By Abfab27 [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

My thoughts and prayers are with those all those affected by last night’s attack.  I condemn this despicable act in the strongest possible terms.

It is terrible to imagine the anguish of those injured. It is impossible to imagine the grief of families and friends whose loved ones will never return from an evening out at a concert.

This was an attack on the innocent and especially the young.  The age of many of the victims compounds the horror.  The viciousness and cowardliness involved is beyond comprehension.

I offer my profound thanks to the emergency services for the courage and professionalism with which they dealt with the appalling events of last night.  I know that vital work to help the injured is on going in our hospitals, and that the police are doing all they can to establish how this happened and who was responsible.  They all deserve our thanks and support.

We know that the strength and unity of the people of Greater Manchester will prevail.  We saw that last night when hotels and homes opened up to receive those stranded, and when taxis offered free rides to help clear the area and return people to their loved ones.  In the coming weeks, we will see much more of this spirit.

Today however is a day to remember those killed and to do whatever we can to support the injured and their families.

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