Tulip Siddiq: How a routine day at Parliament became a tragedy for London
'There is a poison in our society that needs to be addressed'
23 March, 2017 — By Tulip Siddiq
MP TULIP SIDDIQ writes about a day of shock and tragedy at Westminster
WHAT was meant to be a routine day of debates and votes, quickly turned into one of profound tragedy for the home of our democracy and for our capital city. My first thoughts are with the victims of the attack and their families. It is simply heartbreaking to think of the situation facing those whose loved ones did not return home as planned.
Whilst helping others to safety, our police officers headed straight to deal with the threat. We owe them a debt of gratitude, for which our words will never suffice. I had arrived in the chamber to vote on pension reform, expecting nothing but the same routine involved in exercising my democratic duties to Hampstead and Kilburn.
This changed instantly when the Deputy Speaker announced that the sitting was suspended, and that an incident had taken place on the Parliamentary Estate. At first we knew little, but as events became clearer, the sense of shock and grief only grew. So did the spirit of camaraderie, and MPs of all stripes shared their phones, chargers, and gave sugar boosts and support to those in shock. The clerks, doorkeepers and the rest of the Commons staff were exceptional throughout.
They kept things calm as I and so many others sought to contact our office staff to check they were all okay. As I made my way home, I was consumed by the human tragedy of the events, and the clear reality that there is a poison in our society that needs to be a addressed. We have been here before, and it is likely we will see similar days again. However London will not be cowed by terrorism, we are far too great a city to let that happen.