Theresa May has said 'enough is enough' in a robust statement following last night's terror attack, which left seven people dead and 48 injured. Acknowledging that this is the third terror attack Britain has experienced in three months, the Prime Minister said that while the three attacks were not connected in their planning, they are bound together by one thing: Islamist extremism.
May said that the attacks highlighted 'a new trend' in the threat we face, and one that needs to be responded to accordingly:
'We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training and not even as lone attackers radicalised online but by copying one another and by often using the crudest means of attack.
We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are.'
May said tackling 'the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism' was one of the great challenges of our time' – and one that cannot be achieved through military intervention alone. She said terrorists must not be given a safe space online and that there was 'far too much tolerance of extremism in our country' – adding that embarrassing conversations must now be had. The government's counter-terrorism strategy will also be reviewed, with the possibility of increased government powers and longer sentences for those who commit terrorism offences.
What was striking about the statement was its focus on Islamist ideology. May struck a much more robust tone than customarily adopted following an attack like this.
Importantly, UK democracy will carry on as normal. May said national campaigning would resume in full on Monday and the election will go ahead as planned on Thursday. This decision appears to have cross-party support – and shows that Britain will not be cowed by terrorism.