If rain makes Britain great, then Manchester is greater.

The barbarism of this latest terrorist incident is striking. To target innocents is awful, but to focus an attack on young people is something else indeed. 

My thoughts are with those who have lost their lives, the injured, and their families and friends.

The emergency services, joined by taxi drivers, hotel workers and local people have worked through the night to keep people safe, provide shelter and get people home. We should never forget that when we are struck low, our community keeps us together.

Our campaign is suspended until further notice. Now is not the time to be making political points.

Three thoughts on the attacks

I’m struck by what a remarkable country we live in.

London has been afflicted once again by terror.

The reason for this attack, the actions that led to it, and the attackers’ minutes, days and weeks before the incident will be picked over for many months. 

Those details will be written about later by others.

But three fragments stand out to me now:

First - that we owe a great deal to those public servants who shy away from danger, putting duty first and themselves a very distant second. As parliament was locked down, Police ran towards trouble (as reportedly did medics from St Thomas’). Even the Foreign Minister performed CPR on a wounded Police officer.

Second - that we should celebrate our democracy. It’s no coincidence that the incident was at the Palace of Westminster, the cradle of our democracy. Inside that building - as happens day after day, year after year - debates are held, and laws passed, in public by parliamentarians who are directly elected to speak for their constituents. Democracy is fragile and remarkable. We should treasure ours. 

Third - that as a wounded police officer was treated at the scene, so was his attacker. What better message can we give to our tormentors than that? That no matter the acts of barbarism which may come, we are confident in our democracy and the rule of law and so will afford them care and try them fairly? 

Our assailants detest our freedom and the institutions and people which underpin and defend it. If nothing else, today has shown that all three are strong.