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DUP's Nigel Dodds honours police officer murdered in Westminster outrage

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland MPs spoke movingly in Parliament as the House paid tribute to the heroism of PC Keith Palmer, the unarmed police officer savagely murdered on Wednesday as he defended Westminster from a terrorist attack.

Nigel Dodds (right), the deputy leader of the DUP, said PC Keith Palmer and his colleagues "are the reason we are here today and on any other day".

"He embodied the rule of law, which we stand for, and stood in harm's way for all of us," the North Belfast MP said.

"We remember and pray for his family, all the victims who suffered yesterday and the bereaved.

"We must remember, too, and always will, the bravery of the emergency services, the police, the security forces and our own parliamentary staff - and, indeed, the goodness and decency of ordinary members of the public who rushed without regard for their own safety to help people."

Mr Dodds said that included the Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who battled in vain to save the life of Mr Palmer.

"We must uphold the values of this place - our democratic values," Mr Dodds told MPs.

"We have learned in Northern Ireland that the way to overcome terrorism is by working together politically, and in every other way, to ensure that our democratic values, the rule of law and human rights are all upheld in every way that they can be. We must rededicate ourselves to that in the future."

Prime Minister Theresa May replied: "I absolutely agree. We are able to be here today because of the bravery of our police officers.

"He rightly referred to the emergency services and others - members of the public, as he said - and to the staff of this House and of this Parliament who calmly went about their jobs to ensure that everybody was safe yesterday.

"As he said, the way to defeat terrorism is by working together and upholding our democratic values."

Ulster Unionist Party MP Tom Elliott wished Mrs May and her Cabinet well as they dealt with the aftermath.

He asked: "Will the Prime Minister ensure that every effort is made to support the victims and families, and the police officer whose role was to stop the terrorist in the end?"

Mrs May responded: "I assure the honourable gentleman that that support will be available.

"Of course, the Metropolitan Police already have in place the necessary support arrangements for those who have been injured and the bereaved families.

"I have also asked the Government to look at what further support can be made available for victims in a wider sense, because there will be people who were not physically injured in the attack yesterday, but witnessed it or were caught up in it, for whom there may be other scars.

"It is important to provide that support," Mrs May told the hundreds of MPs in the Commons chamber.

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