LIVE THURSDAY: Hero police officer and woman who died named after Westminster terror attack, eight arrested in raids across UK

Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture: PA
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture: PA

Four people have died in the Westminster terror attack including the police officer who was stabbed and his attacker

A 4x4 struck a number of people on Westminster Bridge including three police officers on their way back from a commendation ceremony at around 2.45pm. The car then crashed near to parliament and then one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter parliament. A police officer, PC Keith Palmer, 48, protecting parliament was stabbed. He, along with his attacker, who was shot by police, have now died along with two others. One has been named as Aysha Frade, who worked at nearby sixth form college. Eight people have been arrested after six raids across the UK.

Eyewitness saw policeman stabbed and attacker shot outside House of Commons in Westminster

EARLIER:

Pictures from the scene appeared to show a car crashed into railings outside the building just before 3pm.

George Eaton tweeted: “Police have just shot a man who was attacking officers at parliament’s entrance.”

It is thought at least five people were injured on Westminster Bridge after apparently being hit by a car.

Eyewitnesses report seeing a man, thought to be carrying a knife, enter Parliament grounds and rush towards the building before being stopped by firearms police.

It is understood a police officer was stabbed.

Speaker John Bercow closed Parliament in the wake of the incident.

Commons Leader David Lidington has told MPs a “police officer has been stabbed” and the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” following a “serious” incident within the parliamentary estate.

Two people were seen lying within Old Palace Yard, immediately outside Westminster Hall. The sitting in the House of Commons has been suspended

EARLIER:

Sounds similar to gunfire were heard close to Palace of Westminster.

Transport for London said Westminster underground station has been shut at the police’s request.

Immediately before the incident, at around 2.45pm, a crowd of passers-by was seen running from the direction of Westminster Bridge and around the corner into Parliament Square. There were also reports of up to 10 people injured on Westminster Bridge.

A Downing Street source declined to say where Theresa May had been during the attack, but said she had not been involved.

As the sitting in the House of Commons was suspended, Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs: “What I am able to say to the House is there has been a serious incident within the estate.

“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

“An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.

“There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it’d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on.”

After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Centre for European Studies, wrote: “A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.

A woman at the scene was on the opposite side of the square when she heard shots ring out at about 2.45pm.

She said: “We literally just heard shots and then saw people running, and we went to have a look.”

The woman, from South Africa and living in Ireland, said she and two friends went towards the palace gates and saw a man lying on the floor inside.

She said: “I saw a body, they were working on the floor. They were just inside the gates.

“He had one gunshot wound to the right side of his chest. I don’t know if he was dead or alive, but people were working on him.

“I saw that needed medical attention and I asked if I could help because I am a doctor, but they said they were fine.

“Then the police moved us back.”

Kate Langston, The Yorkshire Post’s Parliamentary Correspondent, said: “I was in Portcullis House to interview someone and was making my way back to my office when the police started shouting at everyone to take cover and they moved us back into the building.

“There was a lot of panic initially but it has calmed down a little now. It sounds like there were three separate incidents, one on Westminster Bridge and one in Parliament Square.

“The whole of Westminster seems to be in lock down.”

Press Association reporter Laura Harding, who was in Westminster at the time of the incident, said: “Everyone has been evacuated into Central Lobby, including a group of schoolchildren and kitchen staff.

“Around 15 schoolchildren aged around 10, with armed police coming through the lobby now.

“The children are really calm, the teachers are comforting them.

“Everyone is standing around on their phones.

“There are also a bunch of young people from the Hammersmith Boxing Club in their tracksuits and the British Lionhearts boxing group.”

Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs: “What I am able to say to the House is there has been a serious incident within the estate.

“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

“An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.

“There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it’d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on.”

Witness Don Brind said he heard shots being fired and saw two people apparently injured on the ground.

Mr Brind, a researcher for MPs, said: “I heard some shouting and saw some running out of the corner of my eye and then a short time after that there was a shot. I looked and I saw a civilian on the ground, with somebody standing over him with what I assumed to be a gun.

“Then I looked and about 10 yards away, there was a yellow jacketed person on the ground, who appeared to be alive and talking.”

He said he assumed the person in the high-visibility jacket was a police officer.

Dennis Burns, who was just entering Parliament for a meeting when the security alert happened, said: “As I was coming through the doors at Portcullis House, a policeman grabbed someone who was coming in and threw him out.

“As we were coming though the glass doors I was told by one security guard to get out while another one told me to get in.

“As I walked in I heard a security guard get a radio message saying ‘a policeman has been stabbed’.

“Then I walked in as police officers and security start rushing out of the front doors on to the street.

“When I got inside I was wondering what the hell was going on and I saw dozens of panicked people running down the street. The first stream was around 30 people and the second stream was 70 people.

“It looked like they were running for their lives.”

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