HUNDREDS of events have been held over the weekend marking the Great Get Together, on what would have been Jo Cox’s 45th birthday.
The nationwide, now annual event, is held in memory of MP Jo Cox, who was tragically murdered in her constituency of Batley and Spen in June 2016.
The gatherings were held to celebrate 'kindness and respect'.
They ranged from street parties, fun days, coffee mornings, sports matches as well as the Run for Jo, around the grounds of Oakwell Hall, in Birstall today (Sunday).
Jo's family, including her sister Kim Leadbeater and parents Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, attended some of the key events in West Yorkshire, where people remembered the words from Jo's maiden speech as an MP, that we have ‘more in common, than that which divides us.’
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of Jo, who stepped into public life in memory of her sister, speaking today from the Run for Jo, said: "It has been absolutely wonderful here today at the Run for Jo, and of course all weekend at the hundreds of events.
"It has been a really special weekend with the most fantastic atmosphere, so friendly, so warm, so like Jo."
"We are all tired out, but it is so worth it. We have been surrounded by good people who show us that good things are possible. Loads of families have attended, made up of different ages, different races, different religions, and different backgrounds.
"Of course with some people we don't agree on everything."
They were joined by "friendly rivals" TV presenters Harry Gration, of BBC Look North and Christine Talbot, of ITV Calendar, who put aside their differences for the day and welcomed crowds to the Run for Jo event.
Former home secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, joined the line up too.
Kim, who ran two races, added: “I believe the Great Get Together helps to heal some of the divisions that have scarred this country of late.
“I had hoped the reaction to Jo’s murder would lead to a more compassionate politics and stronger communities. Instead it feels like things have got worse these last three years. I refuse to give up that hope, however.”
The theme of this year’s GGT is ‘Let’s Get Back Together’, named after all the division and bitterness of the past three years.
Meanwhile, in Leeds a GGT event was held in Roundhay Park today (Sunday) along with a community street party in Adel yesterday (Saturday).
Pritpal Chana, who helped to organise the street party, at Heath Field in Adel, said: “We have a great community here and there was a good turnout of around 60 people. We closed part of the street and remembered the words of Jo Cox.
“It was a good excuse to get together."
Other events held included an all day gathering at Rodley Cricket Club on Saturday; a picnic in Micklefield Park on Saturday; an event at Gledhow Primary School, on Saturday; a celebration in East End Park, on Friday; a picnic on the bandstand in Ilkley on Sunday, plus a Great Bridge Together at Newlay Bridge in Horsforth on Saturday.
There was a fire engine day at the Old Fire Station at Gipton Approach, Gipton, from on Saturday; the Compton Community Hub hosted an event on Harehills Lane on Saturday.
There is an event at Toast Love Coffee Cafe in Harehills on Monday 24 June from 9am-3pm.