Sunday 19 November 2017

Here's what MPs are saying about the Westminster terror attack

By Prudence Wade

They paid tribute to those who lost their lives.

The day after Westminster was the target of a terror attack, MPs gathered in the House of Commons to discuss the event.

MPs stood for a minute’s silence in honour of the innocent people killed in the attack. Here are some of the key quotes from the debate that followed.

Theresa May said that British people have shown terrorists they will not be defeated by carrying on with their lives as normal after the attack.

“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’.”

Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve noted that it was a miracle that the UK had escaped so lightly from such attacks over the past few years.

“You may agree with me that the House is going to have to simply be resolute in accepting that such attacks cannot always be prevented and that we have, as a society, to accept that we are going to have to fight this evil with rational, democratic principles in order to get rid of it.”

Conservative MP James Cleverly gave an emotional tribute to his friend Pc Keith Palmer.

“He was a strong, professional public servant and it was a delight to meet him again only a few months after being elected.”

Former leader of the Conservative Party Iain Duncan Smith noted that such threats will always fail.

“But as they fail, may I urge you (the PM) to ensure that as we extol our righteous defiance in the face of such evil, we also lace it with compassion, tolerance and hope.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron paid tribute to the victims and the emergency services.

“As we work to unravel how this unspeakable attack happened… we must not, either in our laws or by our actions, curtail these values. Indeed, we should have more of them.”

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband looked forward to the future.

“We must not allow in the coming days and weeks anyone to try and divide our country on the basis of faith or nationality after these attacks because the reality is that across London, across the country, we are a country united against these attacks.”

Tory MP Byron Davies, a former London Metropolitan Police officer, also paid tribute to Palmer and said security services must be supported.

“I know you have been already asked about resourcing but can I reinforce that, please, by asking that in the area of counter terrorism that the Met Police – indeed all police forces and indeed the security services generally – should want for nothing.”

Labour former minister Harriet Harman said that as an act of terror it had failed.

“This was a horrific crime and it has cost lives and caused injury, but as an act of terror it has failed. It has failed because we are here and we are going to go about our business… This democracy is strong and this Parliament is robust. This was a horrific crime but as an act of terror it has failed.”

Conservative MP Richard Drax made a strong statement in the face of terrorism.

“One terrorist will not destroy our country, 10 terrorists will not destroy our country, 10,000 terrorists will not destroy our country.”

Press Association

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