Assassin of British lawmaker gets life sentence

LONDON — A man whose bookshelf was full of writings on white supremacy and Nazism was found guilty Wednesday of killing lawmaker Jo Cox in an apparent political attack as the country headed toward its landmark vote on European Union membership.

The shooting and stabbing in June stunned Britain and underscored the sharp divisions over the EU referendum, which tipped in favor of groups — including right-wing and nationalist factions — seeking to leave the bloc.


Cox, 41, and the mother of two young children, was a well-known campaigner for Britain to remain in the European Union and a passionate advocate for refugees.

The verdict against her attacker, Thomas Mair, 53, carried added international resonance as hate groups and others in the United States say they are energized by the presidential victory of Donald Trump.

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During the trial, several witnesses told the jury that Mair shouted ‘‘Britain first!’’ as he fired three shots at her and stabbed her 15 times.

Judge Alan Wilkie said the crime was so exceptional that he issued a ‘‘whole life-term’’ sentence, which effectively eliminates the chance for parole or early release.

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