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Husband of murdered UK MP steps down from charities amid assault claims

Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered British MP Jo Cox, has stepped down from charities he set up in her name, amid a...

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 6:58 AM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 6:58 AM

Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered British MP Jo Cox, has stepped down from charities he set up in her name, amid allegations of sexual assault.

Cox announced Saturday he was stepping down from the charities More in Common and the Jo Cox Foundation after allegations of sexual assault were published in UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper alleged that Cox assaulted a female colleague at the charity Save the Children in July 2015. It also alleged he assaulted a woman at Harvard University in a separate incident in October the same year.

Cox said in a statement that he did not accept the allegations contained in the 2015 complaint to the police in Cambridge, Massachusetts. However, he did "acknowledge and understand that during my time at Save the Children I made mistakes and behaved in a way that caused some women hurt and offense."

In a Twitter post, Cox said he was stepping down from his public roles at the charities he founded in his wife's memory, adding "my actions were never malicious but they were at times inappropriate."

Save the Children said in a statement that Cox was suspended and a disciplinary process commenced in 2015 after complaints were made about his inappropriate behavior.

Cox resigned before the process was completed.

Jo Cox's sister, Kim Leadbeater, said the family supported Brendan and her priority was looking after the couple's two children. She said she would continue the work of the charities Brendan founded.

"As a family we will support Brendan as he endeavors to do the right thing by admitting mistakes he may have made in the past, and we respect him for doing so," Leadbeater said in a statement on the Jo Cox Foundation website.

"We all make mistakes. Brendan is a wonderful father and I have no doubt about the happiness he brought to Jo."

Cox killed during Brexit referendum

Labour MP Jo Cox, 41, was stabbed and shot by right wing extremist Thomas Mair outside her office in Northern England in June 2016.

The frenzied street attack happened days before Britain voted on whether to remain in the European Union. Cox was a prominent supporter of the "Remain" campaign.

Mair, a Nazi sympathizer, was sentenced to a whole life term in November 2016.

Described as a rising star of the opposition Labour Party, Cox was elected to the British Parliament in May 2015 and in her maiden speech spoke of how British communities had been enhanced by immigration.

Her death shocked the nation, and was the first time a British lawmaker had been killed in office since Conservative MP Ian Gow was assassinated by the IRA in a 1990 car bombing.

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