Chester-based North West Euro MP Steven Woolfe has issued a defiant message to the terrorists after 22 people died in his home city of Manchester.
Mr Woolfe, whose office is in Northgate Street, Chester, is originally from Moss Side.
He took to social media after a suspected suicide bomber detonated his device in the foyer of Manchester Arena, killing 22 and leaving 59 people injured following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
Mr Woolfe, a former resident of Chester who now lives in Winchester, said on Monday evening: “Devastated to hear people have died in my home town tonight. Pray for their families and friends.”
Using choice language on social media he described those who ‘kill and maim innocent children’ as ‘insane’ and ‘unhinged’ but insisted the people of Manchester and the UK would ‘not be cowered’.
Mr Woolfe, who now sits as an independent in the European Parliament after falling out with UKIP , had his own brush with terrorism last year.
He was sitting in his Brussels flat just 50 metres from the Metro station where a bomb went off last March, killing 16 people.
Mr Woolfe was on the phone to wife Fiona reassuring her that he was fine after two earlier bombs at Zaventem airport in which 16 people were also killed when there was a third explosion on his doorstep.
The Euro MP, who famously ended up in hospital after an altercation with UKIP’s Mike Hookem the day after announcing he would stand for the leadership of the party, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I was just talking to my wife and reassuring her and the next thing there was a very loud bang like a car exhaust going off but the building shook.
“I instantly thought ‘Oh no’”, continued Mr Woolfe, whose flat is opposite the Maelbeek Metro station. He then went downstairs to investigate along with a neighbour and opened the front door.
“You could see cars were already beeping horns. There were lots of jams. To be fair, the police were there literally within five minutes, if that.”
After about 10 minutes the MEP decided to walk back to the European Parliament, which is just five minutes away, because he didn’t feel safe where he was. He described seeing ‘huge amounts’ of police descending on the area, some wearing body armour, along with ambulances. Soldiers were patrolling the parliament building carrying weapons.
Asked how he coped by interviewer Adrian Chiles, he responded: “I’ll be very honest. I was kind of nonchalant in a sense, a very British way of looking at it, because I’m from Manchester, the Arndale bomb, we had Warrington and I worked in London.”
But he conceded: “So after I got off the phone with my wife, it’s just very kind of ‘OK, just get on with life’, that’s what we are, we’re Brits. We just get on with it and have a cup of tea but when the bomb comes out and you realise how close it was, I have to admit, my hand was shaking.”