The terrorist attack carried out on Wednesday at the heart of our Parliament at Westminster is a reminder of how precious our democracy is. Four innocent passers by died of the injuries they sustained when a terrorist fanatic ploughed his car into them. 51 people have been injured, 31 requiring hospital treatment and one of our brave police officers has been killed protecting the public and our democracy from those who want to destroy it.
PC Keith Palmer was a hero and his sacrifice will not be forgotten. At such a terrible time for the families and friends of those killed and injured, my thoughts and condolences are with them all.
This will not change the way our democracy works.
Of course, there will be a look at whether the levels of security at Westminster are adequate but I hope and expect that any such review will keep at its heart the need to retain access for our constituents to their MPs. In my experience, it is crucial for MPs to be able to meet with those they represent at Westminster and in the Constituency. The constituency link that MPs value so much is one of the best things about our system and it enables MPs to do their job with a greater understanding than if it wasn’t there or was hamstrung by greater restrictions.
The issue of access for the public and our constituents must be at the heart of any revised arrangements. We cannot let this attack reduce the openness of parliament or change the way in which we work.