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London Westminster shooting: Woman dead and others injured in 'terrorist incident'

London police have confirmed the incident at Westminster is being treated as terrorist as it has been confirmed one woman is dead and others hurt, some with "catastrophic" injuries, in the attack.

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 4x4 car 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.

He left a trail of destruction as paramedics tended to his victims on the bridge and at the gate.

Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar in the grounds of the palace as what sounded like gunfire rang out at around 2.45pm. A Downing Street source confirmed she was "OK".

Scotland Yard urged people to avoid the area, in a statement it said: "Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.

"We thank the public for their assistance."

London Ambulance Service "declared a major incident", saying: "We were called at 2.40pm to Westminster Bridge to reports of an incident, with the first crew arriving within six minutes.

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 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)

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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: 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)

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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: 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)

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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: 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)

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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: 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)

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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: 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)

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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)

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)

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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

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

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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

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

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

Handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of PC Keith Palmer who was killed during the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament, London. PA

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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

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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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

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

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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)

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)

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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)

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)

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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: 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)

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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: 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)

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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)

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)

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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

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

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

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

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)

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)

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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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)

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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)

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)

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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

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

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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)

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)

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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

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

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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)

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)

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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

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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 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)

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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

PA

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

PA

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

PA

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

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

PA

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

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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 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

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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 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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

PA

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

PA

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

PA

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

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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 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

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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

PA

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

PA

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

PA

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

PA

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 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

PA

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

PA

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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)

"We have sent a number of resources to the scene including ambulance crews, London's Air Ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team.

"We are working closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene, with our priority being to ensure patients receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible.

"We have declared a major incident and our priority is to assess patients and ensure that they are treated and taken to hospital as soon as possible.

"As we are very busy dealing with this incident, we would ask the public to only call us in a genuine emergency."

MPs and staff locked inside Houses of Parliament sent messages to friends and family to let them know they were safe.

Labour MP Jon Trickett thanked the police and tweeted: "Democracy will not be intimidated by terror."

Close

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

PA

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

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