WATCH: Lib Dems replace Party Election Broadcast with personal message from Tim Farron about Manchester

Powerful stuff from Tim Farron tonight. We withdrew our scheduled Party Election Broadcast and replaced it with two and a half minutes of Tim talking about the Manchester attack and how it bringing people together, not creating the division the terrorists want.

He talked about the Manchester he loves and the experience of being at the vigil on Tuesday night.

It was a very heartfelt and moving monologue, an act of solidarity before the election campaign starts again in earnest tomorrow. It’s not going to win us seats, but it is a good thing for our country.

Watch it here. A transcript is below.

Manchester is my capital city. I didn’t apply to university there because it was too close to home. It was a place we went to when we got to 18 well maybe 17, we went to Hacienda, Afflecks Palace, to enjoy the bright lights and the glamour of Manchester.

I love Manchester and I was there again last night at the vigil and just hours after the devastation of that terrorist outrage people stood together in that community in that big Albert Square jam-packed with people. People come from miles. I talked to an elderly couple. They come from miles they said. I said, where from? From Oldham. Well that can be miles away from Manchester from one point of view.

It was just a wonderful experience of seeing people coming together and it occurred to me as I walked through the streets afterwards talking to people and just observing what’s going around, I bumped into people who were going into gigs, sat outside bars carrying on as normal. I was proud of them. It struck me.

But what also strikes me is almost by the hour now we get the name of another child, maybe some of them are adults but they’re all someone’s children. Dead. People whose lives have been lost. Another family utterly, utterly shattered and it’s heart breaking. My kids each know somebody who was there on that night and for all of us it feels beyond devastating, beyond heart breaking.

So here’s the thing. You see, we will remember those 22 children. We will remember every single one of them and we will stand by their family. We will put our arms around them. They will be never forgotten but the terrorists will.

Here’s the thing. He died in vain. He died to divide us. He died to set us against one another.

What did I see in Manchester? People putting their arms around one another. We saw the homeless guy who did everything he could to help people who were suffering and in need at that dark time on Monday night. We saw Muslim cabbies giving free rides to people. We saw people open up their homes. That’s the Britain I love and that’s the Britain the terrorists want to destroy. And only a day and a half after that devastating terrorist attack he has already lost, they have already lost.

It feels raw now, it really feels raw but I want to just say those children they’re our children. We’re all Manchester. We’re all Britain. In the words of Tony Walsh the poet ‘we’re all Britain whether we are born here or drawn here’.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Eddie Sammon 25th May '17 - 10:46pm

    I thought it was a great video. I liked the fact there was no music and just Tim talking about his love of Manchester and how much of a tragedy this was. There is a time and a place for things like smiles and music, but I liked the solemness of this.

  • This was the right thing to do, it shows dignity & humanity.

  • Philip Knowles 26th May '17 - 8:40am

    It was a good choice. In the light of Manchester we have changed the tone of our final leaflet to a positive upbeat message of what a LibDem world would look like based on the booklet we got in the post – which I wish we’d known about 3 weeks ago.
    Tim did well but I wish someone would show him how to tie his tie

  • Like many, I still feel very emotional about the events in Manchester, a city familiar to me including the location of this atrocity. Thought that given the circumstances, this was a sensitive and appropriate broadcast, with Tim Farron coming across well.

    However, while unsure of the strength of any link between British foreign policy and terrorism on our soil, it is right that in a democracy that this should be discussed during a General Election. It is disappointing to read of the criticism directed towards Jeremy Corbyn in connection with this.

  • Cayley hill 26th May '17 - 6:36pm

    What a wonderful thing to do i cry every time i watch this. It was from the heart.
    It is a terrible thing what happened but the goodness that has come out of it is amazing i send all my love to manchester cayley feltham

  • Richard Gibson-Brown 29th May '17 - 7:14pm

    I am a hardcore Tory voter, and this will not change. I have also been very critical of Tim Farron in the past, but to produce something as heartfelt, moving, and poignant as this should not go as unnoticed by the press as it seems to have done. Forget the politics of who, or who hasn’t done what in the past, this is the now, and lets pay due reverence to the victims and families.
    Well done Tim, politically you will not get my vote, but as a human being you will.

  • Richard Underhill 30th May '17 - 11:27am

    Richard Gibson-Brown: Tories need to decide whether to vote for the national interest as David Cameron did, or for Theresa May, who has not changed her economic analysis, only her politics, as Jeremy Paxman said yesterday. She is totally unabashed, but how can we believe anything she says now?
    Here in Tunbridge Wells Greg Clark is being told by many Tory voters that he said he would support Remain, and continue to support Remain, but voted for Article 50.
    Ken Clarke MP stood for the Tory leadership with the support of John Redwood MP.
    “We are looking for a leader who is capable of being seen by the public as a Prime Minister in waiting”.

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