The evil of terrorism has once again returned to Britain’s streets.
We have experienced the brutality of terror before but that does not make the latest incident any less horrific or distressing.
Our thoughts are first and foremost with the innocent people who were killed and injured in the attack on London Bridge.
The fact there were not more fatalities is down to the incredible bravery of members of the public and the emergency services who are the very definition of heroism.
They put their own safety at risk to prevent others from being murdered or wounded.
Their courageous action was all the more remarkable given the attacker was wearing a suicide vest that the authorities only found out afterwards was a hoax.
How many of us could say we would react with same courage if placed in such a situation? The police also deserve our praise and gratitude for their rapid response.
They ran towards danger and risked their own lives in order to keep safe the lives of others. Nor should we forget the dedication of the ambulance crews, doctors and nurses as they responded to yet another emergency.
This is the second attack to take place on London Bridge and it is the second time an election campaign has been marked by an appalling act of terrorism.
We do not know if the intent was to disrupt and undermine our democracy but, if it was, the best response is to use the rest of the election campaign to show that Britain will not be intimidated and uphold the values of tolerance and fairness the terrorists so despise.
Yesterday will bring back terrible memories for those who suffered or lost loved ones in Manchester, at Westminster and the previous London Bridge attack. They responded then as we should respond now.
By showing that our communities are strong and we stand together against hatred and division. If the terrorists’ warped goal is to divide and frighten us then we must show we are united and resilient.
In the next few days questions will be asked about the decision to lower the terrorist threat and whether more officers should be armed.
As with every such incident, there will be an investigation into whether the police and intelligence services could have prevented the atrocity. We should not forget that in the last two years the security services have thwarted 22 terror attacks, saving countless lives.
It is thanks to them that the horrific scenes we witnessed yesterday are not more frequent.
Today is the moment to mourn the victims and to praise the public and the emergency services for their heroism.
The best response to terrorism is to show that we will never tremble in the face of fear.
Those who tackled the attacker yesterday are an example to us all.
They stood firm, we should stand with them.
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