The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi has left the UK as he was due to give evidence at a public enquiry into the attack.

Ismail Abedi and friend Ahmed Taghdi had been given court orders warning them to attend the inquiry this week to answer questions about the radicalisation of the bomber who carried out the May 22, 2017 attack.

The attack claimed 22 lives and injured hundreds more people at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.

Ismail Abedi and the bomber’s parents are both believed to be in Libya and are also not co-operating with the inquiry.

Paul Greaney QC, addressing chairman of the inquiry Sir John Saunders, said Ismail Abedi had refused to co-operate with the inquiry but was ordered to attend on Thursday.

However, he is no longer in the country and there is “no indication” when he will return.

Mr Greaney said: “As he surely must understand, if he does not do so, the public may infer that he has something to hide and, so Sir, may you.”

Friend arrested after trying to flee UK

Childhood friend of the brothers, Mr Taghdi, was told on Friday that if he did not attend the inquiry this week he would be arrested.

He attempted to leave the country on Monday and as a result was arrested and is now in custody.

The hearing was told that he was able to provide evidence of a return ticket to the UK on October 20. His original destination was not disclosed.

He is now due to give evidence on Thursday.

The hearing continues.