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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

‘Hero’ who tried to save slain British MP Jo Cox dies

Bernard Kenny was stabbed while trying to fend off right-wing extremist Thomas Mair

Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in June 2016, days before Britain's referendum on its membership of the European Union. Matt Dunham/ AP Photo
Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in June 2016, days before Britain's referendum on its membership of the European Union. Matt Dunham/ AP Photo

A man hailed as a hero for trying to stop British MP Jo Cox’s murder has died of cancer, just a year after an attack which shocked the world.

Bernard Kenny, 79, was awarded a George Cross after he intervened when right-wing extremist Thomas Mair attacked Mrs Cox in June 2016.

Mr Kenny was stabbed in the liver as he tried in vain to save the Labour Party poltician, who was targeted while she met constituents Birstall, West Yorkshire just a week before the Brexit vote.

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Phil Kenny, Mr Kenny’s son, confirmed that his father had passed away on Sunday, after being diagnosed with cancer in June.

He told the Huddersfield Examiner his father “went very peacefully and he was not suffering. He wanted to die at home and he did so.”

Tributes to the pensioner have been paid by British politicians including Mrs Cox’s successor, Tracy Brabin MP, who called him a “brave and selfless hero”.

She tweeted: “I am saddened to hear of the loss of Bernard Kenny, a truly brave and selfless hero. My heartfelt condolences go to Bernard’s family.”

Labour MP, Yvette Cooper added: “This is deeply sad news - Bernard Kenny was a true hero, a very brave man. Thoughts with his family.”

Mr Mair was sentenced to life imprisonment in November last year for Mrs Cox’s murder and for attacking Mr Kenny.

The mother-of-two was the first sitting MP to be murdered since 1990 and her death sparked international condemnation.