Londoners fall silent to honour victims of Finsbury Park terror attack as Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn vow 'hate will not divide us'

Fiona Simpson

London fell silent to honour the victims of the Finsbury Park terror attack a year after Darren Osborne ploughed a van into a crowd of Muslims as they left a mosque during Ramadan.

Grandfather Makram Ali, 51, was killed and 12 others injured when Osborne drove into worshippers leaving Muslim Welfare House in the early hours of June 19 last year.

Today politicians, faith leaders and those affected by the attack gathered at Islington Town Hall in memory of Mr Ali.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and MP Emily Thornbury all vowed not to “let racism and extremism divide us” as they gave rousing speeches to crowds paying their respects.

Imam Mamhoud speaks at the service (Alex Lentati)

Ms Thornbury said: “There is no community like Islington.

“We have extreme wealth living next to poverty, we all live on top of each other, we hardly have any green space and we like it that way.”

Politicians and faith leaders called on Londoners to unite against terror (Alex Lentati)

She hailed the community’s unity as “an example to the world of how people can live together”.

“That is why the extremists and the racists hate us. They can do what they like to us but they will not divide us because we are one. There is no other in Islington, there is only us,” she said.

Mr Khan echoed Ms Thornbury’s powerful words as he remembered Mr Ali and shared “prayers and love” top his family and friends and those injured in the attack.

He hailed the heroic actions of emergency services and bystanders who helped the injured and praised Imam Mamhoud who protected Osborne from angry onlookers until police arrived.

Crowds turned out at Islington Town Hall to pay their respects (Alex Lentati)

“This is the kind of story that gives us hope. Our values will always be stronger than the hatred of the extremists,” he said.

“This is our city, this is our way of life and those who seek to divide us should know this: You will never succeed,” the mayor concluded to rapturous applause.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn, who lives close to Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road, described how he and Mr Khan spent the night at the mosque following the attack.

Emily Thornbury and Sajid Javid with members of the community (Alex Lentati)

He praised Mr Ali and reminded mourners of a plaque erected in his memory at a play park he frequented with his children and grandchildren.

He spoke of his pride in schoolchildren who paid tribute to Mr Ali playing ‘All You Need is Love’ as they walked around Finsbury Park in the days after the attack.

Makram Ali was killed in the attack (Metropolitan Police)

“In memory of Makram the children playing together, laughing together, they are the answer to the racists, we will be united forever, we will be strong forever, they will never divide us.

Crowds gather in Islington (Alex Lentati)

“In Makrem’s memory, stay united, stay together, support each other,” Mr Corbyn said in a rallying speech.

A powerful minute’s silence was held in memory of Mr Ali and those injured in the attack.

Last night the word’s #LondonUnited were projected onto the side of the mosque as Imam Mamhoud called for a national day to combat Islamaphobia.

Jeremy Corbyn was among those who spoke (Alex Lentati)

He told ITV News: “Tackling the issue is a priority of this government now and that it's been given precedence as part of their agenda to deal with all forms of terrorism as it is not unique to one group."

The words #LondonUnited were illuminated onto the wall of the Muslim Welfare House (NIGEL HOWARD)

Members of the emergency services also paid tribute on the anniversary of the attack with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick saying: “Today our thoughts are with Makram Ali, who died in the attack at Finsbury Park last year. A husband, father, brother, grandfather – much loved and deeply missed. In the Met we also remember all those who were injured that night and those who were caught up in the horror.

"London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. Our strength is our unity. The way the local community in Finsbury Park – of all faiths and all backgrounds – came together and remains so strong together is inspirational. A true reflection of our City."

Osborne was jailed for 43 years over the murder of Mr Ali

The attack was third to hit London in three months following atrocities at Westminster Bridge and at London Bridge and Borough Market.

They attacks also followed the Manchester Arena attack in which 22 people were killed leaving an Ariana Grande concert.