There has been what is believed to be a terrorist attack where a woman was killed and others left with injuries at the Westminster Bridge in central London.
The Speaker of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the House of Lords have issued a statement:
An extremely serious incident has occurred in the Westminster area this afternoon. The Metropolitan Police is dealing with this and an investigation is underway. On behalf of Members of both Houses of Parliament, we wish to offer our thoughts to all those affected and their families. We would also like to that express our gratitude to the police and all emergency services.
The journalists who were in the press gallery are now being held in Westminster Hall. Armed police seem to be search the Palace of Westminster room by room – quite an undertaking, because it’s a rabbit warren, with endless cellars, cubby.
Quentin Letts, the Daily Mail’s parliamentary sketch writer, said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons, the Press Association reports.
“I saw a thick-set man in black clothes come through the gates into New Palace Yard, just below Big Ben,” he told the BBC.
He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets. And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman. The other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran about 15 yards towards the entrance, he said. He added: As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell.
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued the following statement:
We are shocked and saddened by the incident at Westminster. We condemn this attack and while it is still too early to speculate on the motives, our thoughts and prayers are for the victims and those affected. We pay tribute too to the police and emergency services who handled this with bravery. The Palace of Westminster is the center of our democracy and we must all ensure that it continues to serve our country and its people with safety and security.
It is being understood that a police officer has been killed.