Boris Johnson said “British values will prevail” and confirmed he had suspended his election campaigning after the terror attack at London Bridge on Friday afternoon.
The prime minister said Britain would “never be cowed” by such attacks and pledged that anyone else involved in the incident would be “hunted down and brought to justice.”
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that a suspected attacker wearing a hoax explosive device was shot dead after several people were stabbed at around 2pm.
They have declared a terrorist incident, with much of the area around London Bridge still cordoned off on Friday evening and the public urged to be vigilant.
A large area near London Bridge was cordoned off and some local offices locked down as emergency services flooded the scene, with ambulance crews declaring a “major incident.”
The prime minister said in an interview with the BBC the members of the public who rushed towards the attacker had shown “the very best of our country,” and also praised the bravery of the emergency services.
He said he had been “saddened” to learn of the injuries suffered by several victims in the attack, and said his sympathies were with them and their families.
Asked by the BBC if election campaigning would continue as normal, Johnson said: “I’ve obviously stopped my campaigning for this evening. We’ll be reviewing the matter in next few hours.”
Johnson said: “Clearly my thoughts are first with the emergency services and police, the bravery they showed going towards danger as they do.
“I also want to pay tribute to the bravery of members of the public who physically intervened. They represent the very best of our country, and I thank them on behalf of all of us.
“I think we’re all very saddened also to learn some people have been injured in this event, and our sympathies are very much with them and their families.
“I can assure everyone that anybody involved in this crime and these attacks will be hunted down and brought to justice. This country will never be cowed or divided or intimated by this sort of attack. Our British values will prevail.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter: “Shocking reports from London Bridge. My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident. Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding.”