Women form human chain on Westminster Bridge to condemn 'abhorrent' terror attack

Women gather on Westminster Bridge. Credit: PA

Dozens of women gathered on Westminster Bridge on Sunday, forming a human chain in a show of solidarity with the victims of Wednesday's terror attack.

Many of the women wore blue to symbolise hope as they stood holding hands for five minutes as Big Ben chimed 4pm.

Some women brought their daughters along to take part. Credit: PA

They spoke of the "overwhelming" emotion they felt, standing in the same place as the terror attack which left three members of the public dead and just yards from where attacker Khalid Masood then fatally stabbed a police officer.

The 52-year-old attacker - who was shot dead at the scene - killed mother-of-two Aysha Frade, American tourist Kurt Cochran, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes after he hit them with the car he was driving.

Masood then ran to the Houses of Parliament where he stabbed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer to death.

From left to right: Aysha Frade, Pc Keith Palmer, and Kurt Cochran.

People from a range of backgrounds joined the event organised by Women's March On London.

One of those forming the chain on Westminster Bridge was Fariha Khan, 40, a GP from Surbiton.

"The feeling of what happened here on Wednesday was really strong," she said.

"We thought of the ordinary people who were here and were mown down, standing here like this, it was very overwhelming."

Khalid Masood Credit: Metropolitan Police

Ms Khan was joined by fellow Ahmadiyya Muslims who said they wanted to add to the condemnation of the violent attack and stand defiant in the face of terrorism.

Sarah Waseem, 57, from Surrey, said: "When an attack happens in London, it is an attack on me.

"It is an attack on all of us. Islam totally condemns violence of any sort. This is abhorrent to us."

The women formed the chain as a mark of solidarity. Credit: PA

Being present for the demonstration shows people in the city are united in support of democracy, added Ayesha Malik.

The 34-year-old mother-of-two, also from Surrey, said: "As a visible Muslim I think it was important to show solidarity with the principles that we all hold dear, the principles of plurality, diversity and so on."

While Londoner Mary Bennett said she was present to make a "small gesture".

The retired healthcare worker continued: "I am here to show that in a quiet way we continue to go where we like and do what we like in London.

"This is my city. It's a very small gesture but life is made up of small gestures."