Four people, including a police officer and an attacker, are dead and 40 others have been injured in a terror attack in Westminster.
- Updates on Wednesday 22 March
Updates on BBC London Live covering the attacks at Westminster have now ended for the day but our UK colleagues will be bringing you the very latest news and information throughout the night.
What we know so far:
- A police officer has died after being stabbed outside the Houses of Parliament
- At least one other woman has died and several others are critically injured after a car hit people on Westminster Bridge
- The alleged assailant was shot by armed officer
- The Met say they are treating as a terrorist incident
Labour MP Mary Creagh arrived at the scene shortly after the incident.
She told the BBC: "When we were on our way to vote there were armed police officers standing at the escalator.
"As I got off the escalator I saw people running towards me. Penny Mordaunt [another MP] ran up and said 'shots have been fired, we need to get out now'.
"We had no choice but to go out of the revolving doors one at a time - I shouted to the security guard 'you've got to open the doors' and he then opened them.
"I found myself in Westminster Tube station, I thought the one thing we don't want is tourists wandering in with their children into this situation.
"I went into the control room and told the controller 'there's been what we think is a terror attack on the Palace of Westminster and I said 'you need to shut the station now'."
The Port of London Authority have said the River Thames has been closed between Vauxhall Bridge and Embankment.
A4 London eastbound severe disruption, between St James's Street and Trafalgar Square.
A4 London - A4 Pall Mall in Westminster closed eastbound between the St James's Street junction and the Trafalgar Square junction, because of a security alert.
To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time
The RNLI has confirmed the Tower lifeboat was requested to launch twice to help deal with the attack.
It was first launched at 14:25 in connection with the incident then again at 15:55.
The boat returned to the station at 17:10.
BBC Local Live
The head teacher of Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Small Heath, Birmingham, Peter Foley, has reiterated the pupils who had been visiting Parliament are safe.
The school Twitter account published a photo of the children there shortly before the terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge unfolded.
He said: “All the children on the school trip are safe and their parents have been informed of the situation. The deputy head teacher is with the children and is providing me with regular updates.”
Transport Correspondent, BBC London
I'm on Waterloo Bridge where not much traffic is moving because of the road closures in place.
No boats are moving on this part of the River Thames.
You can also see people on the London Eye but it is not moving.
Prominent police blogger, former Met borough commander and police negotiator tweets:
Former newspaper political editor tweets:
The Church of England has shared a prayer for Westminster on twitter.
British Transport Police tell me they have extra officers out tonight across the whole British rail network, not just London, in order "to reassure" people.
No numbers have been given and they aren't clear if they will be armed or not.
To be clear, they say it's just to reassure people, not because of a specific threat. But you could see a bigger presence going home tonight.
Three French high school students are among those who have been hurt in the attack, French media are reporting.
They were part of a visiting group from a school in the town of Concarneau in Brittany.
The students were hit by the car that drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. One of the students is in a critical condition, Ouest France newspaper reported . Another has serious injuries and there is no information on the condition of the third student, the newspaper said.
After the incident the students were evacuated onto a boat and taken back to the hostel they were staying at, Le Telegramme newspaper reported .
Full statement from Metropolitan Police Commander, BJ Harrington:
"Since 2.40 pm this afternoon the [Metropolitan Police Service] has responded to an incident in the area of Parliament Square.
The senior National co-ordination has declared this is a terrorist incident.
Although we remain open-minded to the motive, a full counter-terrorism investigation is already underway. This is led by the Met counter-terrorism command.
At this stage I will confirm what we know has happened but I will not speculate. 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 that location as part of routine policing but immediately additional officers were sent to the scene and that included firearms officers. We are working closely with the London ambulance service and the London fire brigade ...
We know there are a number of casualties, including police officers, but at this stage we cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries ...
The acting commissioner, Craig Mackey, is being treated as a significant witness as he was at the scene when the incident started. Whilst he is not injured, it would be inappropriate for him to be here to talk about this incident at this stage.
Our thoughts and his thoughts are with all those involved and responding to that incident this evening. I would stress that if anyone has information about today’s incident they are urged to call 0800789321 and I want to stress that if the public have any information or see anything suspicious to dial 999 immediately."
"I would absolutely stress to the public our number one priority, working with our partners, is to keep London safe. If people have information please dial the number - 0800 789321."
Sightseers held on the London Eye for safety are now getting off, say the attractions bosses.
The Port of London Authority has confirmed that a seriously injured woman has been recovered from the Thames river.
Spoken Martin Garside said: "A female member of the public was recovered alive from the water, but with serious injuries.
"She has been brought ashore and is undergoing urgent medical treatment. The working assumption is that she fell or jumped from the bridge".
He added that the river is completely closed to vessels between Vauxhall Bridge and the Embankment
BBC Radio London reporter
Staff are now leaving the Ministry of Defence building on Horse Guards Avenue.
Westminster Bridge is closed westbound at York Road.
There is no traffic access to Parliament Square.
Victoria Embankment is closed southbound at Northumberland Avenue.
Northumberland Avenue eastbound from Trafalgar Square is also blocked.
Whitehall has also been closed southbound at the junction with Trafalgar Square by the police.
TfL adds :
"Victoria Street at the junction with Storeys Gate has been closed towards Parliament Square. Lambeth Palace Road has been closed northbound at the roundabout by Albert Embankment. Traffic is being diverted by the Police. Traffic is also queuing southbound on York Road with tailbacks approaching Leake Street. Traffic southbound is slow moving with tailbacks to Downing Street. Millbank is closed to traffic northbound at Lambeth Bridge and traffic is being diverted. Drivers are advised to use an alternative route where possible. "
Affected roads include:
A3211 (SW1A) both directions
A3212 (SW1P, SW1A) both directions
A302 Bridge Street (SE1,SW1P,SW1A) both directions
Canon Row (SW1A) all directions
The Daily Telegraph
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 are advising people to avoid the area and to remain "calm... alert and vigilant".
Westminster Abbey is closed for the rest of the day, but is still planning to hold evening prayer for anyone in the area.
Several attractions have been closed with visitors kept inside following the attack. These include:
- London Dungeon
- Madame Tussauds
- Shrek's Adventure!
- Southbank Centre
- London Eye
Steve Voake was on Westminster Bridge when a car mowed down pedestrians.
“There has been a serious incident near to Parliament Square this afternoon which is being treated as a terrorist attack until the police know otherwise.
"I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner. The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with the incident and an urgent investigation is underway. My thoughts are with those affected and their families.
I would like to express my thanks to the police and emergency services who work so hard to keep us safe and show tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances
The BBC understands Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Office Minister, attempted to resuscitate an injured police officer before the London Air Ambulance arrived.
An image of Mr Ellwood, who served with the British Army with the Royal Green Jackets, on social media appears to show blood on his clothing.
The Met Contact Centre is asking people to use 999 for emergencies only.
BBC Radio London reporter
Two ambulances have just screeched up Whitehall away from the scene as the police cordon and the public are moved further back.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition and Islington MP, has tweeted: