Manchester Arena: Theresa May calls suicide bombing ‘warped and twisted’

It comes after all the major parties in Britain suspended their general election campaigning in light of the fatal explosion at the Manchester Evening News Arena

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
@ashcowburn
Tuesday 23 May 2017 12:16
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Theresa May calls Manchester bombing ‘warped and twisted’

A suicide bomber deliberately chose the place where he could cause "maximum carnage" when he detonated a bomb at a pop concert in Manchester, Theresa May has said.

“It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack,” the Prime Minister said outside Downing Street, adding the “appalling, sickening, and cowardice” assault was the “worst terrorist attack to hit the North of England”.

She added: “We struggle to understand the warped and twisted mind that sees a room of young people as an opportunity for carnage”

Ms May added that the UK’s threat remains at “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely. She also confirmed that the attacker’s identity is believed to be known to police but will not be released at this stage.

It comes after all the major parties in Britain suspended their general election campaigning in light of the fatal explosion at the Manchester Evening News Arena.

Police have confirmed in recent hours that at least 22 people were killed in the attack, including children, and 59 injured as a concert by the US pop star Ariana Grande came to a close on Monday evening.

Ms May added that the suicide bomber had chose the place where he could cause “maximum carnage” when he detonated the bomb, adding that “many” children and young people were among the dead.

After chairing the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, Ms May added: “The terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always pervial."

She continued: "We know that many friends and relatives of people caught up in the attack are still trying to find out what has happened to their children, brothers and sisters, parents and loved ones.

"So please, think of those people who are experiencing unimaginable worry and if you have any information at all relating to the attack, please contact Greater Manchester Police.

"The threat level remains at severe - that means a terrorist attack remains highly likely. But the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which sets the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available to them, will continue to assess this throughout today and in the days ahead.

"Later today I will travel to Manchester to meet the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins, the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and members of the emergency services who have come to Manchester's aid in its moment of need.

In a statement Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.

“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been effected. I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operation response in the city.

“I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night’s appalling events.

“I have spoken with the Prime Minister and we have agreed that all national campaigning in the general election will be suspended until further notice.

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