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Anne Longfield has strongly condemned the suicide attack in Manchester Arena for targeting “the most vulnerable group in our society – children and young people.

The attack was timed as many youngsters and their parents left an Ariane Grande concert, a pop star well known to have a predominantly teenage fanbase, and therefore the attack can only have been intended to kill and maim the very people for whom the night should have been a wonderful memory in their young lives.

That such an atrocity should even be contemplated against children sets a new low in terms of Terrorism which has already, in recent years, sought to extended the realms of barbarism.

Anne Longfield, The Children’s Commissioner said:

“It is difficult to comprehend the brutality of the bombing in Manchester which specifically targeted the most vulnerable group in our society – children and young people. This horrific and cowardly attack was aimed at an audience for a pop star with a huge young following, a fact that could not have been overlooked by whoever planned such an atrocity.

This senseless and barbaric act has robbed a group of children (one as young as eight) and teenagers with their lives ahead of them, of their hopes and dreams. For those killed these will never be realised, for those injured they may be irreparably altered.

Today, as adults, we must find a way to tell our children what has happened. To find the courage to help them understand and give them the reassurance and love they need to deal with such terrible news.

As we all come to terms with this awful tragedy our thoughts and prayers are with the children and families whose lives have been devastated forever.”