Crowds gather for 'refugees welcome' rally in Liverpool following riot at asylum seekers hotel

People attend a refugees welcome rally outside St George's Hall in Liverpool city centre. Credit: PA

Hundreds of people have gathered at an anti-racism rally in Liverpool which was organised in response to violent scenes outside a hotel providing refuge to migrants last week.

Large crowds attended the "refugees welcome" protest outside St George's Hall in the city centre on Saturday.

Jeremy Corbyn MP addressed crowds alongside trade unionists and activists from Stand Up to Racism, charity Care4Calais and Polish Migrants Organise for Change.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticised for doing too little to tackle antisemitism in the party. Credit: PA

The protest was organised after a police van was vandalised and fireworks were thrown during a demonstration outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley on February 10.

Police extend dispersal order following rally outside Knowsley hotel

A small group of around 10 anti-migrant demonstrators reportedly gathered outside Lime Street station and are understood to have had heated verbal exchanges with anti-racism demonstrations, with police separating both groups.

Videos on social media showed crowds chanting "say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here".

Credit: PA

Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais witnessed the violent scenes in Knowsley last week. She was a speaker at today's rally and said that the support shown for refugees reflected the Liverpool she knows.

She said: "I have always felt that Liverpool has responded in an amazing way towards refugees in crisis and I have always been really proud of the city for that. But today to see all these people out, it feel like it's really re-newed that, and that is really great."

Following the rally, Mr Corbyn tweeted: "After the horrific events in Knowsley, thousands of anti-racist campaigners have mobilised in Liverpool to stand up for refugees.

"We will not let the far-right divide us.

"We are a mass movement, united in our belief in a more compassionate, caring and peaceful world."