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Tory councillor under fire after ‘vile’ Liverpool car explosion meme

Suspected terrorist Al Swealmeen blew himself up with a homemade bomb in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday.

Taxi driver David Perry was injured in the blast, but managed to escape and has since been released from hospital.

Police declared the event a “terrorist incident” and the UK’s terror threat was later raised to severe.

However, detectives are not sure what the motivation for the attack was or why Swealmeen asked to be taken to the hospital.

Four men who were arrested under terrorism laws in the Kensington area of Liverpool have now been released from custody following interview.

Late night there was anger as a post from the Twitter account of Paul Nickerson, a Conservative councillor on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, showed an edited image of Jeremy Corbyn laying a Remembrance wreath in front of the car which exploded.

The attached comment from the Minster and Woodmansey representative read: “Unsurprisingly.” In the replies, Nickerson accused Corbyn of having a history of “praising and entertaining terrorist and terrorist organisations”.

The former Labour leader was often accused of being a “terrorist sympathiser” by right-wingers and conspiracy theorists during his time in control of the party.

The image may be a reference to a 2018 row over Corbyn’s presence at a wreath-laying event at the Palestinian Martyrs’ Cemetery in Tunis in 2014. As well as memorials to victims of a 1985 Israeli airstrike, the cemetery includes plaques and graves to people involved in the Black September terror group.

Corbyn defended attending the wreath-laying, telling the Daily Mail: “I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere.”

Nickerson, who was sacked as Conservative whip at the council earlier this year, later took to social media to say sorry for the post “sent from my account”. His original tweet was later deleted.

“I would like to apologies [sic] for a political tweet sent from my account yesterday which has been upsetting for some people and I unreservedly apologise to all concerned.”

Commentator Owen Jones quickly screenshotted the original tweet and added: “This tweet from Conservative [councillor Paul Nickerson] is completely vile. Where do you even start.”

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Others encouraged Nickerson to apologise to Corbyn as well as the Royal British Legion – with replies to the councillor’s tweet totalling nearly 1000 within just a few hours.

“I work in local gov and if I’d sent something like that I’d be sacked,” one user said.

“It was not a political tweet, it was a spiteful and personal attack on someone you don’t like,” added another.

Some criticised the wording of Nickerson’s apology, with Christina Grimwade replying: “This is shifting the blame. It’s not an apology, you’re trying to blame others for ‘being offended’.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Conservative group leader have been contacted for comment.

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