Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram reveals his panic over daughters who attended terror concert
A former Labour MP has revealed his daughters attended the pop concert where at least 22 people were killed and dozens injured by a terrorist bomber.
Steve Rotheram, who was elected Liverpool's Metro Mayor earlier this month, said he "froze" when his wife, Sandra, told him about the attack last night.
The couple's daughters, Haylie and Samantha, had been given tickets for the Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena as a Christmas present.
Mr Rotheram, who stood down as MP for Liverpool Walton at the election, had been at a dinner with the US Ambassador when the bombing took place.
He checked his phone and saw he had several missed calls and text messages from his wife, who told him what had happened and that their daughters were safe when he rang her back.
"You just go cold - you freeze," he told the Daily Mirror. "I've had four hours sleep. It's been a horrendous night."
Mr Rotheram said his daughters had been left "very shaken" by their experience.
"They saw people with blood all over them,” he said. "Samantha described a man dripping with blood from his face. They saw some horrific injuries."
He said he spoke to Andy Burnham, his former MP colleague who is now Mayor of Greater Manchester, to get more details.
He added: "After that, all I wanted to do was get my girls home. They're not kid-kids, but believe me when you are faced with something like this they are my babies."
Mr Rotheram added: "I know Manchester will recover, just as Paris and London have done after the atrocities there. But some people will live with that for the rest of their lives. They will be scarred by this.
"And for 22 victims, that phone call we received simply never happened. Most of the people there were young girls. As an act of barbarism, to target kids – what goes through somebody's mind to think that can be justified?"
'OUR LIBERTY AND FREEDOM'
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron revealed that his daughters had friends who also attended the concert.
He said: "The attack on Manchester last night, the terrorist outrage, is utterly breaking, it’s been made all the more clear to me this morning as I spoke to my kids, all of whom each had a friend or more at the gig last night in Manchester.
"We know that every terrorist attack on our country is an attack on every single one of us, but this is of a different order.
"This was a terrorist attack deliberately targeted at children having the time of their lives. It was cowardly, it was deliberate, it is beyond wicked.
"That is why it’s right that we should determine that justice must be done and we continue to stand up to those who wish to harm our society, to take away life and to take away our liberty and our freedom."