Westminster attack: 75-year-old man becomes fourth victim – as it happened

Last modified: 06: 03 AM GMT+0

Police name Khalid Masood, 52, born in Kent as man responsible for attack in which four victims have died and seven more are critically injured

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Summary

Here is what we now know about Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Westminster:

The victims

  • The number of victims has risen to four, after a 75-year-old man died in hospital on Thursday. He had been on life support since the attack. He has not been named.
  • The three others killed have been identified as PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed outside parliament; and Aysha Frade and Kurt Cochran, who died on Westminster bridge.
  • Four people remain in hospital in a serious condition, one with life-threatening injuries.

The attacker

  • Police have said that Khalid Masood was born in Kent on Christmas day 1964, and that this was not his birth name.
  • Multiple reports now say he was born as Adrian Elms and converted to Islam. This name has not been confirmed.
  • He had a number of convictions – for assaults, grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences – spanning 20 years, and had spent time in jail, though not for terrorist-related offences.
  • Masood was previously known to MI5 was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism, but was considered “a peripheral figure”, prime minister Theresa May said.
  • The Sun reports today that Masood spent the night before the attack at the Preston Park hotel in Brighton. The Guardian has not been able to verify this.

The arrested

Eight people were arrested as a number of addresses were raided in London, Birmingham and elsewhere:

  • A 39-year-old woman at an address in east London on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man at an address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 26-year-old woman and three men aged 28, 27 and 26 at a separate address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 58-year-old man at a separate address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

The UK home secretary, Amber Rudd, has said it is “far too early” to know the full picture of what was known about Masood and when.

She told ITV News:

Intelligence services are working hard to put together the whole picture, but I would caution drawing conclusions yet. I would wait and see what comes forward from the intelligence that’s going on now.

Rudd said it “seems likely” Masood was radicalised online:

We know there’s an onslaught of radicalisation online, there’s so much information that tries to go out as propaganda to persuade people to take this sort of action.

Candlelit vigils for the victims are scheduled to be held on Friday in Birmingham and London.

On Thursday evening thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square to pay their respects.

Thousands Gather For Vigil To Remember Westminster Terror Attack Victims(170323) -- LONDON, Mar. 23, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Members of the public light candles during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square for the victims of the Westminster terrorist attack in London, Britain on Mar. 23, 2017. PHOTOGRAPH BY Xinhua / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com
Members of the public light candles during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

The man who photographed a Muslim woman walking past a victim of the Westminster terrorist attack has defended her and said the image has been “misappropriated”.

The photograph – showing a woman holding her phone as a group of people gathered around someone injured in the attack on Westminster bridge – was criticised by some on social media as alleged evidence of her lack of concern.

This photo taken by UK parliament today after the London terrorist attack could end up being one of the most iconic of our time #westminster pic.twitter.com/Xnq7ytJf93

— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 22, 2017

But Jamie Lorriman, the freelance photographer who took the picture, told Australia’s ABC that the series of images showed the woman’s distress:

The people who took on that picture are being rather selective. In the other picture in the sequence she looks truly distraught … personally I think she looks distressed in both pictures.

It’s wrong it’s been misappropriated in that way.

He told the ABC it was “impossible to know” what was going through the woman’s mind:

The look on the woman’s face, she’s horrified, she’s in the middle of a traumatic situation. She probably just wanted to get off the bridge.

I feel so sorry for the woman in the picture. If she’s seen this, she must feel awful.

Updated

As investigators piece together the background of Khalid Masood, reports are emerging about his past.

Police have said that Masood was born in Kent on Christmas day 1964, and that this was not his birth name.

Multiple reports now say he was born – and lived till at least 2003 – as Adrian Elms. Police have not commented on that, but according to the Press Association, a spokesman said he was known by a number of different names and research into them was continuing.

As well as Kent, he was believed to have lived for some time in the West Midlands, where police raids took place after the attack in London.

The Sun reports today that Masood spent the night before the attack at the Preston Park hotel in Brighton. The Guardian has not been able to verify this, and Press Association says it was told by staff there that they had been “instructed not to talk”.

Theresa May said the right things this week, writes Martin Kettle. But will she put them into practice?

This consensual approach was the right course. It also allowed her to get some politically difficult information out into the public domain early and without provoking any blowback. May’s statement contained a disturbing admission, one familiar from the 7/7 events and from Woolwich, and which could yet become a stick to beat her with. Khalid Masood had been known to the authorities. He had come to MI5’s attention in the past. But he was off the radar in the run-up to his act of terror. There was no prior intelligence of his readiness to act.

When attacks like this happen people rally round. The popular wisdom is difficult to mistake in London this week. Britain’s wartime self-image as the nation that could take it, that was not afraid, could keep calm and carry on or, this week, go on drinking tea came effortlessly to the fore. Newspapers that are too puffed up with their own importance, especially post-Brexit, got it badly wrong by trying to be divisive or demanding unspecified tough action. A politician who pretended to be Winston Churchill would get it wrong too.

Read the full column here:

A Romanian tourist who was in London to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday was pulled from the river by a passenger boat after falling into the Thames during the attack.

Andreea Cristea, a 29-year-old architect, was knocked into the Thames as Khalid Masood drove towards Parliament Square.

She was plucked to safety when the crew on a passing boat saw her floating downstream. Staff on the Milennium Diamond used a boat hook to grab her clothing. She was then picked up by a rescue boat and treated by paramedics.

Andreea Cristea - who has been confirmed by Romanian media as the woman who went into the Thames during the terror attack
Andreea Cristea. Photograph: Facebook

Kyle Haughton, managing director at the firm, said: “City Cruises’ Millennium Diamond was in the area of the incident at the time and worked alongside London’s emergency services to support in the rescue efforts of a woman in the water.

“Once alerted by people on the bridge, the ship’s captain reacted fast on spotting her. He halted the boat in order to hold her out of the water and stop her from being carried any further by the current. The emergency services were called immediately and arrived within minutes to take over the rescue operation.”

Her partner, Andrei Burnaz, suffered minor injuries. Dan Mihalache, Romania’s ambassador to the UK, told Romanian media that Cristea sustained serious head injuries and had badly damaged lungs.

Mihalache said: “They were tourists. Unfortunately they were unlucky. They had come to celebrate his birthday.”

Updated

Khalid Masood was a violent criminal convicted of multiple offences spanning 20 years, Robert Booth and Nazia Parveen report:

His offences included assaults, grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences. He had spent time in jail but not for terrorist-related offences, according to Amber Rudd, the home secretary.

The 52-year-old’s first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife, said the Metropolitan police.

It also emerged that Masood had been previously known to MI5 although the prime minister said he had been considered “a peripheral figure” in relation to suspected Islamist terror threats.

He was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism, said Theresa May. Downing Street declined to say whether that was between 2010 and 2016 during May’s time as home secretary. A spokesperson repeated her position that Masood came across the radar of the security services “some years ago”. Since then, there had been no intelligence to suggest his intent to mount a terrorist attack.

The news that the London attacker was born in Britain and inspired by extremist Islamist ideology was entirely predictable, as was his criminal record.

The standout detail from the sketchy profile we have of Khalid Masood is his age: 52, nearly twice that of most contemporary attackers.

The significance of Masood’s age will later become clear. For the moment it simply underlines the variety of extremist profiles, and the unpredictability of the threat. Most Islamic militants have been between the ages of 18 and 35, with the average age declining in recent years. Some analysts see their attraction to radicalism as partly a generational rebellion. Violent rightwing militants tend to be much older. Thomas Mair, who killed MP Jo Cox last year, was 52.

Every case is, of course, unique. And the reality is that, much as all politics is essentially local, so is terrorism. Islamic extremist strategists have wrestled with this challenge to their global vision for years, and have yet to evolve an adequate response. Western experts argue interminably over whether the motives of individuals are 10% ideology and 90% local context or vice versa.

But the sad reality is that, though it may be reassuring to blame bad guys, or bad ideas, from a long way away for violence at home, no one should be surprised that the man who attacked one of Britain’s most symbolically charged locations was born in the UK.

The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has suggested the country’s controversial far-right politician Pauline Hanson is playing into the hands of Islamist terrorists, after she used the London attack as an opportunity to push for a Muslim ban, AAP reports.

The One Nation leader tweeted after the attack, calling for people to pray for a ban on Muslims in Australia.

“The object of the Islamist terrorist is to get the broader society to turn on Muslims at large,” Turnbull told Melbourne radio.

Turnbull said he had already made that position clear to Senator Hanson, adding:

If you seek to attribute to all Australian Muslims responsibility for the crimes of Isil [Islamic State] then you are doing what Isil wants.

The fundraising page set up by the Metropolitan police federation to assist the family of murdered officer Keith Palmer has soared past its target of £250,000. It currently stands at over £358,000.

Updated

Arrests latest

Here is what we know so far about the arrests that have taken place since the terror attack:

  • Eight people were arrested as a number of addresses were raided in London, Birmingham and elsewhere.

Those arrested include:

  • A 39-year-old woman at an address in east London on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man at an address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 26-year-old woman and three men aged 28, 27 and 26 at a separate address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • A 58-year-old man at a separate address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

Four of the five South Koreans who were injured in the attack have been released from hospital.

They are all aged in their 50s and 60s. The Korea Herald reports that the four who have been released from hospital – three women and a man – suffered injuries such as broken bones when they were caught in the rush following the attack. They are likely to return to South Korea today, the Korea JoongAng Daily reports.

A 67-year-old woman who underwent surgery for a head injury was “awaiting progress after the operation”, South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson Cho June-hyuck told reporters at a news briefing.

“We will provide all necessary assistance to the injured citizens and their families until they come home safely,” he said.

The South Korean government yesterday issued a statement saying it “strongly condemns the barbarian attack on civilians” and would actively participate in the global fight against terrorism.

Updated

Associated Press has more on Kurt Cochran, the American man named earlier as one of the victims who was killed on Westminster bridge.

Cochran, who was travelling across Europe with his wife, Melissa, to celebrate 25 years of marriage, died after being hit by the car driven by Khalid Masood. Melissa Cochran was injured.

Kurt and Melissa Cochran.
Kurt and Melissa Cochran. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

AP reports from West Bountiful, Utah, the couple’s home:

For the last decade, the couple ran a recording studio in their basement in a neighbourhood just outside Salt Lake City.

Bret Layton started crying while talking about his longtime friend outside Cochran’s house on Thursday. Layton said he ran the recording studio with Kurt Cochran. “He’s one of those guys: you just know you want him to be your friend within five minutes … He was just an overall good guy to everybody,” Layton said.

Melissa Cochran is still hospitalised. She suffered a broken leg, broken rib and a cut and bruises, said friend Mike Murphy.

Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Guitars in Bountiful, said Kurt Cochran would come into his shop regularly. “He loved music,” Murphy said. “He was always around when there were music things going on.”

Emma Dugal, executive director of Bountiful Davis art center, said the couple had volunteered at the organisation’s annual summer arts festival for years. She described them as warm, friendly people and, as a couple, inseparable.

She said Cochran’s death will have a huge impact on the music community. “I know of musicians who lacked confidence and who weren’t sure how they wanted to present their talent, but Kurt encouraged them and got them out into performing, and has just made a huge difference in so many people’s lives,” Dugal said.

Kurt Cochran was a good father who will be missed dearly by his two adult sons, said Danny Wiley, the stepfather to Cochran’s sons. He says Cochran loved skateboarding and playing basketball with his sons.

“It’s devastating,” Wiley said. “He was a good guy, everybody liked him. He always had a smile on his face.”

Updated

Security at the Palace of Westminster is under intense scrutiny after the attack, report Rajeev Syal, Rowena Mason and Heather Stewart:

A string of MPs identified Carriage Gates, the entrance on Parliament Square used by the attacker, as a vulnerable point as the officers most closely guarding it are not armed and the gate tends to be left open during parliamentary votes.

The attacker, Khalid Masood, is thought to have been shot by a member of the close protection team of Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, whose car happened to have been parked in New Palace Yard because a vote was taking place at the time.

Having breached the perimeter of the Palace of Westminster estate at Carriage Gates, there are several routes an intruder could take to the House of Commons chamber area without passing through locked doors accessible by a security pass.

Alan Johnson, the Labour former home secretary, said the Carriage Gates were a point of vulnerability, particularly during votes, when they were left open to give easy access for ministers.

He said: “When the votes are on, the gates are open so that ministers can drive in from wherever they are in their different departments in Whitehall.”

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, a member of the House of Commons commission and a former deputy leader of the Commons, said: “There is the Carriage Gates issue. That is the weak point within the boundary of the Palace of Westminster.

“I can’t preempt what any review is likely to find but I would be surprised if there weren’t attempts to direct traffic through the Black Rod’s entrance because traffic there is channeled through very heavy barriers.”

Updated

Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London on Thursday evening to show solidarity with the victims of Wednesday’s attack. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and home secretary Amber Rudd sent a defiant message, with Rudd telling the crowd:

The terrorists will not defeat us. We will defeat them.

Sadiq Khan at vigil: ‘Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism’.

Anti-Brexit march will go ahead on Saturday

The pro-EU march will go ahead in London on Saturday, organisers have insisted.

Earlier on Thursday evening, Stephen Dorrell, chair of European Movement UK, said it would not go ahead, citing the extra burden on police following Wednesday’s terror attack.

But Unite4Europe, the umbrella group that has organised the anti-Brexit protest, says the march will go ahead as planned:

We have spoken to the police and the GLA [Greater London Authority]. We can confirm that the march will go ahead. All plans remain the same.

We will only move to our contingency if the police are still investigating the crime scene come Saturday. Our contingency will include the same march start point and time (Park Lane, 11am) with an alternate end point nearby.

We will not be intimidated. We will stand in unity and solidarity. We will march on the heart of our democracy and reclaim our streets in honour and respect of those that fell yesterday.

We will be observing a minute of silence and remembrance at the start of the rally. We would encourage all attendees to bring with them some symbol of respect and to act in the appropriate fashion on the day.

European Movement UK has issued a clarification, saying that while the march will go ahead, it will not be participating:

We don’t want to increase the burden on the police at this difficult time.

My colleague Denis Campbell has spoken to NHS staff who were among the first to respond to Wednesday’s attack:

It was a typically busy day in the emergency department at King’s College hospital when Dr Emer Sutherland started receiving text messages from relatives and friends.

They were the first indication of the scale of the horror unfolding just two miles down the road in Westminster. Within minutes, she and her colleagues were on major alert and preparing to receive the first of many critically injured casualties.

