Belfast Telegraph

London Westminster shooting: Terrorism will never defeat democracy - Northern Ireland MPs caught up in incident

A woman holds a placard up during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
A woman holds a placard up during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: A letter is left amongst candles during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Members of the public light candles during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: People gather during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan looks on during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: A man looks on during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: People write messages of support on the ground during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four People were killed in Westminster, London, yesterday in a terrorist attack by "lone wolf" killer Khalid Masood,52. Three of the victims have been named as PC Keith Palmer, US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Mother of two Aysha Frade. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
A policeman points a gun at a man on the floor at the top of the frame as emergency services attend the scene outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. PA
British police officers work on Westminster Bridge, adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident. AFP/Getty Images
Handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of PC Keith Palmer who was killed during the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament, London. PA
British Police officers guard the entrance the The Mall, as the roads leading to Parliament Square in central London on March 22, 2017, remain cordonned off in the aftermath of a terror incident at the Houses of Parliament. AFP/Getty Images
A picture obtained from the Twitter account of James West, shows a car stopped on the sidewalk in front of the Palace of Westminster which houses the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 22, 2017 during an incident. James West/Getty
People leave after being evacuated from around the Houses of Parliament and Parliament Square in Westminster, central London on March 22, 2017 during an emergency incident. Three people were killed and 20 injured in a "terrorist" attack outside the British parliament Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians, then stabbed a police officer before being shot dead. The car struck pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, a popular spot with tourists because of its views of Big Ben, before crashing into the railings outside the heavily guarded parliament building in the heart of the British capital. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
A Metropolitan Police superintendent addresses the crowd from the pulpit at Westminster Abbey to some of the hundreds of people that were evacuated from Parliament during the terrorist attack. PA
Police forensic officers close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. PA
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: A member of the public is treated by emergency services near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Armed officers attend to the scene outside Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Police and forensic officers at the scene of a terrorist attack in which a number of pedestrians were mowed down on Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. Four people including a police officer and his attacker have been killed in two related incidents outside the Houses of Parliament and on Westminster Bridge in what Scotland Yard are treating as a terrorist incident. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: An armed police officer stands guard outside the Ministry of Defence on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car.(Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Police officers block access to the southern entrace of Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. Four people including a police officer and his attacker have been killed in two related incidents outside the Houses of Parliament and on Westminster Bridge in what Scotland Yard are treating as a terrorist incident. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Emergency services' vehicles are pictured on Westminster Bridge, adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident. A police officer was among three killed Wednesday in a suspected terrorist attack outside Britain's parliament by an assailant who was then shot dead by armed police, Britain's top anti-terror officer said. Mark Rowley said the two other victims died on Westminster Bridge in London after the attacker mowed down pedestrians in a car, leaving at least 20 people injured in total. / AFP PHOTO / Niklas HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
Ambulances are pictured outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident at Parliament. A police officer was among three killed Wednesday in a suspected terrorist attack outside Britain's parliament by an assailant who was then shot dead by armed police, Britain's top anti-terror officer said. Mark Rowley said the two other victims died on Westminster Bridge in London after the attacker mowed down pedestrians in a car, leaving at least 20 people injured in total. / AFP PHOTO / Niklas HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: A Police boat patrols the river Thames by St Thomas' hospital and Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
British Police officers stand betwen the pods of the London Eye, during the evacuation of passengers, in central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident at the Houses of Parliament. At least three people were killed and 20 injured in a "terrorist" attack in the heart of London Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians on a bridge, then stabbed a police officer outside parliament before being shot dead. Police guarding the iconic House of Commons building shot the man but several people were left with "catastrophic" injuries on Westminster Bridge, a busy traffic junction popular with tourists with views of Big Ben. / AFP PHOTO / Joel FordJOEL FORD/AFP/Getty Images
The Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament, are pictured in Westminster, central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident. At least three people were killed and 20 injured in a "terrorist" attack in the heart of London Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians on a bridge, then stabbed a police officer outside parliament before being shot dead. Police guarding the iconic House of Commons building shot the man but several people were left with "catastrophic" injuries on Westminster Bridge, a busy traffic junction popular with tourists with views of Big Ben. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Ambulances are pictured outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident at Parliament. A police officer was among three killed Wednesday in a suspected terrorist attack outside Britain's parliament by an assailant who was then shot dead by armed police, Britain's top anti-terror officer said. Mark Rowley said the two other victims died on Westminster Bridge in London after the attacker mowed down pedestrians in a car, leaving at least 20 people injured in total. / AFP PHOTO / Niklas HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Ambulances, police vehicles and emergency services seen on Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer was stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard also reported an incident on Westminster Bridge where one woman has been killed and several people seriously injured by a car. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Ambulances, police vehicles and emergency services seen on Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer was stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard also reported an incident on Westminster Bridge where one woman has been killed and several people seriously injured by a car. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Police officers seen on Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer was stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard also reported an incident on Westminster Bridge where one woman has been killed and several people seriously injured by a car. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Emergency personnel on Westminster Bridge, close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police makes a statement outside of New Scotland Yard on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
A member of the public is treated by emergency services near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
An armed police officer stands guard near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside Westminster Abbey, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
MP's in House of Commons, London after a major security alert at the Palace of Westminster after a man apparently carrying a knife charged through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound. PA Wire
David Lidington, the Leader of the House of Commons speaking in the House of Commons, London after a major security alert at the Palace of Westminster after a man apparently carrying a knife charged through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside Westminster Abbey, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

By Jonny Bell

Northern Ireland MPs have been caught up in the "terrorist incident" at Westminster.

A policeman has been stabbed and his attacker shot by officers after a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

The attacker mowed down several pedestrians as he drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and stabbing the officer.

Eyewitnesses said he was shot by police as he approached a second officer clutching his knife.

London police are treating it as terrorist "until we know otherwise".

More: London Westminster shooting: Scotland Yard treating attack as terrorist incident

Speaking from inside Westminster, Fermanagh & South Tyrone MP Mr Elliott said: "Westminster has been shocked by today’s events in which a number of people were mown down by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge and a knifeman later entered Old Palace Yard and attacked a police officer.  

“These incidents are obviously very concerning indeed, coming as they do on the first anniversary of the Brussels terror attacks.”

South Antrim MP Mr Kinahan said: “Today’s attack is a reminder of the threat which is faced by all democratic societies. I understand a Police officer has been injured by an attacker with a knife. This is a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to the Police and the security services who risk their lives every day to protect us all.    

“My thoughts are with all those who have been injured.”

Northern Ireland MP Jeffrey Donaldson tweeted: "Walking into Parliament when attack occurred. Police excellent. Got us onto ground then led to safety. Terrorism will never defeat democracy."

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.

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."

Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

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."

Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident.

Politicians have described scenes in the Commons as "chaotic".

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph