe -- later on they told me Jo
Cox. I could not believe it. I really could not believe it. I mean within hindsight with. Now you may think you know you would join the guy,
I did not know. I thought it was just a domestic fight. I never thought that is gun in the bag.
QUEST: All right, let me jump in here. Let me jump in here. Jo Cox was your local MP well loved, well respected, we're going to be talking to one
of her fellow members of Parliament in just a moment, but from your perspective tonight, sir --
I know Jo very well. In fact, we exchanged email together on security matters. And she's a really a good lady. She's an example for the youth
as far as politics is concerned. I mean, she's the people -- she's a model, honestly. As far as the English politics is concerned. And she's
well respected. I mean she served the community very well. And we campaigned together, you know, for the last elections. I helped her as
much as I could, you know, with the Labour Party elections.
Thank you very much for joining us Hithem Ben-Abdallah. I appreciate your perspective on that. That is the events that were happening on the streets
of Birstall when the attack -- when the murder took place. You heard it in detail.
[16:10:00] Now Rob Fiello is a member of Parliament for the Labour Party. He represents Stoke-on-Trent where we are this evening. Condolences to you
and of course, your party and your members of your party, what has been an ordeal of unimaginable proportions. But I do need to start -- tell me
about Jo Cox. She was a fellow member of Parliament.
ROBERT FIELLO, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: Absolutely, you know, we're all in an absolute state of shock. But can I first of all just
say, prayers and thoughts are with Brendan and the children, the family and of course with Jo herself. We are all deeply shocked. Jo, well, she was a
tiny figure just next to me. I mean, I'm not a small guy, and standing next to Jo, she was almost a dot in figure, in size. But actually in
personality, in energy, she was a giant. She dominated everybody around doing the same stuff. She was such a light.
QUEST: Your dealings with her would have been as a fellow in the tea rooms in conversations like.
FIELLO: Absolutely, I mean, this week -- saw her only last week chatting to her while we waited to vote about children. He was saying about
schooling of the children -- future schooling of their children. About one was very well. Just these conversations you would have, but you could see
the passion even just talking about day-to-day things. The passion came from her was amazing, it was fantastic.
QUEST: She only came into Parliament in 2015. But had a disproportionate importance. And if you like influence, perhaps because of how work with
Sarah Brown and then the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Perhaps also because of our work with Oxfam for many years.
FIELLO: I don't think it was the people she worked with. I think it was her. I think the fact of Jo had such energy, such drive, such passion to
change the world. Ultimately we all go into politics really was to change things. But Jo had got that in bucketful's. I mean, such energy, such
drive. Wasn't going to let anything like her being only less than a year into Parliament to step in the way. She wasn't that sort of person.
QUEST: Was she headed for high office?
FIELLO: Well, we'll now tragically never know will we. This is a huge sadness. Whatever she was going to do in the future of her life she would
have succeeded at. But we will now never know. We've been robbed really, of the talents that she had to bring.
QUEST: One of the issues that is coming out this evening, and we'll talk about the referendum in just a moment. Because that almost seems
incidental at the moment. But it's a question of security for people like yourself. I mean, you're a larger chap, but MPs in Britain do not have
anything like the full scale security. Do you think that need to be revised and rethought?
FIELLO: The short answer is no. Because I don't think we can allow the behavior of individuals to stop us thinking connection our constituents. I
mean, I live around the corner from here. I shop in the local shops. I talk to people. You know, I was only in the shop the other day and
somebody asked me about the European Union referendum. I was in one of the local schools this morning. We have to have that connection. If we don't
have that connection, then actually people like the perpetrator win and we can allow that.
QUEST: Well on this question, there's a lot of talk now about this referendum. The atmosphere and the poison and the toxic environment --
look, I've covered a few elections in my time, and you been in a few elections in your time. And we've never seen anything quite as bad as
FIELLO: No, I think you're right. I think actually what were seen though is a process. I think over the years, I was first elected in 2005, and I
think over even that short period of time, the amount of poison that actually seems to have gotten into the wider public. When they talk to
politicians, you know, we should be treated in some special way. But just actually, it's the opposite. That almost the common courtesies of life
seem to have disappeared.
QUEST: But that's to each other. I mean, just look at how you -- not you personally -- but look at how the two sides have described each other in
the course of this referendum. Liars, hypocrites, cheats, two fingers up, you name it.
FIELLO: It is shocking and shameful and I think one of the things I really hope that comes from this is we all take a long hard look at ourselves.
