UK PM Theresa May vows to fight ‘all forms of terrorism’ in wake of London attack

After a vehicle drove into pedestrians near a mosque in north London, killing at least one person, Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker had acted alone. The UK will look at increased security for mosques.

Prime Minister Theresa May chaired an emergency Cobra cabinet meeting on Monday, telling reporters afterwards that the alleged perpetrator was a 48-year-old white man and that according to early assessments he had acted alone.

May also said the government was assessing the security of mosques in the UK, adding that there had been “too much tolerance” of extremism and vowing to fight it in the same way the UK had fought racism.

The attack was a “sickening attempt” to destroy the freedom to worship, the prime minister said outside Downing Street. “It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent … this time British Muslims,” she said.

“London is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people,” she added.

A map of the Finsbury Park area of north London.A map of the Finsbury Park area of north London

Details of the attack as we get them

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan police – the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing – said it was too early to tell whether the man who died at the scene had been killed in the attack.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a group of people giving an emergency heart massage to one man before the attack happened.

Eight others were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene, Basu said, adding that all of the victims were Muslim.

Authorities named the suspect as Darren O., a father of four who was living in Cardiff, Wales. He has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism and murder.

“He has further been arrested for the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder,” Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement.

Interior Minister Amber Rudd said police “immediately” treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack. Rudd, who is in charge of government law enforcement, called on everyone to remain united after a string of recent Islamist inspired terror attacks in London and Manchester. 

“We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear,” Rudd said.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, complained that the “mainstream media” had been unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Read more: A chronology of terror in Europe

The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – in whose constituency the attack took place – said he was “totally shocked” by the attack. He said in a tweet he has been in touch with mosques, the police and the local council regarding the incident.

As it happened

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

A witness who lives opposite the scene of the incident told the BBC a white van stopped near the Finsbury Park Mosque, as Muslims celebrated Ramadan in the multiethnic area.

“From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside…Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” she said. “I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”

Police stand at the scene of what they described as a 'major incident' in Finsbury ParkPolice stand at the scene of what they described as a ‘major incident’ in Finsbury Park

One witness, Abdul Rahman, told the BBC he saw the van “deliberately run over about 10 or 15 people.” Rahman said he and another man wrestled the suspect to the ground and held him down for 20 to 30 minutes before police arrived.

“This big van just came and went all over us,” witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. “He was screaming… ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims.'”

The UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said on Twitter that the crash happened outside the Muslim Welfare House, just down the road from Finsbury Park Mosque. “Our prayers are with the victims,” it said.

At least two witnesses told Sky News there were three men in the van, but the police statement seems to contradict that, saying no other suspects had been identified or reported to police.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, described the incident as the “most violent manifestation to date” of Islamophobia, and called on authorities to do more “to tackle the growth in hate crime.”

UK on high alert

London is on edge after eight people were killed in a van and knife attack on London Bridge and the Borough Market area earlier this month. In March, a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead. In May, the city of Manchester was targeted with a suicide bombing at a pop concert that killed 22 people.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Police said they had deployed extra policing resources “to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

Emergency vehicles and police officers in the street at Finsbury Park LondonPolice, the ambulance service and fire brigade block the road in Finsbury Park where a van drove into pedestrians

A spike in hate crimes has been reported since the attack in south London two weeks ago.

Finsbury Park: hotbed of radical Islam

The Finsbury Park Mosque had been associated with radical Islamist ideology in the past, but its image changed after it was shut down and reopened under new management.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed in Britain for inciting violence and racial hatred before being extradited to New York, where he was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in 2015. That same year, the mosque took part in an open day organized by the MCB to promote a better understanding of Islam following Islamist-inspired attacks in Paris. It has not been associated with extremist views for more than a decade.

cw/jbh/rg (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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London fire: Protesters storm town hall

  • 12 minutes ago
  • From the sectionUK
Media captionAngry protesters stormed Kensington Town Hall, demanding answers

Protesters demanding help for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire have stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall with a list of demands.

Between 50 and 60 people broke off from a protest outside to go into the council building.

One member of the public said people made homeless needed help “right now”.

After meeting survivors near Grenfell Tower, Theresa May announced a £5m fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.

There were angry scenes outside the Clement James Centre, in North Kensington, where the meeting had been held.

The Press Association reported one woman was crying at the scene saying it was because the prime minister had declined to speak to anyone outside.

