PARLIAMENT is to hold a minute’s silence in honour of the three people who were killed in the terrorist attack in Reading.
The speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, told the chamber ahead of an emergency debate held in the chamber this afternoon.
The silence will take place at 11am, and remember the lives of James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails, as well as those who were injured.
Mr Hoyle announced the commemoration before introducing Home Secretary Priti Patel, who opened the debate.
She said: “Around 7 pm on Saturday evening, a 25-year-old male entered Forbury Gardens in the centre of Reading, and began to viciously attack several groups of people.
“The outstanding police officers from Thames Valley police responded with great courage and great speed. The armed suspect was tackled to the ground by an unarmed officer and was immediately arrested at the scene. The suspect remains in custody.
“After initial investigations, Counter Terrorism Policing declared the attack a terrorist incident and is now leading the investigation. The police have confirmed that the threat is contained, but that, sadly, three innocent members of the public were killed, murdered by a sudden and savage knife attacker as they enjoyed a summer evening with friends. Another three victims were injured and received hospital treatment.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of everyone who was hurt or killed as a result of this sickening attack. The victims of terrorism unit at the Home Office and family liaison officers are supporting them, and I know Members from across the House will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences.”
She also made mention of her visit to Reading earlier in the day, where she met with police.
“I had the privilege of meeting the officers who first responded to the incident and who were responsible for apprehending the suspect, as well as trying to prevent the loss of further life. Those officers – a few of whom were student officers – ran towards danger to help those in need without a second thought.
“A young unarmed police officer took down the suspect without hesitation while another performed emergency first aid on those who were injured.
“These officers are heroes. They showed courage, bravery and selflessness way beyond their years.
“They are the very best of us.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the response of every emergency service that attended the scene, as well as members of the public who stepped in to prevent further loss of life.”