Faith leaders unite to call for community cohesion after Liverpool terror attack

ITV Granada Reports' Andy Bonner has the latest.

There are calls for communities to come together and not allow hate to win in the wake of the terror attack at Liverpool Women's Hospital.

Faith leaders from across the city gathered at the hospital on Tuesday (16 November) to urge calm and cohesion as details began to emerge about the man who was killed in a taxi by a homemade bomb.

Emad Al Swealmeen

Emad Al Swealmeen was a Christin convert and is said to have moved to the UK from the Middle East several years ago.

He was supported by a Christian couple who at one stage housed him in Liverpool.

The 32-year-old died in the blast in a taxi outside Liverpool Women's Hospital shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday.

He had made his home in the city, despite having a claim for asylum rejected in 2014.

This afternoon (Tuesday 16 November), faith leaders joined together outside the Women's Hospital to appeal for unity.

Representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu faiths, all with one plea.

Speaking to Granada Reports, Mumin Khan from Liverpool Mosques said that Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council are working together to prevent a rise in hate crime.

At Liverpool Cathedral, prayers were being said today for those affected by the blast.

Dean of the Cathedral Dr Sue Jones Credit: ITV News

Dean of the Cathedral Dr Sue Jones said: ''It is shocking when this happens, but we can't legislate for what goes on in people's minds.

"We can give the Christian message and likewise the other faiths give their message and that message is of love. And we need to continue to work with asylum seekers and be that city of welcome and hospitality.''

It has emerged that Al Swealmeen was on the books of charity Asylum Link, which helps asylum seekers.

Workers were left shocked by the explosion, since he had apparently moved away.

The message from faith leaders was supported by Liverpool's mayor and police chiefs.

Mayor Joanna Anderson, Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy and Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell. Credit: PA

Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, joined Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell and Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson on a 'walkabout' in Kensington to promote community cohesion, thank residents and answer community questions.

Police and city leaders speaking to residents in Kensington to provide reassurance following the explosion at Liverpool Women's Hospital. Credit: PA

Speaking to Granada Reports on Monday November 15, Mayor Joanne Anderson said: ''We all need to come together to support our communities:''

Calls for cohesion also made it to the House of Commons, where concerns were expressed about a possible rise in hate crime.

Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside Kim Johnson has raised concerns that the terror attack in Liverpool could lead to a spike in race hate, especially against the Muslim Community.

Speaking in the House of Commons, she asked the government to ensure sufficient funding to protect faith communities.