“We are a major trauma centre so we are used to dealing every day with majorly injured patients, such as people who have been hit by a car or stabbed,” said Sutherland, who is the consultant clinical lead for the hospital’s A&E department.

But even for her, a highly experienced A&E doctor, it had an impact. “It’s always emotional when you are working on a day like that. Trauma cases are always emotional because you have to quickly treat someone who’s critically injured and who might die.”

Just after 3pm, King’s received the first of eight casualties from the attack, two of whom were critically ill.

“At one point we were treating six of the eight casualties in the emergency department at the same time,” Sutherland said.

“It was very busy, but doctors and nurses were focused and calm.

“Extra colleagues came to help from operating theatres across the hospital, extra pharmacists came with additional supplies, extra radiologists came to do and interpret scans and extra porters came to move patients. That helped reassure the A&E staff. Everyone played their part.”

Read more here:

The Sun has video, taken from within the Palace of Westminster, showing the prime minister being swiftly escorted to her car as the attack unfolded.

Theresa May was whisked away from parliament – where she is believed to have been in the voting lobby of the Commons – to Downing Street after the attacker, Khalid Masood, breached the security cordon of the parliamentary estate and fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer. Masood was then shot dead by an armed officer.

The video – which is on the Sun’s website here – shows May escorted by several security officers, at least one of whom is armed, to a grey vehicle. She runs slightly as she approaches the car, which is then driven out of the grounds.

A voice can be heard shouting: “There is an incident … Do not go out … Stay in the car.”

Updated

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, home office minister Ben Wallace insisted there are “plenty of armed officers” in Westminster, following calls by some for police to be routinely equipped with firearms.

Wallace told the BBC:

There are plenty of armed officers around the House of Commons and the House of Lords, both inside and outside and also around the area, the government quarter, there’s a whole range of police forces that cover that area – diplomatic protection, Metropolitan police and other police.

There are plenty of guns available and on show as a matter of reassurance.

Updated

Masood was born 'Adrian Elms' – reports

There are multiple reports this evening that Khalid Masood, the man who killed four people before being shot dead on Wednesday, was born Adrian Elms before later converting to Islam and changing his name.

The Guardian is working to verify these reports.

It is known that Masood was born in Kent. The Metropolitan police had earlier said Masood was likely not to have been his birth name.

Updated

We do not yet know the identity of the 75-year-old man, injured in Wednesday’s attack, who has died this evening.

His death takes the number of victims to four. The attacker also died.

The A&E department at King’s College hospital took in eight patients in the wake of the attack: six men and two women.

One – the 75-year-old man – died on Thursday evening after his life support was withdrawn.

The hospital said another patient remains in a critical condition there. Four are stable and two have been discharged.

Friday's front pages

This is Claire Phipps picking up the live blog for continuing coverage.

The front pages of Friday’s newspapers are arriving now; here’s a quick roundup.

The Guardian: Killed by a homegrown terrorist

GUARDIAN: Killed by a homegrown terrorist #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/NHu4rznRyk

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

The Sun: I’m off to London today

SUN EXCLUSIVE: I'm off to London today....it isn't what it used to be #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/5qRl3G19R2

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017


The Times: Killer was Muslim convert

THE TIMES: Killer was Muslim convert #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/vM624eBKiH

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

The Daily Mail: Google, the terrorists’ friend

DAILY MAIL: Google, the terrorists' friend... #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/Tljvkx2UDe

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

The Mirror: Evil will not win

MIRROR: Evil will not win #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/MiixxF8V3a

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

The i: British attacker fell off MI5 radar

I: British attacker fell off MI5 radar #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/5LMKo4F8uq

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

The Financial Times: Homegrown Islamist named by police as Westminster attacker

FINANCIAL TIMES: Home-grown Islamist named by police as Westminster attacker #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/oq5J0lgggN

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 23, 2017

Updated

Sebastian Gorka.
Sebastian Gorka. Photograph: BBC

A Trump administration official seized on the Westminster terror attack to justify the president’s blocked travel ban, which targets refugees and immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries, despite confirmation that the attacker was neither an immigrant nor a refugee.

Sebastian Gorka, a national security aide to the president and a former editor for the far-right news site Breitbart, told Fox News’s conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on Wednesday evening that the attack in Westminster, that left three people and the attacker dead, “should be a surprise to nobody”.

“The war is real and that’s why executive orders like president Trump’s travel moratorium are so important,” Gorka said.

Despite the official’s remarks it is almost certain that the British-born attacker, 52 year-old Khalid Masood, would not have been affected by Trump’s ban, which targets immigrants and refugees from a handful of countries. Further, the US would have already been entitled to block Masood from the country, given his extensive criminal record.

Read more here.

Updated

A spokeswoman for King’s College Hospital in south London confirmed that the 75-year-old man had been treated there prior to his death.

Well-wishers have donated more than £300,000 to the family of murdered police officer Keith Palmer.

The Metropolitan Police Federation launched an official memorial page at 9.13am today and it look less than 12 hours to reach its target.

The association set up the page after receiving a huge number of pleas from members who wanted to help.

Stephen Redgewell, who set up the page, said: “A quick thank you for all those of you that have made your generous gifts in memory of Keith. It is heart warming to see the messages that have been posted and those that have chosen not to post a message, the gift alone speaks a thousand words.”

Detectives investigating the terrorist attack in #Westminster can confirm that a 75yo man died tonight after his life support was withdrawn.

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017

Fourth victim dies

Police say a 75-year-old man has died in hospital from injuries sustained in the attack on Wednesday.

Updated

Police have now said the package is not suspicious and all cordons have been lifted.

A peace vigil will be held in Birmingham on Friday to promote unity, after the city’s most prominent mosque issued a statement condemning the Westminster terror attack as “barbaric and heartless”.

The city centre vigil has been organised by the Stand Up To Racism group and MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) and will begin at 5pm in High Street.

Mosque chairman Muhammad Afzal said of Wednesday’s atrocity in London: “Nothing justifies taking lives of innocent people. Those responsible must be brought to justice.”

Urging calm within all communities and offering condolences to those bereaved by the attack, he added: “The Islamic faith does not allow anyone to take the life of others. No religion justifies the indiscriminate killing of individuals in such a barbaric and heartless way, and such acts only serve to differentiate between the misguided and the just.”

Met police said officers were dealing with a suspect package on Birdcage Walk. The street runs on the lower side of St James’s Park from Buckingham Palace to Parliament Square.

Updated

A woman holds a placard at a vigil in Trafalgar Square on Thursday.
A woman holds a placard at a vigil in Trafalgar Square on Thursday. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

After the vigil in Trafalgar Square, Omer El-Hamdoon, deputy secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:

“It’s good to see that many people have come out today. This is an important message that Londoners need to display which is that terrorism will not divide us and it is not going to stop us and scare us. For any person to attack innocent people is outrageous and despicable and we condemn it unreservedly.”

Candles burn on Westminster Bridge
Candles burn on Westminster bridge tonight after it reopened earlier. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

A Scotland Yard spokesman said research into other names the attacker used was ongoing, adding: “Khalid Masood is not at this early stage believed to be his birth name.”

Flowers and a photo of Pc Keith Palmer on Whitehall

The fundraising appeal launched by the Metropolitan Police Federation for the family of PC Keith Palmer has exceeded £260,000 and appears set to soon reach its £300,000 target.

Donations can be made on the JustGiving page.

Contrary to the tweet quoting Stephen Dorrell earlier, Unite for Europe says it has spoken to the police and GLA and that Saturday’s anti-Brexit protest march will go ahead from 11am as planned.

Craig Mackey

Acting Metropolitan police commissioner Craig Mackey, who himself was caught up in the terror attack, spoke of the three innocent people killed during the “truly terrible” incident, that many more were gravely injured and that “all of us have been deeply affected by what has happened”.

To applause, he said: “This cannot be undone, much as we would wish it. However we do get to choose our reaction and gathering here tonight shows exactly how we must move forward. We must stand together. People have tried to tear this city apart with acts of terror many times before. They have never succeeded and they never will.”

Detectives investigating the attack are treating Mackey as a significant witness because he was at the scene.

Updated

An army veteran who was among the first responders to the stabbing of PC Keith Palmer told the Guardian he had no second thoughts about rushing to the scene of the terror attack.

“I didn’t even feel I had a choice: there was nothing to hesitate about,” Mike Crofts, a former army captain said, speaking for the first time since the incident. “Instinct kicks in.”

Croft, who runs the Three Pillars Project, an organisation working with troubled youth and convicts, was leaving a parliamentary meeting about boxing with Sgt Tony Davis, who had trained him at Sandhurst years before, when he saw the attack.

“He came at PC Palmer from one side and I ran from the other,” he said, describing the feeling as “surreal”.

Tony Davis
Tony Davis Photograph: ITV/PA

Davis described the same moment to ITV’s This Morning: “There were people running, coming round towards the gate. All of a sudden I saw a large chap brandishing two knives come through the gates and start attacking the policeman.

“At that point instinct kicked in, I leapt over the fence because that guy needed assistance.”

The two men started performing first aid on Palmer, and were quickly joined by Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, who performed CPR. Palmer was pronounced dead on the scene.

Croft, who left the army last year, said: “The unity and the teamwork showed by the police officers who were on the scene immediately, the other people who rushed to the scene initially and later, and the helicopter team, was heroic. It would compare with the casualty evacuations I’ve seen in Afghanistan.”

Updated

The view from Berlin this evening...

#Solidarity with our British friends, commemorating victims of #LondonAttack: #BrandenburgGate lit up in colors of #UnionJack. #LondonStrong pic.twitter.com/qI3vTfzcZt

— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) March 23, 2017

Guardian writer Stephen Moss tweets:

Stephen Dorrell, chair of the European Movement, says Saturday's march in support of EU is off. Too much of a burden on police after attack

— Stephen Moss (@StephenMossGdn) March 23, 2017

Updated

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, home secretary Amber Rudd and acting Met commissioner Craig Mackey.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, home secretary Amber Rudd and acting Met commissioner Craig Mackey at the vigil. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

More from the Trafalgar Square vigil, where the home secretary, Amber Rudd, paid tribute to “courageous and brave” police officer Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death by the Westminster attacker.

“He was courageous, he was brave, and he was doing his duty. And he was not alone in doing that. I know that all officers of the Met are like that and, in my experience, so are all policemen. I want us to say thank you to them all for the great sacrifice and risks they take to keep us safe.”

To applause from the crowd, she said of the attack: “They will not win, we are all connected and we showed that today by coming together, by going to work, by getting about our normal business, because the terrorists will not defeat us, we will defeat them. We are strong in our values and proud of our country.”

Updated

The former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville stood shoulder to shoulder with students, military veterans and city leaders in a vigil outside the town hall in Manchester.

Neville, who chose to stand with members of the public rather than city leaders during the minute’s silence, declined to speak when approached afterwords by reporters.

Led by the lord mayor, Carl Austin-Behan, a small crowd braved chilly temperatures for a minute’s silence for the victims of the Westminster terror attack.

Among those paying tribute was Danny Standring who, like the murdered PC Keith Palmer, served in the Royal Artillery. “It’s a horrible, horrible, horrible state of affairs,” Standring said. We must stand united against terrorism and oppression. Radicalism should be stamped on.”

"It's a horrible, horrible state of affairs" - Danny Standring, who served in same military unit as murdered PC Keith Palmer pic.twitter.com/2vHbAba1qs

— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) March 23, 2017

Standing next to him, Hemmy Spiggott, a former royal military police officer, said: “It would be good to see everyone from all communities say we’re not having it. It doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, or whether you have no faith.

“It’s a free country, we’re allowed to worship as we see fit. We’re not going to let people like that drive a wedge between us. We can only do that by coming together.”

Student Yasmin Mannan: "What the terrorists want is to change this way of living and coexisting. It's made me more defiant." pic.twitter.com/CcNV2B5gqg

— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) March 23, 2017

Yasmin Mannan, a student at Manchester University, said it was important that other British cities stood in solidarity with London.

“I’m a Londoner so I was devastated when I heard the news. Manchester, like London, is such a diverse city that it’s important to show unity,” she said.

“It’s made me more defiant because what the terrorists want is to change this way of living and co-existing.”

Updated

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust says two patients were treated at St Thomas’ hospital following the attack – one man and one woman: “The man has now left hospital and the woman remains in a stable condition.”

Updated

More from Amber Rudd’s interview with the BBC political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.

The home secretary revealed that Khalid Masood had spent time in prison, but said it was not for terrorist-related offences.

“All I can tell you is what the police have said so far, which is that he was someone known to them but that he was on the periphery of the intelligence agencies. I think we’ll hear more from them in due course but we have to remember that this man was known to them partially because he had been in jail but not for terrorist offences,” Rudd said.

Updated

Thousands of people have gone to Trafalgar Square this evening for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims of the terror attack.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, speaks during the vigil in Trafalgar Square to honour the victims of yesterday’s terror attack.
Sadiq Khan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, praised the bravery of the emergency services responding to the attack: “When Londoners face adversity, we always pull together. We stand up for our values and we show the world we are the greatest city in the world.”

Home Secretary Amber Rudd also spoke at the vigil.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd also spoke at the vigil. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Updated

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said “no police officers are under investigation” over the Westminster terror attack, but it is “currently investigating the circumstances”.

IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green said: “I recognise that this is a very difficult time for the police service, following the tragic loss of PC Keith Palmer and the injuries to other officers. We are giving this investigation the highest priority and we will conclude it as soon as possible.”

Updated

More detail from the Met on those arrests made overnight:

  • A 39-year-old woman was arrested at an address in east London.
  • A 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were arrested at an address in Birmingham.
  • A 26-year-old woman and three men aged 28, 27 and 26 were arrested at a separate address in Birmingham. All were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
  • Further, a 58-year-old man was arrested on Thursday morning at a separate address in Birmingham.

Updated

A woman who fell from Westminster bridge into the River Thames during the terrorist attack is from Romania.

Footage of the atrocity appears to show a person falling from the bridge as the attacker ploughed a car through pedestrians.

The Romanian embassy in London confirmed the woman’s name as Andreea Cristea.

Eight arrests after raids

Counter terrorism detectives are investigating the possibility of a wider conspiracy that assisted the attack and made eight arrests after raids in Birmingham, and east London.

Seven people in Birmingham and one in London were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

Police still believe the attack was carried out by one person, and are examining what role if any, those arrested played.

Searches were also carried out in Carmathanshire, Wales, and Brighton, Sussex.

Updated

A vigil to pay tribute to those killed and injured in yesterday’s attack is about to begin in Trafalgar Square, central London.

Trafalgar Square vigil

Updated

Edge Hill University says one student, Travis Frain, remains in hospital and other 12 are now home following Westminster attack.

— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) March 23, 2017

Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, in her first public comments today, has warned against blaming the intelligence services.

“They do a fantastic job. The fact that he was known to them does not mean that someone has 24 hour cover. So I think we will discover more about this man and the people around him. I have no doubt the intelligence services are doing a great job,” she said in a BBC interview.

Asked if there had not been “a clear intelligence failure” because of concerns over his violent extremism and not just his criminal past, Rudd responded:

I think that would absolutely be the wrong judgment to make. I am confident that as we get more information - and I really can’t be drawn any further on it at the moment - that we will learn more and take comfort from the information we have. It is hard for them because they operate with a large degree of secrecy for good reasons. I would urge everyone to give them the space to do the inquiries that they need.”

As well as Birmingham earlier, police conducted raids in Brighton and Wales on Thursday.

A spokesman for Sussex police declined to confirm whether raids had taken place in Brighton, saying: “All questions about the operation should be referred to the Metropolitan police.”

Updated

Afternoon summary

  • Four people have died, including police officer Keith Palmer, and the attacker. Seven of the 29 people injured remain in a critical condition.
  • The assailant was named by police on Thursday as Khalid Masood, 52, who was born in Kent but was believed to have been living in the West Midlands most recently.
  • He drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people, before crashing it outside parliament and trying to enter the complex, armed with a knife.
  • One of the victims was named as Aysha Frade, 43, who worked as a teacher in London. The mother-of-two had family in Betanzos, Galicia, in north-west Spain.
  • The third person killed by the attacker was named as Kurt Cochran, a US tourist, who was in Europe to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Melissa. She is in hospital with serious injuries.
  • The prime minister, Theresa May, said Masood had been investigated “some years ago” by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism but was “not part of the current intelligence picture”.
  • The Met police said Masood had a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences. His most recent was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack but its claim has not been verified.

Members of the public have been chalking messages in Trafalgar Square, where the mayor of London Sadiq Khan is leading a vigil later.

"We are not afraid" and other messages of solidarity chalked onto Trafalgar Square pic.twitter.com/lEaKka0O8u

— Adam Payne (@adampayne26) March 23, 2017

Updated

We’re handing over to Chris Johnston for the evening. Many thanks for reading today.

Updated

Here’s another line from Laura Kuenssberg’s interview with Amber Rudd.

Rudd also warns of 'kneejerk' reaction, doesn't sound like govt considering any big policy change in reaction

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 23, 2017

That’s all from me for today. My colleague Jessica Elgot is wrapping up shortly, too, but colleagues will be taking over and keeping the blog going into the evening.

Updated

An update from King’s College hospital, one of the major trauma centres treating some of the injured victims from yesterday’s attack.

Two patients have discharged, four are stable and two more are in a critical condition.

We are still treating two patients who are in a critical condition and four who are stable. #Westminster [2/2]

— King's College NHS (@KingsCollegeNHS) March 23, 2017

After visiting the injured in hospital, Theresa May has been back at work in Downing Street this afternoon, No 10 said.

She spoke by phone about the attacks with European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Later this afternoon, she was holding private talks at Downing Street with former Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the country’s ruling Law and Justice party.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street Photograph: POOL/Reuters

Updated

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has told the BBC that it would be wrong to see yesterday’s attack as an intelligence failure.

Amber Rudd tells me it would be 'absolutely the wrong judgement' to see attack as intelligence failure, interview soon on @bbcnews

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 23, 2017

Rudd says she feels 'echoes' of the Nice attack, says she is confident the security services + police have resources they need

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 23, 2017

The Polish embassy has an update on the injuries of a Polish man caught up in the attack.

The embassy said he suffered minor injuries and was released from hospital on Thursday.

Updated

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has been speaking to reporters in New York after a meeting of the UN security council. He said that an attack on London was an attack on the world, and that democracy would prevail.

Yesterday the people of London were attacked in a cowardly and despicable way and our thoughts today are with the victims and their families. And on behalf of the United Kingdom I’m grateful for all the condolences that have been expressed here at the UN and the minute’s silence that was held in the security council.

You may know that today there are victims in London from 11 nations which goes to show that an attack on London is an attack on the world. And I can tell you from my talks here with the US government and with partners around the world that the world is united to defeat the people who launched this attack, to defeat their bankrupt and odious ideology.

And I say that in confidence because our values are superior, our view of the world is better and more generous and our will is stronger.

Our Houses of Parliament in London have been attacked for centuries by all sorts of people. But the ideas embodied in that Palace of Westminster, freedom, democracy, the equality of human beings under the law, are stronger than any adversary and they will prevail.

Interestingly, Johnson also called for a debate about whether it was right to allow images of terrorist attacks to be broadcast as those events are taking place. He said:

I may say, by the way, that I do believe that we should go through a period of reflection about how we transmit images of these events around the world in real time.

Boris Johnson at the UN in New York attending a security council meeting on Somalia.
Boris Johnson at the UN in New York attending a security council meeting on Somalia. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

PC Keith Palmer’s former team have laid a wreath in memory of those who lost their lives yesterday.

PC Keith Palmer's former team lay a wreath in memory of those who lost their lives yesterday #WestminsterAttack https://t.co/QRkLOW6Ken

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017

PM visits injured in London hospital

Theresa May has made a 40-minute private visit to an unnamed London hospital to comfort victims of yesterday’s attacks and thank medical staff, her spokesman said at this afternoon’s lobby briefing.

May also travelled to Buckingham Palace last night, at about 6pm, to hold her usual audience with the Queen, the spokesman confirmed.

He said May had signed the condolence book for the victims of the attacks and had received calls from a series of world leaders since the attack, including the French president, François Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Donald Trump.

Updated

MPs have been attending a special service in the House of Commons led by the Speaker’s chaplain, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, and the shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz were among the MPs in attendance. Many were in tears, others had their heads bowed.

Two services took place at 12.30pm and 3pm, with another at 6.30pm.

Updated

Here are some of the places where flags are flying at half mast today after the Westminster attack.

A Union flag flies at half mast from the Houses of Parliament.
A Union flag flies at half mast from the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
Flags flying at half mast over the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
Flags flying at half mast over the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
The Scottish Parliament flags at half mast
The Scottish Parliament flags at half mast Photograph: Andrew MacColl/REX/Shutterstock
Two men walk past flags at half staff outside the British Embassy in the Espacio Tower where other countries have diplomatic presence in Madrid, Spain.
Two men walk past flags at half staff outside the British Embassy in the Espacio Tower where other countries have diplomatic presence in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Paul White/AP
A union flag flies at half-mast with the pods of the London Eye seen in the background in central London.
A union flag flies at half-mast with the pods of the London Eye seen in the background in central London. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

EU flags at half-mast at our headquarters. We stand with London and the British people. pic.twitter.com/aBNM7qYHXB

— European Commission (@EU_Commission) March 23, 2017

Updated

Keith Palmer's family pay tribute to 'brave and courageous' officer

The family of PC Keith Palmer have released a statement through the Met police:

Keith will be remembered as a wonderful dad and husband. A loving son, brother and uncle. A longtime supporter of Charlton FC. Dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous.

A friend to everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed. We love him so much. His friends and family are shocked and devastated by his loss and ask that they are left to grieve alone in peace.

The police have also released more details of Palmer’s career, he joined the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command in April 2016 and before that was in the territorial support group, based at Catford but patrolling and working across London. Before the TSG, he was based in Bromley borough between 2002 and 2009.

Keith was 48 and joined the Met in November 2001. He was married with a five-year-old daughter. He was nominated in 2015 for best thief taker in the Commissioner’s Excellence Awards, having made more than 150 arrests in 12 months.

PC James Aitkenhead, who worked alongside him in the TSG, called him a “genuinely nice person”.

When I heard what had happened I knew it would be him because that’s just the sort of guy he was, to step straight in when others might step back. He had a great work ethic, he worked on our warrants’ car for years, getting up at 4am to serve warrants and arresting wanted offenders. He was always so positive, always staying late after everyone else and getting in early.

In his personal life he was a massive Charlton Athletic fan and had a season ticket. We will miss him so much.


Insp Mark Turner, from the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, who most recently worked withPalmer, said:

He really was a solid reliable member of the team – he came in and just got the job done, quietly and efficiently. He was a fantastic member of staff and will be sorely missed.

As a mark of respect, Palmer’s shoulder number – 4157U – will be retired and not reissued to any other officer.

Updated

My Westminster colleague Peter Walker is on the newly reopened Westminster Bridge, where floral tributes are being left.

With Westminster Bridge now open, the floral tributes are arriving. Some moving messages. pic.twitter.com/0TCigitTsi

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) March 23, 2017

I was chatting to a family from Norwich who made detour to Westminster Bridge to leave flowers: "It seemed like the right thing to do."

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) March 23, 2017

Updated

Jeremy Corbyn has been laying flowers on Westminster Bridge as a tribute to those killed yesterday. He also said he had signed the book of condolence for PC Keith Palmer. He said Palmer was “a great man who did a great job in parliament”.

Jeremy Corbyn lays floers at the scene on Westminster Bridge.
Jeremy Corbyn lays flowers at the scene on Westminster Bridge. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Updated

A woman from an inner-city Birmingham estate that was raided by anti-terror police has claimed the dead London terrorist was her neighbour.

Iwona Romek, a factory worker who did not know the attacker’s name, described the killer as a father who was a keen gardener and lived with his Asian wife and young child.

Romek, 45, who has lived in Quayside in Winson Green for 12 years, confirmed she knew the London terrorist when she was shown a photograph of him on the stretcher.

I have been so shocked by it all. They were a nice family, very reserved. He was very calm. I saw the photos on the TV and knew it was the man who lived here. He had a wife, a young Asian woman, and a small child who went to school.

Romek said the family moved out a few months ago. The house is now occupied by new tenants. On Thursday afternoon a police van remained parked outside the white front door.

He was a nice guy. I used to see him outside doing his garden. Never any trouble.

Romek said the man and his family moved out around Christmas very suddenly and did not say goodbye.

Describing the late-night raid, she said officers had swarmed the terraced mews house.

I just heard a lot of banging and shouting. They were shouting to open the door. It was all a bit scary. There was a helicopter above and men in white suits.

Updated

The JustGiving page set up to support the family of PC Keith Palmer has now raised more than £100,000, a spokesman for the site said. It is now the fastest growing JustGiving crowdfunding page in history.

The site reached its £100,000 target in just over six hours with donations from more than 5,500 members of the public. JustGiving has also made a donation of £10,000.

People have also been donating to the London air ambulance.

About £10,000 has been donated overnight to @LDNairamb in thanks for the efforts of its medics yesterday. To donate £5, text SAVE to 70800

— Ross Lydall (@RossLydall) March 23, 2017

Updated

Boris Johnson is addressing the UN security council in New York on Thursday. He was in Washington when the attack took place, where he was offered President Trump’s personal condolences by vice-president Mike Pence.

Sources close to the former mayor of London said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the attack on his home city and that the terrorist attack underlined the importance of confronting Daesh [Isis], the topic of yesterday’s talks in the US capital. He is expected to travel on to Turkey, where he will discuss heightened aviation security measures.

This is what he tweeted about the attack yesterday.

Heartbreaking. This is not the first attack on London or our Parliament - and won't be the last - but our values will prevail.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 22, 2017

Nations around the world are pouring out their sympathies for us today. This is a fight we're all in together.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 22, 2017

Updated

Khalid Masood was known to police but not subject of surveillance

Masood, 52, was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands. Masood was also known by a number of aliases, police said in a statement.

Scotland Yard said Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack.

However, he was known to police and had a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.

His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

He had not been convicted for any terrorism offences.

Anyone with any information about Masood can call the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321.

Updated

Westminster attacker named as Khalid Masood

Police have named the attacker as Khalid Masood. He was 52, born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands.

The Conservative MP Tom Pursglove witnessed the shooting of the attack from close up yesterday. He has put a statement about this on his Facebook page. Here’s an extract.

I was witness to part of the attack and saw, at close proximity, the assailant being shot by a police officer, in what was a great act of bravery in order to protect the lives of others. This was obviously a very unpleasant and upsetting experience for all those who bore witness to it and I was particularly grateful to the prime minister who took the time to call me last night - this was extremely kind of her, given all that was going on.

President Trump has tweeted a tribute to the American killed in the attack yesterday.

A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack. My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017

Rightwing commentators have wasted no time in appearing on US media and using the Westminster attack to further their political agendas.

Nigel Farage has appeared twice on US television already, today arguing that the London attacks prove Donald Trump is right on hardline immigration and anti-Muslim policy.

“It seems to me our political leaders really ought to start saying sorry,” the former Ukip leader told Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Thursday morning.

Surely this is the big takeout: when Donald Trump tries to makes America safer, when Donald Trump tries to make sure that these scenes we’ve had in Paris, Brussels and Berlin and now London aren’t repeated in America, we have people on Fifth Avenue and behind me in Westminster out on the streets protesting.

What these politicians have done for the last 15 years may well affect how we live in this country for the next 100 years.

He appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night, just hours after the attack, making a similar point. “We’ve made some terrible mistakes in this country,” Farage told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “When Donald Trump tries to put in place vetting measures, he’s doing it to protect your country,” he added.

He wasn’t the only hardline conservative to appear in the US media. the Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins also turned up on Carlson’s Fox show, echoing Farage’s xenophobic rhetoric.

We’re a country that spends so much time tiptoeing around the cultures that refuse to join us and not enough time defending the culture they’ve chosen to join, but because I say those things I am widely hated for those views. People are cowed, people are afraid and people are not united.

UK writers on US alt-right websites also used the London terror attacks to incite hatred against Muslims.

In a video on InfoWars, which published conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health during the 2016 election, writer Paul Joseph Watson argued that it was time to “acknowledge that Islam is not a religion of peace and in serious need of reform”.

On Breitbart News, whose former executive chair Steve Bannon is now one of the most influential advisers to the president, the UK executive editor James Delingpole wrote a column declaring that Islamic terror attacks could end western liberal values.

Updated

Summary

Jonathan Bartley, the Green party co-leader, has accused Ukip of trying to exploit the attack to divide communities. Responding to the statement from the Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall (see 1.55pm), Bartley said:

Every time you think Ukip can’t sink any lower, they do. It is abhorrent that Paul Nuttall is trying to capitalise on this terrible tragedy to create division between communities.

Just a brief look around him would have revealed to Nuttall a resilient multicultural society coming together to reject violence. Trying to blame certain communities for this horrific incident is politics at its worst – the Ukip leader should be utterly ashamed.

