A London preacher and his friend sparked outrage today by praising a fanatic who murdered a Pakistani politician for criticising the country's strict Islamic laws.

Former imam Qari Mahmood, 38, and Khalid Iqbal Malik, 43, who attend Lea Bridge Road mosque in Leyton, hailed killer Mumtaz Qadri "a hero" and "a martyr".

Qadri was convicted of killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer after shooting him 28 times over his support for liberal reforms of blasphemy laws in 2011.

In an online video published last month, hours after Qadri's funeral following his state execution, Mr Mahmood, of Waltham Forest, hails him "a hero" and blesses his "martyrdom".

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