Photos emerge of man urinating next to plaque honouring officer stabbed in Westminster terrorist attack
A man has provoked outrage after being pictured urinating next to a memorial to PC Keith Palmer, the officer who was stabbed to death during the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in 2017.
The man was part of a thousand-strong gathering in Westminster on Saturday that descended into violent attacks on police officers, with many present members of far-right extremist groups.
The Conservative MP and defence select committee chairman, Tobias Ellwood, who desperately gave first aid to the dying police officer, tweeted asking for help in identifying the man, calling the image “abhorrent’’.
The memorial plaque was unveiled in February last year outside the Palace of Westminster as a lasting tribute to Palmer after he was killed defending Parliament from attack. Palmer was also posthumously awarded the George Medal for gallantry.
When the memorial was erected, the then Speaker John Bercow said: “PC Keith Palmer was nothing short of a hero in the way he ran towards danger to ensure the safety of us all on 22 March 2017. He paid the ultimate price for doing the job he loved – and we owe him a profound debt of gratitude for his bravery.”
Quoting Ellwood’s tweet, the Labour MP and shadow home office minister Jess Phillips wrote on Twitter: “The man saying this was an actual soldier for our nation who ran towards danger to try to save Keith Palmer who also served to protect our country. The man in the picture claims to care for our country but he is just pissing on us all.”
The violent demonstration has attracted fierce criticism after football hooligans, veterans and far-right extremists, who claimed to have travelled into central London to “defend” Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square and the Cenotaph from a cancelled Black Lives Matter march, turned on the police stationed to protect those monuments, pelting them with bottles, cans and smoke bombs.
A press photographer is believed to have suffered a broken nose amid the rightwing violence and some journalists present, including the BBC’s Dominic Casciani, said media personnel were being threatened.
Throughout the afternoon there were reports of chants of “Eng-er-land”, heavy drinking and apparent Nazi salutes by some present.