“We stand by your side”: the world responds to the Manchester Arena attack

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Kayleigh Dray
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At least 22 people, including children, have been killed in a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

At time of writing, 59 people were being treated for injuries from the blast, which has been dubbed “the most deadly attack in Britain in a decade” and labelled by police as a “suicide” attack.

From President Donald Trump to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the world’s leaders have taken to social media to express solidarity with the UK and condemn the deadly attack.

They have also paid tribute to all of those killed in the blast, many of whom were children, teenage girls and women.


President Donald Trump has said that he refuses to call those behind the Manchester Arena blast “monsters”.

“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured... and to the so many families of the victims. We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.

“So many young beautiful and innocent people enjoying and living their lives, murdered... by evil losers in life," he said.

“I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them from now on losers because that’s what they are, they’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers, just remember that.”


Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, paid his respects to all affected by the attack on Twitter.

“Canadians are shocked by the news of the horrific attack in Manchester tonight,” he wrote. 

“Please keep the victims & their families in your thoughts.”


Emmanuel Macron, the newly-elected French president, shared his condolences on Twitter.

“J'adresse mes pensées au peuple britannique, aux victimes et à leurs proches,” he wrote. “Nous menons ensemble le combat contre le terrorisme.”

Translated into English, this means: “I send my thoughts to the British people, the victims and their loved ones. We join together in the fight against terrorism.”

Elsewhere in France, the Life for Paris group (an association dedicated to helping the victims of the 2015 Paris attacks) penned a powerful message to all those affected by the Manchester Arena blast.

It read: “We have just learned that Manchester was the victim of an attack. It is still too early to determine its nature, but in our eyes that's not important. The violence remains the same.

“All our thoughts go to the victims, their families and friends who must be going through a painful moment of uncertainty. Our thoughts are also very much with all those who have been affected in their flesh or their soul.

“Our thoughts also go to our members, and specifically our English members, for whom this event must have awoken painful memories.

“We are here. We can do little more, but we are here.

“Solidarity has no frontiers.”


German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock and sorrow on Tuesday at the suicide attack and promised to fight people who commit such acts.

In an official statement, she said: “This suspected terrorist attack will only strengthen our resolve to continue to work together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhumane deeds.

"I assure the people of Britain: Germany stands at your side.”


Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have called the act a “cynical, inhumane crime” in comments to state media, picked up by the BBC.

He reportedly said: “We strongly condemn this cynical, inhumane crime.

“We hope that its masterminds will not escape the punishment they deserve.”

The European Union

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a direct message to the UK, in which he said that the EU would stand alongside us during this tragic time.

He said: “Today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life.

“These cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts.”


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Pained by the attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it.”

Modi added: “Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.”


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stood with his head bowed and eyes closed before addressing the Australian Parliament about the incident, which he slammed as an “attack on innocents”.

He said: “This is an attack on innocents. Surely there is no crime more reprehensible than the murder of children. This is a direct and brutal attack on young people everywhere, on freedom everywhere.”

Turnball continued: “Too often we stand in this chamber offering our sympathy and support… once again Australia stands with Britain in resolute solidarity. Partners in freedom’s cause.

“Our nations will never give into terror.”


Italy’s prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “Italy unites with the British people and government.”

He continued: “Our thoughts are with the victims of the Manchester attacks and their families.”

An image created by Italian artist Virginia Azzurra Di Giorgio is also being shared on Instagram, featuring a young girl holding out a music note crafted from a broken heart.

The accompanying caption, translated into English, reads: “Yesterday something broke, music, life. You have come to strike something so big, so universal, as intimate as music touching younger lives, our hope in a better world, and I think there is nothing worse. There is nothing more cowardly.

“For a moment the music stopped, killing hope, confidence and joy. But what they do not know is that we are stronger because we are the ones we give each day life, optimism, generosity. It will end. But in the meantime, one last harrowing greeting to the young victims of this disgust.”


Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, condemned the attack and said Japan stood side by side with the British people.

In a message to May, he said: “On behalf of the government of Japan and the Japanese people, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims and extend our sympathies to those who have been injured.”


In a statement, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said: “The Chinese government feels shocked and is filled with sorrow over the explosion that has occurred in Manchester.

“We express our deepest condolences to the victims and extend our sincere sympathies to those who were injured and the bereaved families.”


Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said: “I am sending condolences to the families of those murdered and wishes of a speedy recovery to the wounded.

“Terrorism is a global threat and it is incumbent on the enlightened countries to defeat it everywhere.”


“We mourn the victims of Manchester,” wrote Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. “We are in pain. Terrorism has again struck the innocent.

“Brutal act of violence that cannot be condoned.”


Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine, said he was "deeply shocked" to hear the news from Manchester. 

He added that he and the rest of Ukraine were praying for the “swift recovery of the wounded”.

The attack comes less than three weeks before Britain’s general election: political parties have since suspended campaigning as a mark of respect.

Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon have led the UK’s politicians in speaking out about the Manchester attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May

May, who chaired a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee earlier this morning, said: “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.”

Tim Farron

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert.

“My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news.

“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the emergency services.

“This is an attack on innocent people and the nation is united both in its grief and its determination to stand up to this deplorable attack.”

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour party, added: “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and been injured.

“Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.”

Corbyn continued: “I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operational response in the city.

“I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night’s appalling events.”

Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham, the Metro Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services.

“A terrible night for our great city.”

Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister of Scotland paid her respects on Twitter, writing: “Heartbreaking news from Manchester.

“My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones or been injured in this barbaric attack.”

Sadiq Khan

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “London stands with Manchester - our thoughts are with all those killed and injured tonight and our brave emergency services.”

Steve Rotheram

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, whose daughters were at the Ariana Grande concert at the time of the attack, said that the incident had left him feeling “sick” to his stomach.

He tweeted: “Feel sick to think that people have lost their lives at a gig attended by so many young people.

“All my thoughts go out to those parents waiting to hear of the safety of their children. It's a parents worse nightmare. So, so sad.”

Rotheram also issued a public thank-you to the taxi driver who had picked up his children from the event and delivered them safely home.

Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has damned the Manchester explosion as a “barbaric  attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society”. 

She added: “The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.

“This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society - its intention was to sow fear - its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.”

The Muslim Council

The Muslim Council, the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body, has tweeted this in response to the attack.

“This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next,” they said.

“I urge all those around the country to pool together to support those affected.”

If you are concerned about loved ones caught up in the incident in Manchester, the emergency number to call is 0161 856 9400/9900.


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.