POLITICS

Theresa May Reveals London Attacker Is British Born And Known To MI5

'We are not afraid.'

23/03/2017 10:50 GMT | Updated 23/03/2017 11:52 GMT

Theresa May has revealed the man responsible for the terrorist attack on Westminster is British born and known to the security services.

The prime minister told the House of Commons this morning he had been investigated some years ago over violent extremism but was “peripheral” figure. 

“He was not part of the current intelligence picture,” she added. “There was no prior intelligence of his intent or the plot.”

May said it was believed he acted alone and the police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public.

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 in connection with the attack.

May said today PC Keith Palmer, who died defending the Palace of Westminster, was “every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten”.

“We are not afraid and our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism,” she told MPs.

The prime minister said those injured included 12 Britons, three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, two Greeks, and one each from Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy and the United States.

Three police officers were also hurt, two of them seriously.

May said the government’s “working assumption” was that the attacker was inspired by Islamist ideology.

“We know the threat from Islamist terror is very real but while the public should remain utterly vigilant they should not will not be cowed by this threat,” she said.

“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 of terrorism.

We are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism Prime Minister Theresa May

“Those values, free speech, liberty, human rights and the rule of law are embodied here in this place but they are shared by free people around the world. A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means to be free.

“This was an attack on free people everywhere. 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 at this time.”

Jeremy Corbyn told the Commons it was “by demonstrating our values – solidarity, humanity and love – that we will defeat the poison and division of hatred”.

“It behoves us all not to rush to judgment and wait for the police to establish the fact, to stay united in our communities and not allow fear or the voices of hatred to divide or cower us,” the Labour leader added.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said “no terrorist outrage is representative of any faith or faith community and we recommit ourselves to strengthening the bonds of tolerance and understanding”.

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