British PM Theresa May calls London attack 'sick and depraved'
The Prime Minister herself was within the House of Commons complex when the incident took place, having just concluded her weekly Prime Minister's Questions. Photograph: (Reuters)
UK Prime Minister Theresa May today termed the terror strike in the heart of London as "sick and depraved" attack on democratic values, which was "doomed to failure", after five people were killed and 40 injured.
After chairing an emergency Cobra meeting at Downing Street, the British PM confirmed that the attack was carried out by a single attacker who 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," she said.
May stressed that the UK's threat level has been set at severe for some time and "this will not change".
Praising the "exceptional bravery" of the city's security forces, she added: "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."
"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 speech," she said.
She said any attempt to defeat these values through violence and terror is "doomed to failure" and announced that Parliament will meet as "normal" on Thursday.
"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? Never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart," she said.
The Prime Minister herself was within the House of Commons complex when the incident took place, having just concluded her weekly Prime Minister's Questions. She was seen quickly being huddled up in a car and driven away to Downing Street.
At least three people were killed and 20 injured as terror struck the British capital when a man mowed down pedestrians on a bridge and stabbed a police officer outside parliament complex before being shot dead by Scotland Yard officers.