Conservative MP James Cleverly has paid an emotional tribute to his friend PC Keith Palmer, telling the Commons he was a “strong, professional public servant”.
PC Palmer was stabbed and killed yesterday defending the Houses of Parliament when a man launched a terror attack on Westminster.
Cleverly knew PC Palmer from when they both served in the Armed Forces. “I first met 25 years ago as gunner Keith Palmer and Headquarters Battery 100 Regiment Royal Artillery,” he told MPs.
His voice cracking, Clevery said:
“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 my right honourable friend the prime minister, in recognition of the work that he did and the other police officers and public servants here in the House do consider recognising his gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition?”
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who tried to save PC Palmer’s life by giving CPR, also appeared tearful in the Commons.
Theresa May says the idea would be “considered in due course” and thanked Cleverly for “compassion” and “passion” that he has given about his friend.
The prime minister said PC Palmer “paid the ultimate sacrifice here at our heart of democracy”.
In her own tribute, May earlier said PC Palmer “had devoted his life to the service of his country” and was “every inch a hero”.
The prime minister has said the man responsible for the attack, who died after being shot by police, is British born and known to the security services.
Four people died, including the attacker, and at least 40 were injured yesterday in the attack on Westminster Bridge and parliament. Scotland Yard has said eight people have now been arrested.