WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- A police officer has been stabbed outside the UK Houses of Parliament in London; paramedics on site administering treatment;
- The knifeman has been shot by police; paramedics on site administering treatment;
- Around three shots were fired outside the Palace of Westminster after the knifeman ran through the gates waving a knife;
- There appear to have been two incidents; the second on Westminster Bridge where a car was driven onto a pavement;
- Several people are reported to have been injured in the incident on Westminster Bridge;
- It is not confirmed whether the driver of the car is the same person as the knifeman shot by police; details still emerging;
- A London-wide emergency has been put in place as a precaution; police hopeful the incidents are over.
Update 3.25pm: Press Association Political Editor Andrew Woodcock witnessed the scenes unfolding from his office window overlooking New Palace Yard.
“I heard shouts and screams from outside and looked out, and there was a group of maybe 40 or 50 people running round the corner from Bridge Street into Parliament Square,” said Mr Woodcock.
“They appeared to be running away from something. As the group arrived at the Carriage Gates, where policemen are posted at the security entrance, a man suddenly ran out of the crowd and into the yard. He seemed to be holding up a long kitchen knife.
“I heard what sounded like shots – I think about three of them – and then the next thing I knew there were two people lying on the ground and others running to help them. Armed police were quickly on the scene and I heard them shouting to people to get out of the Yard.”
A witness, who did not want to be named, saw Mrs May and her undercover police detail near the area of Parliament where ministerial cars are parked.
He said there were undercover officers in a 4×4 vehicle in the car park.
“We just heard gunshots inside Parliament,” he said.
“It looked like they are taking her away.”
Update 3.15pm: A policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the British Houses of Parliament.
Around three shots rang out outside the Palace of Westminster after a man ran through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound apparently waving a knife.
Two people were seen being treated on the ground in New Palace Yard amid shouts and screams.
An air ambulance landed in Parliament Square and a regular ambulance came in through the front gates as medics rushed to help the injured people.
Armed police cleared the area around the incident and Parliament Square was closed to traffic.
A Downing Street source confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May was “OK”.
Mrs May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident at around 2.45pm.
As the sitting in the House of Commons was suspended, Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs: “What I am able to say to the House is there has been a serious incident within the estate.
“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.
“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.”
Her partner David Turner added: “There was a stampede of people running out.
“You saw the people and you thought ‘what the hell is going on’.”
After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.
Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Centre for European Studies, wrote: “A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.”
Earlier: Sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said.
The House of Commons is in lockdown as emergency services deal with the situation.
Commons Leader David Lidington has told MPs a “police officer has been stabbed” and the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police” following a “serious” incident within the parliamentary estate.
The alleged assailant was shot by armed police.
A Downing Street source declined to say where British Prime Minister Theresa May had been during the attack, but said she had not been involved.
There are reports of other incidents within the vicinity of the Parliament, including one that a car had mown down a number of people in the area. These reports have not been confirmed.
Two people were seen lying within Old Palace Yard, immediately outside Westminster Hall.
Scotland Yard confirmed it was called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge amid reports of several people injured.
A number of people are reported to have been injured on Westminster Bridge.
Between five and 12 people are reported to have been injured.
One man who says he is in an office block close to the incident said on twitter: “Just seen police shoot a man outside parliament, appeared to be wielding a knife / About five minutes we hard a bang, and then screams, from our office in the Palace of Westminster.
“We went to the window and saw a man, who appeared to be wielding a knife, enter New Palace Yard, which is inside the secure zone / It appeared that the man was attacking a police officer, then advanced into New Palace Yard.
“Armed officers moved in quickly, and shot him / Can’t say more with certainty, as we witnessed this from distance, from our office window. Have been told by police to move away from window.”
Ambulance helicopter landing on Parliament sq. looks like at least two casualties, one of them the attacker who was shot pic.twitter.com/nclsqlK8ga
— Charlie Cooper (@CharlieCooper8) March 22, 2017