We are not afraid and our values will prevail, declares Theresa May
Watch: The PM delivered a 'simple message' in the oldest of all parliaments.
Theresa May declared that ‘we are not afraid’ as she gave a statement to the Commons following Wednesday's terror attack.
The prime minister was speaking after MPs, police and workers around Whitehall observed a one minute's silence.
She paid tribute to Keith Palmer, the policeman who was stabbed to death as he guarded the Palace of Westminster from a terrorist.
She also praised the actions of Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who tried in vain to save the policeman’s life. Ellwood was in the chamber as the prime minister spoke.
May said: "Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. But today we meet as normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”
"And we meet here in the oldest of all parliaments because we know democracy and the values it entails will always prevail. Those values free speech, liberty, human rights and rule of law are embodied here in this place and shared by free people around the world.
"A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and culture gather to celebrate what it means to be free. He took out his rage indiscriminately on men, women and children. This was an attack on free people everywhere and on behalf of the British people I would like to thank our friends and allies around the world who have made it clear they stand with us."
May said that since June 2013, police, security and intelligence agencies had successfully disrupted 13 separate terrorist plots in Britain.
She said that PC Palmer was "every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten" and that "we will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of PC Keith Palmer, including those by my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Bournemouth East".
The prime minister concluded: "Mr Speaker, a lot has been said since terror struck London yesterday. Much more will be said in the coming days. But the greatest response lies not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people. For beyond these walls today – in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country –millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives.
"The streets are as busy as ever. The offices full. The coffee shops and cafes bustling. As I speak millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth.
"It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism. A response that denies our enemies their victory. That refuses to let them win. That shows we will never give in. A response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our attacker, and to pay the ultimate price. A response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil: you will not defeat us. Mr Speaker, let this be the message from this House and this nation today: our values will prevail."