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Cardinal Nichols: ‘We pray for the victims of Westminster attack’

A member of the public is treated by emergency services near Westminster Bridge following the attack (Getty)

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has offered prayers tonight for the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack on Westminster, and their families.

In a tweet, the Archbishop of Westminster also said that all those “affected by this terrible attack and those who responded so bravely” are in his prayers.

In the attack, a knife-wielding man plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death at the gates of Parliament.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissoner Mark Rowley named the police officer who was killed as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father with 15 years service as a police officer.

Rowley also confirmed that five people were killed, including PC Palmer and the assailant, and about 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”

Rowley said the Metropolitan Police believe they know the identity of the attacker and are working under the assumption that the attack was Islamist-related.

Members of parliament, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, close to the entrance to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three members of the public, and the police officer.

A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three police officers, several French teenagers on a school trip and two Romanian tourists were among the casualties.

The threat level for international terrorism in the UK was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was “highly likely.”

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee, COBRA, May said that level would not change. She said attempts to defeat British values of democracy and freedom through terrorism would fail.

“Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal,” she said. Londoners and visitors “will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”

US President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences, and in Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were to be dimmed in solidarity with London.