MP NICK Gibb spoke yesterday about the government’s determination to carry on after the Westminster terror attack.
Mr Gibb, pictured above, the schools minister and the Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, was in the House of Commons when the incident occurred on Wednesday.
He told of MPs’ sadness about the death of PC Keith Palmer who was fatally stabbed by the attacker but said Parliamentary life would go on.
“PC Keith Palmer was a familiar face as he carried out his duties to protect us. Our thoughts are of his wife and children.
“There is, though, a steely determination to press on with parliamentary business and not to give in to terrorism,” he said.
“I will be speaking in the Commons today, responding to a debate on social mobility. We are bloodied but unbowed and, as a country, we will fight the scourge of terrorism wherever it emerges.”
By early yesterday afternoon, it was apparent the attack in Westminster – which Mr Gibb described as ‘very traumatic’ had claimed the lives of four deaths with at least 40 other people injured.
Seven of them were critical.
The attacker drove a Hyundai 4X4 at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge at 2.40pm before he crashed into railings and stormed towards Parliament. He fatally stabbed PC Palmer before he was shot at least twice as he lunged at another.
Mr Gibb said he became aware of events immediately after he had voted in the Commons on the Pensions Schemes Bill.
He was among the MPs who, as they left the division lobby. were ushered away from the Commons’ chamber to the Central Lobby. After about 40 minutes, he went back into the Members’ Lobby and waited for news for the next three hours during a ‘lock down’. He was among some 300 MPS and officials in the chamber, the two voting lobbies and the Members’ Lobby.
Staff in the Commons, including Vicki Corenbloom, who works in his Parlimentary office were asked to remain in their offices. They were eventually moved to Westminster Abbey until they could leave about 8.30pm.
“As we waited for the police and security to ensure the building and surrounding area was safe, we all reflected on the life-changing tragedy that had affected so many innocent people on Westminster Bridge,” said Mr Gibb.
The Leader of the Opposition, Bognor Regis resident Baroness Smith of Basildon, made a statement to the House of Lords at 11am yesterday about the tragedy.
She said: “The sense of shock here is as great as any I have known for something which has happened in the building. PC Palmer had worked here for a number of years. Most of us knew him at least to say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ to.
“As well as the loss to his family, which hurts us all, there is also the loss to the Parliamentary family. In what happened on Westminster Bridge, we saw the worst of someone and the best in people.”