In MPs’ tributes to the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox in the House of Commons yesterday, it emerged that Mrs Cox (who had once been Penarth MP Stephen Doughty’s boss at Oxfam) had told him he was being “too emotional” and that she did not do “touchy-feely” .
Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) was among a long list of members who all highlighted various aspects of Mrs Cox’s career in overseas aid work, the charity Oxfam and subsequently as an MP deeply concerned about the plight of refugees around the world and in Syria in particular
Doughty said ” I was in awe of Jo. To be honest, I was always a bit envious.” He described Jo Cox as “energetic, brave, dynamic, fit, beautiful and passionate. I cannot ever recall seeing her sad, negative or without hope.
He admitted that Cox had once told him “in a one-to-one meeting as my manager at Oxfam, that she did not do touchy-feely, that I was being too emotional, that we needed to “get on with it” and sort out the campaign we were working on”.
He said that later on he had once met her to go to lobby some very senior officials in the Foreign Office
Doughty said “She turned up, typically, in a rush with her climbing kit hanging out of her bag. We sat on the floor in King Charles Street, where she then jumped straight into reading a briefing. She knew exactly what the key points were within minutes and then delivered the crucial information to the decision makers with utter confidence and assuredness. It was brilliant. That brilliance was universally felt by all those she worked with. Moira described her as a fearless, compassionate professional with such an impish streak.”
He described Mrs Cox as a “steely-edged campaigner” who could “make herself a right royal pain in the back-side if she profoundly disagreed with you: a lesson many political leaders learnt too late, and to their cost.”
The famine relief charity Oxfam is an organisation which has employed a number of people who subsequently became Labour MPs.