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Leaders and Mayors of the UK cities at the heart of the ten biggest economic areas outside of London have come together to express their solidarity with Manchester while paying their respects to the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.

Members of Core Cities UK Cabinet, which gathered in Manchester for a meeting this week, signed the book of condolence at the Town Hall in remembrance of those who were killed, injured or otherwise affected by the attack at the arena on the 22nd of May.

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of Core Cities and leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“As leaders of big cities that have so much in common with Manchester, we have all expressed our support, solidarity and sympathy with the city and its people. Today we have gathered to remember and pay our respects to all those affected by this attack.

“We also express our admiration for the way Manchester has responded to such a shocking event and pay tribute to the thousands of frontline public servants who have helped the city and its citizens so brilliantly during a time of crisis.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, added:

“Each of the Core Cities has already stood with Manchester to pledge their support following the arena atrocity.

“Today, I am pleased to welcome all their Leaders and Mayors to Manchester, and to thank them on behalf of our city for their continued support, at what for many of our people, is still a difficult and traumatic time.

“Our diversity is a shared strength. Together, Core Cities UK will work to ensure cities remain open, tolerant and diverse places to live, work and visit. We stand united against division and will continue to work with partners and communities across all our cities to strengthen our common bonds.”