THE mother of a girl killed in the Manchester Arena attack has said things might have been different without cuts to policing.

Charlotte Hodgson was speaking after an official review said it is “conceivable” the arena bombing might have been averted “had the cards fallen differently”.

Mrs Hodgson, who lost her daughter, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, aged 15, in the attack, said she was not shocked by the report.

She said: “It annoys me because maybe if the Government stopped making police cuts, maybe there’d be the police to do the investigations. They’re trying to find somewhere to lay the blame and there’s only one person to blame, other than the Government. Probably, if they stopped these cut backs, things would have been different.

“The Government needs to start to look at itself instead of everyone else.”

AN official review has stated that it is ‘conceivable’ the Manchester Arena bombing might have been averted ‘had the cards fallen differently’.

A review by David Anderson QC has found that Salman Abedi was a former ‘subject of interest’.

The findings of the report were read by Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP yesterday.

The report stated that MI5 and counter-terrorism policing got a great deal right but ‘they could have succeeded had the cards fallen differently’.

Abedi was not under active investigation when he detonated the suicide vest on May 22, killing 22 people but in the months before the attack MI5 had come by information about him.

The review states that ‘had the unspecified information’s true significance been properly understood’ it would have caused an investigation into the bomber to be opened.

The report states: “It is unknowable whether such an investigation would have allowed Abedi’s plans to be pre-empted and thwarted. MI5 assesses that it would not.” Abedi was also identified by a separate ‘data-washing exercise’ as falling within a small number of former subjects of interest who merited further consideration.

However, a meeting scheduled to consider the results of this process had not been held at the time of the bombing. An opportunity was also missed to place Abedi on ‘ports action’ after he travelled to Libya in April.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins welcomed the report. He said: “This year 22 people in Manchester were murdered. Twenty two families were left devastated and there are hundreds of people suffering from physical or emotional trauma. None of us will ever forget that most awful of days.

“Our thoughts remain with all those affected and we remain committed to bringing anyone involved in this attack to justice. We welcome the report by Mr David Anderson QC, which provided independent assurance of the reviews undertaken by National Counter Terrorism Policing and MI5 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. Counter Terrorism Policing in the UK is recognised internationally for its successes and strong partnership approach to defeating terrorists, because of that we will never stop learning or adapting to ensure that the response meets the changing threat.

“The size and scale of the threat from terrorism has been made so tragically clear this year. Greater Manchester Police will support Counter Terrorism Policing and the UK intelligence community in its response to this step change in threat and in adopting the recommendations in the review. Further independent scrutiny will follow including inquests into the deaths of those who lost their lives. Greater Manchester Police will support those inquiries and with our partner agencies will continue to support those affected.”

The review also looked at the Westminster, Finsbury Park and London Bridge attacks. It found MI5 was actively investigating the ringleader of the London Bridge incident. Among the recommendations made in the report is for MI5 and the police to use data more effectively, share knowledge more widely, to improve collaboration and to assess and investigate terrorist threats ‘on a uniform basis’. The investigation into the arena bombing by Greater Manchester Police is continuing and work is being carried out to have Abedi’s brother, Hashem Abedi, extradited from Libya to face charges, including murder, over the bombing.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “There is no escaping the fact that the report will be a difficult read for everyone in Manchester and most particularly for the bereaved families and those still recovering from the attack.”