Wales politics

London attack: Welsh MP tells of 'shots' as five people die

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Media captionMobile phone footage by Monmouth MP David Davies captures the panic inside the Houses of Parliament

A Welsh MP has told of hearing shots outside Parliament, following a terrorist attack which left five people dead and at least 40 injured.

One was a police officer who died after being stabbed, another was his alleged attacker who was shot by armed police.

Monmouth MP David Davies told BBC Wales: "The shots started, I was with other MPs, we immediately dropped to the floor and then hid behind pillars."

It came after a car crashed into several people on Westminster Bridge.

Scotland Yard confirmed there was a "firearms incident" on Westminster Bridge at 14:40 GMT on Wednesday following a car crash.

At least one woman is known to be among those killed, with many of the 40 injured being struck by a car on Westminster Bridge.

The police officer killed in the attack has been named by Scotland Yard as PC Keith Palmer.

The 48-year-old husband and father was stabbed by his attacker, who was then shot dead.

Acting Deputy Commissioner and head of counter terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley said they believed the attacker was inspired by Islamist-related terrorism.

He also said police believe they know the identity of the man.

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Media captionMonmouth MP David Davies describes hearing shouting and gun shots

Downing Street said the prime minister was in Parliament at the time but had been taken back safely to Number 10.

Staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices as proceedings in the Commons were suspended and they were later evacuated to Westminster Abbey.

Mr Davies told BBC News he had been walking with fellow Conservative MP Grant Shapps at the time of the incident.

"We were in New Palace Yard. We heard a load of shouting - I thought it was protesters," he said.

"The next thing there was at least one shot, I think I looked around and thought 'that can't be for real, can it?'

"And then more shots - I can't remember exactly, but I shouted 'get down', or 'everyone get down on the floor'.

"People started moving backwards, I waited for the shots to stop.

"I was behind a pillar, and I just took a chance and ran back to Portcullis House - I just didn't know what was going on."

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who was in a meeting with the Prime Minister and cabinet members at the time of the incident, described it as a "tragic attack at the heart of democracy".

"My thoughts and prayers are with those who were tragically killed and injured and my undiluted gratitude goes to the police, house staff and emergency services for keeping us safe. I will be forever grateful," he added.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said MPs had been voting at the time of the incident, and there was a "lockdown" of Parliament as police checked the area.

"We're a bit shaken as the reality of the attack sets in," he said. "My thoughts go out to anyone who's been injured."

Several Welsh MPs used social media to let family, friends and colleagues know they were safe before MPs were allowed to leave Westminster Abbey at about 19:30 GMT.

Among them was Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, who paid tribute to security services saying they had done an "amazing job".

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Media caption"Nothing will stop British democracy" says Chris Bryant MP

"We're just constantly aware that people put themselves in harm's way to protect us and to protect our way of life," he said.

"My heart goes out to the people who have lost people.

"The idea that completely innocent individuals walking past - who have absolutely nothing to do with political life - might have lost their life is obviously very distressing."

Mr Bryant added he hoped Parliament would be open on Thursday.

"We need to be able to show that nothing will stop British democracy," he said.

Proceedings at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff were suspended on Wednesday afternoon in the wake of the incidents, and following the suspension of proceedings in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.

The presence of armed officers around Welsh Assembly buildings and in the surrounding area has been increased as a precaution, presiding officer Elin Jones said.

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Media captionElin Jones suspended proceedings in light of the "serious terrorist incident" in London

Interrupting a debate, Ms Jones said: "We are aware of the disturbing events at Westminster.

"I have spoken to our security personnel here in the Senedd and we are taking appropriate steps.

"I will be keeping this matter under review as the business of the afternoon progresses.

"I'm sure all our thoughts are with our colleagues and all involved at Westminster at this very difficult time."

First Minister Carwyn Jones tweeted: "Disturbing images emerging from Westminster. This is a terrible attack at the heart of our democracy; thoughts are with all those affected."

South Wales Police assistant chief constable Richard Lewis said additional security was being taken at key locations as a "sensible precaution".

But he said there was no intelligence of a specific threat to locations in south Wales.

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