Andy Burnham: Firefighters have nothing to apologise for

Firefighters have nothing to apologise for over the delayed response to the Manchester Arena terror attack, says the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

In an open letter to the county's firefighters, Andy Burnham acknowledged those on the front line on the night of May 22 were "desperate to help but were prevented from doing so by decisions taken above you".

Mr Burnham told them it was failure of "process, leadership and culture".

A report by Lord Bob Kerslake, commissioned by the mayor, found poor communications between the police and fire service meant the "valuable" assistance of fire crews was delayed by two hours and six minutes after the bombing, which left 22 dead and scores injured.

Dawn Docx, the interim chief fire officer of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), made a public apology while Mark Rowe, the north west secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said members felt "ashamed" they could not help casualties more quickly.

On Friday, Mr Burnham wrote:

The then £155,000-a-year GMFRS chief fire officer, Peter O'Reilly, has now retired, keeping his pension with no action taken against him.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his home-made device in the foyer of the venue as 14,000 people streamed out at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.