I have just chaired a meeting of the
Government’s emergency committee,
COBRA, following the s[ick] and depraved
terrorist attack on the streets of our capital this afternoon.
The full details of exactly what happened
are still emerging. But, having been updated by police and security
officials, I can confirm that this appalling incident began when a
single attacker drove his vehicle into pedestrians walking across
Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring many more, including
three police officers.
This attacker, who was armed with a knife,
then ran towards Parliament where he was confronted by the police
officers who keep us, and our democratic institutions, safe.
Tragically, one officer was killed. The
terrorist was also shot dead.
The United Kingdom’s
threat level has been
set at SEVERE for some time and this will not change.
Commissioner Rowley will give a further operational update later this
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who
have been affected -- to the victims themselves, and their family and
friends who waved their loved ones off, but will not now be welcoming
For those of us who were in Parliament at
the time of this attack, these events provide a particular reminder of
the exceptional bravery of our police and security services who risk
their lives to keep us safe.
Once again today, these exceptional men
and women ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move
the other way.
On behalf of the whole country, I want to
pay tribute to them -- and to all our emergency services -- for the work
they have been doing to reassure the public and bring security back to
the streets of
our Capital City.
That they have lost one of their own in
today’s attack only makes their calmness and professionalism under
pressure all the more remarkable.
The location of this attack was no
accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our Capital
City, where people of all nationalities, religions, and cultures come
together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy, and freedom of
These streets of Westminster, home to the
world’s oldest Parliament, are ingrained with a spirit of freedom that
echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our
Parliament represents -- democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of
law -- command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere.
That is why it is a target for those who
reject those values.
But let me make it clear today, as I have
had cause to do before: Any attempt to defeat those values through
violence and terror is doomed to failure.
Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as
We will come together as normal.
And Londoners -- and others from around the
world who have come here to visit this great City -- will get up and go
about their day as normal.
They will board their trains; they will
leave their hotels; they will walk these streets; they will live their
And we will all move forward together -- never giving in to terror,
and never allowing the voices of hate and
evil to drive us apart.