Comedian Eddie Izzard enjoys picnic ahead of The Great Get Together in memory of late MP Jo Cox

Eddie Izzard and Kim Leadbeater
Eddie Izzard and Kim Leadbeater

It is not everyday that a comedian is spotted tucking into a picnic in Batley town centre.

But Eddie Izzard was doing just that on Saturday, as he joined friends and family of the late Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox to promote a nationwide celebration in her memory.

The much-loved television and stage star is encouraging people to take part in The Great Get Together, by throwing street parties, picnics and community events in Mrs Cox’s honour.

He said: “Millions of us don’t know our neighbours. Maybe you’re a bit busy, a bit shy, maybe you don’t know how to break the ice.

“This year, we’re going to shake things up with the Great Get Together. We’re calling on people across Yorkshire and from all over the UK to come together, break bread, chat and have a good time.

“A get together can happen anywhere, it can be big or small, indoors or outdoors. All it takes is a little knock on the door.

“Have a natter, have a good old chinwag. It’s as easy as that. Please join in and get involved.”

Mrs Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater and her parents Jean and Gordon were among those who attended the event, ahead of The Great Get Together on June 16 to 18.

Communities across the UK will stage thousands of events across the three days, to mark one year since Mrs Cox’s death.

Organisers The Jo Cox Foundation, The Big Lunch and dozens of community groups hope to create the biggest celebration since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, inspired by Mrs Cox’s words that there is “more that unites than divides us”.

Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “The Great Get Together is a perfect way to celebrate the life of my sister.

“Jo was passionate about people and communities and that’s what this event is all about.

“It’s about everyone getting together, irrespective of their differences, and recognising all that we have in common.

“We’re calling on as many people as possible to take part.”

To find out how to get involved, visit greatgettogether.org