Theresa May has just given her reaction to the terrorist attack in Nice, saying that Britain would stand ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with the people of France as she condemned the ‘brutal murderers’ responsible. Here’s what she said:
‘I am shocked and saddened by the horrifying attack in Nice last night. Our hearts go out to the French people and to all those who’ve lost loved ones or been injured. While the full picture is still emerging, it seems that at least 80 people are feared dead and many others have been injured. These were innocent victims enjoying a national celebration with their friends and families. We are working urgently to establish whether any British nationals were caught up in the attack. Our ambassador is travelling to Nice today with consular staff and they will be doing all they can to help anyone affected. I have asked my deputy national security adviser to chair a COBRA meeting of senior officials, to review what we know and what we can do to help, and I will speak to President Hollande today and make clear that the United Kingdom stands shoulder to shoulder with France today, as we have done so often in the past. If, as we fear, this was a terrorist attack, then we must redouble our efforts to defeat these brutal murderers who want to destroy our way of life. We must work with France and our partners around the world to stand up for our values and for our freedom.’
As Home Secretary, Theresa May was tasked with keeping Britain safe from the terror threat. It’s no surprise then, that in her new role as PM, she is well aware of her brief on this issue: when she was asked about whether the security budget will be increased in the light of these attacks, she responded by saying that was already happening. Now she is Prime Minister, her experience as Home Secretary will serve her well. But nonetheless, after reshuffling her cabinet yesterday, the reality of her new responsibility will have hit today if it hadn’t already. After what seemed like a tumultuous week in Westminster, a terrible event like this will bring home the true reality of May’s new job.