Merton Council lowered its flags this morning as a sign of respect to PC Keith Palmer and the members of the public who were tragically killed in yesterday’s attack on Westminster.
Leader of the Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost their lives and who were injured yesterday in Westminster. PC Keith Palmer showed extreme bravery and paid the ultimate sacrifice as he put himself between the attacker and the people who serve our democratic way of life within the Parliament Estate.
“We are all deeply shocked and even though this was an event that our emergency services have been preparing for, nothing can totally prepare any of us for the reality.
“We are incredibly grateful to our emergency services who have been so professional and who are an inspiration to us all in the face of adversity.
“I have written a letter to our own Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Steve Wallace to thank him and his police colleagues for the tireless and brave work they do every day to keep us safe.
“At times like this, it is vital that we all come together. London is a great city of diversity where many different cultures live peacefully alongside each other. In Merton we are lucky to have people from many different faiths and cultures who all make a huge contribution to our Merton community.”
Leader of the Merton Conservative Group Councillor Oonagh Moulton added: “We are all thinking of those affected by the terrible attacks in Westminster yesterday as we pray for the dead and injured and for their friends and families. In difficult times such as this, it is important that we all stand together with boroughs right across the capital. Merton council and the police work closely together to make sure that we continue to be one of the safest boroughs in London and to ensure that, when residents, irrespective of faith, culture, disability or sexual orientation, have concerns about community safety, they can be assured of help and support from our local police and council.”
Leader of the Merton Park Independents Councillor Peter Southgate said: “We work tirelessly with our partners to promote community cohesion across the borough and remain an open and welcoming place. The huge richness that cultural diversity brings means that there are 127 different languages spoken in Merton with every major faith represented. We have already welcomed to the borough a number of children and families seeking asylum. We are also lucky to have a very proactive faith and belief forum which holds regular events bringing people from all walks of life together.”
Councillor Alambritis concluded: “We are likely to see more officers on the streets of our capital who will be there for our safety and reassurance. To reiterate the words of Metropolitan Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley, we must not allow terrorists to create discord, distrust or fear. We are stronger together.”
Police are appealing for any members of the public who may have images or footage of the incident to send them to this address: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk
Message from the Mayor of London’s office
Following the terrible incident in Westminster yesterday, there will be a candlelit vigil in Trafalgar Square from 6 – 7pm this evening – Thursday 23 March.
The Mayor invites all Londoners – and everyone visiting our city – to come together in solidarity to remember those who have lost their lives, to express sympathy with their families and loved ones and to show the world that we are more committed than ever to the values that we hold dear – that we remain united and open.
London is the greatest city in the world. We will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together, in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will.