I worked with Jo (Jo Leadbeater as she then was) for several years at Oxfam, where she ended up being head of the advocacy team in Oxfam GB. My main memory is of her relentless optimism and tigerish energy – she bounced around the office. She was an activist’s activist (we didn’t always see eye to eye – she once memorably dismissed my role as ‘beardstroking’). It seems absurd as well as tragic that that energy has now been stilled.
In the words of Brendan, her husband (and another Exfamer):
‘Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it everyday of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.
She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.’
What a waste. A horrible day.
Today’s Guardian editorial here.
Here’s Jo in parliament, where the convention is to talk about your constituency in your maiden speech.