In Depth

Manchester terror attack: Politicians and pop stars united in grief

Harry Styles and Gary Barlow join Donald Trump and Angela Merkel in messages of sympathy

Politicians, musicians and entertainers have come together to offer their sympathies after 22 people died and dozens were injured in an attack at the Manchester Arena last night.

US pop star Ariana Grande, who had finished her set at the  venue moments before a blast tore through the packed lobby, led the condolences, tweeting that she was "broken" and "so, so sorry".

Andy Burnham, the newly elected Mayor of Manchester, said the suicide attack was an "evil act", but vowed  the city would pull together to recover.

"We are grieving today but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual as far as possible in our great city," he said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who previously said the threat of terror attacks was "part and parcel" of living in a big city, tweeted that the capital "stands with Manchester".

In a longer statement posted to Facebook, he called the attack a "cowardly act of terrorism" and promised a heightened police presence on the streets of London today to reassure the public.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is chairing a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra team this morning, said her "thoughts and prayers" were with the victims of the "appalling" attack. All major parties have agreed to suspend their election campaigning for the day.

World leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed their condolences.

US President Donald Trump said those responsible were "losers in life".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered his "deepest sympathies" to the victims.

"It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instil fear where there should be joy," 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."

Grande's fellow musicians were also horror-struck by scenes of the atrocity.

Take That frontman Gary Barlow tweeted that he was "praying" for the victims and their families. The 1990s boy band played at the arena last weekend and was scheduled for three more shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

US singer Taylor Swift, who played Manchester Arena in 2011 and 2015, sent "all her love" to those caught up in the attack.

Canadian singer Celine Dion, who is set to appear at Manchester Arena later this year, tweeted: "Manchester, I am with you." She also uploaded a Facebook post despairing of "the senseless loss of so many beautiful souls".

In the UK, former One Direction star Harry Styles said he was "heartbroken" by the tragedy. The boy band played dates at the arena on their 2013 and 2015 tours.

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