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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Geldof reveals he plans memorial to pal Jo who was shot dead in street

David McWilliams and Bob Geldof at The Dalkey Book Festival
David McWilliams and Bob Geldof at The Dalkey Book Festival
Miriam O'Callaghan
Jo Cox
Bob Geldof with local entrepreneurs Francie Duffy and Sonia Reynolds

Bob Geldof is planning a memorial event for his friend Jo Cox, who was shot dead on the street while campaigning in the Brexit referendum.

The Boomtown Rats frontman revealed that Jo's family was with him on the Thames River during his confrontation with Ukip's Nigel Farage before she was tragically killed.

Speaking at the Dalkey Book Festival, Mr Geldof said he planned to host a pro-remain event at Glastonbury this week, but had cancelled it out of respect for Jo and her family.

"We called off [the event] because of Jo Cox, my friend, so it was inappropriate," he said.

"We're going to do something in Trafalgar Square for Jo on Tuesday."

Mr Geldof has been vocal in his support for the pro-remain campaign in the UK, but said he had struggled to find bands or comedians for his referendum event at Glastonbury.

"I couldn't get a single band," he said. "They would not come out and say it because, weirdly, they don't want to be involved in politics."

One of the organisers, David McWilliams, said that he believed the Brexit referendum should go ahead this Thursday, despite calls for it to be cancelled.

Nasty

The economist was responding to a new petition to postpone the crucial vote in the aftermath of MP Jo Cox's death.

The petition on the UK's parliament website has garnered almost 50,000 signatures to cancel the Brexit Referendum this week - with the British government now obliged to issue a response to the petition, because it has reached more than 10,000 signatures.

It is on course to garner more than 100,000 signatures by Thursday's polling day - a quota which would ordinarily mean it should be debated in parliament.

Mr McWilliams said the referendum had brought about a "civil war" in the UK.

"It's been nasty," he said. "It's like a civil war. It's almost as if they're eating themselves up.

"It's been dragging on. If I were them, rather than postpone the referendum, I'd bring it forward to tomorrow.

"It shows you that Cameron, probably in a moment of weakness, suggested a referendum and has just unleashed incredible forces over there."

Mr McWilliams was speaking at the Dalkey Book Festival, where he was hosting a discussion on the prospect of Britain leaving the EU.

The festival attracted speakers like former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Harry Potter actor Michael Gambon.

Other attendees included RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Fair City actor Nick Dunning.

Meanwhile, more than €750,000 has been raised in support of the family of Jo Cox in just over two days. The money will be split between her favourite causes, as chosen by her family.

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