The two campaigns take a long hard look and actually start to calm things down. Actually say, look, we cannot allow this level of vitriol. Have an
engagement, have an argument, have a discussion, have a debate, but play the argument. Don't play the player. Don't take the personal and really
down to that level of abuse. That's wrong. If we have a discussion and disagree about something let's have a chat afterwards and be friends going
about it. Let's not put such poison against each other. And that's what we've seen in this campaign. And as I say all too sadly, it's what we see
time and time again.
[16:15:00] QUEST: I wish I didn't have to ask the next question, but I do. Because we are one week away from probably the single biggest decision that
most of us will vote on in this country. How, if at all sir, and feel free to say not at all, how does today's events at factor into what will be next
week for the vote?
FIELLO: I hope that no party and no side of this argument in any way tries to use this appalling, disgusting tragedy that happened to Jo and her
family, I hope that nobody tries to. But you know what? If anybody does, they deserve to lose this. That would be unspeakable. What I do hope
though is actually we can calm this debate down. We can have a proper rational argument and discussion and if we disagree we disagree. Let's
have the debate. Let's have a discussion and come to whatever conclusion the British people come to next week in a rational way. If nothing else,
for the memory of Jo, let's actually start taking some of this poison out of politics.
FIELLO: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you very much. Now we will continue our coverage in just a moment, around the world, around the clock. It's CNN, good evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: We need to come together and express our deepest condolences to Jo and her family. We've lost a wonderful
woman. We've lost a wonderful member of Parliament, but our democracy will go on. Her work will go on. As we mourn her memory, we'll work in her
memory to achieve that better world she spent her life trying to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That's the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Jo Cox was highly regarded across the political spectrum in Westminster, according to
her colleagues. She'd also been named a young global leader, a YGL, at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009. Over a career of campaigning on
humanitarian issues, she lived in New York, Brussels and London where she had worked for Oxfam. She lived on a houseboat on the River Thames with
her husband and two young children. And perhaps the best way to learn about Jo Cox is to hear her own words. During her first speech, her maiden
speech in parliament, she said how proud she was of her hometown's diversity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JO COX, LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: And as we celebrate our diversity the thing that surprises me time and time again as I travel around the
constituency, is that we are far more united, and have far more in common than that which divides us. My constituency is also home to Fox's
biscuits, and Lion Confectionery, as I'm sure you will not think it's an indulgence, Mister Speaker, if I described Batley and Spen as a
constituency with an industrial heart wrapped in a very rich and pleasant Yorkshire landscape. Geographical, historical, and cultural.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:20:12] QUEST: Pleasant Yorkshire landscape from West Yorkshire. Her husband, Brendan Cox, released a statement urging people to fight against
the hatred that killed his wife. Mister Cox said that she had lived a meaningful life. It is worth hearing his words in full. "Jo believed in a
better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. Joe would have no
regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full."
So we now need to discuss and find out what the latest on the investigation is. CNN's Nic Robertson is in Birstall for us tonight. Good evening, Nic.
We know a man in his 50s is in custody. Do we know anything more about the motive for this attack?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We don't and of course that is a question that everyone who is passing right here is asking us.
They say they're disgusted. Some say they're angry. They all say they're shocked. You can tell they're shocked just by listening to the way they
talk. They're struggling to understand it. What I can tell you is about 15 minutes' walk up the hill on the edge of this very pretty Yorkshire town
is an area of housing, it's relatively new, relatively new housing, relatively low cost housing. And there is a house there right now that's
cordoned off by the police.
There are police standing guard outside of it. Forensic police officers have been spotted going into the premises. It's not clear what the
linkages between the murder here today and this premise. But were not aware of any other location other than this one in the center of town,
Market Square here where the murder took place that are cordoned off and being searched right now. But 15 minutes' walk up the hill, I just took it
to that house. That is now clearly a place of interest for the police. They are searching it right now. We don't know more than this. But it may
yet be part of the puzzle and provide something of the clue as to what motivated the killer. What happened precisely earlier on today.
QUEST: Nic, this is part of the country I'm very familiar with. I grew up in Leeds just a few miles from where you are. And when I think of the sort
of the local residents, they are reserved in fashion. They are a few of words. But this will be affecting the community very deeply tonight isn't
ROBERTSON: Richard, indeed. We both share Yorkshire roots. I grew up and was a teenager not so far from here in Sheffield. Sheffield, Leeds, and
this neighborhood very familiar to both of us. What we know about Jo Cox and what the people who've talked about and said about her, she was quite,
if you will, typical of the Yorkshire molds here. Clear spoken, speaking clearly and strongly on issues she held close to her heart. And yes, this
is a community where people won't come in necessarily bound over to you and then hold a conversation with you as soon as you step foot out of the door.