Earlier, the Queen and Prince William visited a relief centre for the victims, while the missing could number about 70, the BBC understands.

Police say at least 30 people died as a result of the west London blaze and are likely to be among the 70. Three of those who died have been identified.

There was nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately, police said.

The town hall protest began at around 15:00 BST and scores have since joined it.

Protesters outside the Town HallImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionProtesters outside the Town Hall had a list of demands for the council

At around 16:30 BST, people began to rush up the steps and make their way into the building.

One member of the public said people made homeless by the fire needed help “right now”, adding: “Nobody knows what is happening. People are so angry. Those people shouldn’t be sleeping in the street”.

The organisers of the protest said council leaders would not come out to talk to them, but had released a statement, promising to rehouse as many people locally as they could and to provide funding for those affected.

However, they refused to give out the number of people who lived in the tower block – which was one of the protesters’ demands, organisers said.

Public ‘not satisfied’ with answers

Mustafa Al Mansur, who organised the protest, said the council’s response was “flimsy” with “no concrete answers”.

“The people were not satisfied with the answers,” he told BBC News. “The people were getting frustrated and they walked towards the building. They did not force themselves inside. They got inside the main building and were in the foyer, just speaking.”

Police then arrived on the scene and formed a barricade, which Mr Al Mansur said led to “physical confrontation” between the two sides.

“We would like the chief executive of the council to make public commitments on what the council is going to do for the victims of this borough, and for all the other buildings in the borough that [could] stand the same fate at Grenfell Towers.”

Protesters inside the buildingImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionBetween 50 and 60 protesters rushed into the council building

The £5m Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund, announced by Mrs May, includes the aim to rehouse residents within three weeks as close to where they lived before as possible, to pay for temporary housing in the meantime and to provide extra financial assistance.

During her meeting with survivors, the PM also said they would be consulted on the terms of the public inquiry announced on Thursday and receive state funding for legal representation.

Mrs May said: “Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the government is there for them at this terrible time – and that is what I am determined to provide.”

Royal visit

The Queen and Duke of Cambridge met volunteers, residents and community representatives during their visit to the Westway Sports Centre.

The Queen paid tribute to the “bravery” of firefighters and the “incredible generosity” of volunteers now offering support.

Media captionThe Queen meets people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said that of those who were killed, one died in hospital.

He also said there was nothing to suggest that the fire was started deliberately, and that everyone in hospital has now been identified. Police say some of those killed in the fire may never be identified.

The fire broke out shortly before 01:00 BST on Wednesday.

It tore through all floors of the building and took more than 200 firefighters 24 hours to bring it under control.

Mahad Egal, who escaped his fourth floor flat with his family, said: “At first it seemed it was controllable, but really quickly the fire started to rise as the cladding caught fire. It is incredible we survived.”

Emergency services are spending a third day searching for bodies in the burnt-out Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

Fire chiefs say they do not expect to find more survivors. Police have launched a criminal investigation into the fire and PM Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry.

The Queen being shown food suppliesImage copyrightPA
Image captionHer Majesty was shown the food supplies donated to those made homeless by the fire

The prime minister faced criticism for not meeting survivors on a visit to the scene on Thursday, unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

When Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom visited the scene, a man shouted: “Why are Sadiq Khan and Corbyn coming down here to speak to people and Theresa May is coming here with police, walking around, not meeting no-one, not meeting families?

“Enough is enough, I have got friends in that tower. We have a right to be angry.”

Downing Street said the purpose of her visit was to get a briefing from emergency services and she later announced a public inquiry.

But former cabinet minister Michael Portillo said the prime minister “didn’t use her humanity”.

Prime Minister Theresa May with firefightersImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe prime minister spoke to fire commissioner Dany Cotton as she surveyed the damage

So far in the investigation:

  • Six victims of the blaze have been provisionally identified by police
  • A total of 24 people remained in hospital – 12 in a critical condition
  • A criminal investigation has been launched
  • MPs have called for the public inquiry to be “swift” and get answers on safety as quickly as possible
  • Mr Khan has written an open letter to the prime minister, calling for her plan to help the community “as a matter of urgency”.
  • Mrs May is chairing a cross-Whitehall meeting on how to help the community recover
  • UK councils are carrying out urgent reviews of their tower blocks, according to the Local Government Association
  • The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to raise money for those affected
  • The emergency number for people concerned about friends and family is 0800 0961 233
Media captionMetropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the recovery is being done with dignity

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council told BBC Two’s Newsnight it would not use the type of cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower on other buildings in the borough.

