Nick Clegg praises the churches after Lee Rigby death
NICK CLEGG, an atheist who goes to church with his Catholic wife and sends his sons to Catholic schools, has praised the role played by faith communities after the murder of British army solder, Lee Rigby, in Woolwich, SE London, last year.
Speaking to an interfaith gathering in the Cabinet Office last week, Mr Clegg told those present that he would ‘never forget’ the important role faith groups played.
“It was a really powerful signal of calm, of tolerance and of reason, at exactly the time those qualities were under strain,” he said. “You don’t appreciate what a service you provided in London in conveying calm, tolerance and mutual respect at that time. I’m convinced it played an important role in making sure the situation did not get worse.”
In the days after the attack, the Rev Jesse van der Valk, the rector of Woolwich, launched a petition to honour the three women who confronted Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale and knelt to comfort Lee Rigby as he lay dying.
“They changed the story into one of love and courage, which is more powerful than the story the killers wanted to put across,” said Mr van der Valk.