Armed troops were sent into the Palace of Westminster today after Theresa May raised the terror threat level in the UK to “critical”, Independent UK reports.
The report adds that parliament was also closed to the public following police advice in the wake of Manchester bomb attack – adding to the feeling of apprehension.
Around 30 soldiers patrolled both the streets outside Parliament and entered the landmark building, after the Prime Minister announced that the Army would be deployed to protect key sites. Troops were also seen in Downing Street.
The extraordinary scenes followed security service advice to raise the threat level to its highest for the first time in 10 years, meaning another attack is feared to be imminent.
Under Operation Temperer, up to 5,000 soldiers are being deployed to transport hubs and other crowded public places, in order to release the armed police for other duties.
It is the first time troops have been used in this way since Tony Blair was criticised for sending 400 soldiers and a number of armed vehicles to Heathrow in 2003.
Ms May has sought to calm fears by stressing that the armed troops will be under the direct command of the police.
The recommendation to move to “critical” was made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which brings together counter-terrorist expertise and Government departments.
It came as police in Manchester worked to establish whether the bomber Salman Abedi, 22, was working alone when he killed 22 people and injured 59 others in Monday night’s suicide explosion.