Theresa May: 'Why I've not met families of those killed in Manchester terror attacks'

Clockwise from top left: Chloe Rutherford and boyfriend Liam Curry, Jane Tweddle-Taylor, Courtney Boyle and Philip Tron.
Clockwise from top left: Chloe Rutherford and boyfriend Liam Curry, Jane Tweddle-Taylor, Courtney Boyle and Philip Tron.

Theresa May has not met any families of people killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist atrocity in May.

The Prime Minister said she had spoken to people caught up in the suicide attack on a pop concert, when 23 people died including the murderer.

But she said that at the time she wanted to give families space to grieve in private.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees, Mrs May said: "I have met a number of people who have been direct victims of the attack, who were at the attack.

"I haven't met anybody who was from a family where anybody died in the attack.

Read more: Prime Minister apologises for failing to contact families of South Shields bomb blast couple Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry

The attack in Manchester took place on May 22.

The attack in Manchester took place on May 22.

"At the time, I felt it was important to allow people to have some private time to grieve.

"It isn't the case that we have made no effort to have contact with people affected by the Manchester bombing.

"This was a terrible attack. I think as Prime Minister, the first concern that I had, and must have, is ensuring that our police and security services were able to investigate this."

Five people from the North East were among those who died.

Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister Theresa May.

They were; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields; Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51; and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.

Last month, South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck quizzed Mrs May in Parliament during Prime Minister's Question Time. She spoke on behalf of the families of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

The MP said: “As the Prime Minister was visiting the survivors of the Manchester terror attack, families were heartbroken after losing their children were in the vicinity, but they were not visited by the Prime Minister.

“Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry tragically lost their lives and their parents feel ignored by the Prime Minister.

“I wrote to her several weeks ago with their concerns but she failed to respond. “When will she acknowledge their loss?”

Liam Curry's grandmother also sent two letters to Mrs May following May's attack.

In response, the Prime Minister said she was unaware of the letter and could only apologise for there being no response. She said she would look into the issue immediately and that a response should have been issued before now.