And they will be more reserved. And they certainly will be talking to each other tonight about it. And they are. They're standing on the street
corners. I'm looking around me here. Talking to each other about it right now, young and old here.
Everyone's got that question on their minds. And yes, she was a product of this area. You know, the statue where the flowers are being laid, a
memorial of her tonight is of an alumnus of this town. An alum of this town if you will, whose name is perhaps faded into history, Joseph
Priestley. Not many people will know, 1733. He was a man who first discovered oxygen. Yorkshire has perhaps been forgotten on the map for
many people. But this is a town that has deep and historic roots. And people of this town have been proud of it.
I spoke to a young couple here before we heard Jo Cox there speaking about how diverse the community is here. This young couple told me exactly the
same. They're from the neighboring village. They wanted to come here and pay their respects. And they talked about the diverse nature of this area
and that's what binds it together. They said they're absolutely shocked and horrified and wondering like everyone else, Richard.
QUEST: Nic Robertson who is in Birstall, and we'll talk more, Nic, and the moment there is more details please come back to us and report.
[16:25:00] Jo Cox was killed. She was on her way to a meeting with constituents. It's part of the everyday duties, the obligations, if you
like. The responsibilities of a member of Parliament. Security at such events, they are known as surgeries, there is no medical aspect to it. But
an MP has a surgery when they meet their constituents and give advice and deal with their problems. But security at such events is pretty much
Stephen Park is the managing director of Global Security Resources Limited, and joins me now. We heard earlier in this program the MP for Stoke-on-
Trent says, look, he doesn't want more security. He doesn't want a barrier between him and his constituents, but we may be headed in this direction.
STEPHEN PARK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GLOBAL SECURITY RESOURCES LIMITED: Well, it's a brutal murder, that is for sure. And I empathize and sympathize
with the family itself, but yes, I have to agree. The moment you put security in the way of a public figure, let's give a -- for example, the
royal family. They do not want security around them, particularly. However, I'm afraid is necessary these days.
This is a local meeting, one of 650 that could be happening around the country any one time. And therefore is it realistic to be able to offer
security to every single MP that's holding a surgery.
QUEST: Stephen, I mean you raised the issue of course of that. Now we know that major figures in political life to get full court security, but I
guess the real issue is whether the narrative has changed. That we can no longer in the same way in many cases as British bobbies, the policeman, are
not routinely armed, we have to think differently. Do you think that time has arrived?
PARK: Yes, I think we have to think differently, but I don't think we need to knee-jerk reaction to quickly neither. I think what we need to do is to
basically have some degree of point system. Some sort of risk management in place that says when do we need somebody in sensitive times. We could
not be more sensitive times at the moment. Even though there is no relationship between the killing today and the any matters of terrorism.
Of course, it's a lone-wolf killer. However, that does not mean to say that we have not got some, if you want, crazy people out there who are
prepared to do some crazy things. In this instance is clearly what happened. We have very, very tight gun laws, which suggest we do not
normally need, or would we expect that somebody would produce a gun at a meeting like this.
QUEST: Stephen Park, joining us from London. We thank you, sir, for giving us the perspective of this evening. We'll continue our coverage of
the appalling murder. There is no other word for tonight, of a British member of Parliament. A member of Parliament going about her ordinary
constituency business. The business of democracy before she was killed.
[16:30:50] QUEST: I'm Richard Quest, there's coverage in depth of the murder of the British MP, Jo Cox in the hours ahead. But before we go any
further I do need to bring you up to date on that and the other top news headlines for the hour.
Britain is morning Jo Cox. She's the member of Parliament of Batley and Spen in Yorkshire. Cox was murdered in broad daylight. Shot and stabbed
in her local constituency. The police say they have a 52-year-old man in custody and are not looking for additional suspects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BURNS WILLIAMSON, POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR WEST YORKSHIRE: That information is that this is a localized incident. Albeit one that has
a much wider impact. I must stress that investigations are ongoing and a man has been arrested. And we need to let the police do their job in
understanding exactly what has happened that's led to this hugely tragic incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: the cockpit voice recorder from EgyptAir 804 has been located. The Egyptian investigative committee says the device was damaged and is being
sent to Egypt for analysis. It's believed that the important memory part is intact. On Wednesday the Egyptian government said it found the wreckage
of the plane that went down in the Mediterranean Sea nearly a month ago.
