Four people have been confirmed dead after an attacker ran over pedestrians and stabbed a police officer during a 'terror incident' outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
The suspected attacker is one of the people killed during the incident as well as the police officer who was stabbed inside the Palace of Westminster compound.
Police have confirmed they were called to a firearms incident at around 2.40pm.
Gunshots were heard at the scene on Wednesday afternoon (March 22) just after 2pm and police say they are treating this as a terror incident.
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."
We will bring you more information on this incident as we get it.
Bringing the blog to a close
So that brings to an end of our rolling coverage of today’s terrorist attack in Westminster.
For our most recent story on flights at Heathrow and Gatwick see below:
And for more of an overview you can click here:
Prime Minister chairs emergency meeting
Prime Minister Theresa May has chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee to discuss the immediate response to the bloody incident at the Palace of Westminster.
The 45-minute meeting brought together senior ministers as well as senior police officers, representatives of the security agencies and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Mrs May ordered flags to be lowered to half mast over Downing Street as a mark of respect to the innocent people who lost their lives at Westminster. Among ministers attending this evening’s meeting were Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, security minister Ben Wallace, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan.
Absent were Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who was away on an official trip to Pakistan, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in the US for a summit of nations involved in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
The meeting in Whitehall was addressed by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Britain’s most senior anti-terrorist police officer.
Statement from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood branded "hero MP" after attempting to save the life of the police officer
Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood has been branded a “hero MP” after attempting to save the life of the police officer killed in the Westminster terror attack.
The former soldier gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and attempted to stem the flow of blood amid the carnage in New Palace Yard.
It is not the first time Mr Ellwood’s life has been touched by an atrocity, as his brother Jonathan was killed in the 2002 Bali bombing.
Group of students injured in attack
Four university students were injured as they were caught up in the attack on Westminster Bridge.
They were among a group of 13 students and a lecturer from Edge Hill University, in Ormskirk, who were on the first day of a two-day educational visit to the Houses of Parliament.
The students had just left Parliament and made their way on to Westminster Bridge after they had watched Prime Minister’s Questions and met with MPs.
Dr John Cater, Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill University, told BBC North West Tonight: “They had just actually finished their session, were leaving the Parliament building and in the Westminster Bridge area where we understand ... they were involved in the incident.
“We understand that two students have been taken to hospital but as walking wounded - one with a head wound and one with a wrist injury. There are two other students who have minor injuries who are with police and acting as witnesses. “The good news is that the other nine students are now back in a hostel receiving support and will return to the North West tomorrow.”
He added: “The details are invariably hazy I guess.Our assumption is that they were either knocked over by other people or struck by the vehicle.
Obviously all of them will be somewhat traumatised by what they have seen as well.”
Earlier, the university tweeted: “All students and lecturer in Westminster have been accounted for and are being supported by the university.”
1,000 people in Westminster Abbey being processed by police
Around 1,000 people who were taken to Westminster Abbey for safety are now being processed by police. Scotland Yard urged the crowd to put delays in letting them leave into context.
Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli told the crowd: “There are families planning funerals as we speak so let’s put it into context.”
The people being held in Westminster Hall, including former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, have been evacuated from the Houses of Parliament.
Video shows people fleeing as gunshots heard
A video has emerged showing terrified members of the people running away from the Houses of Parliament as gunshots ring out.
For the video, follow the link below:
MPs have finally been released, five hours after attacked
After almost five hours MPs were allowed to leave the Commons chamber.
A monument to the police officer killed in the attack
Calls have been made for a permanent memorial in honour of a police officer killed in a terrorist attack outside the Houses of Parliament.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) put forward plans for a monument to the courage of the unnamed officer who was killed in the line of duty.
Speaking from an office in Parliament after more than four hours under lockdown, he told the Press Association: “The police do a brave and marvellous job protecting us from all sorts of dangers, not just in London but all over the country.
“When the dust has settled, we need a permanent memorial to the brave police officer who lost his life today.
“The memorial should be as close as possible to the place where he died, not just as a reminder of the sacrifice he made but also to commemorate the work of all police officers who risk their lives to protect us.”
Muslim Council pays tribute to emergency services
The Muslim Council of Britain has released a statement paying tribute to the police officers and emergency services.
They also said their thoughts are with the victims and anyone affected.
The statement said: “We are shocked and saddened by the incident at Westminster.
“We condemn this attack and while it is still too early to speculate on the motives, our thoughts and prayers are for the victims and those affected.
“We pay tribute too to the police and emergency services who handled this with bravery.
“The Palace of Westminster is the centre of our democracy and we must all ensure that it continues to serve our country and its people with safety and security.”
More pictures from scene emerge
For more pictures from the scene of today’s terror attack that has resulted in the deaths of at least four people, see the story below:
Casualty Bureau set up
Worried about family/friends involved in today’s incident in #Westminster? Please call Casualty Bureau on 0800 056 0944 & 0207 158 0010— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
The Met has now set up its Casualty Bureau.
If you are worried about friends or family after today’s incident you can call police on 0800 056 0944 and 0207 158 0010.
This bureau aims to provide information for the investigation, trace and identify people involved and reconcile missing person records with casualty and survivor records.
Police fly flag at half mast
The Metropolitan Police are flying the flag over Scotland Yard at half mast tonight after the deaths of at least four people in a terror attack in Westminster today.
A police officer died while protecting the Houses of Parliament from the attacker.
Increased police presence across London
Officers on patrol in Northwood Hills for reassurance following today's tragic attack. pic.twitter.com/lnRs5lqVG5— Northwood area SNTs (@MPSNorthwood) March 22, 2017
You are likely to see an increased police presence across the capital this evening.
The Metropolitan Police have increased the numbers of armed and unarmed police officers on the streets.
This photo was tweeted by officers in Northwood Hills at around 6.45pm.
Police opening casualty bureau
The Metropolitan Police are in the process of opening a casualty bureau for anyone worried about family or friends following today’s terror attack.
We are in the process of opening Casualty Bureau to help those who are worried about friends or family following #Westminster incident— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
We will bring you more information on how to contact the bureau as soon as it is made available by police.
Westminster station open for interchange
Westminster: the station is now open for interchange only.— TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) March 22, 2017
Transport for London has confirmed that Westminster station has reopened for interchange only after being closed following the earlier terror attack on Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.
Full story on the confirmed deaths
For the full story on the deaths that have resulted from the terror attack this afternoon in Westminster, see the link below:
Video: four people dead including suspected attacker
The latest from Parliament
Police have told hundreds of people being held in Westminster Hall they are being treated as “potential witnesses” and they should expect to be held there for 60 to 90 minutes. London Ambulance Service is offering medical attention to diabetics.
'A day we hoped would never come'
Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, has just finished speaking outside New Scotland Yard not far from where the attack happened.
He said: “ My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by today’s attack and as a service we have lost one of our own as he acted to protect the public and his colleagues.
“This is a day we planned for but hoped would never happen.
“Sadly, it’s now a reality.
“We will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London.”
He also confirmed that four people had died in today’s attack and that at least 20 had been injured.
One of the men who died was a police officer while another is the man believed by police to be the attacker.
Four people have died
The Met police have confirmed four people have died, including the police officer and the man believed to be the attacker.
At least 20 people are believed to have been injured.
The officer’s family have been informed.
Feltham and Heston MP praises police
Could not be more grateful for our amazing police and security forces. You take such risks to keep us safe and are true heroes.— Seema Malhotra (@SeemaMalhotra1) March 22, 2017
The Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, Seema Malhotra, has tweeted her praise of the police for their work today.
At least 10 people treated by ambulance crews at Westminster Bridge
London Ambulance Service said it has treated at least 10 people following the terror attack.
Emergency services were called to Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament at around 2.40pm.
London Ambulance Service Deputy Director of Operations Pauline Cranmer said:
“We can confirm we have treated at least 10 patients on Westminster Bridge and have put a number of hospitals on alert as we continue to respond to this incident.
“We were called at 2.40pm today, with the first ambulance crew arriving within six minutes.
“We have sent a number of resources to the scene including ambulance crews, London’s Air Ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team.
“We are working closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene, with our priority being to ensure patients receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible.
“We have declared a major incident and our priority is to assess patients and ensure that they are treated and taken to hospital as soon as possible.
“As we are very busy dealing with this incident, we would ask the public to only call us in a genuine emergency.”
Police officer stabbed at Houses of Parliament has died
A police officer who was stabbed at the Houses of Parliament has died, sources said.
One witness described seeing an officer stabbed in the back of the head and the back of the neck.
An officer was also seen stumbling before falling on the floor.
According to the witness, the attacker was wielding two knives.
French teens on school trip injured during terror attack
Three French teenagers on a school visit to London were among those injured on Westminster Bridge, according to the Press Association.
Le Telegramme reported the students, aged between 15 and 16, were wounded in the attack with one ending up on the roof of the car. The pupils from a school in Concarneau, Brittany, had arrived in London on Sunday evening.
A spokeswoman for the Lycee Saint-Joseph de Concarneau confirmed three students were injured but said she could give no further information.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said: “Terrorism concerns us all and France knows how the British people are suffering today.
“We are doing everything to find out if French nationals have been involved.”
At least two fatalities after terror attack
Video from the scene
Our reporter David Rivers took this video from Victoria Embankment, which shows the police cordon near Portcullis House and the Palace of Westminster.
MPs 'to be vetted' before leaving Westminster
An MP who was locked down in the commons said staff are being vetted to ‘check there’s no one here that isn’t supposed to be’.
He said there were a lot of people there and that he expects to be there most of the night.
Mole Valley’s Sir Paul Beresford said he had now been moved to
Westminster Abbey after being in lockdown within the Commons.
Sir Paul said: “We had been voting inside the chamber. There was
complete calm but there was an astonishing number of policemen
“We’ve been moved over to Westminster Abbey and are now waiting to be
vetted. They want to check there’s no one here that isn’t supposed to
be. There’s an awful lot of us and I think we’ll be here most of the
More officers will be deployed
Commander BJ Harrington with the Metropolitan Police spoke outside New Scotland Yard earlier this afternoon.
He said more officers would be deployed this evening while people are making their way home.
Commander Harrington added: “We received a number of different reports - which included a person in the river, a car in collision with pedestrians and a man armed with a knife.
“Officers were already in the location as part of our routine policing operation. Immediately, additional officers were sent to the scene and that included firearms officers.”
'Suspect package' outside Parliament
There is believed to have been a suspect package outside the Parliament according to Lib Dem peer Lord Brian Paddick.
He said there was a “suspect package” outside Parliament which police have had to deal with before the building can be evacuated.
“There was a suspect package attached to a vehicle outside Parliament,” the retired police officer told the BBC.
“Armed officers searched the whole of the Parliament estate to make sure there were no suspects outstanding.”