The Latest: Police probe right-wing links in Cox slaying

AP News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2016 1:23 PM
The Latest: Police probe right-wing links in Cox slaying

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the slaying of British lawmaker Jo Cox (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Police investigating the killing of British lawmaker Jo Cox say the suspect's mental health and alleged links to right-wing extremism are both important lines of inquiry for detectives.

Temporary chief constable Dee Collins of West Yorkshire Police says counter-terrorism detectives are helping with the investigation.

She said Friday that "this appears to be an isolated but targeted attack upon Jo."

The 52-year-old suspect, named locally as Thomas Mair, was arrested Thursday after Cox was shot and stabbed to death on the street in her northern England constituency. He has not been charged. Collins said he had been medically examined and declared fit to be interviewed by detectives.

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1:55 p.m.

British oppositon leader Jeremy Corbyn says Parliament will be recalled from recess on Monday to pay tribute to slain lawmaker Jo Cox.

Corbyn says he asked Prime Minister David Cameron for the unusual move, and Cameron agreed.

The two men appeared side-by-side at the site of the killing in Birstall, northern England, and laid flowers in Cox's memory.

Corbyn called Thursday's killing "an attack on democracy."

Cameron said that where there is hatred, division and intolerance, "we must drive it out of our politics."

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11:45 a.m.

French and Austrian far right leaders have warned against suggestions that British legislator Jo Cox was killed because of her pro-EU and immigrant-friendly stance.

Marine Le Pen and her Austrian counterpart Heinz-Christian Strache spoke Friday ahead of a meeting of six populist and Eurosceptic parties convened by Strache's Freedom Party under the motto "Patriotic Spring."

Le Pen says it is "not very decent to use this dramatic event" for such speculations. Strache says his party "is against all extremism."

They, and Marcus Pretzell of Germany's AfD party, demanded European Union reforms aimed at more decision-making rights for member countries and less for EU organizations in Brussels.

Cox, a Labour Party parliamentarian, was killed Thursday. A U.S. civil rights group has said the man arrested over the slaying had links to an American white supremacist organization.

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This item has been corrected to show Le Pen's first name is Marine, not Marie.

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10:40 a.m.

Denmark's former prime minister says British lawmaker Jo Cox was "a strong woman who fought for the rights of the most vulnerable people."

Helle Thorning-Schmidt says the Labour Party lawmaker whom she knew for many years was "an incredible and dedicated woman."

Thorning-Schmidt said Friday on Facebook: "This is a tremendous loss," adding she was "deeply saddened and horrified" by Cox's death. Cox was shot and stabbed in a daylight attack Thursday in her northern England constituency.

Thorning-Schmidt was Denmark's Social Democratic prime minister from 2011 to 2015. She quit politics earlier this year to become chief executive of Save the Children. She is married to Stephen Kinnock, a British lawmaker and the son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.

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9:55 a.m.

A U.S. civil rights group says a man arrested over the slaying of a British lawmaker had links to an American white supremacist organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it has records showing Thomas Mair was a supporter of the National Alliance. The center says Friday that Mair purchased a manual from the group in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol.

Mair, 52, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed in a daylight attack in her northern England constituency. Cox was a Labour Party lawmaker and former aid worker who had championed the cause of Syrian refugees.

The National Alliance was founded by William Pierce, who died in 2002. His book "The Turner Diaries" has been called a grisly blueprint for a bloody race war. Timothy McVeigh based the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, which killed 168 people, on a truck-bombing described in the book.

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9:30 a.m.

Campaigning in the referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union remains suspended as Britain mourns the killing of Labour Party legislator Jo Cox.

It is not yet clear when campaigning will resume ahead of the vital June 23 vote on whether Britain should remain in the 28-nation bloc.

There were tributes to the 41-year-old Cox across much of Britain Friday.

She was shot to death Thursday afternoon in her constituency near Leeds in northern England. A 52-year-old man has been arrested but has not been charged. He has been named locally as Tommy Mair.

West Yorkshire Police have not offered a motive for the slaying.