COLUMN: MP Matt Warman writes following terrorist attack in London

Matt Warman.
Matt Warman.

Boston and Skegness MP has penned the following piece following yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) terrorist attack on London...

Yesterday a single, angry man in a nondescript car sought to change Britain.

He did not succeed – Parliament, where elected representatives change Britain bit by bit every day, meets now as normal.

Although the events of 22nd March are shocking, they are not surprising: Parliament, and a host of other sites, plan routinely for how to deal with such aberrations. So the bravery of both PC Keith Palmer and the officer who shot his assailant cannot be exaggerated; they knew they did jobs that put them in harm’s way. The officers and staff who work around Westminster deserve the thanks not just of MPs, but of all our constituents too – they protect people as much as democracy itself, and a tiny number pay the ultimate price.

Terrorists seek to change our way of life by asking us to doubt the values that we hold dearest – if freedom, tolerance, democracy and the rule of law cannot prevent their atrocities, don’t we need new strictures? The answer can only be no.

Yesterday I was one of hundreds of MPs locked in the Chamber of the House of Commons for our own safety; my staff were similarly held in their office. Police, knowing a colleague had just been murdered, secured the building.

Individually, we are all safe. We all went home, eventually. PC Palmer and two other innocent people didn’t. It is a privilege to work in a democracy, and still more to work for one. Security will no doubt be reviewed. Some will doubt whether this is a job that is worth the sacrifices demanded of our families and friends. But nobody should doubt this: no attack will change the fact that it is the ballot box that makes Britain great, and that it alone is the way in which we change our country.