Jeremy Corbyn attended the huge public vigil in Manchester last night as the city gathered to remember the 22 people killed in Monday’s terror attack.
The Labour leader joined Andy Burnham, the new metro mayor, Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and John Bercow, the Commons speaker, alongside senior figures from the police, and thousands of local residents.
Sunshine bathed the sombre crowd as it held a minute’s silence while people many remained in Albert Square long after the event had formally closed.
The gathering was held hours before Theresa May raised the terror threat level to “critical”, the highest band.
Yesterday Corbyn recorded a video message saying Britain was “united in sympathy” for the victims of an “horrific atrocity”.
“Our hearts are broken but our resolve has never been stronger,” he said.
“We are determined that terrorism will not determine our communities as the perpetrators clearly intended.
“We are determined that the poison of terror will not be allowed to pollute our democratic politics. Murderous hatred visited on the Manchester arena – it will go no further.”
Tony Lloyd, the former police and crime commissioner, said “evil acts” would not be allowed to divide the city.
“You can see throngs of people have come out to pay their respects… but in the end it’s the resolution that says ‘we’re not prepared to be divided’,” he said in quotes reported by the BBC.
Lloyd, who will stand for Labour in Rochdale where Simon Danczuk has been barred taking part under party colours, said: “We’ll get through this because that is the spirit of Manchester.”