‘Leave politicians free to do their job’ pleads Rutte after Jo Cox murder

Rutte: intimidation threatens 'the foundation of a free society'
Rutte: intimidation threatens ‘the foundation of a free society’

Prime minister Mark Rutte has called for politicians to be allowed to do their job without intimidation, following the murder last week of the British MP Jo Cox.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Friday, Rutte said it threatened ‘the foundations of a free society’ if public officials no longer felt free to go about their business.

Rutte said he was frequently approached by members of the public and engaged in debate with people who disagreed with him. It was important that politicians remained accessible to voters, he said.

The murder of the 41-year-old British MP outside her constituency office in Yorkshire had left everyone in the Netherlands ‘dreadfully shocked,’ the prime minister added. ‘I didn’t know her personally, but I saw films of her: a young woman in her prime, giving her all for politics, for Britain and to do good things for her party, for the Labour Party.

‘It has brought us even closer to the British people and the common values that we share: freedom of expression, tolerance and understanding.’

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