The Home Secretary chaired COBR this morning where she was updated on the situation in Paris and the UK’s response following the terrorist attacks. The intelligence agencies and the UK Ambassador to Paris updated her that there are now 129 confirmed dead – including one British national – with over 350 more injured.
As the situation continues to unfold, we are working closely with the French authorities, through our security and intelligence agencies, police and Border Force and our embassy in Paris. The UK Ambassador visited the site near the Bataclan theatre earlier today to pay his respects to the victims.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office sent a rapid response team to Paris immediately following the attacks and the consular team in Paris and the UK continue to provide family support, including through family liaison officers. Work is ongoing to identify those killed and injured, including any British nationals, and we are liaising closely with France on this.
Ministers discussed the ongoing support that would be available to people returning from Paris who were affected by the attacks. They also discussed our continued offer of support to the French authorities as they carry out their investigation, and the collaboration between France and the UK to reinforce borders while ensuring there are minimal delays to travellers.
The safety and security of UK citizens remains paramount and the meeting discussed the operational response measures being put in place by the police, such as additional patrols and policing at the border.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Counter-Extremism Minister informed the Home Secretary of the work they had been doing to reassure community leaders, including in the Muslim and Jewish communities, that we stand united at this difficult time. Finally they discussed the minute’s silence which will be observed at 11am tomorrow across Europe and which we encourage people to join in marking as a signal of solidarity with the French.
The other attendees at COBR were: the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Lord Ahmad from the Department for Transport, Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood, the Deputy National Security Advisor, the Mayor of London as well as senior representatives from the intelligence agencies.
The UK Ambassador to France, Director for Local Government for Wales and the First Minister for Scotland all joined via a link.