The Manchester Arena attack was an evil and callous act perpetrated by those who despise our way of life. Those responsible chose innocent people, including children, who were simply enjoying themselves in a bid to cause the maximum amount of suffering. But we were clear then and we are clear now – they will not succeed.
We have seen the spirit of generosity that has been building in Manchester over the last few months and it is heartening to see the community spirit and resilience of the people of Manchester. I was at Albert Square when the whole of the city came together, and poet Tony Walsh gave an emotional performance that demonstrated their defiance against the threat of terror. If the terrorists aim is not only to murder, but to sow discord and hatred in this country – then they again did not succeed.
Importantly, we will never forget those who lost their lives, and will continue to support the victims’ families. I want to thank the police, and emergency services, who helped not only in the aftermath of the attack but are still working, day and night, to keep us safe.
And for the people of Manchester I want to pay tribute to your show of strength in these past months, and wish everyone attending the re-opening well.