22 March 2017
On Wednesday, at around 2.40pm, an attacker mowed down several innocent people on Westminster Bridge, crashed his car into Parliament and fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer. The attacker was shot dead by police officers. Four people are confirmed dead with many more critically wounded.
During this time, MPs, including myself, were protected by police officers in the House of Commons as Parliament went into lockdown. We were kept inside the building for five hours while diligent police officers worked tirelessly to make the area safe. I was humbled by their speed, courage and skill as the attack unfolded.
My thoughts go out to Officer Palmer, who died defending our democratic institutions, and those others killed and wounded, simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their families.
Make no mistake, this was an attack on our freedom and our values. The assailant struck at the heart of our democracy because it represents all that is good about our country: freedom, equality and the rule of law.
Wednesday was a reminder of the hard work that our emergency services do to keep us safe at times of crisis. Police officers and paramedics showed exceptional bravery as they risked their lives to keep ordinary people safe.
This week, the flag was flown at half-mast at Rochdale town hall and accompanied by a minute silence to remember this tragedy and all who were affected. I have also paid my respects to Rochdale police for the hard work they do to keep us all safe.
We cannot let Wednesday’s terrorist attack stop the workings of our democracy. I ask us all to be vigilant against the very real threat of terrorism across the country, and also against those who would use this attack to divide our communities.