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Mr Houchen said: “I want to express my sympathy, condolences and solidarity with the people of Manchester following the terrible events experienced at their arena. This was a barbaric and evil act and every parent will feel hurt in their heart at the targeting of innocent children. Terrorism can happen anywhere and Manchester is expressing the best response the people of the North of England can offer, they have come together to defy those who wish them harm. I’m writing to my opposite number, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, to put on the public record the sympathy and outrage felt by people in Tees Valley.”