“The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the 1930s.” Liverpool Echo
Blackburn: Muslims ‘withdraw Rice invitation’
An invitation to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit a mosque in Jack Straw’s home constituency has been withdrawn, it was claimed.
Mosque leaders in Blackburn decided on the U-turn following pressure from the local community, according to campaign group Stop the War Coalition.
The planned visit on Saturday was designed to repay a trip that the Foreign Secretary made to the Alabama hometown of Ms Rice last year.
Ms Rice will tour Blackburn and Liverpool as part of a two-day regional tour, which is due to start on Friday.
However, the Masjid Al Hidayah mosque in Millham Street is said to have cancelled the invitation because of community feelings about US and British policy on Iraq.
Liverpool: Straw in appeal to anti-war protesters
…It comes after news of Ms Rice’s impending arrival prompted the Stop the War Coalition to organise protests outside The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), when she visits on Friday.
Already poet Roger McGough has pulled out of his booking to compere the Celebration of Liverpool concert at the Phil, and Mona Lisa actress Cathy Tyson turned down an offer to step into the role.
Visit CondiWatch for up to the minute information on the planned protests.
Update: MEP tells Rice: Stay at home