A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government civil servant has been stabbed in an attack outside the department’s headquarters, which it shares with the Home Office in Marsham Street in Whitehall.
The incident, which occurred yesterday lunchtime, led to the building being locked down, but both MHCLG and the Home Office have told Civil Service World that the building was open today, with staff coming in and out as normal.
Communities Secretary @RobertJenrick statement following today's incident on Marsham Street. pic.twitter.com/DKdmzj0wph
— Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt (@mhclg) August 15, 2019
MHCLG confirmed that the man attacked, whose injuries are not thought to be either life threatening or life changing, was a civil servant in the department.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I am deeply shocked by this horrific attack on a colleague. My thoughts, and those of all my staff, are with him and his family. We are ready to provide as much support as we can and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”
He said the department would revise security across the MHCLG estate. “All our staff must feel safe as they go about their important work,” he said.
“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the police, ambulance service and our staff for their swift response.”
A MHCLG spokesman told CSW that the department would be working with the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, which is also based in the 2 Marsham Street bulding, to review security at the site.
In a statement, the Metropolitan police confirmed that officers attended to find one man with knife injuries after a call at 13:06 yesterday.
“The Met’s specialist firearms officers attended within six minutes to find a man, aged in his 60s, suffering with knife injuries.
“London Ambulance Service attended the address and took the victim to a central London hospital. The injured man's family has been notified.
The force confirmed the stabbing happened inside the building.
“Officers quickly detained a 29-year-old man near the scene at Smith Square who was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and possession of CS spray. He was taken to a central London police station where he remains in custody," the statement said.
"At this early stage of the investigation, the incident is not being treated as terrorism-related, although officers are still keeping an open mind with regards any possible motive. Enquiries remain ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”
A Home Office spokesperson said yesterday: "The Metropolitan Police is investigating a knife attack which took place outside the Home Office this afternoon. The victim is receiving medical care.
"This is a deeply concerning incident and our thoughts are with him and his family.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
A London Ambulance spokesperson said its crews responded to the Marsham Street. “We treated a man at the scene and took him to a major trauma centre.”
Home secretary Priti Patel said on Twitter her thoughts were with the victim after what she called a “horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street”.
All my thoughts are with the victim and their family following horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.
— Priti Patel MP (@patel4witham) August 15, 2019