Over 250 survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing are taking legal action against MI5

Ariana Grande commemorates anniversary of tragic Manchester bombings

Survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing are taking legal action against MI5, the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, lawyers have confirmed.

Legal representatives of the injured survivors of the 2017 bombing following an Ariana Grande concert – which tragically claimed the lives of 22 people – said they had submitted a group claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

14,200 people attended the Grande gig on 22 May 2017, which tragically ended with 22 dead and 234 injured when a bomb tore through the stadium. The Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, died when he detonated the home-made device.

One of the people killed was 29-year old Martyn Hett, a gay man who had previously appeared on reality TV series Come Dine With Me. His death inspired new legislation called “Martyn’s Law”, aimed at tightening security at all UK venues in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack.

A photo of one of the Manchester Arena bombing victims, Martyn Hett, wearing a white t-shirt and dungerees with one strap, smiling outside a street corner.
Martyn Hett.(Twitter/@martynhett)

The legal action comes one year after MI5 director-general Ken McCallum said he has “deep regret” that intelligence was not used in an attempt to prevent suicide bomber Salman Abedi from carrying out the atrocious attack.

He said: “To all those whose lives were forever changed on that awful night, I am so sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack at the Manchester Arena.”

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A March 2023 report from MI5 found that the tragic incident might not have taken place if MI5 had acted on intelligence received in the months leading up to the attack. Two pieces of information about Abedi were assessed at the time, and were found to not relate to terrorism.

A statement made on behalf of Hudgell Solicitors, Slater & Gordon and Broudie Jackson Canter said: “Legal teams representing injured survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 can confirm that they have collectively submitted a group claim on behalf of more than 250 clients to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.”

The three firms representing the injured survivors also said: “As it is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide any further details, or comment further, at this stage.”

MI5 said it would not be able to comment on ongoing legal proceedings, as per Belfast Telegraph.