MPs have spoken about how it was “bedlam and commotion” at parliament immediately after an attack took place on Wednesday 22 March.
“Locked everything down”
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott told Belfast Live:
We were just heading down to vote when it all happened, we were just going down the stairs. There was absolute bedlam and commotion and then they locked everything down. If you were in the chamber, they locked the chamber. If you were in the corridor, they locked the corridor. There’s a huge lockdown. We were outside for a moment but were put back inside very quickly.
It appears everyone inside of parliament was kept there as the incident unfolded. MPs are not usually allowed to take photos in the chamber, but some have been sharing images of the ‘lockdown’:
— Barry Sheerman (@BarrySheerman) March 22, 2017
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Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley, said:
I was outside in the yard about to go in for a vote when we heard a loud bang. The police were very quick, they reacted instantly and told us to get to the ground. I didn’t see anything as I was on the ground, but I certainly heard the bang. This is clearly an attack on Parliament, but the people responsible must know they will not succeed, they will not be allowed to defeat democracy.
“This can’t be real”
Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
The Division Bell had just gone and MPs were making their way to the House of Commons chamber. I was walking from Portcullis House along the path of Old Palace Yard when suddenly shots rang out. It takes a moment to realise that is actually gunfire and at that point people were yelling get down get back.
Brexit Minister David Davis said:
We can’t go in or out. I was in the area where the incident happened. We heard gun shots. We dropped to the floor. I heard the shots and I thought this can’t be real. I was behind a pillar and I thought I will take a chance and run back to Portcullis House.
Other MPs reacted via social media. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted:
My statement on the ongoing incident in Westminster. Our thoughts are with the victims, their friends and families pic.twitter.com/Fo5WNXHWPI
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 22, 2017
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said:
Locked in Commons with fellow MPs. Thoughts with innocent people hurt today and thanks as ever to Police & other staff working so hard here.
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) March 22, 2017
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner tweeted:
Continued lockdown at #Westminster My thoughts are with those injured and our Emergency Services&Security Officers dealing with the incident
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) March 22, 2017
The Metropolitan Police said they were treating the incident as a “terrorist” one, until they “know otherwise”.
A man was shot and several people were also run over on Westminster Bridge during the incident, which began at around 2.45pm.
Details are sparse. But according to eyewitness reports, the car ploughed into people on the bridge before crashing into railings that surround the Palace of Westminster. A man then entered Old Palace Yard – the entrance used by MPs and usually heavily guarded. The man stabbed a police officer and ran into the yard. He was confronted by armed police who shot him.
BBC News has reported that one woman has died, and “a number of others have been hurt – including some with ‘catastrophic’ injuries – in the incident”. Both Houses in Westminster, the Scottish parliament, and the Welsh Assembly have all been suspended.
Police are appealing for any members of the public who may have images or footage of the incident to send them to this address: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk
The Canary will be following developments here.
Featured image via screengrab
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