Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has spoken of the bravery of the police officer who was killed in last week’s attack at Westminster.
Mr Hoyle had been chairing a debate in the House of Commons when PC Keith Palmer tackled a lone attacker who had entered the grounds of Parliament, armed with two knives.
Khalid Masood, 52, fatally stabbed PC Palmer, 48, in the chest before he was shot on Wednesday, March 22.
Mr Hoyle said: “Our defence held thanks to the bravery of so many but ultimately the courage of PC Keith Palmer, who ran unarmed towards the attacker, without thought for his own safety.
“He was doing his job, holding the line and in doing so he protected us all.”
Asked what was running through his mind when he was told that the officer had been killed in the attack, Mr Hoyle said: “It was a great shock. My thoughts were to him and his family and to the police.
He lost his life for that and I hold him with the highest respect. He died in the line of duty, he was part of the family of the House of Commons.
“He was one of the most jovial policemen, he was the face of Parliament and he was defending Parliament and democracy. He lost his life for that and I hold him with the highest respect. He died in the line of duty, he was part of the family of the House of Commons.”
The Houses of Parliament went into lock down for about five hours as police swept the building.
Before PC Palmer was stabbed, Masood drove a car at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Four people died and 40 others were injured, including students from Edge Hill University.
“When we lost a of member of Parliament that brought home how much MPs are a target and that was reinforced by last week’s events,” said Mr Hoyle. who has been in meetings since to discuss security at Westminster.
He added: “I never ever want to have another phone call and hear that an MP has died.”