Manchester Arena blast: Election campaigning suspended – BBC News

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The main political parties have all suspended general election campaigning after the fatal bombing in Manchester.

Prime Minister Theresa May will chair an emergency Cobra meeting in London into the suspected terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert, which left 22 dead and more than 50 injured.

Mrs May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other senior politicians have all expressed their horror at the attack.

The SNP has postponed the launch of its manifesto which was due on Tuesday.

The prime minister said all her thoughts and those of the nation were with the victims of Monday’s blast at the Manchester Arena and their families.

“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” she said.

Mr Corbyn said he was “horrified” by the incident. “Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives,” he said.

The Labour leader said he had been briefed about the operational response by Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham.

“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.”

‘Heartbreaking’

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the news was “heartbreaking” and her thoughts were with the victims of the “barbaric” attack.

Announcing it would not be going ahead with its manifesto launch as planned, the party tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Manchester.”

The Lib Dems, UKIP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru have also announced that they will be ceasing campaigning until further notice.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who has cancelled a planned visit to Gibraltar, praised the “great bravery and heroism” of the emergency services

“This is an attack on innocent people and the nation is united both in its grief and its determination to stand up to this deplorable attack,” he said.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said his thoughts and prayers were with those affected.

Tuesday’s Cobra meeting will be attended by senior ministers and intelligence officials. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the attack had “deliberately targeted some of the most vulnerable in our country”. She praised the emergency services for their response to the incident.

Union flags are being lowered to half mast in Downing Street as a mark of respect.

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