A North East MP attended a local mosque to show solidarity with the Muslim community following Quran burnings in Sweden.

Andy McDonald visited the Jamia Masjid Al-Madina Mosque on Waterloo Road, Middlesbrough on Monday (July 24) to take part in a solidarity event.

He was joined by Labour colleagues Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke and prospective candidate for Stockton North, Chris McDonald.

This comes after the burnings and desecrations of the Quran in Sweden and Denmark.

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Mr McDonald spoke of how a number of speakers passionately expressed their grave concerns on the issue.

He said: "Last night, I attended a packed meeting in Middlesbrough, of several hundred Muslim worshippers from across the Tees Valley, their friends and supporters, who gathered in peaceful solidarity at the Jamia Masjid Al-Madina Mosque in Waterloo Road.

"Their grave concerns, so passionately expressed by a number of speakers, were over the burnings and desecrations of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark.

"Their much respected Imam made clear the importance of all holy books and how that reverence was not restricted to the Quran but included the Torah and the Bible.

"It was made very clear how fundamentally offensive it was to desecrate any such holy work.

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"We were of one voice in total solidarity with our community and in condemnation of these terrible acts which were so clearly and singularly focussed on causing offence and insult to Muslims across the world.

"There is much to admire in Sweden and in Denmark but these incidents are wholly unacceptable and shame those nations and the increasing visibility of the far right in Scandinavia is deeply worrying.

"Let’s be clear, these desecrations are hate crimes and deliberately calculated to be anti-Muslim.

"Such actions are totally unacceptable and must be universally condemned."

He said he was honoured to have received written representation from his community on the issue which he will deliver to Parliament.

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He added he will press Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to demand Swedish and Danish ambassadors communicate their condemnation of the act.

"We need an assurance from them that they will act to prevent any such reputations," he added.

Mr McDonald thanked the Tees Valley Muslim Council for their expression of peaceful solidarity and to the Waterloo Road Mosque for their welcome.