Man stabbed as he tried to stop extremist attacking Jo Cox has died

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A man who was given the George Medal after being stabbed trying to stop a right-wing extremist from murdering MP Jo Cox has died.

Bernard Kenny’s son confirmed that his 79-year-old father had died on Monday morning.

Mr Kenny, a former miner, was seriously injured when he was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked Mrs Cox in his home village of Birstall last June. 

He was awarded the George Medal for his bravery in June this year, and in a statement said he was “honoured to receive such an award”.

Jo Cox: The MP was murdered by a right-wing extremist in Birstall last year  (Jo Cox Foundation)

Mr Kenny was included in a list of new bravery awards along with the two West Yorkshire Police officers who arrested Mair.

Pc Craig Nicholls and Pc Jonathan Wright both received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

There were numerous calls after Mrs Cox’s murder for the pensioner to be honoured, including a petition aimed at securing him the George Cross – the highest possible civilian honour.

At Mair’s trial at the Old Bailey, the jury heard that the pensioner was waiting for his wife outside the library in Birstall when he saw Mair going “berserk”.

He said in a statement to police: “I thought if I could jump on to the back, I could take him down.

Bernard Kenny: The 79-year-old was seriously injured when he intervened as Jo Cox was attacked (PA)

“I thought he was thumping her until I saw the blood. I saw he had a knife in his hands. It was what I call a dagger. The blade was about nine inches.

“Just as I got short of him, he turned around and saw me. He shoved the knife in and it hit me in the stomach. The blood started pouring out between my fingers. I saw the blood and I thought ‘Oh my God’.”

Mr Kenny described Mair’s actions as a “pure act of evil”.

After the attack, more than 80,000 people signed an online petition calling for Mr Kenny to be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.

Mr Kenny, who shared a birthday with Mrs Cox, worked as a miner for 40 years and is a former member of the Gomersal Mines Rescue team which tried to save victims of the Lofthouse mine disaster in 1973.

Neo-Nazi Mair was given a whole life sentence for the murder of Mrs Cox, and was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Kenny and possession of a gun and dagger.


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