Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps recounts how he survived Westminster attack

PUBLISHED: 13:31 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:36 23 March 2017

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps photograped a counter-terrorist police officer in the lobby of the House of Commons, but asked the Welwyn Hatfield Times to obscure his features for security.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps photograped a counter-terrorist police officer in the lobby of the House of Commons, but asked the Welwyn Hatfield Times to obscure his features for security.

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps was just yards away as a murderous terrorist was shot by police outside Parliament yesterday.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant ShappsWelwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I heard a commotion in Parliament Square. That is not unusual, particularly on a Wednesday.

“I glanced to my right, and what I saw shocked me. I saw police with machine guns trained. I heard pop, pop - three, or maybe four, shots.

”I could not see the assailant, but he was only yards away.”

He quickly obeyed an armed police officer’s instruction to “drop”, and sheltered behind a pillar.

He crawled on hands and knees back to a passage that allowed him to reach the chamber of the House of Commons.

Mr Shapps added: “Remarkably, the vote was still going on. The police officer was dead, and the assailant had been shot.

I said ‘Lindsay, you have to suspend the vote.’”

The deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle agreed, but Mr Shapps and his colleagues were then kept for their safety inside the House of Commons, restricted to the chamber and the lobbies for five hours.

As a rumour had spread of another terrorist on the premises. Mr Shapps was very alarmed when men wearing balaclavas burst through the doors - but they were specialist counter-terrorist police.

He said: “Everyone was calm, and there was no panic. Tobias Ellwood (the MP who tried to resuscitate the stabbed police officer) was unbelievably brave.

“I knew the police officer, Keith Palmer, but not well. I feel very sad for him and for all the other people killed and injured.”
Mr Shapps praised the reaction of the police and all the parliamentary staff.


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