A knife-wielding attacker was shot by armed police in the grounds of Parliament today after pedestrians were mowed down on Westminster Bridge.
More than 10 people are said to have been hit by a car on Westminster Bridge after a vehicle described as a ‘4×4’ reportedly drove into pedestrians and cyclists.
A ‘middle-aged Asian’ intruder then managed to break into the grounds of the Houses of Parliament and stabbed a police officer before he was shot, reports suggest.
Three injured people were seen on the floor outside Parliament and the Palace was placed on an immediate lock down.
Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been bundled into a car by a plain-clothes police officer and driven quickly from the scene.
Commons Leader David Lidington 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 Jayne Wilkinson said: ‘We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.
‘And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.
‘He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.’
Her partner David Turner added: ‘There was a stampede of people running out. You saw the people and you thought ‘what the hell is going on’.’
Mail journalist Quentin Letts saw the incident out of the window of a Commons office. He told the BBC: ‘We heard this sound that sounded like a car crash…
‘Then we saw a thick set man in black clothes come through the gates where people would normally drive cars
‘This man had something in his hand. It looked like a stick. He was challenged by two policemen. The policeman fell down.
‘We could see the man in black movinghis arm in a way that suggested he was either striking or stabbing.’
After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.
Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Centre for European Studies, wrote: ‘A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.’
People outside the palace could be seen running from the scene when the shots were heard.
An eye witness said that a car was seen to mow down five people on Westminster Bridge.
Police are then believed to have shot a man who tried to enter the Parliamentary Estate.
The dramatic incident comes weeks after it was revealed that UK security services have foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terrorism units are running more than 500 investigations at any time.
The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’, for more than two years.
Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman Baroness Randerson said countries seem to have been ‘singled out based on religious beliefs’.
‘Of course safety is paramount at all times and we all need to remain vigilant but this ban needs to be explained in detail,’ she said.