The Prime Minister has said it is “wrong” to describe the terror attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament on Wednesday as “Islamic terrorism”.
Following her statement in the House of Commons on Thursday morning Theresa May was asked by Conservative MP Michael Tomlinson whether she agreed that the term was inappropriate.
He asked her: “It is reported that what happened yesterday was an act of ‘Islamic terror’.
“Will the Prime Minister agree with me that what happened was not Islamic, just as the murder of Airey Neave was not Christian, and that in fact both are perversions of religion?”
Ms May replied that she believed it was not right to use the term, suggesting that such ideology was “perversion”.
“I absolutely agree, and it is wrong to describe this as ‘Islamic terrorism’,” she said.
“It is ‘Islamist terrorism’, it is a perversion of a great faith.”
Mr Tomlinson’s question referred to the killing of a Conservative MP by the Irish National Liberation Army in 1979 by car bomb attack at the House of Commons.
In making her statement Ms May appeared to correct her Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who this morning said there was a working assumption that the attack was linked to “Islamic terrorism”.
“It was no accident that this attack was on Westminster, because it is at Westminster that we debate differences, very sharp differences, very freely and respectfully between us, and this kind of Islamic terrorism doesn’t respect those differences, so it is no accident that there was an attack here,” he had said in a statement.
Four people including the suspected attacker and a police officer died in Wednesday’s attack. At least 40 others were injured in the attack, with seven reported to be in a critical condition.
Police have arrested eight people in raids, and have said the attacker was British, known to the security services, but not “part of the current intelligence picture”.