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Romford and Dagenham and Rainham MPs confirm they are safe after major security alert at Westminster

PUBLISHED: 16:21 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 23 March 2017

Police at Westminster this afternoon. Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry was stood yards away from the scene and evacuated. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Police at Westminster this afternoon. Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry was stood yards away from the scene and evacuated. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Scotland Yard said it was called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge amid reports of several people injured. The Recorder spoke to Romford MP Andrew Rosindell while he was locked in the chamber with around 250 MPs.

“In 16 years of my being an MP this is the first time anything like this has happened,” he said.

“We were voting and I was just about to walk out and saw the doors shut which was highly unusual.

“I spoke to security and they said there had been a shooting and the place was in lock down.”

MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas added: “It was bedlam.

“We were on our way to the House of Commons to vote on the prison reform bill when we heard three or four gun shots.

“People were shouting “get back get back” so we all went back the way we came.

“It was instinct just to get to somewhere safe as soon as possible.

“There is always fear that this is a possibility working in central London and at this time of year when the sun is shining and more people outside - unfortunately a lot of them are probably tourists just walking along enjoying the sites.

“There is always that fear.”

Addressing MPs gathered in the House of Commons, leader David Lidington said: ““What I am able to say to the House is there has been a serious incident within the estate.

“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

“An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties. There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it’d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on.”

“I’m now sitting in the lobby,” continued Mr Rosindell.

“I can see all the helicopters outside. We have been told a number of people have been run over on Westminster Bridge.”

It has been reported that one woman has died and a number of others hurt with “catastrophic” injuries.

“It is shocking,” he added.

“My heart goes out to anyone injured or killed.”

In a statement Sadiq Khan, mayor of London said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack unless the police know otherwise.

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