I’m writing this column from my office in Westminster, less than 24 hours after witnessing the terrorist attack in the heart of our capital city.
My thoughts at this time are with the loved ones of those murdered and injured in this horrific act.
PC Keith Palmer, a member of Parliamentary & Diplomatic Protection Command, gave his life to protect the safety of all those who work in the Palace of Westminster.
It’s because of PC Palmer and his colleagues that we have the safety for a free society and democracy to flourish.
This tragic sacrifice was in the forefront of my mind as I took my seat on the green benches of the House of Commons this morning.
The Prime Minister spoke on behalf of the country when she told MPs that our resolve will never waver in the face of terror.
Across the parliamentary estate this strength was clear to see, with respects being paid at the same time as recognising that those who seek to destroy our way of life will not succeed.
One of the ways we in this country show our resolve is to carry on with our daily lives and our Parliament continuing to sit. Even the Nazis directly bombing the Commons chamber during the Blitz didn’t stop that.
While the House of Commons rightly paid its respects this morning, it also continued with its scheduled business. This included questions to the International Trade Secretary, where I asked Liam Fox about UK trade with other nations around the world such as the Commonwealth.
This was an attack on our democracy. As an MP, there is always a balancing act between ensuring safety and security for staff, the public and legislators as well as remaining open and accessible as an elected representative. Parliament belongs to the people and it always will.
Henry Smith MP