“For me what contributed to the atmosphere of Jo’s death wasn’t just about heightened tension of the referendum debate.
“It was something deeper, a deeper malaise about our politics, which is an increasing propensity to blame others for our problems, whether that’s migrants or Muslims or Europe.”
Cox said that at the time of his wife’s death, they had both discussed what felt like a negative change in the political climate, in both the UK and many other parts of the world.
He told Marr: “We had always been very optimistic people, optimistic in our own lives, optimistic about politics and the future of our country, and I think in the last couple of years we started to think that something was going wrong, not just in the UK but if you look at the rise of Trump in the US, Le Pen in France, AFD in Germany, there is this focus on what divides us rather than what brings us together, which I don’t think we’ve seen in this form really since the 1930s.
“We felt that very strongly but Jo also felt it personally when she, for example, criticised Jeremy Corbyn for his leadership, the torrents of abuse that she got from that or when she voted in a different way from some of the rest of the party on Syria, the abuse that she got. Angela Eagle got a similar unbelievable level of abuse for standing against Jeremy Corbyn.
“This week, Gary Lineker for saying quite generic things about his sympathy with refugees has been lampooned by a section of the media and has had an incredible amount of vitriol.”