UPDATES: Four dead, including suspected attacker; Islamic State supporters claim London attack is revenge for British military involvement in Syria
The Church of England led prayers for peace after a ‘terror attack’ at St James’ Palace the home of the British democratic tradition.
Two have died, including a police officer, in the incident which is being treated as a terrorist attack by the Metropolitan Police.
Eye witness reports suggested that a car drove through tourists on nearby Westminster Bridge before causing further injuries to pedestrians as it drove into railings beside one of the entrances to Parliament.
A man is then said to have entered the Parliamentary estate and stabbed a police officer. Moments later, witnesses said, they heard a challenge by armed police and then shots were fired. The attacker is said to be injured and has been taken from the scene.
Foreign office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, MP, was one of the first on the scene to give mouth-to-mouth rescuscitation to the injured policeman. He also tried to stem the flow of blood from a number of wounds. But in spite of his efforts the police officer later died.
On social media, the Rev Paul Eddy, who previously ministered in a former church attended by Mr Ellwood and his wife, said that the selfless actions of the MP were ‘typical of the man. “He said he had “a passion for serving others, first in the forces, as an MP and evidently putting himself at potential risk to try to save a life.”
He added: “So grateful some MPs are so devoted in this way and are such a great example of service.”
Any incident in London is also an international incident such are numbers of tourists in the capital at any one time. French students are reported to be among the injured on Westminster Bridge.
The Church of England tweeted the Collect for Peace:
O God, the author of peace an lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom:
Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Chrsit our Lord.