Last Sunday, as I and thousands more were at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Anglican Cathedral, news started to come through of the bomb blast at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. This attack has rightly shocked local residents and the rest of the country.
David Perry, the driver of the cab and the security staff at the hospital who reacted quickly to the incident and our emergency services have been rightly praised for swift actions that minimised the consequences of the attack. Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service deserve particular praise for keeping the city and its citizens safe.
As a fuller picture emerges of what happened we must let the police complete their investrigative work but it is clear that people at the Women’s Hospital and the city have had a lucky escape from much more serious consequences.
I have not known a Government fail to make a statement to the Commons following a terrorist attack in my 24 years in the House but Liverpool MPs led by Kim Johnson, in whose constituency the attack took place, had to drag a Government Minister to the Commons to set out what was know. The Speaker rebuked the Minister for failing to offer a statement and the Minister began by talking about the ‘London Women’s Hospital’, an unfortunate slip of the tongue. Meanwhile, the Home Secretary who had scuttled off to the USA rather than visit the city or do her duty in the Commons used the attack to lambast the asylum system that her Government has been in charge of for 11 years and that she has herself run for over two years to whip up anti-asylum sentiment.
This base opportunism is an insult to our city and I am glad to say that we have all come together in unity to try and prevent these events from leading to an increase in hate crime.