I was deeply shocked and saddened to wake up to the news of the appalling events in Manchester. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all those affected by this dreadful attack on young people and families leaving a concert.

It is right that, out of respect for the families of the victims, all major parties have suspended campaigning as we reflect on this tragedy. The Prime Minister is chairing a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee this morning, to coordinate the UK’s response to the latest terror threat.

Once again, this country’s emergency services have demonstrated extraordinary bravery by heading towards danger in order to save lives, and I would like to pay tribute the wonderful job they do to keep us all safe.

The solidarity shown by the people of Manchester is a reminder that we should not be cowed by terrorism, but rather remain defiant in the face of those who seek to destroy our way of life.

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