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Government will pay for for extra security at mosques in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 March 2019

Vigil in March at East London Mosque with Bishop of London and mayors of London and Tower Hamlets for victims of the Christchurch shootings. Picture: Ken Mears

Vigil in March at East London Mosque with Bishop of London and mayors of London and Tower Hamlets for victims of the Christchurch shootings. Picture: Ken Mears

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A government fund to help places of worship pay for extra security measures has been doubled in the wake of the New Zealand terror attacks.

The government will pay for extra security at all mosques in Tower Hamlets. Picture: Ken MearsThe government will pay for extra security at all mosques in Tower Hamlets. Picture: Ken Mears

Mosques in Tower Hamlets, which has one of the highest Muslim populations in country, will be supported by the council in their bids for extra money, the mayor of the borough has said.

The Home Office has boosted the places of worship fund to £1.6million to “reassure communities and safeguard mosques and other places of worship”. An extra £5m will be set aside to provide security training.

Fifty people were killed and dozens more wounded in Friday’s assault on Christchurch mosques.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs welcomed the extra funding.

He said: “I and others addressed a meeting of over a thousand Muslim residents concerned about the possibility of similar far-right Islamophobic attacks here in London.

“Our community has long faced threats from the far-right. From the Blackshirts and the Battle of Cable Street in the 1930s to more recent EDL provocations outside the East London Mosque and increased racial hate crime following the Brexit vote the East End knows the danger far-right extremism can pose.

“We should also recognise that Christchurch was the latest in a series of attacks on places of worship globally and that many groups of varying beliefs are increasingly concerned about the danger posed by this kind of attack.”

Last year there were two successful bids from the places of worship fund in Tower Hamlets – Ashaadibi Mosque received £6,000, while the Darul Ummah got £20,000 to improve security.

Mr Biggs added: “I welcome the announcement that more funding will be made available to boost security around places of worship and as a council we will support local faith groups to bid for this money. It is absolutely right that extra resource is made available to keep worshippers safe.”

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