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We won't give into terror, vows May

By PA Political Staff

Theresa May said Britain would never give in to terror as she addressed the country in the wake of the "sick and depraved" terror attack in Westminster that left five dead.

The Prime Minister said the nation would "all move forward together" and hailed the "exceptional men and women" of the police force who responded as the horror unfolded.

In a statement outside 10 Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the government's Cobra emergencies committee, Mrs May insisted "the forces of evil" would never be allowed "to drive us apart". The premier said Parliament would "meet as normal" today and emphasised that any attempt to defeat its values was "doomed to failure".

"We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart," Mrs May said.

The PM confirmed a single attacker drove a car into pedestrians walking on Westminster Bridge, killing two of them, before running with a knife through the front gates of the Palace of Westminster, where he killed a police officer before being shot dead.

The UK's terror threat level would remain at "severe", Mrs May said. She praised the bravery of the police officers "who keep us and our democratic institutions safe".

"Once again today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger, even as they encouraged others to move the other way," she said.

"That they have lost one of their own in today's attacks only makes their calmness and professionalism under pressure all the more remarkable."

Mrs May said the location of the attack was "no accident" with the terrorist choosing "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".

"Let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before, any attempt to defeat our values through violence and terror is doomed to failure," she added.

The 45-minute Cobra meeting brought together senior ministers as well as top police officers, representatives of the security agencies and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The meeting in Whitehall was addressed by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior anti-terrorist police officer.

Mrs May ordered flags to be lowered to half mast over Downing Street.

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