I have just been updated on the investigation into this morning’s cowardly terrorist attack in London.
A major covert and overt investigation is taking place, involving police and security officials.
I said earlier today that the national threat level was being kept under review.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre – that’s the independent organisation which is responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of available intelligence – has now decided to raise the national threat level from severe to critical.
This means that their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.
Following JTAC’s decision, the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of State for Defence to enact part of the first phase of Operation Temperer.
This is a well-established plan to provide military support to the police and for this period military personnel will replace police officers on guard at certain protected sites which are not accessible to the public. The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets providing extra protection.
This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses.
The public should go about their business in the normal way and as usual be vigilant and co-operate with the police.
I said earlier that terrorism is a great challenge of our times. But by standing together we will defeat it.