Manchester Mayor slams Westminster terror attack

Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster
Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster

Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner said that the terrorist attack at Parliament which killed five people was an “attack on the values which make our nation great”.

Tony Lloyd was speaking after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster.

The terrorist attack in Westminster is not just an assault at the heart of our democracy, but an assault on our way of life, and on those values which make our nation great

Tony Lloyd

The attacker, armed with two large knives, mowed down pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge, including schoolchildren, then rushed at the gates in front of the Houses of Parliament, stabbing the policeman before being shot dead by other officers.

Mr Lloyd said: “The terrorist attack in Westminster is not just an assault at the heart of our democracy, but an assault on our way of life, and on those values which make our nation great.

“Our police and security services risk their lives every day to protect us and keep us safe and free. Sadly, one of those brave public servants has lost his life in the line of duty. Our thoughts are with the officer’s family, friends and colleagues, and our promise is that his sacrifice will not be forgotten.

“We also think of the others who have been killed and wounded in this dreadful act of terrorism. An attack on them is an attack on us all, and it will not stand.

“Those who think they can use fear, hatred, intimidation and murder to divide us are simply wrong. As a nation we are stronger than them, and in the face of terror they will only make us stronger still, and more determined to work together to build a future of hope.

“I have spoken with the Chief Constable, and Greater Manchester Police is working hard to keep our communities safe and provide visible reassurance.”

Students from Edge Hill university in Ormskirk had been due to meet West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper at the House of Commons, and were caught up in the mayhem when the attack began.

Edge Hill said that all 13 students and one lecturer had been contacted and were “accounted for”.

Edge Hill College Vice Chancellor John Cater described the injured students as “walking wounded”.

He said: “The good news is the other nine are back in the hostel receiving support and will return home today.”

The group’s lecturer was still in the House of Commons when the attack happened, and ended up spending several hours on lockdown.

The unarmed police officer who was among five people killed in a suspected terror attack in Westminster has been named as Pc Keith Palmer.

The 48-year-old husband and father was stabbed inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

Speaking outside Scotland Yard, acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley, the Met’s top anti-terror officer, said about 40 people had been injured, several - including two police officers - seriously.

He declined to name the attacker, but said police believe he was “inspired by international terrorism”.

Mr Rowley said: “Today in Westminster we saw tragic events unfold and our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, those who were injured and all those affected by this attack.

“One of those who died today was a police officer, Pc Keith Palmer, a member of our parliamentary and diplomatic protection command. Keith, aged 48, had 15 years’ service and was a husband and father.

“He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift, and he had every right to expect that would happen.

“I can also now confirm that there are three members of the public who have lost their lives in the attack. Specially-trained family liaison officers have been deployed to support them.

“And, as I confirmed earlier, the suspected attacker was shot dead by an armed officer. Therefore, meaning that now in total we have five people who died today.”

Mr Rowley said three police officers were among those injured, two of whom were in a serious condition.

He refused to comment on the identity of the attacker, but said: “Our working assumption is that he was inspired by international terrorism.”

The Prime Minister vowed to defeat what she called “the forces of evil”.

Mrs May, who was in Parliament at the time of the attack, praised the bravery of police officers who killed the attacker as he sought another victim.

And she said that any attempt to defeat the values that Parliament stands for was “doomed to failure”.

Mrs May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident.