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Ariana Grande 'moved' after being made honorary citizen of Manchester

Ariana Grande performs at the One Love Manchester benefit concert. Credit: PA

Ariana Grande has said she is "moved and honoured" after being made an honorary citizen of Manchester.

The US singer has been recognised for her contribution to the city in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack after her concert which left 22 people dead.

Grande organised the One Love Manchester concert to raise money for the victims and families of those affected.

Posting on Instagram, the 24-year-old said: "I don't know what to say. Words don't suffice.

"I'm moved and honored. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you."

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Councillors voted unanimously on the motion put forward by council leader Sir Richard Leese who described the 23-year-old as "a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again".

He said instead she "brought comfort to thousands and raised millions for the We Love Manchester emergency fund" by returning to the city to perform in June after organising the One Love Manchester benefit concert.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi carried out the attack at Manchester Arena on May 22 which left around 120 people injured.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi carried out the attack at Manchester Arena on May 22. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

At the meeting the council also voted to hold civic receptions for those who helped in the aftermath of the attack, and proposed a new awards scheme to recognise outstanding contributions to the city.

Family members of some of those killed in the attack were at the meeting at Manchester Town Hall on Wednesday morning, which heard from several guest speakers who had been involved in the response.

Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine described the role of officers both in the initial response to the incident and in the investigation, and praised the public in the wake of the attack.

She said: "The outpouring of public support was both tangible and uplifting across the city."

Lorraine Hulme, a ward sister at Wythenshawe Hospital who was on duty on the night of the atrocity, told the meeting: "I feel extremely proud to be part of such an outstanding team and I know the same can be said for all hospitals and their staff involved across the region."

Tributes were left in Manchester's St Ann's Square for the 22 victims of the attack. Credit: PA

Council officer Mark Rainey became upset as he described his role in coordinating the authority's response to the attack.

Describing the mood of the city, he said: "It was very clear that we felt pain and sadness but we stood tall, stronger and defiant.

"We wanted to do anything we could to help the people and families who had been affected."

The meeting included performances by the Halle String Quartet, who played Oasis' Don't Look Back In Anger.

Lord Mayor Eddy Newman said the song had become an "anthem for the way the city and the people of Manchester have remained strong and committed to peace and justice in defiance of the act of evil that was committed at the arena."

He told family members at the meeting: "You are forever in the hearts of Manchester and its people."

Leaders of different faiths from across the city said prayers at the start of the meeting and the names of the 22 victims, including seven children, were read out before a minute's silence.

Councillor Sue Murphy, who seconded the motion, said planning for a permanent memorial to the victims in the city would begin in September.