Poland mayor in very serious condition after being stabbed on stage

A mayor in Poland is in a very serious condition after being stabbed by a man who burst onto a stage he was speaking on at a charity event.

Pawel Adamowicz, who is the mayor of Gdansk, was attacked in the city during the finale of an event organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the 53-year-old was hospitalised in very serious condition.

He called the incident "an act of inexplicable barbarity."

A suspect had been arrested, he added.

Television footage showed the assailant shouting that he was imprisoned, despite being innocent and purportedly tortured by the former government of the Civic Platform, which the mayor previously belonged to.

The mayor, who has held the position since 1998, is seen as progressive has and shown support for LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.

President Andrzej Duda said that while he and the mayor have had political differences, "today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as — I hope — all of us compatriots are. I pray for his return to health and full strength."

European Council president Donald Tusk, one of the founders of the Civic Platform movement also urged people to pray for the injured mayor.