Updated

A tragic detail has emerged about the French school whose students were caught up in the attack on Westminster Bridge.

Estelle Rouat, a pupil at the Lycée Saint-Joseph in Brittany, was one of the 89 victims who lost their lives in the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall during the Paris terror attacks of November 2015.

High school students arrive at the Saint-Joseph school in Concarneau, western France.
High school students arrive at the Saint-Joseph school in Concarneau, western France. Photograph: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

Three of the pupils were injured in yesterday’s attack, two seriously. A group of 36 year 11 and 12 pupils from the lycée was walking from parliament on to Westminster Bridge when they were struck by the attacker’s car. With the exception of the three wounded, all were due to fly home on Thursday.

Updated

At least 100 people have attended a memorial in Spain to commemorate Aysha Frade, who was also killed in the terror attack on Wednesday, the Press Association reports.

A minute’s silence was held in the Galician municipality of Betanzos, where the British national’s family originates and where she spent her summers.

Betanzos councillor Andres Hermida said the community in Spain was in “enormous pain” and shrouded in an “atmosphere of sadness”. He told the Press Association:

We had a minute’s silence in the Plaza de la Constitucion outside the local government building and we have declared three days of mourning, which will include flying the flag at half mast until Saturday.

About 100 people attended despite the rainy weather.

Frade, who worked in administration at independent sixth-form school DLD College London, in Westminster, is understood to have been 43 and married with two daughters.

Reports said she had left work and was crossing Westminster Bridge as part of her usual routine when she was hit by the car.

Her family is well known in Betanzos, where older sisters Silvia and Michelle run the Notting Hill English language academy. According to Hermida:

The sisters suspended classes at the academy yesterday afternoon when they received the news and they left for London, we believe with their mother.

Aysha spent her summers here and had many friends here since her childhood, so we are all very affected.

You never think things like this will happen to you and it’s horrible luck when it happens at all, but when it happens close then it hurts that much more.

It’s an immense tragedy and an enormous pain – there is a big sadness in Betanzos.

We have condemned the terrorist attack and promised our support to the family.

Updated

Fumio Kishida, the Japanese foreign minister, has issued a message of condolence to the UK after yesterday’s attack and condemned “such inhuman and despicable acts of terrorism”.

These are some of the floral tributes in Westminster and next to the National Police Memorial.

Flowers are seen next to the National Police Memorial the day after an attack in London
Flowers are seen next to the National Police Memorial the day after an attack in London Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters
A police officer rearranges flowers near Central Hall Westminster in London
A police officer rearranges flowers near Central Hall Westminster in London Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA
A police officer lays flowers on Whitehall around a photograph of police officer Keith Palmer who was killed in the March 22 terror attack in Westminster
A police officer lays flowers on Whitehall around a photograph of police officer Keith Palmer who was killed in the March 22 terror attack in Westminster Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

An army veteran who was among the first on the scene of the Westminster attack has told how he tried to save the life of murdered police officer Keith Palmer.

Tony Davis, who is now a GB Boxing coach, jumped over a barrier and tried to intervene moments after the officer was attacked.

Davis, from Darlington, told ITV’s This Morning he was leaving parliament following a press event with a group of boxers when he saw the attack taking place.

There were people running, coming round towards the gate.

All of a sudden I saw a large chap brandishing two knives come through the gates and start attacking the policeman.

At that point instinct kicked in, I leapt over the fence because that guy needed assistance.

The police were holding their ground and that is when poor Keith got attacked. You start moving back with adrenaline pumping in.

At this point the assailant was coming towards us and I recall, out of the corner of my eye, one of the marksmen coming out and putting three rounds in him.

Appearing on the show without shoes on because they are still being cleaned, Davis told how he rushed in to give the officer CPR, saying:

I just knew he was in a great deal of difficulty. Everything happened so quick, but my natural instinct was to get over there and give some assistance if need be.

Initially, when he fell to the ground I tried to have a look at him and put him in the recovery position and check his pulse.

Davis said Palmer had wounds to his head, arm and another under his rib cage.

About 90 seconds into it another guy called Mike came and joined in and at this time there were lots of police around, Keith’s colleagues. Three and a half minutes was when the MP [Tobias Ellwood] came in and sort of took over CPR.

Updated

I’ve been speaking to Labour sources in the House of Lords, where there were clearly some concerns about the way yesterday’s incident was handled.

Lady Angela Smith, Labour’s leader in the Lords, the chief whip Steve Bassam and their staff, were holed up there for a considerable period. For much of that time, they were reliant on tweets from journalists for information about the incident.

“We heard the gunfire and were immediately told to get away from the windows at the front of the building – and then we spent two hours on the corridor, not really knowing what was happening other than from social media,” said the source, who added that they had worked with the Conservative leader Lady Evans and her team to maintain a calm atmosphere among peers, some of whom had witnessed the events.

It was unclear at that point whether there was another attacker still at large. Black Rod, the senior parliamentary official best known for knocking on the door of the Commons at the state opening of parliament, liaised with the parliamentary authorities as peers struggled to find out what was going on. Later, Smith and others moved to their offices – and remained there until the lockdown of parliament was lifted, about five hours later.

Updated

Kurt Cochran's family say he was a 'good man and loving husband'

The family of Kurt Cochran have issued a statement, through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after the American tourist was identified as the third victim of the attack in Westminster.

The couple were scheduled to fly back to the US today. Melissa Cochran’s parents are currently LDS missionaries in London.

Clinton Payne, Melissa’s brother, said in a statement:

Our family is heartbroken to learn of the death of our son-in-law, Kurt W Cochran, who was a victim of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London. Kurt was a good man and a loving husband to our daughter and sister, Melissa.

They were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and were scheduled to return to the United States on Thursday.

Melissa also received serious injuries in the attack and is being cared for in the hospital. We express our gratitude to the emergency and medical personnel who have cared for them and ask for your prayers on behalf of Melissa and our family.

Kurt will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy as our family mourns and as Melissa recovers from her injuries.

Updated

Tom Brake, a member of the House of Commons Commission and the former deputy leader of the Commons, told the Guardian that he thought the review of security at the Palace of Westminster would focus on Carriage Gates, the gates used by the attacker yesterday. Brake said:

There is the Carriage Gates issue. That is the weak point within the boundary of the Palace of Westminster. I can’t preempt what any review is likely to find but I would be surprised if there weren’t attempts to direct traffic through the Black Rod entrance because traffic there is channelled through very heavy barriers. That will create no doubt some congestion problems and once they are in the parliamentary estate they would have to drive through so it would not be without an impact. But it is hard to see how a gate that can be opened to provide access to cars as quickly as Carriage Gates is not always going to create a security risk.

MPs have long been aware that security at Carriage Gates could be better. The authorities have recently been working on something called the “New Palace Yard security enhancement project”, which will include replacing temporary galvanised barriers at the entrance with a stronger vehicle barrier. A business case was meant to be approved in February 2017 and work is due to start by the end of 2017, after planning permission is obtained from Westminster Council.

Updated

Some news now from the police probe in Birmingham, from my colleague Jamie Grierson. Officer are searching an address in Winson Green, Birmingham.

Police vans are parked outside the property in Quayside, while uniformed officers were seen entering the flat. Eyewitnesses told reporters that police vans arrived at the property around 1am.

Third victim named as US tourist Kurt Cochran

An American tourist from Utah has been named as the third victim of the Westminster Bridge attack, Kurt Cochran. His wife Melissa is still in hospital, according to her sister.

Kurt Cochran from Utah
Kurt Cochran from Utah Photograph: Facebook

In a public post on Facebook, her sister wrote:

SO, SO SORRY to inform everyone - Kurt has passed away from the injuries he received during the attack in London.

My sister, Melissa, has a broken leg, a broken rib, and a cut on her head.

While we are glad she survived, our hearts are broken and will never be the same after losing our dear uncle, brother-in-law, father. Kurt, you are a HERO, and we will never forget you.

Updated

Some more details are emerging about some of the injured. Italy’s ambassador Pasquale Terracciano says she has visited an Italian woman in hospital who lost consciousness for about 10 minutes after being struck by the car’s bumper.

The woman, a tourist from Rome, underwent surgery for a compound leg fracture. She also suffered a less serious injury to two of her vertebrae near her neck, and head trauma.

The German foreign office has also confirmed that among those injured yesterday is a female German citizen – no more information than that yet.

The number of different nationalities tells you a lot about the location of the attack – and London as a city. A diverse, multicultural city which attracts so many different people from around the world to visit, work and make their homes.

Updated

The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, has put out a lengthy statement about the attack saying that Muslim communities “must do far more” to combat extremism. He said:

Muslim communities must do far more to cut this cancer out of their midst. We need a more rigorous and assertive official approach on this. There should be no more pussyfooting around agonising whether ‘Prevent’ strategies risk stigmatising people. Muslim citizens – just like non-Muslim ones – need to know it is simply unacceptable to be aware of radicalisation but to withhold information from the authorities.

He did not acknowledge that the Muslim Council of Britain had condemned the attack strongly, first in a statement issued yesterday soon after the attack happened, and again in a more extensive statement today.

Updated

The UN security council, which is being chaired by the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, will observe a minute of silence at 2pm to mark the atrocity.

Updated

The Duchess of Cambridge has expressed her sympathy with the victims and injured of the Westminster attack.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch of maternal mental health films
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch of maternal mental health films Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Speaking at the launch of Out of the Blue, a series of films about mental health for parents and children, at an event in central London, Kate said:

I know you would all want to join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected by yesterday’s terrible attack in Westminster.

We will be thinking of all the families, as we discuss the important issues we’re here to talk about.

Updated

On the World at One just now Alan Johnson, the Labour former home secretary, said that one problem yesterday was that the gates to New Palace Yard (the main entrance to the Palace of Westminster for cars) were open because a vote was taking place. Those were the gates through which the attacker entered. Johnson said:

The other thing was there was a vote at the time. When the votes are on, the gates are open so that ministers can drive in from wherever they are in their different departments in Whitehall. We might have to think about that as well.

Johnson also suggested that there might be a case for arming all police on duty at the Palace of Westminster (a proposal also backed by Theresa Villiers, the Conservative former Northern Ireland secretary, in the Commons earlier - see 11.57am). Johnson said:

The armed police are the second line of defence. The first line of defence, all too often, are the unarmed police, which we might need to rethink.

Updated

Westminster Bridge has reopened

The major crossing where the car attack on pedestrians took place has reopened already, police say. However, there are still widespread closures in the area.

#Breaking Westminster Bridge reopened less than 24 hours after Wednesday's attack, police on duty in the area confirm

— Press Association (@PA) March 23, 2017

Updated

The injuries suffered by an Irish person in the Westminster terror attack are not life-threatening, the republic’s parliament has been told.

As the Press Association reports, the deputy prime minister, Frances Fitzgerald, revealed the victim’s condition as she described the murders in central London as a “cowardly act”.

Updated

Here’s more from Jason Burke on the language used in the Isis propaganda and on British-born extremists:

“Soldiers” responding to the call is used to describe people such as Omar Mateen, who opened fire in a nightclub in Florida last year and who claimed allegiance to Isis during the attack without any prior contact with the group.

Other terms are used to describe attackers such as those who made up the Paris/Brussels network who, for the most part, were trained, commissioned and dispatched by Isis planners after spending time in Syria.

The vast majority of attackers are local – many born in the countries they attack in, or at least naturalised citizens or long-term residents. Same in France, with a couple of recent exceptions, and elsewhere in Europe.

The idea that terrorists systematically fly thousands of miles to infiltrate and strike is a fallacy – though it does occasionally happen. 9/11 set up this idea, but was an anomaly.

The Isis claim was issued in English, Arabic, French and German. Yes, it was aimed at “enemy” but aimed at supporters too. Isis needs to boost morale. It’s motto is “to endure and expand”.

It’s done precious little of either recently, so needs to make a point to potential and actual sympathisers and militants already in ranks who may be losing heart.

anyone interested will find lots more of my analysis, reporting etc on Islamic militancy & linked issues on FB page:https://t.co/hdzgI0dBHk

— Jason Burke (@burke_jason) March 23, 2017

Updated

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, offered his condolences to Theresa May for the attack. In a statement released by the Kremlin, he said:

Terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly cunning and cynical.

It is obvious that all members of the international community should join forces to stand up against the terrorist threat.

Updated

Denis Campbell, our health policy editor, has just sent this:

The boss of the NHS today lauded the “immense personal bravery” and vital role played by health service personnel across the capital who helped the casualties from yesterday’s attack.

Speaking at an event in the City of London, Simon Stevens said:

I would like to just start, given what happened, the terrible events of yesterday afternoon, by using this opportunity to thank the staff across the NHS in London who responded so brilliantly to the terrorist outrage in Westminster.

The fact is that this was not just paramedics and ambulance crew but staff from St Thomas’ hospital running across Westminster Bridge into potential danger. I think that really demonstrates not only the professional skill of all our staff across the NHS but also immense personal bravery.

Stevens marked one minute’s silence for the victims of the attack alongside staff who oversaw the NHS response from its London Incident Coordination Centre, which was activated as soon as news came through about 2.30pm on Wednesday.

In all 68 paramedics and ambulance crew personnel from the London ambulance service were involved in the response to the attack. and casualties were treated at five London hospitals: St Mary’s, Chelsea & Westminster, King’s College, Royal London and St Thomas’.

Updated

Poland’s prime minister became the first senior European leader to draw a link between the London attack and the European Union’s migrant policy, saying the assault vindicated Warsaw’s refusal to take in refugees.

Poland’s government has refused to accept any of the 6,200 migrants allocated to it under the European Union’s quota scheme that is designed to share the burden of taking in the large numbers of migrants and refugees who have come to Europe over the past two years.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

“I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them,” Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told private broadcaster TVN24.

The EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on a visit to Warsaw, warned member states against failing to host refugees to help alleviate pressure on frontline states bearing the brunt of arrivals across the Mediterranean.

“The commissioner should concentrate on what to do to avoid such acts as yesterday in London ... Poland will not succumb to blackmail such as that expressed by the commissioner,” Szydlo said.

“The commissioner is coming to Warsaw and trying to tell us: you have to do what the EU decided, you have to take these migrants .... Two days later another terrorist attack in London occurs,” she said.

The former US president Barack Obama has said no act of terror will shake the resilience of the British.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families in London. No act of terror can shake the strength and resilience of our British ally.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 23, 2017

Nigel Farage has used the London terror attack as a reason to justify Donald Trump’s travel ban on travellers from Muslim-majority countries as he appeared on Fox News to claim it showed there should be more vetting of migrants.

