Police tape covers the area in Birstall where Labour MP Jo Cox was shot on June 16, 2016.
Campaigning for Britain's EU referendum next week was suspended on Thursday following news a leading MP with the "Remain" camp was in a critical condition after being shot.
Jo Cox, a 41-year-old mother-of-two from the opposition Labour Party, was left bleeding on the pavement after the incident in the town of Birstall in northern England, according to witnesses quoted by local media.
 / AFP / OLI SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Police tape covers the area in Birstall where Labour MP Jo Cox was shot on June 16, 2016. Campaigning for Britain's EU referendum next week was suspended on Thursday following news a leading MP with the "Remain" camp was in a critical condition after being shot. Jo Cox, a 41-year-old mother-of-two from the opposition Labour Party, was left bleeding on the pavement after the incident in the town of Birstall in northern England, according to witnesses quoted by local media. / AFP / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Jo Cox shooting. File photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:26626873
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Jo Cox shooting. File photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:26626873
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Jo Cox shooting. File photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:26626873
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Jo Cox shooting. File photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:26626873
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London CNN —  

Jo Cox is the first British lawmaker to be killed in office since Conservative MP Ian Gow was assassinated in a car bombing in 1990.

The Irish Republican Army said it killed Gow, a close ally of then Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, for his role in developing British policy in Northern Ireland.

Conservative lawmaker Ian Gow was murdered by the IRA in 1990.
PA Wire
Conservative lawmaker Ian Gow was murdered by the IRA in 1990.

The IRA frequently targeted British ministers during the Troubles, the conflict in Northern Ireland in which more than 3,500 people were killed from the late 1960s until the 1998 peace agreement.

Another of Thatcher’s allies, Airey Neave, was killed in a car bomb in Westminster in 1979 while the 1984 Brighton bomb killed five people including Conservative MP Anthony Berry.

Sword attack

More recently, in 2000, Liberal Democrat politician Nigel Jones and his assistant were attacked in the MP’s constituency office in Cheltenham, western England, by a Samurai sword-wielding man. The attacker Robert Ashman was later found guilty of attempted murder.

And in 2010 British MP Stephen Timms was nearly killed when a 21-year-old British student stabbed him during a meeting with his constituents in east London.

The student, Roshonara Choudhry, told police she had become radicalized after watching the speeches of militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki online, and tried to kill Timms because he voted in favor of the Iraq War. She was later jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years for attempted murder.

READ: Jo Cox: Mother, humanitarian, politician slain

The only British Prime Minister to be assassinated in office was Spencer Perceval, who was killed in 1812. Perceval was shot with a pistol by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons. Bellingham was hanged on May 18 – two days after the funeral of his victim.