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London terrorist attack: Palace of Westminster in lockdown following 'knife and gun attack'

Witnesses saw a car crash in to railings before a man ran through Palace of Westminster gates and stab officer

A policeman has been stabbed and his attacker shot by officers following a major incident at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday (March 22) afternoon.

The attacker mowed down several pedestrians as he drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and stabbing the officer.

Eyewitnesses said he was shot by police as he approached a second officer clutching his knife.

School children visiting Parliament are among those who have been caught up in the security scare, including youngsters from Hammersmith Boxing Club.

MPs have been ordered to stay in the chamber or their offices, while the sitting in the House of Commons was suspended as police officers sealed off the area around the incident.

Immediately before the incident, at around 2.45pm, a crowd of passers-by was seen running from the direction of Westminster Bridge and around the corner into Parliament Square.

Witnesses described seeing a middle-aged man carrying a knife and running.

"The man was on the floor with blood"

Jayne Wilkinson said: "We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.

"And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.

"He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt."

He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him."

Parliament terror incident: Live updates as gunfire heard outside Houses of Parliament and car hits pedestrians on Westminster Bridge

A witness, who did not want to be named, saw PM Theresa May and her undercover police detail near the area of Parliament where ministerial cars are parked.

He said there were undercover officers in a 4x4 vehicle in the car park.

“We just heard gunshots inside Parliament,” he said.

“It looked like they are taking her away.”

The Prime Minister was seen getting into the back of a silver Jaguar before driving off - first apparently heading to Black Rod’s entrance but then turning towards Carriage Gates, near to where the incident took place.

"The children are really calm"

Press Association reporter Laura Harding, who was in Westminster at the time of the incident, said: “Everyone has been evacuated into Central Lobby, including a group of schoolchildren and kitchen staff.

“Around 15 schoolchildren aged around 10, with armed police coming through the lobby now.

“The children are really calm, the teachers are comforting them.

“Everyone is standing around on their phones.

“There are also a bunch of young people from the Hammersmith Boxing Club in their tracksuits and the British Lionhearts boxing group.”

A source who works at the Department of Education said: “Everywhere is on lock down, I think a man has been shot outside Portcullis House.

“I was at my desk in the Department of Education and about 10 minutes ago a member of staff came up to us and said there’s been a shooting outside Westminster so no one’s allowed in or out of the building.”

“It’s about a stone throw away from me, I was about to go for a walk.”

The Metropolitan Police said in a tweet: “We were called at approx 2.40pm to reports of an incident at Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident - police on scene.”

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