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Vigil for Manchester, civic dinner postponed

Vigil for Manchester, civic dinner postponed

🕔23.May 2017

A vigil will be held this evening outside the Council House in Victoria Square from 6.00pm to show solidarity from Birmingham to Manchester.

It will bring together political groups, faith leaders and others. Lee Dargue, the Lib Dem candidate for Birmingham Ladywood and local campaigner said:

I’m seeking to rally a vigil featuring all political parties, and those of none, and the leaders of the various interfaith groups, in Birmingham, this evening, in order to show solidarity from Birmingham to Manchester.

The Annual Meeting of the Council will go ahead at 4.00pm today, but the outgoing and incoming Lord Mayors have decided to postpone the usual Civic Dinner that follows ‘Mayor Making’.

Cllr John Clancy was joined by his Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposite numbers, Cllrs Alden and Hunt, in making the following statement:

Birmingham stands firm with our friends in Manchester today.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with the victims, their families and everyone affected by a barbaric act of terror.

This is a dark day but we know that our towns and cities will not be beaten by terror. People will respond as they did in Manchester last night with kindness, bravery and a resolve not to be cowed into submission.

The normal business of Full Council will continue here in Birmingham today and Cllr Anne Underwood will be installed as the city’s new Lord Mayor. Understandably Cllr Underwood feels it would be inappropriate to continue with the planned civic dinner this evening and has decided to postpone the event. We fully support her decision. However we will re-schedule the event for a later date.

Today though we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Manchester.

A joint statement from outgoing Lord Mayor Cllr Carl Rice and Lord Mayor Elect Cllr Anne Underwood said:

After the awful events of last night in Manchester and as a mark of respect for the families who have lost loved ones or have injured loved ones we have decided to postpone this evening’s civic dinner following the Council AGM.

Birmingham stands by our sister city in this time of sadness and are sending our condolences to all of those who have been affected. We will hold a minute’s silence at the start of Full Council later and will both be thinking of everyone involved.

The Library of Birmingham will be lit up in red, white and blue tonight as a mark of respect.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, issued the following statement:

The attack on Manchester was a vicious and truly dreadful attack on young people. It targeted people enjoying the simple pleasure of a music concert.

My thoughts are with the people of Manchester in this difficult period.

I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services who reacted rapidly and showed true dedication.

I would urge people to be vigilant but to go about their daily lives as normal.

If you see anything suspicious please report it to the police on 0800 789 321.

A series of tweets this afternoon from West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, included the following message:

22 deaths have been confirmed, with the first of two victims already named – aged 8 and 18. 59 others are being treated in eight of Manchester’s hospitals.

One arrest has already been made in the connection with the attack.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have been visiting Manchester this afternoon. They will return to Downing Street for another COBRa emergency committee later today.

Campaigning in the General Election remains suspended.

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