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MP describes horrific incident at Westminster

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

MP describes horrific incident at Westminster thumbnailTom Elliott MP said it was a terrible tragedy.

FERMANAGH and South Tyrone MP., Tom Elliott, has described as horrifying the attack at Westminster on Wednesday afternoon of last week in which three members of the public and a Police officer died and around 50 were injured.
The man who carried out the attack in Westminster was Kent-born Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old from the West Midlands who was shot dead.
The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP was in Parliament buildings when the attack occurred, but fortunately was not outside the buildings at the time.
The incident unfolded about 2.40pm when a single attacker drove a grey Hyundai i40 along a pavement over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London, killing three people and injuring many more - some left with what was described as "catastrophic" injuries.
The car then crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament. The attacker, armed with a knife, ran to the Parliament  grounds where he was confronted by the Police. PC Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old husband and father, who was not armed, then stabbed. The attacker was subsequently shot dead by armed officers.
Mr Elliott described the incident as a "terrible tragedy", particularly for the families of those who were killed. He made special mention of PC Palmer and paid tribute to his courage and dedication to duty.
 "It's a terrible tragedy and most of all for those people who have been killed and their families. It's a very difficult time for them.
“The Police officer was doing his duty, trying to protect people outside and those in parliament," he said.
Mr Elliott recounted how events unfolded from his perspective.
"I was at a meeting with another two MPs before we left to go down to the voting lobby. We were going down the corridor towards the members' lobby, just outside the chamber, when we were stopped and that's when all bedlam started.
"We were ushered back at first, then we moved outside for a few moments and could see the goings-on at Westminter bridge. We were moved back up to our offices again which overlook the courtyard."
Continued Mr Elliott: "We could hear the whole commotion and could hear Police shouting instructions. I saw the huge Police presence moving about very quickly and there was a lot of heavily armed Police."
 Mr Elliott said he was, of course, thankful he wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He said it was difficult to deter this level of extremism and pointed out that security was already very tight in and around Westminster.
"I'm not so sure how they could tighten it up any more. I don't know how you could prevent something like that - someone driving a car on to a footpath, driving at  people and the gates of parliament and jumping out with a knife," he said.
"We've lived through this in Northern Ireland for years, but it doesn't make it any easier when a thing like this happens."
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP was back at his desk in Westminster from early Thursday morning. He stressed it was important democracy and its workings continued, despite what had
happened.

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