A regional journalist has described how he witnessed today’s apparent terrorist attack outside the Houses of Parliament.
Patrick Daily, who serves as Westminster correspondent for the Bristol Post, Grimsby Telegraph and Hull Daily Mail, has described seeing a police officer being stabbed by a suspect, who was then shot.
The attack, which happened in New Palace Yard earlier this afternoon, resulted in a security ‘lockdown’ with MPs confined to the Commons chamber and lobby journalists told to remain in their Press Gallery offices.
Looking out of a gallery window, Patrick described people “running in floods, almost like a stampede, from Westminster Bridge and away from Parliament Square.”
In a first person piece published on the Mail’s website, Patrick wrote: “The next thing I saw was one of the policeman who guard the car gate into New Palace Yard being confronted by a man. At first, I wasn’t sure if the man was scared and looking for refuge but then it turned violent.
“The policeman was shoved back and then pushed to the floor, in front of a metal barrier before the green, and started lunging at the policeman on the floor.
“It was unclear to me what was being carried in the man’s hands but he made swinging, stab-like motions at the policeman while he lay on the floor. It now appears the policeman was being stabbed with a knife. There were then shouts as police ran from the Parliament premises to help their colleague.
“As I went to start live tweeting what I was seeing, I saw a policeman dressed all in black, to the left of the attacked officer, approaching the attacker slowly. The armed officer was not far from the visitor’s café. There seemed to be some kind of verbal shouts between them before the armed officer fired off two to three shots causing the attacker to crumple to the floor.
“Within just a few minutes, police cars with their blue sirens came blaring into Parliament Square and it was evacuated. Paramedics began to see to the officer on the floor and colleagues in my lobby room say they saw CPR being performed.
“A helicopter has since landed the paramedics still seem to be working in the yard below. We have been told to stay away from the windows and Parliament has been put into lockdown.”
She tweeted: “Safe in the press gallery. We have been told not to go anywhere.
“Helicopter circling overhead. Lots of sniffer dogs now being taken around New Palace Yard.”