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Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday condemned “Islamic-inspired” extremism following Saturday’s devastating terrorism attack in London that left seven dead and 48 hospitalized.
A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge Saturday evening, then drove to Borough Market. Three terrorists left the van and attacked onlookers with knives. Authorities say the men wore fake vests, so they appeared like suicide bombers. Police killed the three suspects within “eight minutes” of authorities being notified, May said.
“It is time to say ‘enough is enough.’ Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would,” May said. “Things need to change.”
May laid some groundwork for what the British government would do in the wake of the attack: “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change and they need to change in four important ways.”
The prime minister’s plan to defeat this “perversion of Islam and the truth” starts with turning “people’s minds away from this violence” and toward Western democratic values.
May then called for international agreements to regulate the internet, saying that the web affords extremism “the safe space it needs to breed.” She also admitted that taking action in the United Kingdom would require “difficult and often embarrassing conversations” for curbing what she saw as a society over-tolerant of extremism.
Finally, May called for a review of “Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.” May likewise hinted at increasing prison terms of terrorism-related offenses.
With the U.K.’s general election looming on Thursday, the ruling Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationals, and Greens are suspending their campaigns for most of Sunday in observance of the attack.
“Violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process,” May said.
Ramon Ramirez is the news director, and formerly the Dot's entertainment editor and evening editor. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Grantland, Washington City Paper, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Monitor.