Ottawa shooting: MI5 and Met Police reviewing security of London landmarks, PM says

David Cameron wants "all angles covered" when it comes to the security of London institutions and landmarks

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The Independent Online

Emergency talks are underway between Prime Minister David Cameron and security officials to determine the country’s response to the suspected terror attack in Ottawa, Canada.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders within the Canadian Armed Forces, was gunned down just before 10am as he stood guard at the capital city’s National War Memorial.

The attack on Ottawa, suspected to be perpetrated by a 32-year-old Québécois called Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, came a day after the country upped its terror threat level from low to medium.

Britain’s currently threat level from international terrorism is at ‘severe’ or ‘orange’, just one below ‘critical’, and following the Ottawa incident further talks are currently happening to double-check the safeguarding of London landmarks and institutions such as the House of Commons.

Mr Cameron said he happened to be in a meeting with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and MI5 chief Andrew Parker when the news broke on Ottawa.


Speaking to the BBC's Asian Network, he said: “They immediately reassured me that they had been looking at the security of institutions in central London but they would look again, obviously, to see if there is anything more that can be done and those meetings are taking place this morning.

“But, from everything I see - and I regularly chair Cobra meetings in our emergency committee to review our security - I know that we are taking steps across the board to meet the threats that we face as a country.

“Obviously what's happened in Canada is a very tragic event. Lives have been lost, including the life of a soldier, and it shows that we have to be permanently vigilant against this sort of terrorist threat.

“Here in the UK we are very vigilant and, as I've said, meetings are taking place to make sure that we have all the angles covered.”

When asked whether the British Army had stepped up its security for ceremonial guards on duty, such those on Pall Mall or near Buckingham Palace, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told The Independent: “It’s being looked at. The point is the security precautions are reviewed constantly and have been recently and they are every week.

“We’ll react much more to the threat assessments made by British intelligence.”