The former Ukip leader appeared on the US network in the early hours of the morning to blame politicians who embrace multiculturalism and uncontrolled immigration from Middle Eastern countries for “inviting in terrorism”. He said it was a reason for US citizens to stop protest against Trump’s travel ban, even though Theresa May has confirmed police believe the attacker was British born. He said:

We’ve made some terrible mistakes in this country, and it really started with the election of Tony Blair back in 1997, who said he wanted to build a multicultural Britain.

His government even said they sent out search parties to find immigrants from all over the world to come into Britain. Do you know what? I don’t think we vetted a single one of them.

The problem with multiculturalism is that it leads to divided communities. It’s quite different to multiracialism. That’s fine, that can work very happily and extremely well. But we’ve finished up with very divided communities.

I’m sorry to say that we have now a fifth column living inside these European countries. Surely an American audience seeing this horrendous thing happening in Westminster should start to say to itself that when Donald Trump tries to put in place vetting measures, he is doing it to protect your country.

Frankly, all those people out protesting in Fifth Avenue in New York and elsewhere need to have a good, long hard think about what they are doing.

Frankly, if you open your door to uncontrolled immigration from Middle Eastern countries, you are inviting in terrorism.

I do actually think that the moment has come for us to actually point the blame. What these politicians have done in the space of just 15 years may well affect the way we live in this country over the next 100 years.

Victoria Ayling, a Ukip heritage and tourism spokesman, also retweeted a series of inflammatory posts about “challenging the West’s Muslim’s problem” and a need for “action against Islam”.

Updated

The Guardian’s Jason Burke has some useful context on the credibility of the statement from Isis. The language in the statement does not name the attacker and suggested he was inspired by the group rather than organised.

this useful. Vocab of ISIS claim indicates that group did not have prior knowledge of #londonattack, as does lack of biog details. https://t.co/9HOqdRjrFU

— Jason Burke (@burke_jason) March 23, 2017

ISIS clearly stating that #londonattack came “in response to its call to target Crusader countries”. i.e. not a directed/commissioned strike https://t.co/eSHQ0htpTX

— Jason Burke (@burke_jason) March 23, 2017

Updated

At Birmingham Central Mosque, chairman Mohammed Afzal was ready with a statement for journalists on Thursday condemning the London attacks.

Birmingham Central Mosque
Birmingham Central Mosque Photograph: David Sillitoe/The Guardian

He handed out copies of a booklet called Terrorism Is Not Islam, a 12-page guide the mosque has produced. Fifty-five thousand copies of the leaflet were handed out at mosques, schools and shops across Birmingham, supported by West Midlands police.

Afzal said he didn’t know if the terrorist had attended the mosque because they did not yet know his identity.

He questioned why the intelligence services had stopped monitoring the attacker.

“Why did MI5 not keep an eye on him?” he asked.

Archbishop says response to terror attack show victory of good over evil

In the House of Lords peers have also been speaking about the attack yesterday. One of the most striking interventions came from Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who spoke to peers about the Christian lessons to be learnt from atrocity.

He said he was struck by three images from yesterday.

The first is of a vehicle being driven across Westminster Bridge by someone who had a perverted, nihilistic, despairing view of objectives of what life is about, of what this society is about, that could only be fulfilled by death and destruction.

The second is of that same person a few minutes later on a stretcher or on the ground being treated by the very people he had sought to kill.

The third is of these two houses, where profound disagreement, bitter disagreement, angry disagreement, is dealt with not with violence, not with despair, not with cruelty, but with discussion, with reason, and with calmness.

It seems to me that those three pictures point us to deep values within our own society, deeper even than the ones that have been mentioned in the prime minister’s statement and other statements, which is the sense that comes from a narrative within our society for almost 2,000 years that speaks of, at this time of year as we look forward to Holy Week and Easter, of a God who stands with the suffering and brings justice, and whose resurrection has given to believer and unbeliever the sense that, where we do what is right, where we behave properly, where that generosity and extraordinary sense of duty that leads people to treat a terrorist is shown, where that bravery of someone like PC Keith Palmer is demonstrated, that there is a victory for what is right and good over what is evil, despairing and bad.

That was shown yesterday, hat is shown not just in our expression of values but in our practices which define those values and that is the mood that we must show in the future.

UPDATE: The full text of Welby’s speech is on his website here.

Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury.
Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury. Photograph: Parliament TV

Updated

Attacker 'not among' top 3,000 on MI5 list

It has emerged that the attacker – who has still not been named – was not among the 3,000 Britons on MI5’s list of individuals whom they regard as potentially capable of committing an act of domestic terrorism.

May told the Commons he had been on the radar of the security services as a “peripheral figure” years ago.

About 3,000 Britons, mainly Islamists, are monitored because police suspect they might be capable of an attack. Of them, 500 are the subject of active investigations and only a limited number of those become the targets of physical surveillance.

The Guardian understands that the attacker was not one of them.

He did not even make the list of 3,000.

Updated

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has been speaking to US news show Morning Joe.

He says the attacker was known to police and MI5, as May said earlier this morning.

I think what I can say about the individual concerned is that his values, his idea of the world will not prevail. He launched an attack at the heart of our democracy as has happened many times in the last decades.

The values of that Palace of Westminster will continue to triumph and whatever he thought he was doing, he will not succeed.

Fmr. London Mayor Boris Johnson responds to London attack and Theresa May's address before Parliament. pic.twitter.com/ipbqEG4oxh

— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) March 23, 2017

Islamic State claims responsibility for Westminster attack

Amaq, the news agency used by Isis to broadcast propaganda, says that the group is responsible for the attack. It calls the attacker “a soldier of Islamic State.”

This is a claim by them, which obviously cannot be verified at this stage. The wording of the Isis statement suggests he was inspired, rather than directed by them but we have no confirmation on either front.

Updated

Often what is significant in the Commons is what is not said. As the Guardian’s home affairs editor Alan Travis says, it was striking that this atrocity has not led to calls for a new anti-terror crackdown.

Significant PM's Commons statement on Westminster terror attack hasn't heard any demands for tougher counter-terror laws or tighter security

— Alan Travis (@alantravis40) March 23, 2017

The one exception to this was Theresa Villiers suggesting that all police officers guarding “sensitive sites” in London should be routinely armed. (See 11.57am.) But the fact that this was a relatively modest proposal, which Theresa May was happy to sidestep, proves Alan’s point; there is no appetite in the Commons for a fresh wave of authoritarianism.

The Metropolitan police has acted fast to step up security at London’s airports, reports the Guardian’s Helena Smith.

Within hours of the attack, extra patrols of police armed with automatic weapons were in place at Heathrow’s terminals.

By 3.10PM yesterday – exactly 30 minutes after the as-yet-unidentified assailant ploughed the rented SUV into people on Westminster bridge – six heavily armed police were standing outside one entrance to the departures lounge of Terminal Two.

In an effort to reassure the public the Met police had announced that extra patrols, armed and unarmed, would be in place, “particularly in crowded places and iconic locations”.

Despite the heightened police presence however, there were no other evident restrictions for travellers flying out of Heathrow last night or this morning.

Updated

PC Keith Palmer was a Charlton Athletic fan and the club have placed a red and white scarf on his seat in the stand where he held a season ticket.

As an immediate tribute to hero Keith, a red and white scarf has been placed on the seat which he occupied for many years... #cafc pic.twitter.com/iKZkQufC6i

— Charlton Athletic FC (@CAFCofficial) March 23, 2017

Several MPs have called for a permanent memorial to PC Keith Palmer for making “the ultimate sacrifice for our democracy.”

Conservative MP Nigel Evans said Palmer was “one of us”.

The tribute to Keith and the police are that we are here today and our proceedings are going on.

We have the arch that’s been spoken about before, which is a lasting memorial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our democracy.

I do hope that at an appropriate time, with discussion with the family, that we too may be able to look at a lasting memorial to Keith in order that each and every one of us know that there are people putting their lives on the line for our democracy today.


Fellow Tory MP Michael Fabricant also called for a memorial in Palmer’s honour and Palmer’s friend, James Cleverly, asked for him to be given a posthumous award for bravery.

The prime minister said she was sure the issue would be considered by the parliamentary authorities.

Updated

In the Commons Theresa May has now finished her statement.

In Edinburgh Nicola Sturgeon has just started first minister’s questions in the Scottish parliament. She says many MSPs have friends and even family members working in Westminster. They were shocked by what happened, she says.

She says her thoughts and prayers are with the family of PC Keith Palmer. And she praises the bravery of all those who serve in the police.

She says she was updated by Police Scotland yesterday, and again this morning.

There is no evidence of a threat to Scotland. But, as a precautionary measure, policing has been increased, she says.

She says the only people to blame for acts of terrorism are those who perpetrate them.

She says she wants to echo the words of Theresa May: terrorists seek to undermine our values, but they will not succeed, she says.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the text of Sturgeon’s statement.

You can read FM @nicolasturgeon statement to @scotparl following yesterday's Westminster attacks https://t.co/orv6K4hZ1e

— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) March 23, 2017

Updated

Tobias Ellwood, the junior foreign office minister who went to the aid of PC Keith Palmer, has been listening to tributes in the House. His face was full of emotion. The MP, who performed CPR on the dying officer, did not speak but his bravery was mentioned by many MPs from both parties.

MP Tobias Ellwood listens to speeches in Parliament the morning after an attack in Westminster
MP Tobias Ellwood listens to speeches in Parliament the morning after an attack in Westminster Photograph: Reuters
Ellwood performed CPR on the dying officer
Ellwood performed CPR on the dying officer Photograph: PA

Updated

Theresa Villiers, the former Northern Ireland secretary, used her question during the statement to suggest that all police officers guarding “sensitive sites” in London should be routinely armed. She asked Theresa May:

As we reflect on what happened, is it time to consider whether the police who guard sensitive sites known to be of interest to terrorists like Parliament or like airports should routinely carry personal protection weapons, even when those officers are not part of the units formally tasked with armed response?

May said that whether particular officers were armed was “an operational matter” for the police. She went on:

They are the best able to judge the circumstances in which it is best for individuals to have those arms but of course we have seen a significant increase in the number of armed response vehicles, the number of counter terrorism specialists, firearms officers.

It is a sad reflection of the threat that we face that it has been necessary to do that but we have been doing that.

If you would like to share your reactions and tributes you can do so by clicking the ‘Contribute’ button on the live blog, or by filling in our encrypted form here.

Perhaps you plan on attending the vigil in Trafalgar Square tonight or perhaps have a similar event happening near you.

We will do our best to ensure your responses are kept secure and confidential, and we’ll feature a selection of contributions in our ongoing reporting.

Here are some more quotes from MPs who have been speaking during the statement.

Harriet Harman, the former Labour deputy leader, said the act of terror had failed.

As an act of terror it has failed. It has failed because we are here and we are going to go about our business. It failed because, as the prime minister so rightly said, we are not going to allow this to be used as a pretext for division, hatred and Islamophobia.

Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, said the UK was united against terrorism.

We must not allow anyone to try and divide our country on the basis of faith or nationality after these attacks. The reality is that across London, across the country, we are a country united against these attacks.

Dominic Grieve, the Conservative chair of the intelligence and security committee, said it was a “miracle” that the UK had escaped most terror plots in recent years and that “this house is going to have to simply be resolute in accepting that such attacks cannot always be prevented”.

The Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, praised Theresa May for the tone she adopted in her statement, which was “unifying and defiant and with which she really did speak for us all”.

The Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said one attacker could not shut down a city.

One man cannot shut down a city and one man cannot lock down democracy … We must also not react to such a warped ideology with unworthy responses.

I’ve taken the quotes from PoliticsHome.

Updated

No 10 would not say precisely when the attacker was last investigated by MI5. Theresa May’s spokesman would only say it was “some years” ago in response to repeated questions about when, why and how the intelligence agencies have monitored him in the past.

The spokesman also refused to say whether May believes there have been any failings by the security services in their decision not to continue monitoring him.

However, Downing Street did confirm that the prime minister intends to stick to her plan of triggering article 50 on Wednesday next week.

Updated

The Hyundai Tucson used by the attacker was rented from an Enterprise branch on Spring Hill passage in Birmingham, one mile from the property raided last night on Hagley Road, the Guardian understands.

Updated

May says that, as home secretary, there were two events every year that brought home to her how brave the police are. They were the national police service memorial day and the police bravery awards. What always struck her, she says, was how officers, when asked about what they did, just said they were doing their job.

Queen offers "thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy" after attack

The Queen has said her “thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy” are with all those who have been affected by yesterday’s “awful violence”.

Queen Elizabeth had been due to open the new Metropolitan police building this morning, but the ceremony has been cancelled.

She went on: “I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.”

Message from The Queen to @metpoliceuk pic.twitter.com/8v7jEDeZip

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) March 23, 2017

Updated

Witnesses yesterday described seeing a woman pulled from the river after the carnage on Westminster bridge, who is alive but in a serious condition.

It has since emerged she was a Romanian tourist celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday in London.

Romanian Ambassador Dan Mihalache told Realitatea TV that the woman sustained serious head injuries and has badly damaged lungs. Her boyfriend suffered a foot fracture. The pair haven’t been named yet.

“They were tourists, unfortunately they were unlucky. They had come to celebrate his birthday.” He said the pair planned to wed,” Mihalache said.

The Conservative MP James Cleverly sounded close to tears as he paid tribute to PC Keith Palmer in the chamber a few minutes ago. He said he first met him 25 years ago as Gunner Keith Palmer at the Royal Artillery HQ.

He was a strong, professional public servant and it was a delight to meet him here again only a few months after being elected. Would [Theresa May] in recognition of the work that he did and the other police officers and public servants in the House do consider recognising his gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition?

May said the idea would “of course be considered in due course”.

Updated

Greece 'unaware' citizens had been injured until PM's statement

Theresa May’s announcement that two Greeks were among the 12 injured has caught authorities in Athens at least by surprise.

While the Greek ministry of foreign affairs had strongly condemned the attack, describing it as a “cowardly act,” there was no suggestion that Greeks were among the victims.

A press officer at the Greek embassy in London said staff has only been made aware when the British prime minister announced it in parliament.

“It came as a surprise. We had not been made aware of it by the Metropolitian police earlier this morning,” the officer, Claire Koltsida, told the Guardian.

“We now know it was a couple who suffered light injuries and took themselves off in a private capacity to the hospital. We hope to know more later today.”

MP James Cleverly, friend of Keith Palmer, calls for posthumous award

James Cleverly, the Tory MP who knew Palmer during his time in the armed forces, has been paying a highly emotional tribute to his friend, which has moved MPs across all sides of the house. May was emotional too in her response.

