“Hero” MP Tobias Ellwood has said he is “heartbroken” that his efforts to save the life of a police officer during the Westminster terror attack were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Foreign Office minister ran towards gunfire to help Pc Keith Palmer, who was stabbed in Wednesday’s attack by terrorist Khalid Masood.
Ellwood was pictured with blood on his face and clothes as he tried to give Palmer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and stem the blood amid the carnage in New Palace Yard, but the officer died from his injuries.
The former soldier said he was just doing what he was trained to do as he praised the “humbling” and “overwhelming” messages of support from the policing fraternity.
He intends to write to Pc Palmer’s family to offer his condolences and said he was “honoured” to be appointed to the Privy Council, alongside security minister Ben Wallace, in recognition of their roles in responding to the atrocity.
Ellwood, who has been branded a hero for his actions, said in a statement: “I am heartbroken that I could not do more for Pc Keith Palmer who gave his life in holding the line against terrorism and defending democracy. I shall be writing to the family of Pc Palmer to offer my sincere condolences.
“It is right that despite the terrible events on Wednesday, Parliamentary business continued the next day as usual, the democratic machine was not interrupted and our way of life did not stop.
“I’m deeply humbled and overwhelmed by the messages of support, especially from the policing fraternity, which I now realise is as close knit as the military’s in supporting its own.
“I played only a small part that day, doing what I was taught to do, and am honoured to have been invited to join the Privy Council afterwards.
“It is right that we concentrate our thoughts on the victims as we stand side by side to protect all that we hold dear, including our precious values and way of life which will always prevail.”
Ellwood, whose brother Jonathan was killed in the 2002 Bali terrorist bombing, said Pc Palmer was the real hero because he protected Parliament from the attack.
The minister told the Sunday Express: “The story is not about me. He was the hero, not me. I don’t deserve the praise because I couldn’t save him.”
Tory MPs renewed calls for Mr Ellwood to be honoured.
James Cleverly, a former Army colleague of Pc Palmer, told the newspaper: “I know it is probably the last thing he would want or seek but what Tobias did – the incredibly brave and decisive action he took - deserves recognition which is why – just like Keith – he should also be considered for an award.
“There are number of military and civilian gallantry awards and there is a process to go through but I hope the eventual outcome of those processes is the right one.”
Fellow Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said he should be given a knighthood.
“I think the title Sir Tobias is in order,” he said. “Politicians have been given knighthoods for a lot less.”