MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Dr Caroline Johnson has spoken further to the Sleaford Standard about her experiences of yesterday’s terror attack on Westminster by a man in a car armed with two knives who killed two members of the public and a policeman.
Dr Johnson said: “I am deeply saddened by the events yesterday (Wednesday), and my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this attack and their loved ones, in particular the family of PC Keith Palmer.
“A former soldier and member of the police for 15 years, this was a man who spent his entire life in service of his country, and who has paid the ultimate sacrifice defending his country from those who would wish to harm and divide us.”
The MP, who only took office last December after a by-election, said: “I was voting during the attack, and spent several hours in the chamber with fellow members, while the emergency services calmly handled the situation.
“When tragedies such as these strike it is important in the aftermath to highlight not the cowardly perpetrator who carried out the attack, but those heroic individuals who ran towards the danger, not away from it - the police who stopped the attacker, my colleague Tobias Ellwood MP who tried to help PC Palmer, the NHS staff of St Thomas’s hospital, who ran across to Westminster Bridge into potential danger as events unfolded and the ordinary citizens who helped those who were hurt. The professionalism and immense bravery of our emergency services showcases the very best of our values.”
But she echoed the words of her Prime Minister in saying it would be ‘business as usual’ in Parliament from today onwards, saying: “The business of Parliament however has not been stopped by this act of terror - and I joined my fellow members this morning in returning to Westminster and sitting in the house as business resumed
“The values of democracy and liberty that this country stands for have been tested repeatedly over the course of our history, and held firm - and despite this attack at the very heart of our democracy they will continue to hold.”
Four people are said to have died, including Pc Keith Palmer and the attacker, named as Khalid Masood, 52, who was shot dead by police, also Aysha Frade, a college worker, and Kurt W. Cochran, a US tourist. The attack also left 40 injured and there are said to have been eight arrests in police raids in London, Birmingham and elsewhere in relation to the incident, for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.