Warning: This article contains some images readers may find distressing
Tributes have flooded in to the hero Tory MP who tried to save the life of a policeman stabbed in the Westminster terror attack yesterday.
Tobias Ellwood was one of the first on the scene when PC Keith Palmer was attacked just inside the gates of Parliament.
Westminster went into lockdown as MPs, parliamentary staff, visitors and tourists all fled to safety. But Ellwood went straight to the wounded officer’s aid.
He recalled after the event:
I was on the scene and as soon as I realised what was going on, I headed towards it."
“I tried to stem the flow of blood and give mouth to mouth while waiting for the medics to arrive but I think he had lost too much blood.
“He had multiple wounds, under the arm and in the back.”
All around him, Westminster had been thrown into chaos. But Ellwood was pictured in a sea of emergency service staff with blood on his hands and face as he desperately tried to save PC Palmer’s life.
He later reflected to The Times:
What a mad world — tried to save the officer but stabbed too many times.”
Ellwood is a foreign office minister and former soldier in the Royal Green Jackets. He has also suffered a personal brush with terror before.
In 2002, his brother Jonathan died in the Bali bombings, which is what many thought made his actions yesterday especially brave.
Theresa May reportedly phoned Ellwood late on Wednesday night to thank him.
And she hailed his actions as “extraordinary” in her speech to MPs on Thursday morning.
“Yesterday we saw the worst of humanity - but we will remember the best,” she said.
We will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of PC Keith Palmer, including those by my Right Honourable Friend, the Member for Bournemouth East, and we will remember the exceptional bravery of our police, security and emergency services, who once again ran towards the danger, even as they encouraged others to move the other way
Police officers also posted tributes to Ellwood, thanking him for his bravery in trying to save one of their own.
While MPs Ellwood normally spars with in the Commons put their political allegiances aside and offered him their “total respect”.
Labour MP Jack Dromey added in the Commons that Ellwood was “one of Parliament’s finest”.
Other MPs reportedly quietly approached Ellwood individually after making their contributions in response to May’s statement to offer their personal support.
Despite the Bournemouth MP’s efforts, PC Palmer died just a few hours after the attack.
He was a 48-year-old husband and father.
Three other people were killed yesterday in the assault on Westminster. Two pedestrians died after being run-over by the assailant driving a grey 4x4 on the pavement across Westminster Bridge.
One - Aysha Frade - was a 43-year-old teacher at DLD college, and is believed to have been on the way to pick up her two daughters from school.
An unnamed man in his 50s was also killed as he walked along Westminster Bridge.
The attacker was shot dead minutes later by armed police inside the grounds of Parliament after he stabbed PC Palmer.