'Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack'

PAUL KELSO

"We will stand together in solidarity," said the London mayor Ken Livingstone.-

THE International Olympic Committee reassured London that there was no question of the 2012 Games being withdrawn following the terrorist attacks on the British capital. But the statement did little to relieve the deep sense of sadness that descended over the victorious bid team less than 24 hours after stunning result.

The bleary-eyed delight among London's team was swept away as news of the attacks reached Singapore.

After the result was declared the team, led by Lord Coe, hosted a raucous party that did not end until the early hours.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone's delight at winning the Games, evident on the dance floor at the party and at a cheerful early-morning press conference, was replaced come mid-afternoon by a deep sense of anger, and he raged against the attacks before boarding a flight to London.

"I want to say specifically today to the world that this is a terrorist attack against working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was indiscriminate and meant to slaughter irrespective of any consideration of age, caste or religion.

"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. Indiscriminate slaughter irrespective of any consideration for age, class or religion — that isn't an ideology. It isn't even a perverted faith. It is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder.''

"Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity around those who have been injured, around those who have been bereaved.''

The IOC president, Jacques Rogge, contacted Tony Blair and Livingstone to offer his support, and said he had absolute confidence in the city's ability to deliver a safe Games.

Rogge offered his condolences to the families of those killed and injured, adding: "It is a sad fact of society today that attacks of this nature can happen in any city at any time.''

� Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005