The Iraqi military says it's forces are closing in on ISIS and Falluja, and Dave advanced into the center of the city fighting off a series of ISIS
suicide bombers and car bombs. Twenty-five percent of Falluja has been recaptured as a push to liberate the entire city.
The director of the CIA says ISIS remains as dangerous as ever despite the gains against the terror being made on the battlefield. He was testifying
before Congress when John Brennan said, "potential ISIS attacks in the West remain a major concern."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, DIRECTOR, CIA: We'd judge that ISOL is training and attempting to deploy operatives from further attacks. ISOL has a large
cadre of Western fighters who can potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. And the group is probably exploring a variety of
means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including in refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: President Obama has been in Florida this afternoon. He was to be meeting with the grieving families of the victims of the nightclub
massacre. He consoles survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The president said Americans must work together to prevent
further atrocities. You're going to hear the full comments of the president as soon as we have them. That'll be in the next half an hour.
British politicians have been bitterly divided over the past couple of months. Divided over referendum on the country's future in the European
Union. But tonight they are united in horror and in grief. The British Prime Minister David Cameron sent out a tweet. He said, "The death of Jo
Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children." Jo Cox's leader of the
party, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn said, "The whole of the Labour family, and indeed the whole country is in shock and grief at the horrific
murder of Jo Cox."
In Europe leaders are also expressing that distress of the events the vice president of the European Commission and the high representative for
foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, tweeted, "All my thoughts with the family and friends of Jo Cox, with U.K. Labour, with all people of the
In the United States. The former Congresswoman and herself a survivor of an assassination, Gabrielle Giffords, said she was, "Absolutely sickened to
hear of the assassination of Jo Cox. She was young, courageous, and hard- working. A rising star, mother, and wife."
[16:35:00] CNN's Hala Gorani now reports on this brutal attack that claim the life of Jo Cox.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): British member of Parliament, Jo Cox, was attacked in her constituency in northern England shortly after
noon on Thursday. Local media say a man shot and stabbed her outside a library in Birstall near Leeds where she was meeting local people.
Eyewitnesses described hearing screams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They weren't normal screams. They were like panicking, and then like the moment I heard there was a woman lying on the floor.
GORANI: a man in his 50s was arrested at the scene, and a number of weapons recovered by police. Cox was taken to a nearby hospital, but
doctors couldn't save her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEE COLLINS, TEMPORARY CHIEF CONSTABLE, WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE: I'm now very sad to have to report that she has died as a result of her injuries.
Before going into further detail I would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends at this tragic time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Police say another man at the scene was lightly wounded. Cox has been an MP since last May, a member of the opposition Labour Party.
JEREMY CORBYN, U.K. LABOUR LEADER: We've lost a wonderful woman. We've lost a wonderful member of Parliament, but our democracy will go on. Her
work will go on.
GORANI: Cox, like most in her party supported Britain staying in the European Union. She has been vocal on the issue ahead of a referendum on
it next week. Cox's family were out campaigning on a flotilla on the River Thames yesterday. Since the news of the shooting, both the "Leave" and
"Remain" camps announced that they would suspend their campaigns.
Prime minister David Cameron canceled his planned rally in Gibraltar Thursday night saying, "It is right that all campaigning has been stopped
after the terrible attack on Jo Cox." A local counselor, who knew Cox, spoke to CNN shortly after the attack.
LISA HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR, LIVERSEDGE AND GOMERSAL (via telephone): And absolutely stunned. And as you probably would realize I'm
incredibly upset as well. You know, a young woman being attacked in this way she also had a husband and children and family. It's heartbreaking.
GORANI: just hours later Cox's husband tweeted this picture of her along the River Thames. The motive of her attacker is not yet clear.
QUEST: Joining me now is Martin Tideswell. He's the editor-in-chief of the Stoke Sentinel newspaper. Good to see you, sir, we should be talking
under happier circumstances. We need to sort of put this into the context of the current political environment in this country at the moment.
Explain how you see it.
MARTIN TIDESWELL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE STOKE SENTINEL: Today's awful tragedy has united the United Kingdom. And we've paused I think, Richard,
for a moment. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of Jo Cox and all of her friends. That's the most important thing today.
And I'm very pleased to see that the debates on the EU referendum has paused. It has been a time of reflection. Because the reality is that Jo
Cox should not be used as a political football.
