Thousands of people attended a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester to pay their respects to the victims of Monday’s terror attack.
22 people were killed and more than 120 injured in the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena which happened at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.
It is the deadliest terror attack to happen in the UK since the 7/7 London bombings back in July 2005.
Jeremy Corbyn, Sajid Javid, Amber Rudd, Andy Burnham were among those on the stage at the service. Councillor Eddy Newman, Lord Mayor of Manchester, praised the ‘incredible turnout’ and thanked the emergency services.
A poem, ‘This is the Place’, by Tony Walsh was read out to the crowds.
The poet Tony Walsh will read his gorgeous ode to Manchester, This Is The Place; "Make us a brew while you're up, love, go on…" pic.twitter.com/o0CfdGD6ax
— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) May 23, 2017
The service was paused shortly before 6.30pm for a minute’s silence before a candle was lit in memory of the 22 people who lost their lives.
Live from Manchester’s vigil:
We’re live in Manchester for a special vigil in memory of those whose lives were tragically taken in last night’s cowardly attacks ❤️?
Posted by UNILAD on Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Three of the victims have been named – the first of those, Georgina Callander, aged 18, was described by a friend as ‘a beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul’.
The second victim to be named was eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos became separated from her mother and sister during the attack.
The headteacher at Saffie’s school told the Guardian:
Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone.
Saffie’s mother and sister are being treated for shrapnel injuries in separate hospitals.
26-year-old John Atkinson is the third victim to have been named by police.
Tributes have been paid to the Bury man on social media and his friends and family have described him as an ‘amazing young man’ and ‘a beautiful soul’.
Earlier today, police named the suicide bomber as 23-year-old Salman Abedi.
Abedi set off the explosive near the box office of the venue at the Ariana Grande concert. He was reportedly known to authorities prior to last night’s attack.
Following the attack, a crowdfunding appeal has been set up to support victims and has now reached nearly £450,000.
The Manchester Evening News started the fundraiser due to the overwhelming response from readers asking how they can help and contribute in some way. The initial target stood at £100,000 but that total had tripled – due to a hugely generous donation from Umar Kamani- the man behind fashion giant Boohoo – leading them to increase their goal to £500,000.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Police are encouraging anyone with footage from the scene to upload it at ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or ukpoliceimageappeal.com.
Other information can be reported to the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.