Manchester bomb: 'Government has big questions to answer', says Mayor Andy Burnham

A review of the response to the terror attack has found severe flaws in protocol

A review of the response to the terror attack has found severe flaws in protocol

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Government has big questions to answer and needs to build in more flexibility to terrorist attack protocol, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has said.

The Kerslake Report has said "out of the loop" fire services took two hours to attend to the Manchester Arena attack and a Vodafone-designed system to help people get more information on the night of the attack failed. Both have apologised.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "There are big questions here not just for us in Greater Manchester and we’re facing up to those, but also for the Government as well.

"There was poor decision making by the fire service but there is also an issue for the Government to consider and that is some of the protocol that we have for terrorist attacks, particularly potential marauding attacks when there may be more than one attacker, it possibly needs to build in more flexibility because the fire service do have a culture of sticking to the rules if you like."

He added: "Vodafone, commissioned by the Home Office to provide a telephony service in these moments, a service that completely failed and added to the distress of families frantically searching for news.

"Vodafone have apologised but I don’t think that’s good enough, I think there needs to be a clear explanation of how that happened as Lord Kerslake said it added to the distress of families who were already at their wits' end."

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