The British High Commissioner to Canada is urging Canadians to keep travelling to London, and reassuring them England’s capital is safe in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly attack that killed four people.
“People are going to stand firm against this,” Howard Drake told host Hallie Cotnam on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.
“London was the same yesterday. People were going about their business. Parliament was sitting. The shops were open. There were tourists right there. Obviously there was some disruption, but it was a really strong feeling, I think.”
52-year-old Khalid Masood ran down pedestrians in a car before stabbing and killing a police officer near the British Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday. He was killed by police soon after.
“You couldn’t help but to be affected by it, whether you were British, whether you were Canadian, whether you’re any decent-minded person who would have been horrified by it. I think the concern was absolutely for the people who were caught up in it, genuinely,” said Drake.
Parallels with 2014 Parliament Hill shooting
“From a personal point of view, I know that area very well. I work near there when I’m based in London, and I’ve walked across that bridge many, many times. So it was very, very strong, as it was for all of our team here, as you can imagine.”
Like many officials and leaders, Drake draws parallels between this week’s attack in London and the Parliament Hill shooting here in Ottawa in 2014.
“It was an awful event here. I remember it well. We all remember it well. And this one will be similarly remembered,” he said.
Drake said he’s encouraged by the way people came together after that tragedy, as London and the United Kingdom are coming together now. Despite the tragic event, he’s urging people not to be deterred from visiting London.
“It’s safe, keep going. I’m going there next week,” he said.