It is only now that we understand the full horror of the attack that took place yesterday on Westminster Bridge and in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament, a few yards from the LBMW offices where the Master and Wardens’ committee was meeting. This route is one that we use regularly, and in this case just two hours earlier as we gathered for our session. When we walk by, we perhaps take for granted the barricades and armed police presence, that is always there. As we became aware of the incident during the afternoon, the Assistant Clerk moved calmly and efficiently to cancel the new Freeman’s admission ceremony and advise the candidates to keep well clear. We continued our normal meeting – perhaps relieved that we were sitting in “The Sanctuary” next to the Abbey – and at the end, left for our various engagements or to travel home.
I am sure I speak for the entire Court and Livery as well as our colleagues at the Clerk’s office in expressing our deep sadness at the consequences of these incidents, and sympathy for the injured and those who lost their lives, as well as for the partners, families and friends of those who did not go home last night as a result of this terrible attack. Perhaps especially our thoughts should be with the family of PC Keith Palmer, who sacrificed his life to protect us all. Our admiration and thanks should also go to the many members of the police and other emergency services who immediately came to the aid of the casualties. There will not be a day that we pass this spot in the future, that we do not reflect on this, and the risks they take, in providing us with protection.