Gibraltar’s political leaders sent messages of solidarity to the people of Manchester this morning following last night’s horrific terror attack on a pop concern.
The blast at the Manchester Arena left 22 people dead, including children, and injured a further 59.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo described the attack as “a cowardly crime”.
Mr Picardo has written to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to express the sincere condolences of the Gibraltar Government and the people of Gibraltar in the aftermath of the ‘barbaric attacks’ perpetrated at Manchester Arena last night.
Mr Picardo said: “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims of this cowardly criminal act.”
“At this tragic time we are inspired by the stories of the bravery and acts of kindness of the people of Manchester and we stand in solidarity with them in this shared moment of grief.”
“At the same time, we must resolve to continue to go about our daily business and live our lives devoid of the fear that terrorists wish to plant in our world.”
“That is the best way to honour the memory of those murdered today,” Mr Picardo said.
“I very much look forward to visiting Manchester officially again during the party conference season this year. Manchester is a City with close links to many Gibraltarians through personal, professional and educational links and we know it to have the resilience and strength to carry its people beyond this senseless carnage through the generosity and spirit of its great people.”
He added: “Today, we are all Mancunians on the Rock.”
The Government further announced that flags on government buildings fly at half-mast until further notice, “in defiance of this shameful act of terrorism, and in solemn memory of the victims”.
The Government added that the right decision has been made by the Liberal Democrats to cancel Tim Farron’s campaign visit to Gibraltar today as a sign of respect for the victims and their families.
It is right also that all campaigning has been stopped in the British General Election by all parties contesting the election, the Government said.
“The people of Gibraltar are in solidarity with the people of Manchester Our thoughts with victims/families of this cowardly crime #Mancunian,” Mr Picardo said in a message posted on Twitter early this morning.
— Fabian Picardo (@FabianPicardo) May 23, 2017
Daniel Feetham, the leader of the GSD, also sent a message of support.
“My thoughts with the people of Manchester, the United Kingdom and, in particular, the victims and their families,” he said in a tweet.
My thoughts with the people of Manchester, the United Kingdom and, in particular, the victims and their families.
— Daniel Feetham QC (@dannyfeetham) May 23, 2017
Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon tweeted: “#Manchester praying for the injured and victims’ families at this terrible time.”
#Manchester praying for the injured and victims' families at this terrible time.
— Marlene Hassan Nahon (@MHassanNahon) May 22, 2017
As a routine step after such incidents, the Gibraltar Contingency Council will meet this morning to review the latest developments in Manchester and assess whether any additional security measures are required.