The cladding – installed on the tower in a recent renovation – has come under scrutiny, with experts saying a more fire resistant type could have been used.

Grenfell Tower

On Thursday, the first victim of the fire was named as Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, 23.

The Syria Solidarity Campaign said Mr Alhajali, a civil engineering student, had been in a flat on the 14th floor when the fire broke out, and had spent two hours on the phone to a friend in Syria.

Media captionVictim’s brother recounts final call: “He said: ‘Why did you leave me?’.”

He had been trying to get through to his family while he was waiting to be rescued.

His older brother, Omar, told the BBC he had lost Mohammed on the way out of the building.

Two other victims have also been named.

Five-year-old Isaac Shawo reportedly got separated from his family in the smoke and later died.

Artist and photographer Khadija Saye, 24, lived on the 20th floor and also died.


At the scene

By Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent

This is the British monarchy, in action, showing it has learnt from its mistakes of the past.

Mistakes that have included the significant time that elapsed before the Queen visited the site of the Aberfan disaster in the 1960s and the “Show us you care” newspaper headlines that were printed 20 years ago, in the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

As Theresa May is learning to her cost, it is a tragedy with a growing political dimension. There is a howl of pain and anger being directed at an establishment which has the royals at its heart.

There’s the talk of the divide between rich and poor. The Queen’s grandson is a millionaire prince living in a palace in the same borough as Grenfell Tower.

In coming to the site, the Queen was acting as “head of the nation” – a focal point at a moment of considerable pain. She was also providing her prime minister with a masterclass in how to respond on such occasions.

Read more from Peter Hunt here


Stories of how people managed to escape have also emerged.

Christos Fairbairn, 41, a resident who lived on the 15th floor, described how he collapsed while fleeing the building, only to be rescued by a firefighter.

“I can’t believe I am alive,” he said. “I will never forget what happened and how traumatising it was. I know I will never live in a tower block again.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Elpidio Bonifacio, a partially blind man in his 70s, was rescued from his 11th-floor flat after having been seen at the window waving a jumper.

His son Gordon, 41, said on Facebook that his father was now in intensive care.

Media captionLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited the site and spoke to locals

Rydon, the company that carried out the £8.6m refurbishment of the tower, welcomed the public inquiry, but said it had met all building and fire regulations, plus health and safety standards.

Housing minister Alok Sharma said the government was working with the local authority to ensure that “every single family will be rehoused in the local area” – but Kensington and Chelsea Council said it may “have to explore housing options… in other parts of the capital.”

Media captionOne eyewitness said he saw people blinking lights within the building

Terrifying videos of west London tower blaze: 120 apartments engulfed, falling debris (VIDEOS)

Terrifying videos of west London tower blaze: 120 apartments engulfed, falling debris (VIDEOS)
A huge blaze, falling debris, and people reportedly still trapped inside – terrifying footage of the inferno at the massive block in West London has emerged online.

“The fire started happening on the third floor. We called the fire brigade. They came 20 minutes later. And then the whole thing just went off. An hour and a half later I saw a kid on the 22nd floor on fire. He went to the window and jumped,” Greg Stevens, an evacuee, told Ruptly news agency.

Another video featured a figure in a window of the burning Grenfell Tower in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Another evacuee, Daniel Williams, described how fire brigades were battling the blaze.

“They’ve come down, and they’ve tried to put the fire out but they weren’t reaching it… As the fire got higher, then they decided to use the ladders. But even then, the fire has just gone up. And now half of the building is gone,” he told Ruptly.

As of early Wednesday morning, the building is still engulfed in flames.

At least 45 fire engines and over 200 firefighters and officers have been deployed to the scene, the London Fire Brigade said.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatuses are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances,” Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said.

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Theresa May’s Conservatives in disarray, but still in power

Theresa May has lost her parliamentary majority, but remains in power thanks to a nationalist Northern Irish party. But May’s position as prime minister and the future of her Conservative Party remains uncertain.

Watch video01:28

EU leaders fear Brexit negotiation delays

On Thursday night, British Prime Minister Theresa May had to stand next to a self-proclaimed intergalactic space lord wearing a home-made bucket on his head while her re-election as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Maidenhead was confirmed.

