Nick Clegg told a meeting of faith and community leaders today that people have a choice to reject the "corrosive feeling of fear" affecting their lives in the aftermath of the Woolwich murder.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby wanted the Government to overreact and communities to be divided.

He told the meeting in Islington, north London: "The fact that we're here together - from so many different directions and so many parts of the diversity that is London - it sends out a very simple message of hope over fear, of community over division, and that is immensely important."

The Lib Dem leader said the religion of Islam was "perverted" by the two men who were shot by police in the wake of the murder.

He read a verse from the Quran which states: "If anyone kills a human being, it shall be as though he killed all mankind."

Mr Clegg said: "What we heard from those two individuals was a total unqualified betrayal of Islam.

"A religion of peace was being distorted, turned upside down and inside out, perverted in the cause of an abhorrent and violent set of intentions."

He added: "We have a choice to either allow that powerful, corrosive feeling of fear to seep into every second and minute and hour of our lives, or we can make a choice that we're not going to change our behaviour, we're not going to disrupt normal life. We're going to continue our life as before."

The meeting at the Hugh Cubitt Peabody Centre was attended by Conservative peer Lord Ahmad and shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan.