PM praises 'incredible bravery' of hero cab driver after Liverpool taxi explosion

15 November 2021, 11:03 | Updated: 15 November 2021, 12:26

Boris Johnson praised the driver following the explosion.
Boris Johnson praised the driver following the explosion. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised the 'incredible bravery' of the driver of the taxi that exploded outside Liverpool Women's Hospital.

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Speaking to broadcasters at a medical centre in east London, Boris Johnson said the driver - named locally as David Perry - acted with "incredible presence of mind and bravery".

"This is an ongoing investigation so I can't comment on the details or exactly what type of incident it was, what type of crime it may have been," said Mr Johnson.

"But it does look as though the taxi driver in question did behave with incredible presence of mind and bravery.

"But I've got to say this is something that is an ongoing investigation.

"I think it would be premature to say much more than that."

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, from Greater Manchester Police, said he had spoken to the taxi driver, but at the time he was still shaken and injured.

He said police had not yet got a full account of the incident from the driver. ACC Jackson said he could not confirm reports the driver had locked the doors of the taxi before the explosion.

He said it appeared to have been an "unremarkable journey" to the hospital.

Read more: CCTV footage shows Remembrance Sunday blast outside Liverpool hospital

Read more: Three arrested and cordons still in place after Liverpool hospital explosion

Mr Johnson's statement echoed that of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who discussed the issue during a call-in on LBC.

He praised the "first-class" response from emergency services, saying: "It’s an emerging picture but it looks really concerning.

"I’m sure communities in Liverpool will wake up and be very worried this morning, particularly those in and around the hospital area.

"It looks as though the response has been first-class, as you would expect.

"A little bit more detail is needed as to what may have happened but let’s let the investigation run its course."

The driver was taken to hospital to have his injuries seen to, but has since been discharged.

He had picked up the passenger shortly before 11am on Sunday, it is understood by police.

The explosion within the car - which came from a "manufactured" device, assumed to have been built by the passenger in the taxi - went off as the taxi approached the drop off point at the hospital.

However, the driver was able to make a remarkable escape.

The passenger of the car - a man - was declared dead at the scene and is yet to be formally identified.

It comes as the incident "has been declared a terrorist incident", but the motivation is "yet to be understood".

Investigating officers were unable to draw any connection with Remembrance Sunday events near the Women's Hospital - as of Monday morning - but confirmed "it is a line of inquiry", ACC Jackson said.

A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the explosion.