It turned out to be a neat metaphor of the specific disarray that the prime minister found herself in on the morning after her ill-advised snap election. As was confirmed Friday morning, Britain’s governing Conservative Party has now been forced into seeking the support of a party that many would consider only slightly less fringe than Lord Buckethead.

After negotiations that reportedly went on long into the night – even as votes were still being counted – May made a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), an ultra-conservative populist right-wing faction that eventually offered the support their ten MPs that would allow her Tories to form a minority government.

Where now for May?

The move created some uncertainties over future Brexit negotiations, particularly with regard to the UK’s Irish border. But that was a small price to pay for May, because it headed off the immediate calls for May’s resignation from both the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and some in her own party.

Nevertheless, on Friday UK bookmakers were still speculating about who would succeed her as the next Conservative leader. The leadership battle that May won last July in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation showed how pitiless leading Tories can be, and they will now be smelling blood.

At the moment there are a handful of names on the table, should May’s support waver – which is not unlikely. There were rumors of her personal unpopularity within the party even before the election, and, as one senior British political editor noted, those rumors have hardly gone away:

Senior Tory MP: “We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us”.

Nest of blue vipers

Chief among the potential replacements is the relentlessly ambitious Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, former magazine editor and London mayor who went on to become one of the leaders of the “Leave” campaign in last June’s EU referendum. But there was some suspicion of opportunism around his loyalties, not least because he delayed his announcement about which side he was on, and wrote two separate articles arguing both sides of the case.

Another senior Tory who may have his eye on the top seat is Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who is known to disagree with May on some key policies, and – as a “Remainer” who, by dint of his position, would have been instrumental in the Brexit negotiations in any case, could well be seen as a stable option in the middle of the Conservatives turmoil.

Großbritannien Wahlen 2017 – Wahlausgang - Boris Johnson (picture alliance/ZUMAPRESS.com/T. Akmen)Boris Johnson is the bookies’ favorite to succeed May

Less likely to take over, according to bookmakers, is Amber Rudd, May’s successor as Home Secretary and stand-in for the TV leadership debate that May was criticized for not attending.

Despite her high-profile appearances in the campaign, Rudd struggled during those debates and was left to defend the Conservative cuts to policing in the UK after the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. Not only that, her authority was somewhat diminished by the fact that it took multiple recounts on Thursday night to confirm that she had retained her seat.

But if May stays as leader, perhaps the more pressing headache facing the Tories will be what direction its politics will take. Much like Angela Merkel in Germany, May dragged her party to the right with ever more restrictive anti-immigration policies in an attempt to defend the party against the rise of the populist far-right party.

That tactic may have worked – insofar as UKIP was effectively crushed on Thursday – but it ultimately meant the Tories fought a relentlessly negative, fear-based campaign that clearly did not appeal to younger voters. Whether May and her Conservatives have learnt that lesson remains to be seen.

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UK election result: What does it mean for Brexit?

  • 5 hours ago
  • From the sectionEurope
UK Theresa May election night speech in MaidenheadImage copyrightEPA
Image captionThe result was far from the “strong and stable” position that Theresa May wanted

So what does the UK political upheaval mean for Brexit negotiations, slated to start in 10 days’ time?

And does the hung parliament indicate that a hard Brexit, a softer Brexit or a cliff-edge Brexit (where there’s no deal and the UK simply “falls out” of the EU) becomes more likely?

All questions redirected firmly today by Brussels back to the Dover side of the Channel.

The ball is very much in Britain’s court.

Brexit – to state the obvious – has been driven by Britain all along.

Almost a year ago, the UK voted to leave the EU. Since then it has been riven by divisions between Leavers and Remainers, and between fans of so-called hard Brexit – where the UK leaves the EU single market and the customs union – and a softer Brexit, where the UK maintains the benefits of those associations.

It was the British government that delayed the possible start of face-to-face Brexit negotiations, by calling a snap election. And it is the new British government that can say, again, it needs more time, s’il vous plaît.

EU negotiators ready

The EU position is that it never wanted the UK to leave, but since Brexit is happening, it is ready and waiting.

While the UK has struggled internally with political turmoil ever since its referendum, Brussels has had almost 12 months to quietly get its Brexit ducks in a row and ensure a unified and detailed negotiating position, on behalf of the 27 member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Vote count in Kendal, EnglandImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe results have shown again how politically divided the UK is

Theresa May called the general election, she said, hoping for a strong mandate, to improve her hand at the Brexit negotiating table.

