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Digest: Popstar Ariana Grande to be made honorary Mancunian

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Pop singer Ariane Grande is to be granted honorary citizenship of Manchester by Manchester City Council for her role in organising the One Love Manchester concert which has so far raised almost £3m for the victims of the city’s terror attack.

An explosion at the Manchester Arena on 22 May, at the end of one of Ms Grande’s concerts, killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

Proposals for a new system to recognise people from outside Greater Manchester who have made a significant contribution to Manchester will be discussed at Manchester City Council’s next full meeting on 12 July.

Sir Richard Leese (Lab), Manchester’s leader, said: “This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognise those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city.

“We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May – with love and courage rather than hatred and fear.

“Ariana Grande exemplified this response. I think many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted, if the council approves the proposal, to make it official.”

The freedom of the city has only been awarded four times this millennium – to broadcaster and ‘cultural catalyst’ Anthony H Wilson (2007), England and Manchester United FC legend Sir Bobby Charlton (2008), the Manchester-based GB Cycling and Paracycling Teams (2008), and Nobel Prize-winning University of Manchester professors Sir Andrei Geim and Sir Konstantin Novoselov, discoverers of wonder-substance graphene (2013). The council said the award will remain a relatively rare occurrence.

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