William Eichler 05 June 2017

Mayor Khan to hold vigil for victims of ‘cowardly’ terror attack

The Mayor of London will hold a vigil today in memory of those killed in the weekend’s terrorist attacks as local leaders from across the country offer their support to the capital.

Seven people were killed and dozens injured on Saturday night during attacks in two areas of central London that the police have described as terrorist incidents.

Sadiq Khan said the vigil will take place at Potters Fields Park, a very short distance from London Bridge, the location of the attack.

‘As Londoners, we will stand together in solidarity to remember those who were killed or injured in this horrific terror attack,’ Mayor Khan said.

‘There can be no justification or excuses for these barbaric, cowardly attacks.

‘By standing together as a city we will send a powerful message here and around the world - that Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.’

Mayor Khan expressed his ‘deepest gratitude’ to the police and emergency services for the ‘speed and bravery of their response’.

The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, also offered his condolences to those who lost loved ones in the attack.

‘Manchester's thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by the appalling attack in London and in particular, with those who have tragically lost loved ones,’ he said.

‘As a truly great city, I know that London will show strength and unity in the face of the terrorists who seek to sow division and fear by their despicable acts.’

Cllr Leese said that after the recent suicide bombing in the Manchester Arena, which took the lives of 22 people and injured 59 others, their city had shown ‘incredible togetherness and resolve’.

He emphasised it was important to ‘not allow those who hate our way of life and our solidarity to prevail.’

Jennette Arnold, chair of the London Assembly, also stressed how critical it is to ‘remain united’ and ‘carry on’ while offering her sympathies to the victims’ families.

‘Our hearts go out to all those affected by the appalling attacks at London Bridge and Borough – to those killed and injured, their families and friends; to those simply enjoying a Saturday night out; and to local residents caught up in the incident and its aftermath.

‘We thank our police services, our ambulance and hospital staff, for their rapid response and for once again putting themselves in danger to save lives.

‘Whenever a life is needlessly taken in London by misguided cowards, our capital grows stronger in its resolve to remain united,’ she continued.

‘London will continue to enjoy its freedoms and treasure its diversity long after this terror group has been beaten.

‘We will remain brave, we will be calm and we will carry on.’

Other council leaders also offered their condolences to those killed on Saturday night while thanking the emergency services.

In a joint statement, Cllr Denise Hyland, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and Cllr Jackie Smith, cabinet member for community safety and environment, said: ‘Yet again we see terrorism attacking innocent victims in the most violent and vicious way. We will not allow such extremism to defeat our democratic way of life.

‘We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of faith and community leaders and ward councillors who work hard to foster community cohesion and celebrate diversity.’

‘Please be vigilant and stay safe as you go about your daily business,’ they added.

‘You may see an increased police presence but this is about giving people greater reassurance and does not mean there is any specific threat to our borough.’

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood, said: ‘I am saddened and appalled that once again terrorists have struck our country and have killed and injured innocent people in the capital city.

‘Again, on behalf of the city and the people of Birmingham I send deepest condolences to the families and friends of those affected. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.’

Croydon also issued a joint statement on the terror attack.

Council leader Tony Newman and Croydon Borough Commander Jeff Boothe said: 'Our thoughts are with those killed and injured in the horrific attack at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday evening and with families and friends affected.

'The bravery of our emergency services during the incident was so impressive. We want to express our gratitude to them for the way they tackled the perpetrators and the way they helped the citizens caught up in the attack.

'We will not allow this mindless act to stop us carrying on with our lives and want to reassure you that we will work tirelessly to keep the people of Croydon safe, and work with colleagues from across the capital to ensure that we share our intelligence and information.'

Theresa May has demanded a tougher approach from authorities in eradicating extremism and building cohesive communities following a third terror attack in as many months.

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