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Monday, 23 April 2018
JOHN HOWELL has told of the moment he found out there had been a car and knife attack outside Parliament today (Wednesday).
The Henley MP was present inside the House of Commons when business was suspended and was told to stay inside.
Four people are dead after an attacker drove a 4x4 into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking a policeman with a knife in the grounds of Parliament at about 2.40pm.
Commons leader David Lidington told MPs a “police officer has been stabbed” and the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” following a “serious” incident outside.
Mr Howell called the Henley Standard from the main chamber.
He said: “We can’t hear any noise from outside here. The first time we knew of something had happened was when the deputy speaker, who was in the chair, leapt up and suspended the sitting. That was the first we knew about it.
“I have been locked in for almost two hours with most of the MPs. Both the police and the Sergeant at Arms have decided that the safest place for us is here.
“We are all using our mobile phone devices and have got the news from the BBC and Sky so we are aware of what has happened. There has been no plan to evacuate us and we are still sitting here quietly and calmly.
“My guess is we are still going to be here for another couple of hours.”
Mr Howell says there is a calm atmosphere inside the chamber and members from all sides of the house are sitting and chatting.
He added: “I think our feelings firstly go out to those who have been killed and injured in these incidents, in particular the policeman who was attacked with a knife, and secondly, the police and security services who have done a fantastic job in keeping us safe.”
At least 10 people were been hit by the vehicle before it crashed into the gates of Parliament. The attacker then stabbed a policeman before he was shot and killed by armed officers.
A doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital has said one woman has died and a number of others have been hurt, including some with “catastrophic” injuries.
Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been driven quickly from the scene as the attack unfolded. She will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee tonight.
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