Leader of the House of Commons David Lidington spoke to the Bucks Herald to describe the scenes in the Houses of Parliament following last week’s horrific terrorist attacks.
As leader of the House of Commons, David Lidington was asked to address the locked down chamber to keep them informed of events unfolding outside.
He said: “There was an initial sense of shock and confusion, as nobody really had the full picture of what had happened. Reports were filtering through on social media, and one MP had said they had heard shots. The police were telling us all to get down. It was a horrific situation to be in.
“There was an immense show of solidarity – all party divisions were set aside. As time went on, some MP’s who have diabetes had to get some food, and also other MP’s who were needed for the COBRA meetings were ushered out with the police’s permission. There was a huge overwhelming sadness for Keith Palmer and his family, and the other victims of the days incidents.
"PC Palmer is quite well known, he is a regular at the House of Commons, not only on the front gate but he also did shifts at the police point at the rear entrance behind the speaker’s chair. He was a familiar face and will be missed.
“I can remember when I was first elected in 1992, we were all issued with telescopic mirrors to check for bombs under our cars. I imagine some older MP could remember the IRA campaigns in the 70s, 80s and early 90s and the situation was one they were sadly familiar with.
"It was bizarre, the chamber is usually such a flurry of activity and boisterousness, with MP’s bobbing up and down, it was strange to see them all quiet with MP’s putting their hands up like they were back in school.
“A far cry from normal proceedings.
“Unless the police had anything to say to the contrary, It was business as usual the following day. There was a very strong cross party consensus that these events were not going to block the normal democratic process.
“These people were not victorious, we went on as we always will. The atmosphere on Thursday was very emotional, with prayers followed by a minutes silence for those we have lost.
“Our Democratic process will go on, unbowed by these attacks.”
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