James Cleverly sheds tears as he pays tribute to Keith Palmer, who he served alongside. Says he was a "strong, professional public servant" pic.twitter.com/HhP2n5sMDV

— Matt Dathan (@matt_dathan) March 23, 2017

James Cleverly chokes up as he remembers his friend PC Keith Palmer. Suggests he should get posthumous honour, Theresa May appears to agree

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) March 23, 2017

We’ll post the full quotes shortly.

Updated

Theresa May's statement - Summary

MPs from all sides of the Commons have been praising Theresa May for the tone and the language she used in her statement to the Commons about the Westminster terror attack. It is routine for prime ministers to respond to terrorist killings by saying that democracy will prevail, but May delivered that message this morning with great dignity and sincerity.

Here are the key points.

  • May said that attacker was a British-born man who had been investigated in the past in relation to violent extremism, by only as “a peripheral figure”. But he had not been a current suspect, she said.

His identity is known to the police and MI5, and when operational considerations allow, he will be publicly identified. What I can confirm is that the man was British born and that – some years ago – he was once investigated by M15 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture.

(The text issued by Number 10 says the attacker was “once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism” but in the chamber May said he was “once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism.”)

  • She said the attackerwas thought to have acted alone and that the police “have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public”.
  • She said the “working assumption” was that the attacker was “inspired by Islamist ideology”.
  • She gave details of the nationalities of those injured on Westminster Bridge. Two people were killed and about 40 more were injured, she said:

In addition to 12 Britons admitted to hospital, we know that the victims include three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, one American and two Greeks.

  • She said the police would increase the number of patrols in cities “as a precautionary measure”.
  • She described the attack as “an attack on free people everywhere”.
  • She said the “best response to terrorism” was for people to carry with their lives as normal.

It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism.

A response that denies our enemies their victory. That refuses to let them win. That shows we will never give in.

A response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our attacker, and to pay the ultimate price.

A response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil: you will not defeat us.

Updated

One of the Edge Hill University students who was struck by the terrorist’s 4x4 has this morning thanked the emergency services. Owen Lambert, 18, was on Westminster Bridge when the vehicle ploughed into pedestrians, killing two and leaving dozens more injured.

Owen, who received stitches for a head wound, said on Thursday: “Battered and bruised but doing fine, massive thanks to Metropolitan police and the Chelsea and Westminster hospital for helping me through this ordeal and an even bigger thanks to all my family and friends for supporting me every step of the way.”

His fellow student, Travis Frain, suffered a cracked rib plus hand and arm injuries. His mother, Angela Frain, said last night that he was “OK” and in “good spirits”. He is expected to remain in hospital for several days.

Travis Frain, 19, who was injured in the Westminster terror attack went over the bonnet of the killer’s car as the carnage began, his mother said today.
Travis Frain, 19, who was injured in the Westminster terror attack went over the bonnet of the killer’s car as the carnage began, his mother said today. Photograph: Family Handout/PA

Updated

Responding to Corbyn, May paid tribute both to the support received from France and to the bravery of the police. She said France too had “felt the horror and trauma of terrible terrorist attacks.”

Police officers like Keith Palmer put their lives on the line every day, she said.

Every day, when they put on that uniform, they don’t know what they are going to confront in the course of their duties that day.

It’s a fact often forgotten when people see the police officer walking on the streets that actually they do put their lives on the line for our safety and security. They show enormous bravery and we are grateful to them all.

Here is the statement from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, where he called the attack “an appalling atrocity” but urged people not to rush to judgment.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn responds after Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to MPs in the House of Commons in the aftermath of yesterday’s terror attack on the Palace of Westminster.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn responds after Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to MPs in the House of Commons in the aftermath of yesterday’s terror attack on the Palace of Westminster. Photograph: PA

What happened yesterday was an appalling atrocity. Today, we are united by our humanity, by our democratic values and by that human impulse for solidarity to stand together in times of darkness and adversity.

I express my condolences to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer, who gave his life yesterday in defence of the public and our democracy – and to the loved ones of those still in a critical condition including the French schoolchildren visiting our capital from Concarneau in Brittany.

The injured include people of ten nationalities. Innocent people were killed yesterday walking across Westminster Bridge as many millions of Londoners and tourists have done before them.

I thank all the dedicated NHS staff working to save lives, including those from St Thomas’ Hospital who rushed out to help those in need. We are grateful for the public service workers who yesterday, today and every day they pull on their uniforms.

It behoves us all not to rush to judgement, but to wait for the police to establish the facts. We must stay united in our communities and not to allow fear or the voices of hatred to divide or cower us.

It is by demonstrating our values of solidarity, community, humanity and love that we will defeat the poison and division of hatred.

Updated

Attacker's car was rented from Enterprise in Birmingham area

The attacker rented a car from an Enterprise branch within the Birmingham city area, sources have told the Guardian.

A spokesperson for Enterprise Holdings said: “We can confirm that the car used in the tragic attack in London yesterday afternoon was one of ours.

“An employee identified the vehicle after seeing the licence plate in an image online. We ran another check to verify, and immediately contacted the authorities.

“We are cooperating fully with the authorities and will provide any assistance that we can to the investigation.

“Our thoughts are very much with the victims of this terrible tragedy.”

Updated

Angus Robertson, the SNP Westminster leader, praised the prime minister for her statement.

Today of all days we are reminded that, notwithstanding our differences on political and constitutional issues, we are as one in our dedication to democracy, the rule of law and harmony between peoples of all faiths and none.

Does she agree with me that no terrorist outrage is representative of any faith or faith community and we recommit ourselves to strengthening the bonds of tolerance and understanding?

In the days to come I hope we will remember the love and bravery of the victim, not just the hatred and cowardice of the attackers.

Others paying tribute in the house include the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers, former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Liberal Democrats leader @timfarron "Those who attack us hate our freedom, our peaceful democracy, our love of country" #London #Westminster pic.twitter.com/BednQLh839

— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 23, 2017

Updated

Theresa May's statement - further key extracts

Here are more extracts from Theresa May’s statement.

Since June 2013 our police, security and intelligence agencies have successfully disrupted 13 separate terrorist plots in Britain.

Mr Speaker, in terms of security here in Westminster, we should be clear first of all that an attacker attempted to break into Parliament and was shot dead within twenty yards of the gates. If his intention was to gain access to this building, we should be clear that he did not succeed.The police heroically did their job. But as is routine, the police together with the House authorities are reviewing the security of the Parliamentary estate, co-ordinated with the Cabinet Office, who have responsibility for the security measures in place around the Government secure zone. All of us in this House have a responsibility for the security and safety of our staff and advice is available for Members who need it.

Mr Speaker, yesterday we saw the worst of humanity, but we will remember the best.

We will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of PC Keith Palmer, including those by my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Bournemouth East.

And we will remember the exceptional bravery of our police, security and emergency services who once again ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way ...

Mr Speaker, a lot has been said since terror struck London yesterday. Much more will be said in the coming days. But the greatest response lies not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people. For beyond these walls today – in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country –millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives. The streets are as busy as ever. The offices full. The coffee shops and cafes bustling. As I speak millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth.

It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism. A response that denies our enemies their victory. That refuses to let them win. That shows we will never give in. A response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our attacker, and to pay the ultimate price. A response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil: you will not defeat us. Mr Speaker, let this be the message from this House and this nation today: our values will prevail. And I commend this statement to the House.

Theresa May speaking in parliament.
Theresa May speaking in parliament. Photograph: Parliament TV

Updated

Theresa May's statement – key extracts

Here are key extracts from Theresa May’s statement.

Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. But today we meet as normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face ofterrorism.

And we meet here in the oldest of all parliaments because we know democracy and the values it entails will always prevail. Those values free speech, liberty, human rights and rule of law are embodied here in this place and shared by free people around the world.

A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and culture gather to celebrate what it means to be free. He took out his rage indiscriminately on men, women and children. This was an attack on free people everywhere and on behalf of the British people I would like to thank our friends and allies around the world who have made it clear they stand with us.

What happened on the streets of Westminster sickened us all. While there is an ongoing police investigation, the House will understand there are limits to what I can say but having been updated by police and security officials let me set out what at this stage I can tell the house.

At approximately 2.40pm yesterday a single attacker drove his vehicle at speed into innocent pedestrians crossing Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring around 40 more. In addition to 12 Britons admitted to hospital, we know the victims include three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, one American and two Greeks. We are in close contacts with the governments of the countries of all those affected.

The injured also included three police officers returning from an event to recognise their bravery ... Two of those three remain in a serious condition. The attacker then left the vehicle and approached a police officer at Carriage Gates, attacking that officer with a large knife before he was shot dead by an armed police officer. Tragically 48 year old PC Keith Palmer was killed.

He was every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten.

I can confirm police have searched six addresses and made eight arrests in Birmingham and London. It is still believed this attacker acted alone and police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public. His identity is known to the police and MI5.

When operational considerations allow he will be publicly identified.

What I can confirm is the man was British born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He is not part of the current intelligence picture.

There was no prior intelligence of his intent or the plot. Intensive investigations continue …

Our working assumption is that the attacker was inspired by Islamist ideology. We know the threat from Islamist terrorism is very real. But while the public should remain utterly vigilant they should not and will not be cowed by this threat.

We are stepping up policing to reassure the public and as a precautionary measure it will mean increasing patrols in cities across the country, with more police and more armed police on the streets.

Updated

Corbyn says the injured include people from 10 nationalities. We send them our best wishes, he says.

He urges people to look after each other, to help one another and think of one another.

It is by looking after each other that we will defeat the poison and hatred.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is responding.

He says we are united by the human impulse of solidarity.

He praises PC Keith Palmer.

We thank the police who keep us safe, he says. The police and security staff lost a colleague, but continue to do their duty.

We see the police every day, he says. When dangerous incidents take place, we run away. But they run towards danger, he says.

He also praises Tobias Ellwood for using his skill yesterday to try to save PC Palmer’s life.

John Bercow says MPs have been joined today in the gallery by the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Bercow says that MPs appreciate his presence and solidarity.

Updated

May says yesterday we saw the worst of humanity. But we will remember the best.

We will remember the efforts to save PC Keith Palmer’s life, including by Tobias Ellwood.

She pays tribute to the emergency services. That they have lost one of their own only makes their calmness and professionalism all the more remarkable.

She says the greatest response lies in the actions of ordinary people.

Millions of people are going about their ordinary lives, she says.

People will be boarding buses and trains to come to London as she speaks, she says, to see the best city on earth.

This is the response that shows we will never give in to terrorism.

It is the same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and th attack, and to pay the ultimate price.

Let this be the message for us today; our values will prevail.

May says British-born attacker was known to MI5 and had been investigated before, as 'peripheral figure'

May says she chaired a Cobra committee last night.

The threat level remains at “severe”. That means an attack is highly likely. But it will not be raised to the next level, because there is no intelligence that an attack is imminent.

She says police have been working through the night to establish all they can about the attack.

They have searched six addresses in London and Birmingham and eight people have been arrested.

  • May says the attacker was “British-born”
  • May says attacker was known to MI5.
  • He was investigated some years ago in relation to extremist terrorism. But he was a “peripheral figure”.

Updated

May says there is a limit to what she can say because of the police investigation.

But she can set out the basic facts. She says an attacker drove a car at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

Those injured include: 12 Britons, three French, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Chinese, one Irish, one Italian, one American and two Greeks.

Then the attacker tried to enter parliament. PC Keith Palmer was killed.

Updated

Theresa May is speaking now.

She says a terrorist attack tried to disrupt democracy yesterday. But today MPs are carrying on as usual.

This was an attack on free people everywhere, she says.

She thanks friends around the world who have said they stand by the UK.

The events sickened us all, she says.

Watch Theresa May’s statement live

Updated

John Bercow's statement

John Bercow, the Speaker, is making his own statement first.

He expresses condolences to the family and friends of victims of this outrage.

He says PC Keith Palmer was killed defending MPs, parliament and parliamentary democracy.

Our hearts go out to all those touched by events yesterday.

He thanks staff of the Commons and MPs’ staff for their forbearance.

He says steps have been taken to keep the Commons safe.

In time the House of Commons commission, and its Lords counterpart, will review if more needs to be done.

He says the house has been able to carry on its business today undisturbed.

Updated

Two patients in St Thomas' hospital - both stable

Two patients are being treated at St Thomas’ hospital following yesterday’s security incident in Westminster – one man and one woman. Both patients are in a stable condition.

Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust, said:

I would like to thank all staff who were involved in the response to the terrible event yesterday. The Trust’s major incident procedures have worked well, and there has been an excellent response from both clinical and non-clinical staff.

My thoughts are with all affected by this appalling tragedy.

Security personnel seen around St Thomas Hospital this morning.
Security personnel seen around St Thomas Hospital this morning. Photograph: Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Images

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Theresa May's statement to MPs

Theresa May is about to address MPs.

PM has taken her seat for her statement - watch live on @BBCParliament and BBC news

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 23, 2017

The Metropolitan police and the parliamentary authorities are reviewing security arrangements around the Palace of Westminster after a knife-wielding terrorist was able to access the estate.

Focus will fall upon Carriage Gates, the vehicle entrance opening on to Parliament Square that is usually used by vehicles bearing ministers and selected staff.

Witnesses said the attacker crashed his car into the estate’s fence before running through Carriage Gates carrying two knives. He is said to have fatally attacked PC Keith Palmer, one of the unarmed officers patrolling near the gates, before being gunned down by armed officers.

Unarmed officers such as PC Palmer act as the public face of parliament at the entrance, whose imposing iron gates are the symbol of the estate.

These officers are not just the first line of defence but are often seen posing for pictures with tourists keen to take their photographs with a clear view of Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben.

Any review will examine procedures at the gates, which are often left unlocked or ajar because they are in frequent use.

Armed officers are usually seen several yards behind the unarmed officers. But just 50 yards beyond them on the other side of New Palace Yard, MPs and ministers can be seen frequently walking to and fro from parliament’s offices and the House of Commons’ chamber.

The dilemma for the security forces and the parliamentary authorities has been the same since the building was first established on the banks of the Thames in the 11th century: how to provide safety without infringing the right of the public to turn up and lobby their constituency MP.

A senior parliamentary officer confirmed this morning that a security review is under way.The details of the review will remain confidential.

There are already airport-style checks at some parliamentary entrances,including those at St Stephen’s Gate and Portcullis House, the new building housing most MPs’ offices. There are no such checks at Carriage Gates.

