‘Terrorists will never win’ - Sunderland MPs speak after Westminster attack

Police forensic officers close to the Palace of Westminster. Picture by PA.
Police forensic officers close to the Palace of Westminster. Picture by PA.
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Wearside’s MPs have called on the public “not to let terror win” in the wake of the attack on Westminster.

Four people, including police officer Pc Keith Palmer, were killed on Wednesday in the tragedy.

Julie Elliott MP

Julie Elliott MP

The attacker has been named by police as Khalid Masood, 52.

He is one of the four who died in the incident.

He is believed to have driven a car along a pavement on Westminster Bridge, knocking down pedestrians and leaving dozens injured.

After crashing his car into railings, he then ran towards Parliament where he stabbed Pc Palmer.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

Armed police shot dead the attacker in the grounds.

The identities of the terrorist’s victims on Westminster Bridge have emerged - one a US tourist from Utah celebrating his wedding anniversary, the other a “highly regarded and loved” member of college staff.

Kurt Cochran and his wife, Melissa - on the last day of a trip celebrating their 25th anniversary - were visiting her parents, who are serving as Mormon missionaries in London.

Aysha Frade, who worked in administration at independent sixth-form school DLD College London, in Westminster, is understood to have been 43 and married with two daughters.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson.

40 people were injured in the attack. 29 were treated in hospital, with seven of those injured said to be in a critical condition.

MPs from Sunderland have spoken of their sadness at the deaths and also praised police and security services who made the area around the House of Commons safe.

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said: “After yesterday’s tragic events, my thoughts are with the families and friends of those injured and killed during this despicable attack.

“I want to pay tribute to the bravery of Pc Keith Palmer, who died protecting MPs, Peers and the many people who were working or visiting Parliament at the time.

Flag flies at half-mast at Sunderland Civic Centre to honour Westminster terror attack victims

Flag flies at half-mast at Sunderland Civic Centre to honour Westminster terror attack victims

“I am also grateful to the firearms officers who stopped the attacker from hurting any more innocent people.

“These brave men and women did their duty with the utmost distinction, as did those who tried desperately to save Pc Palmer’s life even though it was still unclear whether there was further danger.

“I am also thinking today of those who ran to help the injured on Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, despite the horrible carnage that confronted them.

“As many will have seen yesterday, the Palace of Westminster is not just a place where MPs and Peers debate legislation, but a place of work for thousands of people who work hard every day to keep Parliament running.

“Thanks to the quick reaction of the security services, further harm was avoided.

“I will always remain deeply grateful to those who kept us all safe in the aftermath, when it was far from clear what was going on.

“Parliament is sitting as usual today - as it should be.

“We will never allow events such as those yesterday to compromise our democracy and way of life.”

Sharon Hodgson, who represents the Washington and Sunderland West constituency, said: “As the aftermath of yesterday’s attack in London continues to unfold, my thoughts are first and foremost with the victims of yesterday’s horrific attack and their families, especially Pc Keith Palmer who bravely and selflessly ran into harm’s way and died protecting Parliament and the many thousands of people who call the Palace of Westminster their workplace.

“The bravery of our police and security personnel yesterday and every day to keep us safe in such a stressful situation should be commended, along with the NHS staff who worked hard to save the lives of the many victims of this attack; our gratitude cannot be expressed enough.

“Special commendation must also go to my Parliamentary colleague, Tobias Ellwood MP, who did all he could to save the life of Pc Palmer.

“In the days and weeks to come, emotions will run high and people will be understandably anxious, but we must not let terror win.

“We must continue with life as normal as a display of defiance against such evil acts and maintain our resolve to uphold our freedoms and not give in to those who wish to destroy our way of life.

“They will never win.”

And Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, said: “My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with those affected by the Westminster attack.

“A policeman, Keith Palmer, went to work yesterday and never returned home - he died defending our way of life and our democracy.

“Today, it was important that Parliament sat and that we all got on with our lives as usual.

“In doing so we show that terrorists will never win.”