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Corbyn hails emergency services for ‘timely response’ to ‘terror on the streets’

Press Association logoPress Association 19/06/2017 By PA Reporters
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Dominic Lipinski/PA): Jeremy Corbyn praised the response of the emergency services (Dominic Lipinski/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Jeremy Corbyn praised the response of the emergency services (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the attack on a group of worshippers near a mosque in his own constituency as “terror on the streets”.

Mr Corbyn, who lives close to the scene, said he became aware of the incident very quickly as police responded early on Monday.

One man died and 10 people were injured after the driver of a white van ploughed into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London.

The Leader of the Opposition praised the emergency services for their “very quick and very timely” response after the driver was arrested at the scene.

© Press Association

Asked if the suspected terrorist attack was being treated as seriously as others, he told BBC News on Monday: “I’m treating it absolutely as seriously as any other attack.

“This was a van driven into a crowd of people who were tending a man who was already injured and they were coming home from night-time prayers in the mosque.

“It’s Ramadan and it’s perfectly normal, and eight people have been injured, some of them I understand extremely seriously, and, as I see it, this is a terror on the streets and it’s a terror of the people on the streets, in the communities I’m very proud to represent in Parliament, and that’s why I’m here today.”

Police at the scene (Yui Mok/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Police at the scene (Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Corbyn said that, while he had not spoken to the Prime Minister directly, their offices had been in touch, and Theresa May “expressed her condolences for the death and also concerns about what happened last night”.

He has also spoken to London Mayor Sadiq Khan and said it was important to make sure the response was “sufficient and co-ordinated” and to provide “reassurance” to the community.

Related: Finsbury Park witness: I saw so many people shouting (Video provided by Sky News) 

“Reassurance they are free to practise their faith, they are free to walk about the streets, and people must be able to do that,” he said.

“But I have to say the stress levels I have met already, from both people last night and this morning were just frightened, just frightened that something like this could happen again, and so we obviously need efficient and effective policing, we obviously need, also, an attitude in our society of support for each other.

Mr Corbyn called on communities to come together (David Mirzoeff/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Mr Corbyn called on communities to come together (David Mirzoeff/PA)

“The only way to deal with this kind of issue is communities coming together and this is a very multi-faith community – Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Hindu, Buddhist, all live around here. This is a microcosm of a community working together.”

Mr Corbyn, who has represented the constituency of Islington North since 1983, said he felt the community’s “pain” and “stress”.

“An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church is actually an attack on all of us. We have to protect each others’ faith, each others’ way of life, and that’s what makes us a strong society and community,” he added.

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