British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the British Parliament Thursday following an attack in London Wednesday that left four people dead and dozens wounded.
According to the BBC, a British-born assailant drove a car into a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, then crashed the car near Parliament, where he fatally stabbed a law enforcement officer. The attacker was fatally shot by police.
The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Noting that “yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy,” May told British lawmakers:
But today we meet as normal – as generations have done before us, and as future generations will continue to do – to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid. And our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.
And we meet here, in the oldest of all Parliaments, because we know that democracy, and the values it entails, will always prevail.
Those values – free speech, liberty, human rights and the rule of law – are embodied here in this place, but they are shared by free people around the world.
May said the attacker chose a place “where people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means to be free. And he took out his rage indiscriminately against innocent men, women and children.”
“Mr. Speaker, this was an attack on free people everywhere – and on behalf of the British people, I would like to thank our friends and allies around the world who have made it clear that they stand with us at this time,” she said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May: Yesterday’s London attack “was an attack on free people everywhere” pic.twitter.com/JETYshbkR5
— CNN International (@cnni) March 23, 2017
May paid tribute to Keith Palmer, the policeman who was killed in the attack, saying he “had devoted his life to the service of his country.”
“He was a husband and a father, killed doing a job he loved,” she said. “He was every inch a hero. And his actions will never be forgotten.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May: “It is in millions of acts of normality that we find the best response to terrorism” pic.twitter.com/8CYmMKOPQ1
— CNN (@CNN) March 23, 2017
The prime minister said that “a full counter-terrorism investigation is already underway,” and “police have searched 6 addresses and made 8 arrests in Birmingham and London.” They believe the attacker acted alone but “was inspired by Islamist ideology.”
“Mr. Speaker, we know the threat from Islamist terrorism is very real. But while the public should remain utterly vigilant they should not — and will not — be cowed by this threat,” May said, adding that “the greatest response lies not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people”:
For beyond these walls today — in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country — millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives. The streets are as busy as ever. The offices full. The coffee shops and cafes bustling. As I speak, millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth.
“It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism. A response that denies our enemies their victory. That refuses to let them win. That shows we will never give in,” she said.