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Leese vows ‘fear and division’ won’t win following terror attack

The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, has sent a powerful message of defiance in the face of the most terrible terrorist attack the city has ever seen.

He vowed to not let “fear and division” win as he sent a powerful statement about the solidarity and unity that the city was showing during this dark time, asserting that: “This is Manchester and we do things differently here.” 

On Monday evening, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured many more at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

But despite this, the city has united to stand up to hate, as a vigil was held outside the town hall on Tuesday and at St Anne’s Square yesterday evening, showing how the resolute community spirit of Manchester will live on after such a difficult week.

And now Sir Richard has publicly voiced his own message of defiance as he praised the reaction that the people of Manchester had given following the attack.

“There has been a tremendous outpouring of grief, solidarity and support for everyone affected by this week’s tragic events and for this great city of Manchester,” he said.

“We have been touched by messages of goodwill from people of all ages, races, religions and from all around the world.”

Sir Richard also mentioned the “countless examples,” of generosity that Manchester’s population had shown, whether it was giving charitable funds or the number of people who volunteered to give blood for victims being treated in hospital.

“Not least we have seen last night’s moving vigil here in this very Square and seen people continuing to come here to lay floral tributes to those who have lost their lives in this atrocity,” he added.

And with the Great City Games coming up this weekend, flowers and tributes at Albert Square have been moved to St Anne’s Square to make room for the events to be set up.

Sir Richard sent a powerful message to terrorists by saying that people getting on with their daily lives was the best way to stand up to hatred, adding that the Great City Games will act as “a powerful symbol of that resilience”.

“We will not let those who want to sow fear and division win,” he concluded.

Top Image: Martin Rickett PA Wire

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