An armed British police officer stands on duty as members of the emergency services gather at the Carriage Gates during the incident.
An armed police officer stands on duty as members of the emergency services gather at the Carriage Gates during the incident. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Updated

The Metropolitan Police Federation is launching a memorial fund for PC Keith Palmer.

The Just Giving page is being set up because of pleas from Federation members who wanted to help in some way, chairman Ken Marsh said. He said: “That’s why we are doing it, because of the overwhelming amount of our colleagues asking for it.”

Here is a link.

The Metropolitan Police Federation has launched a Memorial Fund in memory of our fallen colleague PC Keith Palmer. https://t.co/3gz4QzHpim pic.twitter.com/vcGDjm5CFq

— Met Police Fed (@MPFed) March 23, 2017

Eight people have now been arrested, say police

The Metropolitan police say eight people have now been arrested in connection with the attack. Earlier (see 7.59am) they said there had been seven arrests.

We have now made a total of eight arrests as part of the ongoing Counter Terrorism operation #WestminsterAttack

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017

Updated

The Conservative MP Gavin Barwell has written a good post about yesterday’s attack on his blog . Here’s an extract.

It was also an attack on your parliament. Make no mistake: it is your parliament. One of my favourite parts of the job is showing constituents around the building. Although sadly it behaves like a private members club at times, it is the place where the people you choose to represent you come together to decide how we should go forward as a country. For all its faults, it is at the centre of our national life and that is why it was targeted yesterday ...

I spent nearly five hours yesterday locked in the chamber and voting lobbies of the House of Commons with about 350 other MPs. We watched the news on TV, shared mobile phone chargers so that we could reassure loved ones we were ok and talked about the work we do. It was a reminder that although we spend most of our time arguing about Brexit, austerity, the future of our Union and so many other things, those arguments obscure the fact that there is more that unites us than divides us. We are all committed to democracy, to the idea that the way we resolve our differences is through debate, sometime passionate argument, but never violence. If politics sometimes frustrates you (it certainly frustrates me at times), that is something worth holding onto, indeed something worth giving your life to defend - as PC Keith Palmer did so heroically yesterday.

The Scottish parliament’s debate and vote on calling for a new independence referendum will resume on Tuesday 28 March – the day before Theresa May triggers article 50 to begin the Brexit process.

That vote on Tuesday evening will almost certainly give Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, Holyrood’s approval to ask May for the legal powers to stage the referendum just before the prime minister begins the process for leaving the UK.

The final 90 minutes of debate and the vote on Sturgeon’s referendum motion, plus four opposition party amendments, were suspended at 15.55 on Wednesday in solidarity with the Westminster parliament after the terror attacks.

With its flags flying at half mast, Holyrood’s business bureau met on Thursday morning but opted not to abandon today’s sessions to resume the referendum debate immediately.

Instead, there will be a ministerial statement on childcare and a debate on British sign language.

@ScotParl confirms #indyref2 debate and vote now on Tuesday 28 March; party leaders to use #FMQs to mark #Westminster attack pic.twitter.com/hnEqeS6CRm

— Severin Carrell (@severincarrell) March 23, 2017

Updated

French authorities have launched an inquiry into the London attack after it became clear three French schoolchildren were wounded, two of them seriously.

The counter-terrorism section of the Paris public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into “attempted assassination related to a terrorist enterprise”.

The investigation, which is standard procedure in France when French nationals are victims of violence abroad, is in the hands of the DGSI internal intelligence agency.

The children were part of a group on a week-long visit to London from the Saint-Joseph de Concarneau lycée in Brittany.

About a dozen members of the group, aged 15 to 16, are believed to have been on Westminster Bridge when the Hyundai car ploughed into them.

Updated

The Commons is now sitting in the normal way. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, is taking questions. It is not quite “business as usual”, because some of the roads around the Houses of Parliament remain closed, and New Palace Yard, where PC Keith Palmer was stabbed, is still being treated as a crime scene, and forensic officers are currently at work on the site. But MPs, peers and other who work on the parliamentary estate (such as journalists like myself) have been able to come into the building without hindrance.

Updated

There is already concern that policing is being stretched by the extra resources needed after the Westminster attack.

Those extra demands are affecting not only the Met but forces outside the capital.

In one force outside London, firearms officers finished an extended shift late on Wednesday, only to be recalled for an early start on Thursday.

Annual leave has been cancelled and officers are working extended shift patterns, up from eight hours to about 12 hours and sometimes more.

Police officers patrol during rush hour at Victoria station.
Police officers patrol during rush hour at Victoria station. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Updated

MacKey says he was a witness to the attack on PC Palmer and said it was his duty to secure his evidence before taking over the lead on the investigation.

MacKey urges anyone in the city if they are concerned or worried to approach the police and talk to them. His voice is cracking as he says the response is large and covers all of London and all parts of national government.

MacKey says the work done over many years, practising for scenarios like this, has helped but nothing prepares families for when events like this happen.

  • He will attend the cabinet’s Cobra committee later this morning.

Updated

Craig Mackey, the Met’s acting commissioner, is speaking now to gathered staff and journalists.

He says the support of Londoners has been invaluable and ensures the police can do the job they are entrusted to do. Mackey says he is leading the response and the investigation is ongoing.

Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey speaks to the media.
Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey speaks to the media. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Updated

A service is now taking place in front of Scotland Yard, in front of the flame that burns as a tribute to all dead Metropolitan police officers. A pray is being read by the Met’s chaplain, Rev Jonathan Osborne.

Cressida Dick, the incoming Met commissioner, Craig Mackay, the acting commissioner and other officers held a minute’s silence in front of the “eternal flame” alight outside New Scotland Yard on Victoria embankment, within sight of Westminster bridge.

The new headquarters was set to be formally opened by the Queen on Thursday but the ceremony was cancelled.

Updated

The Commons chamber is packed. MPs are standing to observe the silence.

MPs observe one minute’s silence.
MPs observe one minute’s silence. Photograph: BBC Parliament

Updated

At Westminster a minute’s silence is being observed in honour of the victims of yesterday’s attack.

The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron was outside Portcullis House, the building which houses MPs offices just next to the Houses of Parliament, as the chaos unfolded on Westminster Bridge.

He said he was meeting his local hospital trust but was about to head to the chamber when the division bell rang for a vote, via the underground tunnel which links two buildings.

As we went underneath, it was clear the sea of people had suddenly reversed and was heading the other way. There was a noise, retrospectively you might think it was a bang or gunshot but I couldn’t say for sure.

Farron left the building via the MPs’ exit on to the embankment. He said he saw the horror but also “amazing things, the running towards danger of staff at St Thomas”.

Let’s not forget, not least the sacrifice of Keith Palmer, but the others who came to the aid of those suffering, even though doing so was putting themselves in harm’s way.

Updated

Yesterday the anti-immigrant right, which in the past has sought to use terror attacks to justify its political stance, was generally silent. The Ukip leader Paul Nuttall put out a statement including a line saying “in the coming hours and days more information will doubtlessly emerge about the attacker or attackers and their motivation” but the press release focused on praising the emergency services and expressing sympathy for the victims.

This morning, though, Leave.EU, the leave campaign run by the Nigel Farage ally and onetime Ukip donor Arron Banks, has put out a lengthy statement essentially blaming the attack on mass immigration. It says:

We are sick, tired but perhaps even more so we are angry that recent governments across Europe have enabled these attacks through grossly negligible policies that have left us vulnerable. How many times must we #PrayForNice? For Brussels? Berlin? Paris? London? The list is endless.

The statement is not attributed to anyone by name.

Candlelight vigil in London this evening

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has issued an open invitation to all Londoners and visitors to the capital to a candlelight vigil in Trafalgar Square from 6pm this evening.

This is the statement from City Hall:

The mayor is asking everyone to come together in solidarity to remember those who have lost their lives, to express sympathy with their families and loved ones and to show the world that we are more committed than ever to the values that we hold dear – that we remain united and open.

London is the greatest city in the world. We will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together, in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will.

Updated

West Midlands police confirm arrests made in Birmingham

West Midlands police have confirmed arrests were made at the addresses raided in Birmingham.

A statement from the force said the arrests and searches were intelligence-led and there was no immediate risk to public safety.

Extra officers will be out on patrol throughout the next few days in Birmingham, the force said.

WMP’s assistant chief constable Marcus Beale, who leads on counter-terrorism for the force, said:

We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.

Our policing tactics and security measures are being reviewed on a daily basis – we, along with our partners, are working around the clock to keep Birmingham and our other cities as safe as can be.

Updated

Birmingham has long been home to violent jihadis attracted to plotting and supporting terrorism.

The chief constable of the West Midlands, Dave Thompson, has said that the area was second only to London for the number of terror plots linked to it.

In a Guardian interview last year, Thompson said the rise of Isis, which he referred to as Daesh, had led to a very high “intensity and determination” of terrorist threat, he said.

Thompson said there were differences between how al-Qaida had tried to attract British recruits and Isis’s approach. Key to this was Isis’s declaration of a hardline, pan-national Islamist state.

There is something around the concept of Daesh, the concept of a caliphate that is drawing people to that. And I think there is a greater sophistication in the approach taken to radicalise people through more digital means, and I think that has driven a different face of the challenge we’ve faced over the last few years.”

The Hagley Road area of Bearwood, where one raid by police took place, is close to the Birmingham city centre, barely a mile away.

Updated

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has been giving interviews about the Westminster attack this morning. Here are some of the points he made.

  • Khan refused to directly hit back at Donald Trump Jr, who used a tweet yesterday to criticise Khan for a comment he made last year about terror attacks being “part and parcel of living in a big city”. Trump’s comments have been strongly criticised. Here is the tweet.

You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan https://t.co/uSm2pwRTjO

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 22, 2017

Asked about this tweet Khan said:

I’m not going to respond to tweets by Donald Trump. What I will say is this: the threat level in London and our country remains the same. It’s severe. That means, according to the experts, an attack is highly likely. The commissioner who just retired said last year that, as far as an attack was concerned, it was a matter of when, not if. Thankfully the police and security services practise for such incidents. One, I’m afraid, happened yesterday.

  • He said policing in London was constantly evolving as new threats emerged.

One of the reasons I believe our police service, our security services, are the best in the world is we evolve and adapt as the terrorists, those who seek to harm us, evolve and adapt and find new ways to kill us and destroy our way of live. So you have seen across London bollards, in lay person’s terms, for the additional security measures that have been taken over the last couple of years now. You have seen the additional searches done by the police when it comes to vehicles and when it comes to intelligence-led stop and search. That’s going to carry on. And you will see over the last 24 hours additional measures taken.

  • He said we must not let terrorists destroy our way of life.

We must never accept terrorists being successful. We must never accept that terrorists can destroy our life or destroy the way we lead our lives. We must never accept politicians not being accessible to the public. We must never accept a situation where people try and divide Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus from each other, of those who are not members of organised faiths. We must never accept a situation where people can incite hatred against people because of the faith they belong to.

When you think about why terrorists want to attack London, it’s because they hate the fact that we don’t simply tolerate each other, whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, member of an organised faith or not, we respect, embrace and celebrate each other. And that’s going to carry on.

I’m Andrew Sparrow. I will be blogging today with my colleague Jessica Elgot, who has been running the blog until now.

Updated

The Guardian’s Scotland editor, Severin Carrell, reports that Holyrood will hold a minute’s silence this morning.

@ScotParl to hold one minute's silence at 09.33 today in solidarity with dead at #Westminster pic.twitter.com/s605RcJkgL

— Severin Carrell (@severincarrell) March 23, 2017

Updated

Here is the full interview from defence secretary Michael Fallon this morning.

Fallon says the belief is that the man was motivated by international terrorism

Their working assumption this is linked to Islamic terrorism but they don’t yet know and the investigation - and it is a very large investigation - has been underway since it happened.

Fallon said attacks are not part of normal life but London was clearly a target police were preparing for

The current warning is at severe - that an attack - and that has been the case for sometime, is likely but not imminent. There is no specific information about other attacks and let me emphasise today although there is intense security around palace of Westminster, London is going to work this morning, I passed school children going to school, there are school trips going ahead, parliament itself will resume at the normal time at half past nine.

Fallon said it was not the case that police could not prevent “low tech” attacks but admitted it was more difficult.

The police and agencies that we rely on for our security have forestalled a large number of these attacks in recent years over a dozen last year.

Now of course this kind of attack, this lone wolf attack, things from daily life - a vehicle, a knife are much more difficult to forestall - and we are dealing with a terrorist enemy that is not making demands or holding people hostage but just to kill as many people as possible.

This is a new element to international terrorism but our forces are working extremely hard to identify those that are involved to this and I have every confidence they will be able to track down the associates of this particular man.

Fallon said police had to work on the assumption others may have helped prepare the attack.

The police have to proceed on the presumption that he may well have been assisted in this task - there may have been others involved - they have been working right through the night looking into his background, how he got hold of vehicle and who or where the vehicle has been in the last day or two and he may or may not have been helped.

He also insists it is not the case that the security of parliament was breached, and that is down to the bravery of PC Keith Palmer at carriage gate.

In paying tribute to PC Keith Palmer, they did not get into parliament, they only got as far as the gate, they did not breach the security of the House of Commons - he gave his life to protect our democracy.

Parliament cannot be hermetically sealed, people are coming and going all the time, there was a division in place in the House of Commons at that time - people arriving at the gates by car or foot to vote on that.

But obviously this is something that will be reviewed by the House authorities.

Fallon also said the cabinet had reviewed at the Cobr meeting whether the Metropolitan police had all the resources they need, including military back-up to deal with situations like that.

There have been increases in the budgets of security services - we will continue to keep that under review. I want to reassure you that the police and security sources will have resources they need.

A minute’s silence will take place in parliament, just after the start of business this morning.

Minute silence in Parliament after usual prayers in the Commons pic.twitter.com/dxjwBCD8Am

— Arj Singh (@singharj) March 23, 2017

I’m joined by my colleague Andrew Sparrow in Westminster now, he’ll be taking charge of events today in Westminster while I monitor developments in the investigations. You can get in touch with either of us via Twitter, @jessicaelgot and @AndrewSparrow.

Updated

Victim named as Aysha Frade, teacher and mother of two

A teacher and mother of two was among those who died in Wednesday’s terror attack in London, it has emerged.

Aysha Frade, 43, who worked as a teacher in London, had family in the town of Betanzos, Galicia in north-west Spain.

The mayor of Betanzos, Ramón García Vázquez, confirmed Frade’s death, saying he had been informed early on Thursday morning.

“The rumours that started going round last night are sadly true,” he told the Guardian. “I didn’t know her but she has two sisters who run an English school here and other relatives in the area. It’s a tragedy.”

