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MPs in London hold minute's silence for Orlando victims

MPs held a minute's silence for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting
Arj Singh, Kate Ferguson and Richard Wheeler

MPs in London have held a rare minute's silence in the Commons to remember the 49 victims of the "homophobic terrorist slaughter" in a US gay nightclub.

Speaker John Bercow asked all members to stand and stay silent for one minute to remember those who died in the lone gunman attack at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida.

Home Secretary Theresa May, Commons Leader Chris Grayling, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn were among those in the chamber for the show of respect.

Introducing the minute's silence, Mr Bercow said: "In respectful memory of the victims of the homophobic terrorist slaughter in Orlando I should like to request of colleagues that at 3.30 we observe one minute's silence. Thank you."

Answering an urgent question about the terror attack, Mrs May branded the attacks "evil" and said British police are reviewing security plans for large-scale and public events in the coming week.

She said: "The attacks in Orlando on Saturday night were utterly evil, and the government condemns them completely.

"These people were enjoying a night out when the attacks took place. Our hearts go out to them, their families and their friends. This is the deadliest mass shooting in US history. It was an outrage committed to spread fear and born out of hatred.

"As President Obama has said, the US authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack and Daesh have claimed responsibility.

"It is clear that such an attack has its roots in a twisted ideology which counts homophobia as a cornerstone of its warped world view. This was not just an act of terror, but an act of homophobic hatred.

"And I want to make clear to all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people in Britain and around the world that we will not tolerate such bigotry and violence."

The Home Secretary said British police are reassessing the security arrangements of public events, but no LGBT celebrations have been cancelled because of the attack.

She said: "As should be expected in the light of this attack, UK police forces will be further reviewing plans for large scale and other public events over the coming days and weeks.

"The police have not advised any organisers to cancel or postpone any LGBT related events."

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