Leaders from different religions risk fuelling extremism when they attempt to show unity and agree on everything, warns the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Addressing a mixed faith audience in London, the Archbishop warned than when faith leaders hide behind “bland” statements about what they have in common rather than facing up to their “profound differences”, it leaves them impotent to halt the spread of extremism.

He said religious leaders must work together to provide an “alternative vision” to combat the influence of extremists, and “move beyond inter-religious interaction in which the usual suspects issue bland statements of anaemic intent”.

True relationships, he added, “can withstand honesty about differences in values, opinions and religious understandings”.