Election campaigning suspended after Manchester atrocity

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 22 dead. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Campaigning for the General Election both locally and nationally has been suspended in the wake of the terrorist atrocity in Manchester.

Election teams across the country are staying off the streets – and the government has called a meeting of its COBRA committee to discuss how to deal with the atrocity.

Cabinet office minister and Ipswich Conservative candidate Ben Gummer is not part of the committee on this occasion because the Prime Minister herself will be present.

But he said the atrocity had showed the importance of defending our way of life. He said: “This is very sad and I think it is right the election campaign is suspended.”

His Labour opponent Sandy Martin said: “I think we have to reflect on what has happened and of course it is right that campaigning is suspended.”

There will definitely be no campaigning on Tuesday and the parties will take advice from senior managers on when to re-start.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had spoken to Prime Minister Theresa May and they had agreed that all national campaigning would be suspended until further notice.

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Mr Corbyn said: “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and been injured.

“Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.

“I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operational 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.”

Mrs May said: “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 affected.”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “The country is united in grief after this devastating terror attack.

“Just as the country is focusing all its thoughts on the victims and their families, so politicians should come together in solidarity and respect for the innocent people caught up in this vile attack.”

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