From the Thames Path in London this afternoon (Wednesday 22 June 2016) you may see a craft carrying the family of the late Jo Cox MP who was murdered last week.
Today is her birthday.
The family is sailing at about 3pm from Jo’s houseboat mooring in Wapping, opposite Bermondsey Wall West, upstream through Tower Bridge to Westminster.
Friends will tow a dinghy laden with flowers and tributes which have been left at the Hermitage Moorings where she lived.
The plan is to land at the Palace of Westminster which is something Jo was planning to be able to do daily as an MP in preference to having to cycle along busy streets.
She was trying to overcome security issues about mooring outside the House of Commons. The trip in a rigid inflatable boat takes just ten minutes. She and her immediate family made the trip a week ago with an ‘IN’ flag to counter the Nigel Farage ‘OUT’ flotilla.
The return to river transport for MPs and other visitors to the Palace of Westminster was something many have wanted for some years. It seemed ridiculous that a temporary pontoon had to be used for the annual Parliamentary Regatta when Speaker’s Stairs and Black Rod’s Stairs, at the Lords’ end, were purpose by the Victorians.
Jo knew the Thames very well. She and her husband Brendan once lived on a boat at Port Meadow and moved up and down the non-tidal river. In London their boat rose and fell with the tide and from the capital they recently took their 92 year old houseboat barge out into the Thames estuary.
The party landing today at Westminster will go on to Trafalgar Square where there is memorial gathering at 4pm.