Tuesday 28 January 2020

What we know so far about the incident at the Palace of Westminster

By Prudence Wade

Gunshots were heard and a man was seen to be wielding a knife.

A major security alert has been raised at the Palace of Westminster this afternoon. Here’s everything we know so far as the situation develops.

What happened?

A man apparently carrying a knife charged through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound. Amid shouts and screams, sounds similar to gunfire rang out.

Have there been any casualties?

Yes, but the details on this are currently unclear. Two people were seen to be lying within Old Palace Yard, immediately outside Westminster Hall.

Commons Leader David Lidington has told MPs a “police officer has been stabbed” and the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” following a “serious” incident within the parliamentary estate.

Witness Don Brind, a researcher for MPs, said: “I heard some shouting and saw some running out of the corner of my eye and then a short time after that there was a shot. I looked and I saw a civilian on the ground, with somebody standing over him with what I assumed to be a gun.

“Then I looked and about 10 yards away, there was a yellow-jacketed person on the ground, who appeared to be alive and talking.”

He said he assumed the person in the high-visibility jacket was a police officer.

What happens now?

The sitting in the House of Commons was suspended while police officers sealed off the area around the incident. Staff inside Parliament have been told to stay inside their offices.

What happened on Westminster Bridge?

Immediately before the incident, at around 2.45pm, a crowd of passers-by was seen running from the direction of Westminster Bridge and around the corner into Parliament Square.

PA Media

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