QUEST: Yes, that I can understand. That pause for reflection comes about because things have got so bad in many ways. How bad have they got?
Explain to our viewers.
TIDESWELL: You know, Richard, it's been breathtaking at times. The vitriol, the scam mongering from both sides. No one comes out of this with
any credit really. And it's very, very difficult for the British people I believe, to make a considered judgment based on some of the arguments and
the issues put forward by either the remain camp or the leave camp at the moment.
QUEST: Do you subscribe at all to the view that although there is -- we don't know in this case -- whether or there is a link between it. But, you
know, we can take for example, Orlando, the murders there, the mass murders there. And we can take other examples that when political discourse
becomes rabble rousing. It is inevitable that there are very serious consequences like this.
TIDESWELL: I would take the view that if an individual takes it upon themselves to commit a crime, they're going to do it irrespective of their
views. I would hate any of the parties or sides in this debate to be tied with the brush. This was an act of alone individual and obviously a --
QUEST: Right, a lone individual, but an environment and an atmosphere is fostered of one of hatred.
TIDESWELL: I would certainly say that it has been a very passionate and at times hateful debate. I think both sides of been guilty of scaremongering.
I think some of the personal criticism has been brutal. I think that has not been seen in in British politics before. You know as well as I do how
heated general elections are, but this is different. This is somehow different.
[16:40:00] QUEST: You know, your paper the "Stoke Sentinel" has been covering this. I mean in this part of the country, which is why we
originally here despite the appalling weather, which it seems to be over a large parts of Britain. What is the that the predominant view here? In or
out of EU.
TIDESWELL: I would say that you were to talk to the business community here on Stoke-on-Trent, I think that they are broadly speaking pro-EU.
They see the benefits. They admit the problems. But I have to say that in the letters page of my newspaper have been very reflective of the readers
and they have been in the main pro-Brexit.
QUEST: Finally, how will you write your editorial for your next addition? Concerning the Brexit, concerning Jo Cox, what we you be saying?
TIDESWELL: I think we would be remembering that today we lost the rising star politics. I think politics would be better off with more Jo Cox, and
that's how we leave it, Richard. Thank you so much for your time.
QUEST: Thank you, sir, for coming in this evening.
We continue our coverage tonight. This is CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: The full detail of what happened outside Jo's constituency surgery in Birstall this afternoon, are not yet
clear. And until the facts have been fully established I will not comment further. It is entirely appropriate that all campaigning for the
referendum has been suspended. All of us are united in our deep sadness at the loss of one of our brightest and most popular Westminster colleagues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That's the Home Secretary, Theresa May, the British Interior Minister speaking earlier. Political life in the UK has effectively come
to a halt. Both sides of the Brexit debate have suspended campaigning and so far there is no word on when they intend to resume. Now it also
includes the British Prime Minister. He was meant to be in Gibraltar, which is a territory of the United Kingdom that is also eligible to vote in
this referendum. The Prime Minister has tweeted, cancelled the stronger in Gibraltar rally.
The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, scrapped a speech that he was due to give at the mansion house. The Bank of England said, in the light
of the dreadful attack on Jo Cox. He was due to give an annual speech on financial services, but that has been canceled. Listen to the governor in
his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK CARNEY, BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR: on behalf of everyone at the Bank of England I would like to express our horror at today's events in West
[16:45:00] our thoughts, our condolences and our prayers are with Jo Cox's husband, her two young children, her extended family and her colleagues.
Though I did not know Jo Cox personally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now to the President of the United States, who's been visiting Orlando and meeting those affected by the massacre.
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Four days ago, this community was shaken by an evil and hateful act. Today, we are reminded of what is good -- that
there is compassion and empathy and decency and most of all, there is love.
That's the Orlando that we've seen in recent days and that is the America that we have seen. This afternoon, the vice president and I had the
opportunity to meet with many of the families here. As you might imagine, their grief is beyond description. Through their pain and through their
tears, they told us about the joy that their loved ones had brought to their lives. They talked about their sons or their daughters, so many
young people in their 20s and 30s, so many students who were focused on the future.
One young woman was just 18 years old. Another said -- her father -- was a happy girl with so many dreams.
There were siblings there talking about their brothers and their sisters, and how they were role models that they looked up to. There were husbands
and wives who had taken a solemn vow, fathers and mothers who gave their full heart to their children.
