Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised the emergency services who responded to the London Bridge terror attack, saying “thank you so much for everything you have done”.
Joined by his British counterpart Theresa May as part of his UK visit, they spoke to those who dealt with the aftermath and were affected by last month’s terrorist outrage, in which three knife-wielding attackers went on an eight-minute murderous rampage.
They were met outside Southwark Cathedral by Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick and Commander Dean Haydon before being introduced to a number of first responders.
Speaking to those from the Met, British Transport Police and London Ambulance Service, Mr Turnbull could be heard asking one female paramedic about her time in London.
After a brief chat, he added: “Thank you so much for everything you have done.”
Eight people, including two Australians, were killed and scores of others injured in the atrocity on Saturday June 3 which saw three knifemen mow down pedestrians on London Bridge with a van, before stabbing people in Borough Market with 12-inch knives.
Wearing fake suicide vests, all three attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, were shot and killed by police in a hail of bullets at the scene.
Mrs May, Mr Turnbull, Ms Dick and Commander Haydon visited the renowned London food market to speak to some of the businesses affected by the attack, where they were swamped by a crowd of tourists eager to get close.
Outside Paul Wheeler Fresh Supplies, the stand by which the attackers were shot, owner Paul Wheeler spoke to both prime ministers about how it has been since the incident and the support they have had.
The 51-year-old told the Press Association: “The Australian PM seems all right, I told him he had brought the Australian weather with him, and I thanked the Commissioner, just to say about the boys who were here on the night and after.”
Federico Fugazza of Argentinian food stand Portena told them how his staff barricaded themselves in behind a metal shutter, and watched the attack unfold.
The 41-year-old said: “They were really exposed but somehow they stayed safe, and there was a customer inside – we were lucky. The prime ministers were thankful of that, and in a way proud of how most people reacted and how everyone tried to stay safe and together.”
Mr Turnbull, whose first official visit to the UK as prime minister will also include an audience with the Queen, insisted that terror would be defeated.
“We say to these killers, to these terrorists that seek to change the way we live, we will not be cowed. We won’t change the way we live. We will defy you and defeat you.”