Horsham MP Jeremy Quin has spoken of his horror following the dreadful terrorist attack in Westminster earlier this week.
Mr Quin was inside the Houses of Parliament as a terrorist killed three people in a horrific attack outside the building on Wednesday afternoon.
He was due to meet with a Horsham resident but was placed in lockdown inside along with dozens of other MPs.
Mr Quin said: “Wednesday is the busiest day in the Parliamentary week. This week was no exception with much to do in the chamber. I was also expecting a special guest – Ray Welton was coming up from Horsham to see his “Horsham Pale” installed on tap in Strangers Bar.
“Every day, as MPs enter the chamber, we pass under “Churchill’s Arch”. The obviously cracked and damaged last remnant of the Commons Chamber destroyed by bombing in 1941. It is a permanent reminder of a time when horrific, indiscriminate terror attacks were a nightly event.
“It will surprise no-one around the world that the London of today, a more diverse and vibrant City than my grandparents’ wartime generation could ever imagine, reacted with the same resilience to Wednesday’s appalling outrage as London has always shown.
“Because of the strength of our community cohesion and the brilliance of our security forces these events are as rare on our shores as they are frightful. Our reaction can help ensure that rare is how they remain.
“When the incidents occurred I was in the chamber. With MPs unable to reach the voting lobbies the sitting was suspended. None of us knew the detail of the tragic events unfolding outside and while under “lockdown” I found a table and some writing paper to continue writing letters to constituents. I was also able to call my two parliamentary staff who were also in “lockdown” but safe and getting on with their work whilst sharing their (limited) desk space, and tea, with the staff of two Labour MPs who had been evacuated from another building.
“The reaction of all of us to the news as it came through can be imagined. We were horrified by the dreadful events on Westminster Bridge. Members of the public from so many nations, doing no more than strolling near what is a symbol around the world of democracy had been killed and injured for no reason but to advertise the mindset not of any religion but of a warped and twisted ideology.
“All of us who work in Westminster work as one family community. Every MP can remember the welcome they received on their first day in that imposing building from the police and House officials. All of us are a team.
“The officers on the “Carriage Gates” are every inch the British Bobby at his or her best. Unarmed, albeit with back-up, it is the two of them that stand guard but they do it in the way you would expect. Guarding the gate in some countries means looking down the barrel of a gun. The way our police do it is through interaction with the public. Around the world there are hundreds of thousands of photos of tourists posing alongside these officers, proud of their role and proud of what they defend – not only a building but what that building represents.
“PC Palmer lost his life courageously defending others.
“Every morning the Commons’ business starts with “prayers” a communal act no one needs to attend but many MPs of every faith and none choose to do so.
“The morning after those dreadful events it was a full chamber that the Speaker’s Chaplain invited to join her in reciting the 23rd Psalm. The words were written some 3,000 years ago but their simple message “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” was being echoed across social media.
“As London and the world continues to show by our example, by reaffirming our communities, by continuing to do what we do, in the way that we do it, “#we are not afraid”.
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