Parliament is on lockdown after a “terror attack” where a man ploughed a car into pedestrians before stabbing a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster.
As many as a dozen people were mowed down on Westminster Bridge by the attacker before he ran towards the Houses of Parliament and attacked a policeman before being shot by armed officers.
Parliament was immediately shut down and the Prime Minister bundled into a car and left the scene as officers searched the building, evacuating floors one by one.
Scotland Yard said the attack was being treated “as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise”.
Commons leader David Lidington said a “police officer has been stabbed” and the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” amid “further violent incidents” in the area.
After the incident pictures emerged of a man lying at the bottom of some stairs next to the Palace of Westminster.
There are also reports of a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge after a car attempted to run down a number of pedestrians.
The Prime Minister was said to have been voting in the division lobby and was escorted out of the building by a plain clothes policeman and put in a car. Sky News understands she has now left the area.
Staff inside Parliament have been told to stay inside their offices.
An air ambulance landed in Parliament Square minutes after the incidents and medics were treating two people at the scene.
Mr Lidington said: “An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.
“There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it’d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on.”
Witnesses described seeing a middle-aged man carrying a knife and running.
Jayne Wilkinson said: “We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.
“And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.
“He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt.
“He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.”
A woman in Parliament Square at the time of the shooting said: “We literally just heard shots and then saw people running, and we went to have a look.
“I saw a body, they were working on the floor. They were just inside the gates.
“He had one gunshot wound to the right side of his chest. I don’t know if he was dead or alive, but people were working on him.”