Bermondsey and Old Southwark stands shoulder to shoulder with all the people of Manchester following the murderous and cowardly terrorist attack.
All responsible political parties chose not to campaign yesterday after the targeting of children and young people out for an evening celebrating music, culture and their youth. The pain inflicted on the families who have lost loved ones, the city of Manchester and our country collectively is hard to comprehend. Our thoughts and prayers must be with all those affected.
But we will never be cowed and must show in how we choose to continue living our lives that we cannot be intimidated or prevented from sticking to our values. We should also recognise that, even at the height of the attack and when many people were terrified, we also saw some of the best of British values in the cabbies who gave free rides to help people escape and reunite families; the homeless man who ran towards danger to help injured people; the hotels and restaurants who opened their doors and provided food, a safe haven and accommodation; and also the hundreds of Mancunians who were queuing to give blood as soon as they could. We must also thank and commend our brilliant emergency services who not just responded so swiftly in Manchester, but keep us safe and work to prevent further attacks every day. They are the best; they represent Britain and our values.
Some will attempt to use the attack to provoke division and further hate. But hate cannot conquer hate and in dark moments like this, only love and unity can triumph.
I thank my volunteers and all those helping campaign locally for acknowledging yesterday's pause. Today the national party will remain paused but locally we must get back to work and continue to fight for the very democracy that terrorists wish to undermine and overthrow.