It is with deep sadness that I offer my condolences to the government and the people of the United Kingdom after, what Greater Manchester Police have described as, a terrorist attack in Manchester last night.
We condemn in the strongest terms this attack on teenagers and young children who had simply ventured out to enjoy an evening of music.
The reaction of those who helped in the aftermath, offering shelter, sustenance and practical help, is testament to the human spirit that in times of national and international tragedy we all pull together and work collectively to make things better.
Our actions send out a clear message that we all stand in solidarity and that terrorism will never defeat us and that we will work tirelessly to counter the efforts of violent extremists across the Commonwealth.
I have asked that all the flags of the Commonwealth in Marlborough House be flown at half-mast to show our solidarity not only with the UK but with all nations who have survived terrorist attacks or are under the threat of terror.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.