General election campaigning has been suspended for the second time in two weeks after last night’s London terror massacre.
A Tory spokesman said: “The Conservative party will not be campaigning nationally today. We will review as the day goes on and as more details of the attack emerge.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added: “The Labour party will be suspending national campaigning until this evening, after consultations with other parties, as a mark of respect for those who have died and suffered injury.”
Six people died and 48 were injured last night when a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge and three occupants jumped out wielding knives and stabbing people at random.
The trio of terrorists were shot dead within minutes by armed police in nearby Borough Market, where terrified crowds fled or were trapped in restaurants and bars.
The men had canisters strapped to their chests which police later said were fake suicide vests.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who confirmed it was a suspected terror attack, is in a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra this morning and is expected to give a statement outside Downing Street.
Flags are flying once again at half mast in Downing Street, as they did after the Manchester attack.
The BBC’s flagship Sunday morning political interview programme The Andrew Marr Show, where Labour’s John McDonnell, Tory David Davis and others were due to be quizzed on policy, has been called off.
The BBC’s Sunday Politics hosted by Andrew Neil, which was due to quiz Tory minister David Gauke and former deputy PM Nick Clegg, has also been cancelled.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement: We are all shocked and horrified by the brutal attacks in London. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and the many who have been injured. Today, we will all grieve for their loss.
“I would like to thank the police and emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in acting to save lives and deal with these appalling acts of terrorism, as well as NHS staff and members of the public who sought to protect others.
“The Labour party will be suspending national campaigning until this evening, after consultations with other parties, as a mark of respect for those who have died and suffered injury.
“Those who wish to harm our people, divide our communities and attack our democracy will not succeed. We will stand together to defend our common values of solidarity, humanity and justice, and will not allow terrorists to derail our democratic process.”
National campaigning for the election was paused for three days after the suicide bomb attack in Manchester that killed 22 people 13 days ago.
However, this time the suspension is not thought to include local campaigning, meaning individual candidates will have the freedom to use their judgement.
With the election just four days away, there were initial calls for the poll itself to be postponed – but these were dismissed by London mayor Sadiq Khan .
“One of the things that we can do is show that we aren’t going to be cowed, is by voting on Thursday and making sure that we understand the importance of our democracy, our civil liberties and our human rights,” he said.
“I’m not an advocate of postponing the election.
“I’m a passionate believer in democracy and making sure that we vote and we recognise actually that one of the things these terrorists hate is voting, they hate democracy.”