This plan has backfired horribly.

But Brussels is not rubbing its hands with glee. It wants Brexit done and over with. Yesterday.

The EU has plenty more headaches to deal with: ongoing migration and eurozone problems, security concerns about Russia and an unpredictable US president… to name but a few.

UK election result: How the world reacted

Election 2017: Key points at-a-glance

Brexit: All you need to know

What the election result means for Brexit

Brussels doesn’t care what political flavour the new UK government has, it just wants a stable UK government, with a secure prime minister at its helm, who will stay in place for the duration of the negotiations and who won’t waver and U-turn after agreements are made.

A wobbly British premier, unable to make tough decisions and sell them at home, increases the possibility of no Brexit deal at all – the so-called cliff-edge scenario – and that would hurt both the EU and UK badly.

Banks, businesses, ports and flights, the politically sensitive and economically significant Irish border, EU citizens living in the UK, UK citizens in the rest of the EU, UK healthcare – the list is endless UK-side.

The EU’s pressing concern is to get the UK to honour long-term financial commitments before it leaves, otherwise there’ll be a yawning hole in Brussels’ multi-annual budget.

EU unity – currently so evident on the Brexit question – would evaporate in a flash if member states suddenly had a cat fight over having to pay extra, or receive less money, should the UK walk out without stumping up a considerable sum.

Michel Barnier (R) from France and Guy Verhofstadt from BelgiumImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionKey EU players in Brexit: Michel Barnier (R) from France and Guy Verhofstadt from Belgium

On a day full of unanswered questions, one thing is certain: that clock is ticking.

The UK formally launched the Brexit process back in March. It now has only until March 2019 to secure a divorce settlement, never mind decide future EU-UK trade and other relations.

The later Brexit talks start, the less time there is to agree a deal.

The UK can always request an extension to the negotiations; it could also ask to cancel the process and return to the EU fold – though no one in Brussels believes that likely to happen. But both those scenarios require unanimous approval by the 27 EU countries and the European Parliament.

Theresa May’s dream of providing strong and stable leadership is in tatters.

But the political disarray in the UK has helped the EU in some quarters. It has dampened (though not extinguished) Eurosceptic rhetoric across the continent. And determination to protect the EU in a Brexit deal has united normally fractious EU member states – for now.

Today, after so many of its own crises, the EU is feeling stronger and more stable than it has in a long time, thanks to Brexit.

May to form ‘government of certainty’ with DUP backing

Media captionTheresa May says she’ll “reflect on what we need to do to take the party forward”

Theresa May has said she will put together a government with the support of the Democratic Unionists that can provide “certainty” for the future.

Speaking after visiting Buckingham Palace, she said only her party had the “legitimacy” to govern, despite falling eight seats short of a majority.

Later, she said she “obviously wanted a different result” and was “sorry” for colleagues who lost their seats.

But Labour said they were the “real winners”.

The Lib Dems said Mrs May should be “ashamed” of carrying on.

The Tories needed 326 seats to win another majority but, with 649 out of the 650 seats declared, they fell short and must rely on the DUP to continue to rule.

In a short statement outside Downing Street, which followed a 25-minute audience with The Queen, Mrs May said she would join with her DUP “friends” to “get to work” on Brexit.

She said she intended to form a government which could “provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country”.

Referring to the “strong relationship” she had with the DUP but giving little detail of how their arrangement might work, she said the government would “guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks” that begin in just 10 days’ time.

“Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years,” she said.

“And this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.”

Theresa May speaks to the nation outside Downing StreetImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMrs May’s husband was at her side as she addressed the nation
Mrs May's car leaves Buckingham PalaceImage copyrightPA
Image captionThe PM earlier visited Buckingham Palace

Later, she told reporters that she “wanted to achieve a larger majority but that was not the result”.

“I’m sorry for all those candidates… who weren’t successful, and also particularly sorry for MPs and ministers who’d contributed so much to our country, and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats.

“As I reflect on the results, I will reflect on what I need to do in the future to take the party forward.”

A cabinet reshuffle, expected later today, looks likely to be pushed back to Saturday, says BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier.

Sources have told the BBC that Boris Johnson is expected to stay as foreign secretary, Philip Hammond as chancellor, and Amber Rudd as home secretary.

Those rarely seen on the campaign trail, including Andrea Leadsom, Priti Patel and Liam Fox, could be out, says our correspondent. Comebacks from Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and prominent leave campaigner Dominic Raab were being floated, she adds.

DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed that she had spoken to Mrs May and that they would speak further to “explore how it may be possible to bring stability to this nation at this time of great challenge”.

While always striving for the “best deal” for Northern Ireland and its people, she said her party would always have the best interests of the UK at heart.

Media caption“The union is our guiding star” – DUP’s Arlene Foster

It is thought Mrs May will seek some kind of informal arrangement with the DUP that could see it “lend” its support to the Tories on a vote-by-vote basis, known as “confidence and supply”.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab said the country needed “certainty and direction”, and an agreement between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party was the “only viable option”.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said the PM had returned to No 10 a “diminished figure”, having ended up with 12 fewer seats than when she called the election in April.

Media captionJeremy Corbyn: An “incredible result” for the Labour party

She had called the election with the stated reason that it would strengthen her hand in negotiations for the UK to leave the EU – the talks are due to start on 19 June.

But with the London seat of Kensington yet to declare, the Tories are on 318 seats, ahead of Labour on 261, the SNP 35 and the Lib Dems on 12. The DUP won 10 seats.

As it stands, the Tories and the DUP would have 328 MPs in the Commons, giving it a wafer-thin majority although as Sinn Fein will not be taking its seven seats, the new administration will have slightly more room for manoeuvre.

Hung parliament

The Conservatives have argued in the event of a hung Parliament, Mrs May gets the opportunity to form a government first, as her predecessor David Cameron did in 2010 when there was also no clear winner but the party had comfortably more seats than their nearest rival.

Labour has said it is also ready to form a minority government of its own, after far exceeding expectations by picking up 29 seats in England, Wales and Scotland.

But even if it joined together in a so-called progressive alliance with the SNP, Lib Dems, Green Party and Plaid Cymru, it would only reach 313 seats – well short of the 326 figure needed.

Mrs May has faced calls to quit from within her own party, with Anna Soubry saying she should consider her position after a “disastrous” campaign.

However, other MPs have urged her to stay on, with Iain Duncan Smith saying a leadership contest would be a “catastrophe”.

Media captionUKIP’s Paul Nuttall: “I am standing down with immediate effect”

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the DUP did not regard Mrs May as a “permanent fixture” and this raised the possibility of a change in leader in the summer, given that he believed serious progress over Brexit was unlikely to be made before the German parliamentary elections in September.

Reacting to the result, European Council president Donald Tusk said there was now “no time to lose” over Brexit, while the European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said it was an “own goal” and made negotiations more “complicated”.

Mr Corbyn, speaking after being re-elected in Islington North, said it was time for Mrs May to “make way” for a government that would be “truly representative of the people of this country”. He later told the BBC it was “pretty clear who has won this election”.

“We are ready to serve the people who have put their trust in us,” he said – but he also stressed he would not enter into any “pacts or deals” with other parties.

Unite union leader Len McCluskey said Labour’s result was “an incredible advance” and it would not be long before they were in government.

The Green Party, which held its one seat at the election but saw its total vote halve, said a Conservative government propped up by the DUP would be a “coalition of chaos”.

In other major developments:

Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, which gained three seats taking its total to seven, said it had been a “very good election for republicanism”, and appealed for “calm reflection” on how to go forward.

Lord O’Donnell, formerly the UK’s top civil servant, told the BBC that the prime minister had a duty to stay in post “for now” and had the right to seek the confidence of the House of Commons by asking it to approve a Queen’s Speech on 19 June.

Meanwhile, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has quit after his party failed to win any seats and saw its vote collapse across the country.

Media captionNicola Sturgeon says the SNP ‘will listen to voters’

In a night of high drama, the SNP remained the largest party in Scotland but lost 21 seats to the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems. Leading figures in the party such as Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson were defeated.

Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg also lost his seat while Tim Farron clung on by less than 800 votes in his Cumbrian constituency.

But Vince Cable and Jo Swinson are among the Lib Dems returning to the Commons after winning their former seats back.

In more results from the night:

Speaking after a mixed night of results for his party, Mr Farron paid tribute to Mr Clegg and the other MPs who lost their seats.

Mrs May had “put the future of the country at risk with arrogance and vanity”, he added, saying she should resign “if she has an ounce of self respect”.

