Two reviews into security at Parliament will take place following the terror attack at Westminster, Speaker John Bercow has told MPs.
An independent review will look into how the perimeter fence surrounding the Parliamentary estate is secured after Khalid Masood, armed with a knife, ran into New Palace Yard and murdered PC Keith Palmer last Wednesday1. Mr Bercow also revealed there will be a second externally-led review into how Parliament responds to major incidents following the attack, in which four people were killed2.
Image: Armed police at the Carriage Gates entrance to the Houses of Parliament
Speaking in the Commons, he said: “As would be normal after such events, we are seeking to make sure that any lessons are learned, through two reviews. “The Lord Speaker and I are commissioning an external independent review of how the perimeter of the Parliamentary Estate – including outbuildings – is secured and protected, to produce a preliminary report by the end of April.
“The two clerks are commissioning an externally-led lessons-learned review of the operation last week of Parliament’s Incident Management Framework, to report by the end of June.”
Mr Bercow offered tributes to the bravery of PC Palmer, who died after trying to stop Masood from entering Parliament during the attack. He said: “Members will also be aware that 2.40pm today marks a week on from the shocking events of last week, and our thoughts will be in particular with the Metropolitan Police as they mourn their colleague PC Keith Palmer.”
Image: Police officers hold flowers on Westminster Bridge
Police officers held a minute’s silence outside New Scotland Yard on Wednesday, a week after the terror attack. Acting Met Police Commissioner Craig Mackey said: “This afternoon is about remembering the victims of last week’s events.
Image: Faith Leaders head up a vigil including members of the public and police officers
“Our thoughts, our prayers, go out to everyone who was affected by the events last week.
“I would urge you, if you get time, to go on to the bridge, talk to Londoners, talk and get a feel for this great city and how it’s come together in responding to these events.”
Image: People hold a banner on Westminster Bridge
Prince William paid tribute to PC Palmer as he laid a wreath in his honour at the National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield, Staffordshire. The Duke of Cambridge bowed his head in respect after placing the wreath on a metal bench at the foot of a traditional blue police lamp.
Image: Prince William lays a wreath in memory of PC Keith Palmer at the National Arboretum
A hand-written note read: “For PC Keith Palmer and all those who have served our community so valiantly; your legacy is our way of life . William.”
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will join families of the victims of the terror attack next Wednesday at Westminster Abbey for a “Service of Hope”.
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Security services should have the power to access everyone’s emails and messaging apps, according to a Devon MP. Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer was speaking after the Home Secretary called on companies such as WhatsApp to allow security services access to their encrypted messages. Mr Mercer told BBC Daily Politics: “We all understand the points around civil liberties and how important they are, but freedom isn’t free . We have to protect our way of life, and if those we are going to ask to do that require extra powers in a digital age which is becoming more complex, I think we should give them to them. “I know from intelligence and security services that I’ve worked with in the past, we need the tools at our disposal in order to be able to do the job . One of those is electronic surveillance of individuals to try to identify these attacks, which are really difficult to identify.”
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Lord Brian Paddick said “not every single innocent member of the public” should be subjected to increased surveillance. He also accused the Government of cutting police budgets, but Mr Mercer said spending on tackling “digital threats” is going up. “The spend around counter-terrorism, the visible part of policing that is so important in our communities, is as important as it has ever been,” he said. “But this digital threat, around technology and so on, that is exponentially growing all the time and that requires the resources . If you actually look at what this Government is doing from 2015 to 2020 increasing that by 30 per cent and protecting counter-terrorism budgets this is a team effort across Government to try to counter these threats.
“We defeat this as a team, as politicians, as police, as community providers . I don’t really think it’s the time for cheap political points above what is an existential threat that is really difficult to get a hold of . We have a very challenging set of threats which are getting greater all the time, I think the police are doing a good job and we should get behind them.”
The Dartmoor Search and Rescue at Ashburton were involved in two rescues on Sunday – a teenaged girl who collapsed and had to be airlifted off the moors and a…
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