Oldham unites and remembers

On Friday, I joined a community event organised by Oldham Mosque Council where we remembered the victims of the horrific attacks at Westminster and all those affected by it. We were joined by the Interfaith Form, local community groups and Greater Manchester Police. 

You can read my full speech below.

I wanted to come here today to express my profound sorrow and sympathy to everyone who is grieving for a loved one after Wednesday’s horrific attacks in Westminster.

I can only imagine the pain they are feeling and I wanted to let them know that I am thinking about them.

I was actually in the Chamber of the House of Commons leading a debate when I heard a siren go. We were then locked in the Chamber while the Police made sure the site was safe.

I want to say thank you and show my solidarity and support for the Police and all the emergency services. Their actions on a daily basis are nothing short of heroic. I will be eternally grateful to PC Keith Palmer who gave his life protecting us all, our way of life, our values and beliefs. He was a lovely man always smiling and cheerful when you saw him. I will always remember him.

On Wednesday, we saw the worst in humanity – the deliberate slaughter of innocent people who were going about their business, on holiday, visiting friends, Police Officers receiving awards for other heroic acts. And shortly afterwards we heard from those who wish to spread fear, hate and division, in their vile attempt to blame Islam and immigrants for these attacks. These attacks have nothing to do with Islam or immigrants and I condemn them and their hate-filled views.

But we also saw the best of humanity – strangers comforting and consoling the injured, our Police and others running towards danger to keep others safe. Small acts of kindness and generosity which mean more than those who bestow them realise.

Finally I just want to say how important it is that we stay united and resolute – we need to stand together and stand up against those who try to divide us with their hate. I leave you with my friend Jo Cox’s words:

‘We have more in common than that which divides us.’

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