Amber Rudd has said the British government will look at how much it shares with the United States about ongoing terror attacks, after details about the Manchester bombing appeared to be leaked to American journalists.
The Home Secretary said on Wednesday morning it was “irritating” that information, including the name of the attacker, Salman Abedi, was obtained by US media outlets before it was released by British police.
Asked by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if she would “look at” what the UK tells the US in future, she said: “Yes, quite frankly.
“The British police have been very clear they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise.
“So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”
Rudd indicated she had told US officials that she was unhappy. “I can say they are perfectly clear about the situation and it shouldn’t happen again.”
Information about the death toll, the nature of the attack and Abedi’s identity were all reported by US media before being confirmed by UK police or other authorities.
The UK is on critical terror alert with military troops set to bolster police forces amid fears Abedi did not act alone.
Monday night’s attack at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande left 22 people dead, including an eight-year-old girl, and dozens injured.
The first victims were confirmed as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland and teenager Georgina Callander from nearby Chorley.
Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said this morning that 20 people remain in “critical care” across Manchester with people suffering from “horrific injuries” including major organ damage and potential loss of limbs.
The major party leaders’ campaigns for the June 8 General Election will remain suspended.
Theresa May will continue handling the response to the atrocity, chairing another meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Wednesday morning.
The campaigns of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat counterpart Tim Farron will also remain paused.