The reaction to The Great Get Together has surprised even Brendan Cox

Noel Johnston and Olivia Cosgrove in Belfast

Noel Johnston and Olivia Cosgrove in Belfast

"I think the thing, as a family, is every day is difficult", she added.

More than 108,000 get-togethers are happening across the country, according to the event's website, including bake-offs, barbecues and games of football.

The Great Get Together is a chance to bridge divides in communities and bring people together at a hard time, says the head of the foundation set up in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

The 41-year-old MP was shot and stabbed in her Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen on June 16 last year. "Families, friends and neighbours came to pay tribute to a remarkable Member of Parliament who campaigned tirelessly for unity across communities".

"I'd like to commend Brendan Cox and all those who have helped to organise The Great Get Together this weekend".

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's Police and crime commissioner, said: "Jo Cox once said "we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us".

She said: "Jo was the first chairman of the network".

Visit for more information.

"I think, for me, this is my way of coping with it and, hopefully, letting them know that, as a family, we won't be beaten by what's happened".

"With almost 3,000 staff we have our own community here at Airedale, but don't often get the chance to come together and have a chat".

He was joined by Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, former prime ministers from opposing parties who came together to highlight the role Jo played in showing people what they had in common. "Just moments that don't fixate on the differences but focus on those things that we have in common". "I think that's an admirable thing for them to do".

"That shock was personal for politicians but it was profound I think for all of us because it was a terrible, violent act, like so much else that happens in the world, and made us focus on the things that divide people rather than the things that bring us together".

The event was devised by Mr Cox to ensure that his wife's life and work was foremost during the anniversary, not the division and hatred that motivated her killer, Thomas Mair, a white supremacist (News, 25 November). It was absolutely at the heart of who she was.

Report finds lead in baby food
Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned