Live updates

Statement by North West Muslims: "release our hero"

Mosques across Greater Manchester will deliver a message calling for the release of Alan Henning, the Salford taxi driver held hostage by Islamic State. The 47 year old was kidnapped in December delivering aid in Syria. The statement will be read at Friday prayers and says Mr Henning is a local hero. The message is as follows:

  1. We appeal to those who are holding Alan Henning to release him unharmed and return him to his family and community. We ask those holding Alan Henning to appreciate that as a sincere and concerned humanitarian, he left the comforts of his life and travelled to help the people suffering the effects of the Syrian war by delivering humanitarian aid. We call on those holding Alan Henning to open dialogue with his family to begin the process of his safe return.

  2. We remind all those who are party to the Syrian conflict that whatever their particular military objectives are, to understand that during any armed conflict there are important international and Islamic obligations to protect all civilian buildings including homes, schools and places of worship, and protect all civilians including humanitarian aid workers, journalist, human rights monitors, faith leaders and others civilians who are clearly non-combatants.

  3. We urge those holding Alan Henning to have understanding, compassion and mercy. We call for the release of our local hero

– Joint statemtn from Muslims in the North of England


  1. National

UK set to offer further military aid in fight against IS

Credit: PA Images

The United Kingdom looks set to ramp up its military involvement in the struggle against the Islamic State terror group, as David Cameron addresses the United Nations in New York later today.

Ahead of the address, Mr Cameron is likely to receive a formal Iraqi request for UK involvement in air strikes when he meets prime minister Haider Abadi, head of the new inclusive administration in Baghdad.

Iraq has not yet formally asked Britain to join the US and France in air strikes on IS forces which have seized control of large swathes of northern Iraq, though the UK responded swiftly to Baghdad's plea for heavy machine guns and ammunition earlier this month.

Mr Cameron yesterday laid out a stark warning that IS is planning terror attacks in Britain, Europe and the US, saying: "This is a fight you cannot opt out of. These people want to kill us. They've got us in their sights."

Peace vigil held in Bolton for hostage Alan Henning

A peace vigil has been held for Salford taxi driver Alan Henning.

The 47-year-old aid worker was captured by militants in Syria last year and has been threatened with death by his Islamic State captors.

Canon Michael Cooke says people of all faiths have come together to show support for his release.


  1. National

Miliband: Airstrikes in Iraq against IS 'the only option'

Ed Miliband said airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State are "the only option" in tackling the extremist militants and pledged that Labour would not "turn away from threats to the national interest".

The Labour leader added that no British ground troops would be deployed to either Iraq or Syria to combat IS.

  1. National

Miliband: Britain 'can't turn away from threat of IS'

Ed Miliband said Britain "cannot turn away from the threat" of the Islamic State and that is why he has backed air strikes against the militants in Iraq.

Labour leader Ed Miliband Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

We cannot turn away from the threat of ISIL which is a murderous organisation, has taken British hostages, threatens the stability of the region and is therefore a threat to the UK's national interest.

That is why we will be supporting the Government's proposal for UK air strikes in Iraq against ISIL. I want to reassure people there is no question of committing UK ground troops.

There is an alliance which includes countries in the region.

We will learn the lessons of the past - but we will not turn away from threats to our national interest.

– Ed Miliband

Peace vigil preparations for Alan Henning

Preparations for a peace vigil for Alan Henning, the hostage being held by IS in Syria, are underway at Bolton Council of Mosques. More: Peace vigil for Alan Henning

The vigil will be held at Bolton Council of Mosqu Credit: ITV Granada
Volunteers at the peace vigil Credit: ITV Granada
Hundreds are expected to turn out Credit: ITV Granada
Load more updates