British political parties have suspended their general election campaigns in reaction to a suicide bomb attack in Manchester, north-west England, on Monday evening (22 May).

The assault came during a Ariana Grande concert at the 21,000-seat capacity Manchester Arena, leaving at least 22 people dead and dozens more injured, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

"We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise. We are working closely with national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners," said Ian Hopkins, chief inspector at the GMP.

"This is clearly a concerning time for people but we are doing all we can working with local and national agencies to support those affected and gather information about what has happened tonight.

"As you will understand we are still receiving information and updates so will provide more details when we have a clearer picture."

Hopkins later confirmed that a lone male attacker, who was carrying an improvised explosive device, died in the blast.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to chair an emergency meeting of the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA) on Tuesday morning (23 May).

"We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said. "All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "horrified" by news of the attack. "My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and been injured," he said.

"Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.

"I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operational response in the city. I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night's appalling events.

"I have spoken with the Prime Minister and we have agreed that that all national campaigning in the general election will be suspended until further notice."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: "The country is united in grief after this devastating terror attack. Just as the country is focusing all its thoughts on the victims and their families, so politicians should come together in solidarity and respect for the innocent people caught up in this vile attack.

"The emergency services have shown the highest levels of bravery and professionalism and deserve our deepest thanks.

"The Liberal Democrats will suspend all national campaigning until further notice."