Boris Johnson says Britain will 'never be cowed' as Tories mull campaign pause after London Bridge attack

Posted On: 
29th November 2019

Boris Johnson has said Britain will never be "cowed or divided or intimidated" after police confirmed they were treating an incident in London Bridge as a terror attack.

The police launched a major operation in response to the incident
Credit: 
PA

Speaking from Downing Street, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the emergency services and said members of the public who had intervened to stop the alleged attacker represented "the very best of our country".

And the Tory leader confirmed his party had temporarily paused their election campaign in London as a result of the attack.

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Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu earlier confirmed that a number of people had been stabbed during the incident which took place just before 2pm on Friday.

In a statement, Mr Basu said: "A male suspect was shot by specialised armed officers from the City of London Police and I can confirm this suspect died at the scene. A number of other people recevied injuries during this incident. As soon as we can provide further updates on their condition we will.

"As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident we responded as though this was terorist related. I am now in a position to confirm this has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London police as we continue to respond."

He also confirmed specialist officers had attended the scene and found what they believed to be a hoax explosive device.

"Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public," he added.

Speaking from Number 10 after a meeting with Mr Basu as well as Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, Mr Johnson said: "My thoughts are first with the emergency services, with the police, the bravery they showed in going towards danger as they do.

"I also want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members for he public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others.

"And for me, they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country.

"I think we're all very saddened to learn also that some people have been injured in this event and our sympathies are very much with them and with their loved ones."

And he added: "Clearly the Metropolitan Police are continuing their investigations and I can assure you, and assure everyone that anybody involved in this crime, in these attacks will be hunted down and will be brought to justice.

"And I think the message that we sent to them and anyone associated with this type of attack is one that will be familiar. And that is that this country will never be cowed or divided or intimidated by this sort of attack. And our values, our British values will prevail."

The Prime Minister said he would continue to have meetings from Number 10 throughout Friday evening, as he confirmed that the Conservatives would "review" whether to suspend election campaigning, as happened in the wake of terror attacks during the 2017 election.

He said: "I've obviously stopped my campaigning for this evening but we'll be reviewing the matter in the course of the next few hours."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also responded to the "shocking" attack at London Bridge.

"My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident," he said.

"Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding."

Police confirmed they would be increasing patrols around the City and across London in the wake of the incident.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was in close contact with the Met following the attack.

"Thank you to our brave emergency services who responded to today's horrific attack," the Labour mayor said.

"Every day they put their lives on the line for us - running towards danger in order to keep London safe.

"We must - and we will - stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror. Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed."

And Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said: "Today’s incident reminds us that we can never take our security for granted. We must never forget the vital work that our police and security services do to keep us safe.

"Those who seek to terrorise us, divide us or undermine our freedoms will never succeed."