London Bridge attack: Terrorists must not derail democracy says Theresa May

PUBLISHED: 11:51 04 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:55 04 June 2017

Armed police on Borough High Street

Armed police on Borough High Street

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed that “violence must never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process” in the wake of another devastating terror attack.

Seven people were killed when a van was driven at pedestrians on London Bridge before three men went on a random stabbing spree in nearby Borough Market.

Speaking outside Number 10 after chairing the emergency Cobra committee the PM said “enough is enough” but confirmed the general election would go ahead on Thursday.

National campaigning has been suspended for the second time in as many weeks after 22 were killed at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

After dumping their white hire van the attackers stabbed numerous people including a police officer. Witnesses claim they were shouting “this is for Allah”.

Police were on the scene within eight minutes of the first call and all three terrorists were shot dead by marksmen.

The trio were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests but Scotland Yard later confirmed they were hoaxes.

May said: “We are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face. We cannot and must not pretend things can continue in the way they are. Enough is enough.

“Violence must never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.”

Here is a recap of how the terror unfolded:

• Police were called at around 10.08pm to reports of a vehicle striking pedestrians on London Bridge;

• The white van then continued to drive to Borough Market;

• Three men then left the vehicle and began to stab people, including a British Transport Police Officer;

• The suspects were confronted and shot by police at Borough Market within eight minutes of the first call being made;

• At least 48 people are being treated for injuries in hospital.

The attack has received widespread condemnation from political leaders, with London mayor Sadiq Khan calling it “deliberate and cowardly”.

He said: “This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night.

“I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “We won’t be campaigning national today. But we will return later on - it is important to send the message that democracy will prevail.”

But UKIP has broken with the other main political parties in refusing to suspend General Election campaigning in the wake of the attack.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said that a second disruption to the campaign - following a three-day pause after the Manchester suicide bomb - was “precisely what the extremists would want us to do” and could lead to more attacks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement that she learned with “sadness and dismay” of the attack.

She added: “Today, we are united beyond all borders in horror and sorrow, but also in determination.

“In the fight against every form of terrorism, we stand firmly and with determination at Britain’s side.”

European leaders sent messages of sympathy and solidarity to the UK via social media.

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk said: “My heart and mind are in London after another cowardly attack. Europe stands by UK in fight against terrorism.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Following latest London incidents with horror. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Please stay safe.”

And the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said: “We mourn in solidarity with the victims and the families of heinous London Bridge attack. These acts must be stopped. #UnitedAgainstTerrorism.”

Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy offered “solidarity and support” and Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the “London spirit” was “stronger than fear”.

Belgian PM Charles Michel said: “A new tragedy in London, we all stand with UK.”

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