British politicians react to Paris attacks

UK Party Leaders
David Cameron (Conservative), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Tim Farron (LibDem) and Nigel Farage (UKIP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron has offered “thoughts and prayers” to the French people after at least 127 people were killed during attacks in Paris last night.

Mr Cameron said he was “shocked” by the violence, and added “We will do whatever we can to help.”

Downing Street said the prime minister would chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) emergency committee in the wake of the attacks.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has reacted by saying that the world needed to “look for peace” in the wake of the “horrific” attacks in Paris.

He added that the atrocity was an attack on “all of us who stand for the kind of fair and inclusive societies we want to live in”.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “France has had to bear more than what any country should be expected to over the course of this year, so this is awful beyond words.

“On behalf of the Scottish government, and I am sure this will be the case for governments across the world, we stand ready to help in any way that we can.”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron described the attacks as ‘horrific’, adding his thoughts were “with the families of those killed and injured.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage Tweeted that following the events, a ‘rethink’ was needed.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett also offered her condolences to “everyone affected”.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond Tweeted that he was “deeply shocked by appalling attacks in #Paris tonight. My thoughts are w/ victims & their loved ones. Concerned by reports of hostages taken.”

London Mayor, Boris Johnson also Tweeted his response to news of the attacks.

Away from politics, the Prince of Wales condemned the “bestial attacks” in Paris and said he wanted to express his “utter, total horror”, while Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Tweeted: “We weep with those affected, pray for deliverance and justice.”

In what appear to have been co-ordinated attacks last night, people were shot dead at bars and restaurants at five other sites. Eight attackers were reported to have been killed.

At the Bataclan concert hall, where US rock group Eagles of Death Metal were playing, gunmen reportedly killed 80 people and took dozens hostage with the siege only ending when security forces stormed the building.

Following the events of last night, many public places in Paris are closed today.

A Foreign Office statement said it was “very concerned” about the attacks, adding: “We are in close touch with the French authorities and are urgently investigating whether any British nationals are caught up in them.”

Anyone with concerns about British relatives or friends in Paris should call 0207 008 0000.

The police said there will be “strengthened policing at ports” and more police at public events in the coming days, and Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, national policing lead for counter terrorism, called for “vigilance” from the public.

This morning, Sussex Police confirmed Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal has been evacuated and they were dealing with a “suspicious package”.

Transport from the UK to Paris has been affected, with delays and fewer people choosing to travel:

  • Eurostar passengers are being advised to arrive an hour early to St Pancras International due to expected delays.
  • British Airways warns of delays to Paris flights due to extra security checks.
  • Air France also says delays are expected following the “reinforcement” of border controls.
  • Easyjet says flights are operating as normal, but passengers are asked to check their flights on the Flight Tracker page and to allow extra time for security checks.

Airlines are reported to be offering a variety of options for passengers who do not wish to travel to Paris.

Flowers have been laid outside the French Embassy in London and flags has been flown at half mast.