Lawmakers return to London to pay tribute to slain lawmaker

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers returned to Parliament Monday to pay tribute to lawmaker Jo Cox, as the man charged with her slaying made a brief court appearance by video link from prison.

Parliament was in recess for campaigning in the European Union referendum when Cox was shot and stabbed to death outside a library in her northern England constituency on Thursday.

The killing — the first of a sitting British legislator in more than a quarter of a century — prompted an outpouring of shock and grief, and brought a three-day halt to campaigning for this week’s referendum.

Cox was a Labour legislator who had championed the plight of Syrian refugees and strongly backed a “remain” vote in Thursday’s EU poll.

Speaker John Bercow recalled the House of Commons to allow lawmakers to honor their colleague. In a break with tradition, members were allowed sit together, rather than dividing along party lines.

The House is generally recalled only at times of crisis or high significance. The last time it happened was in September 2014, so lawmakers could vote on whether to launch air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

The man accused of killing Cox, 52-year-old Thomas Mair, appeared at London’s Central Criminal Court by video link from high-security Belmarsh Prison. He is charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm and possession of an offensive weapon.

At his first court appearance on Saturday, Mair gave his name as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

On Monday he was asked if he was Thomas Mair, and replied, “Yes, I am.”

His lawyer did not seek bail during the brief hearing. Mair was ordered detained until his next hearing on Thursday.

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