Paris attacks: ‘Edinburgh stands with France’

The Usher Hall is lit up blue, white, and red. Picture: @edinburghcoffee
The Usher Hall is lit up blue, white, and red. Picture: @edinburghcoffee
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EDINBURGH’S Lord Provost Donald Wilson has sent a message of sympathy to the people of France on behalf of Edinburgh.

The Lord Provost said the attacks in Paris on Friday had been an “attack on civilisation - it was carried out against civilised people across the world”.

Tributes left outside the French Consulate in Edinburgh.

Tributes left outside the French Consulate in Edinburgh.

He said: “On behalf of all of the people of Edinburgh, our thoughts are with France at this awful time of great, great sadness.

“France has again been plunged into a terrible time of trial, and we can only offer our support and deepest sympathy.

“I will be signing the book of condolence at the French Consulate and will be formally sending a letter of sympathy to the French Consul General, but words can hardly do justice to the unimaginable feelings that French citizens will be experiencing just now.”

Tributes have been mounting outside the French consulate with people queuing inside to sign the book of condolence.

Earlier Nicola Sturgeon chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee to discuss the response to the Paris attacks, as she called on Scots to “unite in solidarity” with France.

The First Minister also took part in the UK Government’s resilience meeting chaired by the Prime Minister.

She said the Scottish Government continues to work closely with the Foreign Office, Police Scotland and others to ensure that those caught up in the attack, or who may be concerned about relatives, have the advice, help and information they need.

France has declared a national state of emergency after the gun and bomb attacks which killed at least 127 people.

Ms Sturgeon also met the French consul general at the French consulate in Edinburgh, where she signed the book of condolence.

A vigil is due to take place in Glasgow city centre later.

The First Minister said: “We are all shocked and horrified by the terrorist attacks in Paris last night.

“Early this afternoon, I visited the French consulate and expressed, on behalf of the Scottish people, our sympathy and solidarity with the people of France at this terrible time.

“This morning I convened a Scottish Government resilience meeting to ensure that in Scotland we are doing everything we can to provide support for those who may be affected by this senseless attack.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France following the horrific events last night. We stand ready to help in any way we can.

“Scotland is a diverse, multi-cultural society and this diversity is our strength. Terrorist attacks are intended to divide us and destroy the freedoms and way of life we value so highly. We must unite as a community here at home - and in solidarity with France - to make clear that they will not succeed.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale laid flowers at the consulate on behalf of her party.

She is due to give a speech in Edinburgh this evening where she will call for unity in the wake of the attacks.

She will say: “I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the people of France. The brutal and co-ordinated attack in Paris was an attack on all of us, not just across Europe but across the world.

“The purpose of terror is to make us afraid of one another, to be fearful of the ordinary and to make us suspicious of our neighbours.

“But now more than ever we need to remind ourselves of what brings us together as human beings, as brothers and sisters, as neighbours, colleagues and friends, whatever our creed or colour, whatever our background.”

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “Police Scotland continue to monitor the situation in the French capital.

“I would like to reassure our diverse communities across Scotland that the threat level in the UK has not changed and remains at severe, which means that an attack is likely and may occur without warning.

“I must stress, however, that at present there is no specific intelligence regarding any planned attack, but we all need to remain vigilant.”

Religious leaders also expressed their condolences.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, said: “My heart - and I speak for us all in the Church of Scotland - goes out in deepest sympathy to all who have lost family members and friends and to those who have been injured in this atrocity.”

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, has sent a message of support to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, expressing his “sadness at the horrific events which unfolded in Paris last night”.

Elsewhere, Renfrewshire Council confirmed that its Christmas lights switch-on had been cancelled as a mark of respect.

Anyone concerned about friends or family in Paris can contact the Foreign Office helpline on 020 7008 0000.