Home Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed that last night’s blast at the Manchester Arena was a terrorist attack.

In a recorded statement broadcast on Sky News the Home Secretary said “This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society, young people out at a pop concert.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims who have been affected, and I know the whole country will share that view.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have worked throughout the night professionally and effectively, they’ve done an excellent job.”


Police have now confirmed 22 people died when a suspected suicide bomber let off a bomb in the foyer of the Manchester Arena following a concert given by pop star Ariana Grande.

The 23-year-old singer posted a tweet late last night saying she was "broken" by the incident.

The arena was packed with thousands of Grande's fans - including a large number of teenage girls, who make up most of her fan base.

The blast occured at 22.35BST, shortly after she had left the stage and as the fans made their way out of the arena.

Panic can be seen in video footage of the blast, with concert goers streaming down the exit stairs in tears to where parents and guardians were waiting at the bottom to collect them. Tragically, some were never to be reunited with their loved ones.

"Hard to believe..."

In a press statement Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said "It's hard to believe what has happened here and to put into words the shock, anger and hurt that we feel today.

These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorise and kill. This was an evil act.

"Our first thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured and we will do whatever we can to support them. We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual, as far as is possible, in our great city."

The Home Secretary will later this morning be attending a meeting of COBRA, the emergency response committee chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Rudd urged the public to remain “alert but not alarmed,” and if they spot anything suspicious to report it to the police.

She also praised the city of Manchester, recalling the way it recovered from the 1996 Arndale centre bombing.

“Its spirit was not bowed, its community continued. This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society. Its intention was to sow fear, its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.”