Ms Rudd, who is also the MP for Hastings and Rye, told reporters: “We do not yet know the full impact of this terrible incident but I know the whole country will be thinking and praying for those affected, as I am.
“I want to thank the emergency services for the quick response and pay tribute to their bravery, their courage and their professionalism.
“I have been briefed by the Met Police and the security services and the security minster has also been updated.
“This is an ongoing incident and the government will continue to be updated.
“The Prime Minster will chair COBRA today.
“The government’s top priority is the security of it’s people.
“And I urge everyone to remain calm, but to remain vigilant and if they see anything they are concerned about they should report it to the police.
“We have the best police, the best security services, in the world and we must make sure we let them get on with doing their job.
“The British people will be united in working together to defeat those who would harm our shared values. Values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law.
“Values symbolised by the Houses of Parliament. Values that will never be destroyed.”
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