London terror attack: Defiant Theresa May says city will be back to normal
“Any attempt to defeat our values through violence and terror is doomed to failure,” the British PM said, asserting that they would never give in to terror, or allow voices of hate and evil to “drive us apart”.world Updated: Mar 23, 2017 09:45 IST
UK Prime Minister Theresa May struck a defiant note after chairing an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening in the wake of the UK Parliament terror attack, and insisted that London and Parliament will come together on Thursday as normal.
Five people, including three civilians, were killed as the attacker ploughed a car through teeming tourists on the Westminster Bridge and then tried to enter Parliament, when he was shot dead, but not before repeatedly stabbing a police officer to death.
May, who was in the parliament complex at the time of the attack, was whisked away to Downing Street, as Scotland Yard’s counter-terror personnel responded to the situation.
After the emergency meeting, a steely-faced May said: “The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.”
“These streets of Westminster, home to the world’s oldest Parliament, are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our Parliament represents—democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law—command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere.
“That is why it is a target for those who reject those values. But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before. Any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure,” she said.
May insisted that “tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal. We will come together as normal. And Londoners, and others from around the world who have come here to visit this great city, will get up and go about their day as normal”.
“They (Londoners) will board their trains, they will leave their hotels, they will walk these streets, they will live their lives. And we will all move forward together, never giving in to terror, and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” May said.
Paying tributes to police officers who confronted the terrorist, May said the injured included three Scotland Yard personnel.
Britain’s threat level from international terrorism has been at ‘severe’ for some time, which means an attack is highly likely. Security officials have said 13 terror plots had been thwarted since 2013.