SCOTTISH relatives of Thomas Mair suspected of shooting and stabbing Labour MP Jo Cox spoke of their shock at the murder.

They said Kilmarnock-born Mair, 52, moved down south with his mother Mary and grandmother Helen when he was about two years old.

Although he still has family in Ayrshire, he has never returned and they regard him as a “total stranger”. Nevertheless they were shocked and upset when they heard the news of the killing in West Yorkshire.

Mair was brought up by his maternal grandmother, who was originally from Ayr and died in 1996.

The pair lived in a semi-detached house on the Fieldhead estate in Birstall, 15 minutes walk up the hill from where Cox was killed.

Murder suspect Thomas Alexander Mair was born August 12, 1963 in Kilmarnock.

His parents were James Mair and Mary Jardine Grier, who married in Newmilns on February 9, 1963.

Mair has no other full-blood siblings but his mother gave birth to an illegitimate son, Scott Steven Mair, on September 11 1966 and another half-brother, Duane St Louis. His mother Mary was born in August 1946 in Irvine to Alexander Grier and Helen Steven.

Her parents married after her birth in April 1949 in Galston.

Mair’s father James was born in Stranraer in December 1942. James’s parents Thomas Mair and Helen McLelland were married in June 1940 in Ayr.

He died on August 2 2006 in Newmilns but relatives say he never had any contact with his son Thomas after he moved away and neither did the rest of the Mair family.

Relatives who did not want to be named, said: “None of us knew Thomas at all. He left Ayrshire when he was about two and that was it. He is like a total stranger to us.

“We were shocked at what happened and it has been upsetting because of his link to the family but we don’t want to get involved in it. It has nothing to do with us as we never even knew him.

“As far as I know he never came back to Ayrshire and the families never had any contact after he left.”

Police are investigating claims that Mair had dangerous political affiliations, following witness accounts that he shouted “Britain First” as he attacked Cox on Thursday afternoon.

It was also claimed he previously bought a book on how to make a handgun.

Mair has been described as a loner who was socially isolated and disconnected from society as a result of long-term mental illness.

Detectives are also questioning Mair amid fears he was motivated by Cox’s political campaigning.

Documents obtained from a US far-right group show a 1999 receipt for a manual on how to build a homemade gun with Mair’s name and address on the top.

Neighbours said Mair’s semi-detached council house had been his home since childhood, and that he had lived there alone since his grandmother died around 20 years ago.

As well as carrying out gardening jobs for locals, he volunteered at a special school several times a week.

Friends said Mair had never shown any interest in politics or the EU referendum.

Mair also regularly helped his mother Mary, 69, who has told friends she feels responsible for what he is alleged to have done.

One friend said: “She’s blaming herself. I told her she can’t blame herself, she can’t be responsible for other people’s actions, but she is. She’s devastated.”

At her home in Yorkshire, she said: “I don’t understand it, I just don’t understand.”

One of his half-brothers, who is of mixed race, claimed he had been volunteering at a school for children with disabilities for several years and had never expressed any racist views.

Duane St Louis, 41, described his brother as a devoted son who shopped for their mother twice a week and who had visited her on Wednesday night to help tune her TV.

He said Mair had obsessive compulsive disorder and cleaned himself with Brillo pads because he was “obsessed with his personal hygiene”.

St Louis said his brother lived alone after their grandmother’s death and had never married or had children.

He said he had not had a girlfriend for years, and added: “He had one girlfriend when he was younger but his mate took her off him and he said he didn’t want another one.”

In 2011, Mair was photographed by the local paper volunteering in nearby Oakwell Hall Country Park.

The previous year he was quoted in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, saying he had begun volunteering after attending Pathways Day Centre for adults with mental health problems.

Mair said: “I can honestly say it has done me more good than all the psychotherapy and medication in the world. Many people who suffer from mental illness are socially isolated and disconnected from society, feelings of worthlessness are also common, mainly caused by long-term unemployment.

“All these problems are alleviated by doing voluntary work. Getting out of the house and meeting new people is a good thing, but more important in my view is doing physically demanding and useful labour.

“When you have finished there is a feeling of achievement which is emotionally rewarding and psychologically fulfilling.

“For people for whom full-time, paid employment is not possible for a variety of reasons, voluntary work offers a socially positive and therapeutic alternative.”