ELECTION candidates in Portsmouth have reacted after two people were killed and three more were injured in a stabbing attack at London Bridge.
The incident which began at nearby Fishmonger’s Hall has been declared a terrorist incident.
Within five minutes of being called police confronted and shot dead a suspect who has now been named as 28-year-old Usman Khan.
Khan was released from prison on licence in December 2018 after spending eight years behind bars for terrorism offences.
As the tragic civilian deaths send shockwaves across the nation, MP candidates in Portsmouth have united to pay their respects.
Conservative Penny Mordaunt, who is campaigning to retain her seat in Portsmouth North, said: ‘Thoughts are with everyone caught up in this, especially those who have been killed or injured and their families and loved ones.
‘I want to thank the emergency services, the incredibly brave police and heroic members of the public, whose swift actions undoubtedly saved lives.
‘Although all will be saddened and shocked, London carried on. Terrorism will always fail to terrorise us.’
Leaders of the national Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have all suspended their campaigning in light of the incident.
Boris Johnson cancelled a campaign visit, Jeremy Corbyn scrapped an ‘NHS summit’ and the Lib Dems called off their Stop Brexit Rally.
Labour candidate Stephen Morgan, standing to keep his seat in Portsmouth South, instructed his team to halt their campaigning this morning – branding it the ‘respectful and decent thing to do’.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with those who tragically lost their lives and were injured in yesterday’s terrorist incident in London,’ he said.
‘The bravery demonstrated by our emergency services and members of the British public is a testament to this nation’s resilience and strength.
‘We will not allow British values of freedom, democracy and decency to be affected by these hideous acts.’
Mr Morgan said he will continue to campaign this afternoon, with support from the People’s Vote campaign.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said there are ‘big questions that need to be answered’ about Khan’s release from prison.
George Madgwick, the independent candidate for Portsmouth North, said after the incident: ‘The British Isles should take a zero tolerance stance on acts of terrorism whether foreign or domestic.
‘If I become an MP I will fight to ensure that all acts of terrorism carried out by British citizens are met with a full life, without the chance of parole, jail term and all terrorism acts committed by foreign nationals will result in immediate deportation, without exception.’
Community activist Sumel Chouwdhury, from North End, Portsmouth, said terrorist Khan tried and ‘failed' to ‘divide’ society with the killings.
‘My thoughts and prayers goes out to the victims and their families and those who have been affected by a lunatic, cowardly and heartless fool at the London Bridge yesterday,' he said.
‘Yesterday's attack on our innocent public on the street was a terrorist attack, it was an attack against humanity, it was an attack against our British values and our democracy.
‘There is no room for any evil activity in our society.’