Aysha Frade.
Aysha Frade. Photograph: Facebook

Updated

Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, told the Today programme:

The police are investigating this man, his associates where he came from, checking urgently whether other people were involved in this, their working assumption is it’s linked to Islamic terrorism.

But they don’t yet know, the investigation - and it is a very large investigation - has been underway ever since the incident started.

Fallon: 'London is taking this on the chin'

Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, has been speaking to Radio 4 Today. He said police “working assumption is that this is linked to islamic terrorism”. Police had been working through the night, he said.

Fallon says he will not rule out that the attack was directed from overseas, but says all options are being looked at.

They [police] don’t yet have a full enough picture of the man and his known associates who may or may not have helped him prepare the attack.

Fallon says he has passed many people going to work as normal in London this morning, including pupils on school trips, and says parliament will sit as normal at 9.30am.

London has seen this before and is taking it on the chin.

Updated

Hoyle says he does not want to get into any changes in security, but says he will be chairing the review when it happens.

“We have a duty of care to everyone, including to staff and to you [journalists],” he said.

The deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle, who announced the attack to MPs in the chamber yesterday afternoon, has been speaking to Sky News this morning.

We had the information an attack was taking place outside, so we asked ‘how serious?’ ‘Really serious.’ So we suspended the sitting immediately, and we were partway through a division [a vote] so there were a lot of MPs in the chamber, which was good news.

Of course, then we went into complete lockdown and no one can go in or out, which is the best thing to happen.

Hoyle said he was devastated by the death of PC Keith Palmer.

We lost one of our own, one of the village policemen. This is our village, to lose a person we all know, is not acceptable. Our thoughts are with his family and the other victims of this hideous crime.

People are doing their duty, he has lost his life serving us and it’s a tragedy that should never have happened. We have got to not give into terrorism. We will pay tribute to what has gone and that tragedy that took place yesterday, but we will not give into terrorism, and it will never, ever win.

Hoyle said MPs greet the police officers every day and get to know them well.

They look after us, they put the safety of the house first, they gave their lives to defend democracy.

It will be business as usual, but not quite as usual. Innocent victims, tourists, people going about their business, mown down by a car. These despots will never win. We will stand together and stand firm.

Hoyle says he feels safe every day in parliament. “We have the best police force in the world … we have great people who look after us and our head of security is second to none and proved it yesterday,” he said. “We lost someone but no one got into parliament.”

Updated

MPs are returning to work now in parliament.

Jess Phillips, the chair of the women’s PLP, said that the group of Labour’s female politicians had met the day before with the deputy speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, and the head of security in parliament to talk about safety.

“The feeling in the room was very much that we felt safe on the estate. We had more concerns about random attacks in our constituency. During the attack the very next day the security was tested and the feeling of all the MPs inside and outside the building was that still we felt safe,” she said.

Phillips described the “calm, professional but forceful way the doorkeepers, security staff and police handled the situation” to keep staff, MPs and visiting schoolchildren and guests safe.

“Today we will attend a statement to honour Keith Palmer, but to honour him and the sacrifice he made for us we will keep going to our constituency meetings and parliament debates.”

Updated

Summary of latest Met Police briefing

Good morning from London. Here’s what we know from the most recent statement from Scotland Yard’s acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley.

  • Rowley revised down the death toll – four people killed in the attack in Westminster yesterday, including the killer and parliament police officer Keith Palmer.
  • Two other victims, who Rowley said were a mix of nationalities, were killed on Westminster bridge, a man and a woman.
  • This morning, there are 29 people being treated in hospital, seven in a critical condition, which is also revised down from yesterday, when police said 40 were injured.
  • Police have searched six addresses in Birmingham, London and other parts of the country, and made seven arrests.
  • They believe this attacker “acted alone and inspired by international terrorism”.
  • Rowley said he had no specific information about any further risk to the public, but repeated that more officers were on the streets - armed and unarmed - and that many had leave cancelled or were working extended hours.
  • The area is a “large and complex crime scene” that officers are still working on.
  • Rowley said he would not identify the attacker or other victims at this stage - because the victims were a mix of nationalities.
  • He said he realised journalists would be investigating too, but asked them not to name the attacker.

Updated

I’m handing over the blog now to my colleague Jessica Elgot, who’ll continue to bring you latest news on the attack, as MPs return to Westminster.

Rowley reiterates that police believe the attacker acted alone. He asks the media not to name him while investigations are ongoing.

Rowley says he will not confirm whether the attacker was a British national.

He declines to give any further detail on others killed and injured.

Police: 7 arrests at six addresses

Rowley says investigations are continuing and says he will not be identifying the attacker yet.

He confirms that related arrests have been made in Birmingham, London and elsewhere.

Seven arrests were made at six addresses, he says.

West Midlands police vehicles and journalists ouside a property in Birmingham.
West Midlands police vehicles and journalists ouside a property in Birmingham. Photograph: EPA

Updated

Death toll is four, including attacker

Mark Rowley, acting deputy commissioner at the Met, is speaking now outside Scotland Yard.

Four people are dead and 29 treated in five hospitals across London. Seven are in a critical condition.

This is a revised death toll – last night police said five had died.

The four are PC Keith Palmer, two members of the public – a woman in her mid-40s, and a man in his mid-50s – and the attacker.

We are expecting an update imminently from the Metropolitan police; we’ll have coverage live here when it begins.

MPs are heading in to work today in understandably sombre mood:

Like thousands of others who work there, I am heading into #Parliament as normal, but flags at half mast show it is a far from normal day pic.twitter.com/lXPiVwdSMj

— Nigel Huddleston MP (@HuddlestonNigel) March 23, 2017

Back to work after yesterday's tragic events. Area around Houses of Parliament eerily quiet, police cordon still at Lambeth Bridge

— Gavin Barwell MP (@GavinBarwellMP) March 23, 2017

Cressida Dick, the incoming Metropolitan police commissioner, has praised the bravery of officers involved in the Westminster attack, Press Association reports:

In a message to staff, Dick, who takes up the job next month, described Wednesday as a “tragic day for London and the Met”.

Dick, who visited New Scotland Yard last night, said:

One of our officers died protecting the public and parliament. We will never forget his courage.

My deepest sympathy is with his family and with the loved ones of everyone who lost their lives. My thoughts too are with the members of the public and our officers who were injured as well as those people affected by these appalling events.

As many parliamentarians have noted, our officers ran towards danger to do their jobs. We are indebted to their bravery. Officers and staff from the Metropolitan police are working as hard as we can to protect the public and our capital city.

I am grateful for all their efforts.

Cressida Dick, incoming Metropolitan Police Commissioner, stands during a minute’s silence outside New Scotland Yard.
Cressida Dick, incoming Metropolitan Police Commissioner, stands during a minute’s silence outside New Scotland Yard. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Updated

Brendan Cox – whose wife, Labour MP Jo Cox, was the last person to be killed by terrorism in the UK before yesterday’s attack – is speaking now to the BBC Today programme.

He says he would like to caution against “giving notoriety to the person who did it … I would much rather remember the heroes … talking about them is how we do justice”.

This is a story about people who didn’t come home yesteday and the impact this will have on their familes … the individual tragedies.

He says he “hated” seeing pictures of the man who killed his wife in the days and weeks after her murder:

Of course, there’s going to be reporting on who did it, why he did it, his twisted ideology, but I’m going to remember PC Palmer.

I don't care about the name of the attacker. This is the name I will remember. https://t.co/2azZHWkJAk

— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) March 22, 2017

Reactions to the attack should be directed at extremism, he added:

The person who did this is no more representative of Muslims than the person who killed Jo is representative of people in Yorkshire.

Updated

Frank Gardner, the BBC’s security correspondent, is speaking on the Today programme. He says it appears the raid in Birmingham is linked to the investigation into the Westminster attack:

The indications are that the car began its journey in Birmingham … An address was raided by armed officers.

There are reports that a number of arrests were made at the address. Police have not yet commented. West Midlands police have directed media inquiries to Scotland Yard.

The prime minister will give a statement to parliament later this morning, which will also allow MPs to question her about the event.

The aim is for parliament to return to normal today, in an attempt to prevent this attack from disrupting the work of either the Commons or Lords, although school trips will be cancelled.

The government will first be represented by the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, this morning, followed by May.

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Theresa May said the attack was an assault on democracy:

The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.

These streets of Westminster – home to the world’s oldest parliament – are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our parliament represents – democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere.

That is why it is a target for those who reject those values.

But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before: any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure.

The BBC and Sky News are reporting that a number of arrests have been made in Birmingham, in a police raid believed to be connected to the attack in London.

The arrests – and any potential link – have not been confirmed by the police.

BBC Newsnight reported late on Wednesday evening that the car used in the attack could have been rented in Birmingham. The Guardian has not been able to verify this report.

West Midlands police has said of the raid that saw Hagley Road in south-west Birmingham closed for around two hours overnight:

There is an ongoing police operation, no further details are being given at this stage.

WMP referred media inquiries to the Metropolitan police in London, which said it would not be commenting for “operational reasons”.

An update from the Met is expected within the next two hours.

Updated

The attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London is the latest in a series of terrorist atrocities involving a vehicle being driven at speed into pedestrians – a tactic actively promoted by Islamic State.

In December, a refugee in Germany drove a truck into a market in Berlin, killing 12. Last July, a stolen truck driven through a Bastille Day parade in Nice killed 86. The strikes appear inspired, if not actively commissioned, by Isis in Iraq and Syria.

In November, a student used a vehicle and knives to injure 13 on a campus in Ohio, in the US. His motives and allegiance are less clear.

Such attacks are not unprecedented, but have become much more numerous in recent years.

In 2014, the chief spokesman of the group, Mohammed al-Adnani, issued a call for sympathisers in the west to strike “unbelievers”, especially police officers or soldiers, where they were – rather than travel to the middle east to fight there.

“If you are not able to find a bomb or a bullet, then smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him,” he said.

Though al-Adnani, who was killed in 2016, pointed a finger specifically at France, where there were two vehicle attacks in 2014, he also cited the UK among preferred targets.

Updated

Thursday’s front pages are, of course, dominated by the attack in London. You can see our roundup here.

Many focus on MP Tobias Ellwood’s unsuccessful fight to save the life of PC Keith Palmer; others have chosen to picture the attacker, stretchered away after he was shot by armed officers.

Here is the Guardian front page today:

GUARDIAN: Terror in Westminster #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/LOvojb7vb5

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 22, 2017

Police have said 40 people were injured in the attack, many of them as the assailant drove his car deliberately into pedestrians on Westminster bridge.

Some are seriously wounded.

The death toll rose on Wednesday evening, with four victims – three members of the public, who have not been named, and the police officer PC Keith Palmer – and the attacker confirmed to have died.

Many of those injured remain in hospitals across London, including St Thomas’, King’s College and St Mary’s.

Two teenage French students were in a critical condition in hospital after being struck on the bridge. A third student was also being treated for injuries. One of the three had been thrown on to the bonnet of a car.

Five South Korean tourists, four students from Ormskirk’s Edge Hill University, and a German woman resident in Australia have been identified as among the wounded.

Three police officers on the way back from a commendation ceremony – one of whom is thought to have suffered head injuries – and a Romanian couple were also among those hurt on the bridge.

Theresa May spent Wednesday afternoon being briefed on the details of the attack before chairing a meeting of Cobra, the emergency committee.

The committee could meet again on Thursday morning before May addresses MPs in the House of Commons, which will sit as usual.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, were both overseas yesterday – in Pakistan and the US, respectively – but Rudd is returning.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, attended the Cobra meeting, and is expected to make a fresh statement on Thursday.

Updated

Police have not named the attacker, who died after being shot by armed police inside the Westminster security cordon.

Speaking late on Wednesday evening, the Metropolitan police acting deputy commissioner, Mark Rowley, said investigators believe they know the man’s identity.

He said the man was likely to have been acting alone, but confirmed they believed he was “inspired by international terrorism”, later clarifying that this referred to Islamist extremism.

Updated

MPs have been paying tribute to PC Keith Palmer, who was fatally stabbed within the Westminster security cordon.

PC Keith Palmer.
PC Keith Palmer. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/Metropolitan police

Conservative MP James Cleverly said he was a former army comrade of Palmer: “I’ve known Keith for 25 years. We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper. A lovely man, a friend. I’m heartbroken. My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of PC Keith Palmer. A brave man.”

Home affairs select committee chair and Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who was in parliament when the terrorist attacked, said: “Thank you PC Keith Palmer – to your bravery many others owe their lives and safety.”

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger said: “May PC Keith Palmer rest in peace. He died protecting our democracy. My sincerest condolences to all of his family and friends.”

Opening summary

Parliament will resume today after Wednesday’s terrorist attack in the capital.

Here is what we now know:

  • Five people are now confirmed to have died in the attack on Westminster on Wednesday: one police officer, three members of the public, and the attacker.
  • The police officer has been named as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a member of the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, with 15 years’ service in the force. He was unarmed.
  • Metropolitan police acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley said Palmer was a husband and father:

He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift and he had every right to expect that would happen.

  • The other victims of the attack, and the assailant, have not yet been named.
  • Police said 40 other people were injured; many remain in hospital, some in a serious condition.
  • Five South Korean tourists, four students from Ormskirk’s Edge Hill University, and a German woman resident in Australia have been identified as among the wounded.
  • Investigators say they believe they know the identity of the attacker, and that he is thought to have acted alone but was “inspired by international terrorism”.
  • The House of Commons will sit this morning, with prime minister Theresa May saying the country would not be cowed:

Parliament will meet as normal. We will come together as normal.

And Londoners – and others from around the world who have come here to visit this great city – will get up and go about their day as normal.

They will board their trains, they will leave their hotels, they will walk these streets, they will live their lives. And we will all move forward together. Never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.

London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life.

  • UK foreign minister Boris Johnson, who is in the US for an international meeting discussing the Isis threat, said:

Heartbreaking. This is not the first attack on London or our Parliament – and won’t be the last – but our values will prevail.

  • The terror threat level for the UK remains unchanged, at “severe”. The Metropolitan police said extra patrols, armed and unarmed, would be in place, “particularly in crowded places and iconic locations”.
  • The Queen has postponed a planned visit to Scotland Yard that was due to take place today.
  • Roads around Parliament Square remain closed, as does Westminster Bridge, as police investigations continue.
  • Overnight, a police raid took place in the south-west of Birmingham. It is not clear if it is connected to the attack in London.

Updated

Contributors

Claire Phipps, Andrew Sparrow, Jessica Elgot and Chris Johnston

The GuardianTramp

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