These families could be our families. In fact, they are our family. They're part of the American family. And today, the vice president and I
told them on behalf of the American people that our hearts are broken, too, and that we stand with you, and that we are here for you, and that we are
remembering those who you loved so deeply. As a nation, we've also been inspired by the courage of those who risked their lives and cared for others. Partners whose last moments were spent
shielding each other. The mother who gave her life to save her son. The former Marine whose quick thinking saved dozens of lives.
Joe and I had the chance to thank Mayor Dyer, Chief Mina, Sheriff Demings, all of -- responded in heroic ways. The outstanding police and first
responders who were able to, through their professionalism and quick response, rescue so many people.
We also owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the doctors and all the nurses who have worked day and night to treat the injured, save lives, and
prevent even more anguish. As one of the doctors here said, "After the worst of humanity reared its ugly head, the best of humanity came roaring
Let me give that quote more precisely, "After the worst of humanity reared its evil head, the best of humanity came roaring back."
Now, if we're honest with ourselves, if in fact we want to show the best of our humanity, then we're all going to have to work together at every level
of government, across political lines, to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us. We will continue to be relentless against terrorist
groups like ISIL and Al Qaida.
[16:50:00] We are going to destroy them. We are going to disrupt their networks and their financing and the flow of fighters in and out of war
theaters. We're going to disrupt their propaganda that poisons so many minds around the world.
We're going to do all that. Our resolve is clear. But given the fact that the last two terrorist attacks on our soil, Orlando and San Bernardino,
were home-grown, carried out it appears not by external plotters, not by vast networks, or sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals warped
by the hateful propaganda that they had seen over the Internet. Then we're going to have to do more to prevent these kinds of events from occurring.
It's going to take more than just our military. It's going to require more than just our intelligence teams. As good as they are, as dedicated as
they are, as focused as they are, if you have lone wolf attacks like this, hatched in the minds of a disturbed person, then we're going to have to
take different kinds of steps in order to prevent something like this from happening.
Now, those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon. The motives of this killer may have
been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown. But the instruments of death were so similar. And now another 49 innocent people
are dead. Another 53 are injured. Some are still fighting for their lives. Some will have wounds that will last a lifetime.
We can't anticipate or catch every single deranged person that may wish to do harm to his neighbors or his friends or his coworkers or strangers. But
we can do something about the amount of damage that they do. Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible
for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual like those in Aurora and Newtown to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons, and they can do so
So today once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked why does this
keep happening. And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. They don't care about the politics. Neither do I. Neither does Joe. And
neither should any parent out here, just thinking about their kids being not in the wrong place, but in places where kids are supposed to be.
This debate needs to change. It's outgrown the old political stalemates. The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more
people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense. Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should
meet these families and explain why that makes sense.
[16:55:00] They should meet with the Newtown families, some of whom Joe saw yesterday, whose children would now be finishing fifth grade, on why it is
that we think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies. That's not -- that's not the meaning of liberty.
I'm pleased to hear that the Senate will hold votes on preventing individuals with possible terrorist ties from buying guns, including
assault weapons. I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing. I hope that senators who voted no on background checks after
Newtown have a change of heart.
And then I hope the House does the right thing, and helps end the plague of violence that these weapons of war inflict on so many young lives.
I've said this before. We will not be able to stop every tragedy. We can't wipe away hatred and evil from every heart in this world. But we can
-- we can stop some tragedies. We can save some lives. We can reduce the impact of a terrorist attack if we're smart.
And if we don't act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this, because we'll be choosing to allow them to happen. We will have said we don't care
enough to do something about it.
Here in Orlando, we are reminded not only of our obligations as a country to be resolute against terrorism. We are reminded not only of the need for
us to implement smarter policies to prevent mass shootings. We're also reminded of what unites us as Americans. And that what unites us is far
stronger than the hate and the terror of those who target us.
For so many people here, who are Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the Pulse nightclub has always been a safe haven, a place to sing and dance and
most importantly, to be who you truly are, including for so many people whose families are originally from Puerto Rico. And Sunday morning, that
sanctuary was violated in the worst way imaginable.
So whatever the motivations of the killer, whatever influences led him down the path of violence and terror, whatever propaganda he was consuming from
ISIL and Al Qaida, this was an act of terrorism, but it was also an act of hate. This was an attack on the LGBT community.
Americans were targeted because we're a country that has learned to welcome everyone no matter who you are or who you love. And hatred towards people
because of sexual orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of what's best in us.
Joe and I were talking on the way over here. You can't break up the world into us and them, and denigrate and express hatred towards groups because
of the color of their skin or their faith or their sexual orientation, and not feed something very dangerous in this world. So if there was ever a
moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs .