London terror attack: Leaders and politicians from Norfolk and around the world react
PUBLISHED: 08:56 04 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:28 04 June 2017
Community leaders across Norfolk have reacted to the shock news of the terrorist attack in London.
Norfolk Police’s chief constable Simon Bailey said: “Once again we have been subjected to the horrors of a terrorist attack with last night’s awful events in London.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have been killed and with those who are in hospitals across London.
“My admiration goes out to those members of the public and my colleagues in the emergency services who responded so bravely and undoubtedly prevented further loss of life.
“The only way we will beat the terrorists is if we work together.
“Norfolk will remain the safe place it is if we remain vigilant and report any concerns or any suspicious behaviour
that the public deem to be suspicious.”
South West Norfolk Conservative candidate and justice secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this appalling terrorist attack.
“The emergency services have acted with speed and bravery - we are hugely grateful for their dedication. We must remain resolute in the face of this threat.”
Liberal Democrat candidate for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb, said: “It is deeply distressing. My two sons live in London and have been in Norfolk this weekend.
“Attacks like this cause so much distress and anxiety to so many families.
“It’s horrific what happened in London on Saturday night, but in the face of this awful threat it is most important that we show we will not be defeated.
“Democracy and the democratic process must continue and we must continue to demonstrate that they won’t damage our way of life.
“We need to improve our means of combating this terrorism, through better intelligence and through investment in these services and by actively working with communities across the country to isolate the terrorists.
“A whole raft of measures can be looked at and we need to review what has happened over the last few weeks.
“We need to demonstrate they won’t change our way of life and they won’t defeat us.”
George Freeman, Conservative candidate for the Mid Norfolk constituency, put out a statement on his social media accounts, stating: “As our way of life comes under attack again on a Saturday night in London, thoughts and prayers tonight for all those affected by the attacks, and huge gratitude, respect and solidarity with our fantastically brave and professional emergency services who run towards danger so we can sleep safely.”
Clive Lewis, Labour candidate for Norwich South, said: “I am horrified and saddened by the attacks that took place in London last night. My thoughts are with all of those who have suffered, their friends and loved ones and the people of London.
“Once again, our emergency services have done us proud and I am so grateful for all they do. While we run from danger, they run towards it to protect us.
“The main political parties have agreed to suspend national campaigning for the General Election and here in Norwich we won’t be campaigning at all today.”
Chris Jones, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, said: “I think every one is in shock and numb from last night’s events.
“It’s another terrible attack on our society but I think we must strengthen our resolve to stick together as a society.
“I think we must stay vigilant and keep challenging the spread of radicalisation and be on our guard but also recognise that this is a small number of violent criminals.”
Asked if the general election on June 8 should be postponed, he said: “No, I don’t think the general election should be postponed.
“Our democracy is on the things we value the most within our society and we should celebrate it.
“It should strengthen our resolve to have a democratic society and we shouldn’t let them affect that.
“Campaigning in Norwich has been postponed, and I think that postponing campaigning is the correct decision out of respect following last night’s events.
“But we will carry on making our case for our vision for what society should be like.”
Lana Hempsall, Conservative candidate for Norwich South, said: “I’m appalled, absolutely appalled. It’s just awful.
“I just feel that as a society we’re venturing into vengeful territory which as a society is very concerning.
“I think the licence people are giving themselves to express themselves online is extremely concerning
“I’m alarmed by the attacks and the role social media is playing in the way society is becoming polarised.
“If these attacks are happening because of the general election then I think we should get it over and done with, then we can start bringing the UK back together.”
The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, said: “Once again a terrorist attack causes grievous carnage and loss of life in one of our major cities and our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, those injured in the attack and those traumatised by the events at London Bridge.
“But once again also there are stories of heroism, of courage, generosity and self-giving which testify to the strength of the fabric of our relationships, a fabric terrorists would seek to tear apart.
“Terrorist incidents are meant to challenge the stories we live by. They are meant to replace our story, our story of a peaceful society whose stability and safety we can rely on and replace it with a narrative of fear and dread, an insecure and unpredictable environment subject to threat and violence.
“And if we buy that narrative, then out of that threat and fear is bred suspicion and hostility for different groups within society, leading to the kind of fragmentation, scapegoating and polarisation which breeds further fear and strengthens the terrorists narrative.
“That’s why it’s vital at times like this that we rehearse our story and keep on rehearsing it, and why politicians, faith leaders and others must stand up and re-tell our story, a story whose ingredients include our togetherness and solidarity, our unity in diversity, our common purposes of peaceful coexistence, our mutual respect and dignity, our outright refusal to be ensnared by fear or hatred.
“The stories we tell shape our lives – we must not allow terrorism to dictate those stories.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has offered her “huge gratitude” to the emergency services attending what she described as a “potential terrorist incident” near London Bridge.
“Our thoughts are with those who are caught up in these dreadful events,” she added.
A vehicle was reported to have ploughed into pedestrians in a packed street in central London before alleged knife attacks.
Mrs May called the ongoing situation “fast moving”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the news “brutal and shocking” in a tweet.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he wrote. “Thank you to the emergency services.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted he was “very close to London Bridge when incident happened”.
“Sounds like another disaster,” he added.
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “Tonight’s horrific incidents in London remind us how much we owe our emergency services. My thoughts and prayers with everyone affected.”
Brandon Lewis, policing minister and Conservative candidate in Great Yarmouth, tweeted: “Thoughts are with victims & all affected by tonight’s incident. As ever huge thanks to our police & emergency services.”
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned the “barbaric” and “horrific” attack on London Bridge and Borough Market as “deliberate and cowardly”.
“My thoughts are with everyone affected, and I’d like to thank the brave men and women of our emergency services who were first on the scene and will be working throughout the night,” he said in a statement.
“I am in close contact with the Met Commissioner and senior officers and am being kept updated on all developments. I will be attending the Government’s emergency Cobra meeting later this morning.”
He asked people to avoid the London Bridge area, and advised that London Bridge Station remains closed. While the situation is still unfolding, Mr Khan asked both Londoners and visitors to “remain calm and vigilant” and to report anything suspicious to the police.
“We don’t yet know the full details, but this was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”
Mr Khan encouraged people to follow the Metropolitan Police on Twitter for further updates and information.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “This was an horrific attack in the heart of our capital city, targeted at people enjoying their evening with friends and family.
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“My thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by this incident.
“As ever, in difficult and traumatic circumstances, I am extremely proud of and thankful to our police and emergency services who responded so swiftly and those who will work tirelessly as the investigation into this appalling act continues.”
Muslim Association of Britain president Dr Omer El-Hamdoon said: “Our thoughts are with those who have been injured in these incidents and our condolences go out to all the families who have lost loved ones as a result.
“As members of British Society, we must continue to condemn all acts of terror, and we must not allow these criminals to spread hatred and fear; and we must foil their attempts to divide us.”
US President Donald Trump has also tweeted condolences and support.
He wrote: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K, we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
The US State Department said America “condemns the cowardly attacks targeting innocent civilians in London this evening”.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request.
“Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims. We wish a full and quick recovery to those injured in the attacks.
“All Americans stand in solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”
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Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop said: “We stand ready to support the British government as it responds to these attacks and our thoughts are with those injured and their families.”
Ariana Grande, whose Manchester concert was rocked by a suicide bombing which killed 22 people less than two weeks ago, has expressed her support for those affected by the London Bridge attack.
She tweeted simply: “Praying for London”.
Public figures continued to show their support and strength in the face of terrorism on social media throughout the night.
Evening Standard editor and former chancellor George Osborne, said: “People enjoying a night out once again appear to be the target of terror. Emergency services once again heroic. London will stay strong.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry tweeted: “As we endure yet more attacks tonight, my thoughts are with victims & our Emergency Services, But they won’t change London. #WeAreStrong.”
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Brendan Cox, whose wife Jo Cox MP was murdered by a nationalist terrorist last summer, wrote: “Thinking of everyone caught up in yet more pointless horror.
“It will achieve nothing, it will not change us, it will not defeat us.”
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, tweeted: “Following latest £London incidents with horror. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Please stay safe.”
Indian Prime Minisiter Narendra Modi called the attack “shocking” and “anguishing”.
“We condemn them,” he said. “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.”
US vice-president Mike Pence wrote: “Our thoughts & prayers are 1/8with 3/8 the victims, courageous first responders & all the people of London. As President Trump said: WE ARE WITH YOU.”
Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, urged Canadians in need of help to contact the Canadian High Commission in London and said: “Awful news from London tonight. We’re monitoring the situation.”
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “Our prayers and resolute solidarity are today as always with the people of Britain in the face of the shocking attacks in London.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement that she learned with “sadness and dismay” of the attack.
She added: “Today, we are united beyond all borders in horror and sorrow, but also in determination.
“In the fight against every form of terrorism, we stand firmly and with determination at Britain’s side.”
European leaders sent messages of sympathy and solidarity to the UK via social media.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk said: “My heart and mind are in London after another cowardly attack. Europe stands by UK in fight against terrorism.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Following latest London incidents with horror. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Please stay safe.”
And the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said: “We mourn in solidarity with the victims and the families of heinous London Bridge attack. These acts must be stopped. #UnitedAgainstTerrorism.”
Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy offered “solidarity and support” and Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the “London spirit” was “stronger than fear”.
Belgian PM Charles Michel said: “A new tragedy in London, we all stand with UK.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Following the horrific terrorist attack in the centre of London last night, we are working closely with the UK Government and Police Scotland to monitor the situation. Later today I will chair a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives and with everyone who has been harmed or affected by these terrible incidents.”
Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan said: “For the second time in two weeks, the ordinary people of the UK have been subjected to cowardly and barbaric attacks. Ireland stands with the UK and condemns these acts utterly.
We continue to closely monitor the situation. Anyone who has serious concerns about loved ones in London can contact my department in Dublin on 01 408 2000, or the Irish Embassy in London on 00 44 207 235 2171.”