UK

Woolwich Machete Attack: Military Personnel 'Advised Not To Wear Uniforms In Public'

23/05/2013 10:00 BST | Updated 23/05/2013 16:08 BST

UPDATE: Since this story went to press, several political journalists have said the Government is set to overrule advice to military personnel not to wear uniforms in public. However as yet, there has been no official announcement of this nature.

There are reports military personnel have been advised not to wear uniform in public following the Woolwich machete attack.

BBC and Sky News sources say the edict was issued after a member of the armed forces was killed on Wednesday outside the Royal Artillery Barracks.

ITV claims to have obtained an email sent to Air Cadets, which reads: "No uniforms are to be worn by any military personnel whilst walking out of unit/MoD locations in London and Greater London with effect now until further notice.

woolwich shooting

A body lies in the street after the incident in Woolwich

"This includes the carriage of military day sacks."

An MoD spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK they could not confirm the reports but said additional security measures had been put in place since the attacks.

The unconfirmed reports have been greeted with hostility on Twitter, with many users demanding uniforms be worn with pride and defiance.

Twitter reaction to uniform edict

The MoD is set to reveal the identity of the man killed after his family were informed of his death.

Two men have been arrested after the soldier, believed to be wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt, was attacked with a machete on Wednesday.

A man with bloodied hands swore to "never stop fighting" as emergency crews rushed to the scenes.

Footage obtained by ITV news showed the man carrying knives, speaking into a camera.

It shows the suspect, wearing a dark jacket, jeans and a beanie hat, calmly walking towards the camera with what appears to be two large knives clasped by the handles in his bloodied left hand.

woolwich machete attack

The man was holding knives and had bloodied hands

Gesticulating with both hands - while gripping the weapons - the man points to his own face as he says: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

A mother-of-two confronted the attackers, urging them to hand over their weapons and warning them: "It is only you versus many people, you are going to lose".

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, told the Daily Telegraph that one of the attackers said to her that they "want to start a war in London tonight".

woolwich attack second man knife

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett confronts the man

The Cub Scout leader from Cornwall, added: "Being a Cub leader I have my first aid so when I saw this guy on the floor I thought it was an accident - then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse."

Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a visit to Paris to return to Britain in the wake of the attack to chair an emergency Cobra meeting.

He said: "People across Britain, people in every community, I believe, will utterly condemn this attack.

"We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them."

Twitter reaction to uniform edict