British Politicians Suspend Election Campaign After Manchester Attack
British Politicians Suspend Election Campaign After Manchester Attack

After an explosion at a concert killed 22 people in Manchester, campaigning has been suspended for Britain's upcoming election. Global politicians have joined their British counterparts in condemning the attack.

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Early on Tuesday morning, about four hours after the explosion that shook Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, British Prime Minister Theresa May released a statement condemning the "terrorist attack."

"We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

Earlier, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reacted to the "terrible incident" on Twitter, saying his "thoughts are with all those affected." He later posted a longer statement.

The two leaders spoke on Tuesday and had agreed to suspend their election campaigns "until further notice” following the attacks. National elections are scheduled in Britain for June 8.

"This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert," said Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron. "My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news."

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham made a statement on Tuesday morning, saying the citzens of Manchester had experienst the "darkest of nights" and were "waking up to the most difficult of dawns."

Burnham condemned the "evil act" that took place at the concert, but said "today it will be business as usual, as far as possible, in our great city."

The mayor also praised citizens who opened their doors to people fleeing the attack in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. #RoomsForManchester was used on Twitter to provide people with no way of getting home with a place to stay after the explosion.

International support

Ariana Grande's current tour is scheduled to take her around the world, where several thousand of her fans – many of them teenagers and younger – are expected to fill concert venues. Statements from leaders around the world joined the chorus of condemnation after the attack.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was a "brutal attack on young people everywhere” in remarks to parliament.

"This incident, this attack, is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers,” he said.

Grande has five dates scheduled in Australia in September.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said "if this is a terrorist attack, such abhorrent acts of terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, and Japan firmly condemns such an act of terrorism.”

"I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of the deceased and my prayers to a swift recovery for the wounded. Japan stands in solidarity with the people of the UK."

Two Ariana Grande concerts are scheduled for Tokyo in August.

Tweets from German politicians also expressed support for the victims.

Government spokesman Steffan Seibert tweeted in German and in English to lend "thoughts and prayers" to those affected.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, in German, "Appalling news from Manchester! Our thoughts are now with our British friends" beofre adding "united we stand" in English.