Disgraced former Member of Parliament (MP) Denis MacShane attempted to make political capital out of the death of Jo Cox MP hours after the attack, baselessly linking the gunman to the Brexit campaign and telling French TV: “There is a climate of hate when it comes to Europe.”
Yesterday evening, just hours after the attack that claimed the life of Labour MP Jo Cox, the disgraced former MP Denis MacShane — a convicted fraudster who was suspended from the Labour Party — gave an interview to French media stating that “there is a climate of hate when it comes to Europe.”
Making political capital out of the death of Mrs. Cox when no motive has been established and eye witness accounts are unravelling, Mr. MacShane told i-Télé in a telephone interview:
“It is obviously a very, very sad situation, but also whilst I was [MP in Yorkshire], I witnessed that there was a climate of hate when it comes to Europe, to immigration. There is a climate of xenophobia and also a very militant climate. I am ashamed and do not have faith in politics.”
— iTELE (@itele) June 17, 2016
The disgraced MP is yet another political figure who in less than 24 hours since Ms. Cox’s death has linked the gunman to the Brexit campaign and populism, and by inference that his motives were inspired by violence and hate.
Yesterday, two prominent European political figures rushed to politicise the attack. European Union (EU) Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has claimed that Mrs. Cox MP was “murdered for her dedication to European democracy and humanity”; left-wing French Presidential candidate Alain Juppé made a similar unsupported claim, that she was “murdered for her beliefs”; and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted coupling “nationalism” and “hatred” as “enemies of our people”.
— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) June 16, 2016
And this morning German Chancellor Angel Merkel — the architect of the migrant crisis in Europe and the forced redistribution of hundreds of thousands of migrants to often unwilling nations — warned in response to the death of Mrs. Cox against so-called ‘radical’ speech in the Brexit debate.
Despite so many public figures rushing to associate the murder with the Leave campaign, little is officially known about the attacker, Thomas Mair, or his motives. The last official word from West Yorkshire Police was a press conference held yesterday at 5pm when Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson stated that “[we] are not in a position to discuss motive at this time.”
What we do know about Mr. Mair is that he was suffering from mental illness and those closest to him, including his mixed-race brother, said that he never spoke about Europe, politics or expressed any racist views. Also, initial reports from eye-witnesses who stated that Mr. Mair shouted repeatedly “Britain First” are now in question.
Mr. MacShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham, made headlines in 2012 when he was suspended by the party after he wrongfully claimed against his parliamentary expenses fund, and subsequently resigned from his seat. In 2013 he was charged with false accounting for the creation of £12,900 of fake receipts, and after pleading guilty was imprisoned for six months.