Wednesday’s attack in Westminster
Steve’s message to constituents after the terror attack in Westminster on Wednesday 22 March.
Everyone was shocked by the attack on Parliament this week. I’m grateful for the many messages of support and condolence I received and want to reassure you that I and my staff are all OK.
I was locked in the chamber with other MPs for four hours and my staff were held in a secure area while armed guards swept the building to make sure no intruders had broken in. All of us are heartbroken at the death of PC Keith Palmer and the deaths and injuries on Westminster Bridge. I have no words to express how sad I feel at the death of a police officer who gave his life protecting the home of our democracy. He is a hero and our thoughts and prayers remain with his family.
Terrorists aim to use fear to stop people going about their daily life and to sow divisions within our society. I am proud of the way Londoners have carried on with life as normal after pausing to express our collective sorrow for the loss of life.
It’s important now, as things settle down, that we do not allow this act of terrorism to divide us. Political extremists on the far right are targeting our Muslim neighbours. We must all resist this. This killer no more represents Islam than murderers from other backgrounds represent their religion.
I visited Croydon Mosque on Friday to show my solidarity and support to our Muslim community and to show that we all condemn extremism together. The best response to terrorism is for all of us to stand together even more strongly than before and show those who want to hurt us that our values are stronger than their hate.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.