‘Manchester is resilient and democracy will triumph’, peer says
Democracy will always triumph over terrorism, a Labour peer said today as delegates at a parliamentary conference in Gibraltar paid tribute to victims of the Manchester bombing.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Baroness Hilary Armstrong told the Chronicle Manchester would remain “absolutely solid” despite last night’s attack.
Her words followed a minutes’ silence held at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference to remember the 22 victims of the blast at the Manchester Arena, who include children.
The attack last night also left 59 people injured, many with life-threatening injuries.
“It was a cowardly and vicious attack and for many of us, the fact that what looks like a suicide bomber knew the children would be killed is incomprehensible,” Baroness Armstrong said.
“But the people of Manchester are resilient.”
“I remember going to work with them after the 1996 IRA bomb and the determination to pull together and to make sure that they re-built their city was absolutely solid and we have already seen that from the people of Manchester overnight.”
“It does remind us, though, that terrorists don’t like democracy, they don’t like communities that work together even if they don’t all agree with each other.”
“It is a reminder that we have to sort our problems out through discussion, through debate, through difference that we express in the ballot box and not with the bomb.”
A panel including Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, Scottish MSP Tavish Scott and Deputy Greffier of the States of Jersey Lisa Hart called for a minute’s silence at the start of today’s session of the conference.
The CPA is holding its 47th Regional Conference of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region on the Rock that is attended by close to 40 parliamentarians from 11 Commonwealth countries.
Following this morning’s conference Conservative life peer Baroness Gloria Hooper also offered her condolences.
“Having recently experienced the attack on the Houses of Parliament I realised that although that was very secure what concern and worry everyone experiences,” Baroness Hooper said.
“I felt, heartfelt sympathy with all the people in Manchester who at the end of an evening of entertainment.”
“It must have been the most terrible shock and so certainly commiserations and condolences for all of those who were killed and badly injured in the attack and their families. Please god that this was just another one off attack and not part of an organised terrorist regime.”