UK police pay respects to officer killed in attack


LONDON: Thousands of police officers attended the funeral in London on Monday of Keith Palmer, the policeman stabbed to death in a terror attack outside the British parliament last month.
Officers lined the cortege route from the Houses of Parliament, where his body lay in rest on Sunday in a rare honour normally granted to senior politicians.
The service took place across the River Thames in Southwark Cathedral, with Palmer’s wife and five-year-old daughter in attendance.
Normally bustling streets in central London were at a standstill for the procession, led by the hearse with a floral tribute reading “No 1 Daddy”.
Officers wearing dress uniform with white gloves and medals stood with heads bowed during a two-minute silence at the start of the service.
Some 5,000 officers from around the country took part, along with Cressida Dick, the first female head of London’s Metropolitan Police.
Palmer, 48, was killed on March 22 by a 52-year-old convert to Islam, Khalid Masood, as he stood guard outside parliament.
Masood attacked Palmer after he had driven into pedestrians nearby, killing three and fatally injuring a fourth. He was shot dead by an armed officer.
Parliamentary officials have ordered a security review after it was revealed that Palmer was not armed.
In addition, the vehicle entrance gate to parliament which he was guarding was open, as it often is to allow MPs in and out of the building more easily.
Palmer’s was taken to a chapel inside parliament on Sunday, where a private service was held after Queen Elizabeth II granted special dispensation. Others who have previously been granted the honour include former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. — AFP