The Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, has sent condolences to those affected by the recent murders in Westminster yesterday (March 22).
The attack, which left five dead (including the attacker) and 40 injured, was carried out at 2.40pm, when a motorist purposely drove across the pavement of Westminster Bridge at a high speed, mowing down pedestrians.
The attacker then crashed the car into the railings outside the Houses of Parliament. Armed with a knife, he then ran to Parliament where he was confronted by police. One officer, PC Keith Palmer, who was not armed, was stabbed and killed.
Bullock said: “The incident at Parliament yesterday was shocking and my thoughts are for those who were killed and injured as well as their families. The response of the emergency services has been swift and reassuring.
“In particular we pay our respects to the bravery and commitment of the officers of the Metropolitan Police who tragically lost PC Keith Palmer and had other officers injured as they worked to keep our city safe.
“Whatever the identity of the perpetrator no one should turn on others who might share his background. Lewisham’s diversity and solidarity makes our communities stronger. We stand together.”
Hospitals all over the capital made room for the wounded, including the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, that admitted one patient but gave no details as to their condition.
Hackney South and Shoreditch MP, Meg Hillier, shared her thoughts with the Hackney Gazette on the incident that left her and her colleagues locked in the Parliament Members’ Lobby for hours after the attack:
“I was voting at the time of the incident which all occurred as I was about to start a committee hearing. Parliament locked down very quickly.
“My staff were moved from their office by armed police who cleared the buildings but are all also safe. My thoughts are with the dead police officer’s family. It’s just so awful. It’s all very shocking and within a year of the Jo (Cox) murder is a horrible reminder.”
Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott, tweeted live at the scene: “In the chamber of the House of Commons. Parliament still on lockdown. So grateful to police, security services and House of Commons staff.”
The Bishop of Stepney led a service at St John on Bethnal Green Church, Tower Hamlets, where people of all faiths and beliefs were encouraged to attend.
An attendee of the service, James Patrick, 32, from Canary Wharf said: “It’s great the way everyone has come together. There’s a real spirit of community this evening.
“We can’t let this divide us, especially living in such a multicultural area of London.”
Vigils are being held all over London tonight to remember the bravery of the emergency services and those injured and killed in this tragic event.