Lee Rigby’s family are in my thoughts, says PM, on 10th anniversary of murder
The Prime Minister said his thoughts are with the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Rishi Sunak also paid tribute to his 12-year-old son, Jack Rigby, who has raised more than £45,000 in his father’s memory to support other bereaved Forces’ children.
Jack was two when his father died as a result of multiple cut and stab wounds after being attacked by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in Woolwich, south-east London, on May 22, 2013.
Mr Sunak said: “My thoughts are with the family of Lee Rigby on the 10th anniversary of his murder.
“I pay tribute to his son Jack, who has honoured his father’s memory by raising money for other bereaved military children. As Jack’s mum says, Lee would be very proud.”
Mr Sunak retweeted a post from veterans minister Johnny Mercer, who said the murder of 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby was “an act that shocked the service community” and urged people to support Jack’s fundraiser for Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered ten years ago today in an act that shocked the service community.
His 12 year old son Jack has now raise over £40,000 for the brilliant @CorporalScotty charity that support military bereaved kids. Give what you can. https://t.co/FhQ8mJQl4c pic.twitter.com/JLjMebcwea
— Rt Hon Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) May 22, 2023
Jack took part in the Scotty’s May Marathon, a challenge in which people complete 26.2 miles throughout the month of May, and has smashed his £10,000 target, which was “to raise £1,000 for every year my dad has been gone”.
In a video thanking those who have donated to Jack’s fundraiser, his mother Rebecca Rigby, 40, said: “The amount that’s been raised so far is absolutely phenomenal and I am immensely proud of Jack for everything that he is doing to raise funds and awareness for Scotty’s, and to do something positive in Lee’s name.
“May’s not an easy time for us and doing this is really helping Jack to get through this difficult period, so thank you.”
Jack, who now lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire, was supported by Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a tri-service charity which helps children and young people aged up to 25, who are grieving the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
He said the fundraiser would enable the charity “to continue to help me and hundreds of other children just like me”.
Jack added: “It helps to know I’m not the only one in my situation and that there’s people I can reach out and talk to, whenever I need them.”
The Rigbys have used respite breaks organised by Scotty’s to take some time away and make new memories.
Scotty's Little Soldiers was founded by Nikki Scott, whose husband, Corporal Lee Scott, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
We support 600+ children & young people in the UK who have experienced the death of a parent that served in the military.
— Scotty's L Soldiers (@CorporalScotty) May 22, 2023
They have also attended a number of events, including taking part in the National Service of Remembrance and Scotty’s annual Christmas parties, where Jack has spent time with other children in his situation.
He has also been offered one-to-one bereavement support, and met the Duke of Sussex at a Buckingham Palace garden party in 2017.
Urging people to continue sending in their donations, Ms Rigby added in the video: “If you can’t make a donation, please share the posts with your friends and let’s just raise as much awareness and funds as we can for such an amazing charity because Scotty’s really do help.
“They have supported Jack since 2013 and continue to do so. Let’s do what we can to show them how grateful we are and that Lee has not been forgotten, and that we can do something positive in his name. Thank you.”
Fusilier Rigby was off duty when he was murdered near the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Adebolajo was given a whole-life term and Adebowale was jailed for a minimum of 45 years.