London attack: Crowds gather for Trafalgar Square vigil paying tribute to victims of Parliament attack

Chloe Chaplain

Crowds of Londoners have gathered at a vigil in Trafalgar Square this evening to pay tribute to those killed and injured in the Westminster terror attack.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, invited both residents and tourists to join a candlelit memorial at the central London landmark in solidarity with victims of the Parliament attack.

The sombre gathering marked one day since London was targeted in a bloody assault which saw a lone assailant drive into bystanders and stab a serving police officer.

Mr Khan had encouraged “everyone visiting our city” to join together in memory of those who lost their lives and “to show the world that we are more committed than ever to the values that we hold dear - that we remain united and open”.

Vigil: People lit candles in memory of the victims of the attack (REUTERS)

The Deputy Met Commissioner Craig Mackey, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Mayor Khan spoke at the event, before a minute of silence.

Ms Rudd described PC Palmer who was killed in the attack as “courageous, brave and doing his duty" saying: "He was courageous, he was brave, and he was doing his duty.

"And he was not alone in doing that. I know that all officers of the Met are like that and in my experience, so are all policemen."

Tribute: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey (PA)

Drawing applause from the crowd, she said of the attack: "They will not win, we are all connected and we showed that today by coming together, by going to work, by getting about our normal business, because the terrorists will not defeat us, we will defeat them.

"We are strong in our values and proud of our country."

Mr Khan described the attacker as “evil and twisted” but said Londoners would "pull together".

"The victims were people who came from all corners of our world," he said. "This a time to express our gratitude to the heroism of our police officers and emergency services who ran towards danger to help, and at the same time they encouraged others to run for safety.

"London is a great city, full of amazing people from all backgrounds. When Londoners face adversity we always pull together.

Vigil: Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square (Amy Ashenden)

“Our response to this attack on our city, on our way of life, on our shared values, shows the world what it means to be a Londoner.”

Three candles were lit in memory of the three victims of the attack.

Before the speeches began, one crowd member told the Standard: "There's a subdued atmosphere but clear there'll be a strong turnout for solidarity. I've seen leaders from several different faiths here united tonight, many Muslims in the crowd and some even wearing t-shirts saying 'ask me a question'."

Tribute: Supporters hold up a banner ahead of a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square (Getty Images)

People carried signs reading "love for all and hatred for none" and "London will never be beaten".

On Thursday morning a book of condolence was laid in Westminster Hall for MPs, staff and members of the public to write messages to honour those who died.

People on social media have also shown their support by sharing a graphic using the iconic Underground emblem, emblazoned with the slogan “We are not afraid”.

The image is being accompanied by the hashtags #WeAreNotAfraid, #LondonAttacks and #Westminster.

Three people lost their lives in the attack, which saw a 52-year-old man Khald Masood plough into pedestrians on Wesminster Bridge.

Masood then launched knife attack on PC Keith Palmer – a 48-year-old father and husband – who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Masood was shot down by armed police and also later died.

Londoners light candles at a vigil in Trafalgar Square pic.twitter.com/9N2hRhvUsK

— Erin McLaughlin (@ErinCNN) March 23, 2017

On Thursday it was announced that 29 people were injured on Westminster Bridge – seven critically.

American tourist Kurt Cochran and Spanish mother-of-two Aysha Frade were also named as being among the dead.

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