Boris Johnson has come under fire for scrapping the government department responsible for overseas aid – on the anniversary of Jo Cox’s death, who was a passionate campaigner for international aid.

Johnson addressed MPs today to announce his government’s decision to combine the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Foreign Office in order to “unite our aid with our diplomacy”.

But Labour Leader Keir Starmer says this decision is a “pure distraction” from a rise in unemployment, the U-turn on free school meals and the Covid-19 death toll.

Starmer also said Jo Cox “would have seen right through” today’s announcement of the merger.

And people on social media agreed:

In 2018, the DfID launched £10 million worth of Jo Cox memorial grants to help support the voices of women and girls in developing countries.

According to fellow MP Penny Mordaunt, these issues were “close to Jo’s heart” as she tirelessly worked to fight these injustices throughout her career before her untimely murder four years ago today.

At the time of the grants launch, Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater said:

Jo spent 20 years working in the voluntary sector and working overseas. These grants are a reminder of that and a reminder of her passion and her determination to hopefully inspire others with similar desires. Jo would be over the moon.

On 16 June 2016, Cox was fatally shot and stabbed outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire.

Thomas Mair, who was found to have links to the US-based neo-Nazi group National Alliance, was found guilty of the murder in November 2016 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The attack happened just one week before the Brexit referendum and Cox was a “Remain” supporter.

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