Memories of the bombings flood in from every news station and newspaper. I am taken back to a year ago where I remember so clearly my journey into Westminster. It was the first time I took the car up to Parliament – because I had to take a load of stuff in. The radio began to give news of ‘power surges’ at stations. But I knew after a few minutes that there was a likely terrorist attack in process. And as I drove past Kentish Town station people were being evacuated – and as the news of the bus bomb came over the airwaves I saw buses begin to be emptied of their passengers as the drivers obviously received messages to evacuate the buses. In Parliament there were huddles of MPs and staff around TV screens – and towards lunchtime Charles Clarke came to the chamber to make a statement on the attacks. There was a very, very sombre air that day. And I remember coming out in the late afternoon to go home – giving a lift to two others. Emerging into bright sunshine from the cold and grey of the Commons atmosphere – with thousands and thousands of people walking to get home.
A year on London has proved how strong she is and how our communities – all of us – have held hands to make sure that terrorism didn’t triumph. Truly it is together we stand and divided we fall. And the evil that the extremist Islamic terrorists visited upon us will be vanquished if we stay strong.
I go to surgery in Wood Green and then to pay tribute to those who died, their families and the injured and to the work of the emergency services at a short ceremony in Wood Green opposite the Civic Centre. It is a hard day emotionally – lord knows what it must be like for those more closely involved.