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Priti Patel pays tribute to Lee Rigby and Manchester Arena victims

Priti Patel

Priti Patel has paid tribute to Lee Rigby and the Manchester Arena victims (Picture: PA)

Priti Patel has paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing on the third anniversary of the terror attack.

The Home Secretary said her thoughts were with everyone who lost their loved ones or was injured when the arena was attacked by a suicide bomber following an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

In total 22 people were killed.

Patel also mentioned soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed by terrorists on the same date in 2013. 

‘I am now going to bring this press conference to a close,’ she said during the daily coronavirus briefing at Downing Street.

‘But before I do I want to just pause to remember those who fell victim to something very different – people that fell victim to incredible despicable acts of terrorism on this day.’

22/05/2020. London, United Kingdom. Priti Patel Covid-19 Press Conference 22/05. The Home Secretary Priti Patel chairs the daily Covid-19 Press Conference inside No10 Downing Street with Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance and Border Force Director General, Paul Lincoln. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Priti Patel spoke in Downing Street on Friday (Picture: PA)

Patel added: ‘Three years on from the Manchester Arena atrocity and seven years after the horrific murder of Lee Rigby, we remember the innocent victims who were so viciously and so brutally struck down. 

‘My thoughts and all our thoughts across the nation are with everyone who lost their loved ones and suffered on this incredible, difficult day, we will always remember them. Thank you.’

To mark the third anniversary of the terror attack Manchester Cathedral is live streaming prayers and readings through their Facebook page during the lockdown.

BBC Radio Manchester will also air the sound of the cathedral bells striking 22 times this evening.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 26: Flowers and balloons are left in Saint Ann's Square in tribute to those killed in an explosion at the Manchester Arena earlier this week on May 26, 2017 in Manchester, England. The explosion at the Manchester Arena on the evening of May 22 happened as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and have confirmed 22 fatalities with many more injured. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Flowers and balloons are left in Saint Ann’s Square in tribute to those killed in the Manchester bombing (Picture: Getty)

Undated family handout photo of Fusilier Lee Rigby as a permanent memorial to the murdered soldier will be unveiled in his hometown. A bronze drum, alongside a plaque for Fusilier Rigby, 25, will be located at Middleton Memorial Gardens, together with a memorial wall where in time other local soldiers will be commemorated. The memorial will be unveiled in a private ceremony in Middleton, Greater Manchester, before it is later opened to the public. Fusilier Rigby - a drummer with the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - was killed outside his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, in May 2013 by two Islamic extremists. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 29, 2015. See PA story MEMORIAL Rigby. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered in 2013 (Picture: PA)

Figen Murray, the mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett, said: ‘Before the restrictions, it was really important we had connectedness and reached out, family and friends, but also the wider community, to come together.

‘We can’t do that this year It’s going to be very strange.

‘I’m normally a really robust and resilient person, but I’ve had so much time on my hands. I’m struggling a bit.

‘I can’t have people to visit, it is very raw, I have noticed I am very reflective, I dream a lot.’

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured hundreds more when he detonated an explosive device as thousands of men, women and children left the Ariana Grande concert.

His brother, Hashem, was convicted of murder and conspiracy at the Old Bailey in March.

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