‘I Trusted Him’: London Attacker Was Friendly With Neighbors

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Newly installed barriers on Westminster Bridge in London on Monday. A car drove into pedestrians on the bridge on March 22 in a terrorist attack. CreditHannah McKay/Reuters

LONDON — Everyone called him “Abs.” He gave out Halloween candy to children and taught them how to play Ping-Pong. He invited his neighbors to a barbecue.

But Khurum Shazad Butt was not the typical resident of the East London neighborhood of Barking. He dressed in the religious gown of a conservative Muslim — with a tracksuit and sneakers underneath. He turned up in a Channel 4 documentary, “The Jihadis Next Door.” And now London’s Metropolitan Police have identified him as one of the three men who carried out the deadly terror attack on Saturday at London Bridge and Borough Market.

Mr. Butt and his accomplices drove a van onto the sidewalk of London Bridge, running over pedestrians, before jumping out of the vehicle and stabbing patrons at the bars and restaurants of Borough Market. They killed seven people and injured dozens before they were shot and killed by the police less than 10 minutes after the rampage began.

With questions mounting about whether authorities had let the killers slip through their fingers, the police confirmed that Mr. Butt “was known” to them and to MI5, the British intelligence service.

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“However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritized accordingly,” the police said in a statement. “The other named man, Rachid Redouane, was not known.”

Even so, Prime Minister Theresa May found herself on the defensive on Monday, as rivals challenged her record on security after the third terrorist episode in three months.

Mrs. May, who is leading her Conservative Party into a national election on Thursday, held the portfolio in charge of security for six years before replacing David Cameron as prime minister in July, and she oversaw a reduction in police forces, including armed officers, during that time.

The Metropolitan Police released photographs on Monday of Mr. Butt, 27, and Mr. Redouane, 30.

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An undated handout photo of Khuram Shazad Butt, left, and Rachid Redouane. CreditMetropolitan Police

Mr. Redouane had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, the police said, and also sometimes used a pseudonym, Rachid Elkhdar. The authorities are still trying to confirm the identity of the third attacker.

Mr. Butt appeared briefly in a Channel 4 television documentary last year about extremists living in Britain. The film, which is available on Netflix, featured a number of British Muslim men openly expressing their support for violence. In one scene, Mr. Butt stands in line with five other men in Regent’s Park in London as another man kneels in front of them unfurling an Islamic State flag.

In Barking, residents of the Elizabeth Fry Apartments on Kings Road said Mr. Butt had lived in the building with his wife and young children, including a newborn.

“His wife just gave birth, the baby was 2 weeks old,” said Nasser Ali, who lives in the building facing Mr. Butt’s apartment.

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Hundreds attended a vigil on Monday in Potters Fields Park in London for the victims of the terror attack on June 3. CreditJack Taylor/Getty Images

Another neighbor said he would see Mr. Butt coming and going from the apartment complex. “I just saw him going in and out,” said the neighbor, Shehzad Khurram. “I saw him walking his kids.”

It was the van that struck a chord with Ken Chigbo, one of Mr. Butt’s neighbors in Barking.

“He approached me about a week ago, making conversation, and found out I’m moving home,” Mr. Chigbo recalled in a phone interview on Sunday, before the police had officially identified Mr. Butt as one of the attackers. “He was just being polite. Then he said, ‘Look, Ken, where did you get your van from? How much did you pay? Do they do it in automatic?’ ”

Mr. Chigbo knew Mr. Butt only as Abs, the nickname everyone seemed to call him. He had recalled how “he would always be in a religious gown to his shins, with tracksuit bottoms and trainers underneath.” But on Monday Mr. Chigbo identified Mr. Butt in a photograph released by police as the same man.

The two men met barely a week after Mr. Chigbo moved into the complex three years ago. “He invited me and everyone to a barbecue in the block’s shared garden green area a week ago,” Mr. Chigbo said. “He’s a neighbor. I trusted him, we got on.”

Sarah Sekyejwe, who lives with her husband and children in the newly built row of houses next to the Elizabeth Fry Apartments, said Mr. Butt had moved to the street in 2014 and befriended the local children. “My daughter says he’s the one who on Halloween would open the door and give them lots of sweets,” she recalled. “And in the summer he put out a table-tennis table and taught the kids how to play.”

Mr. Chigbo said small groups of three or four “Muslim guys” used to regularly visit Mr. Butt’s apartment. “I found them quite intimidating, actually,” he said. “They were always in religious robes and wearing red and white checkered scarves wrapped around their heads.”

Twelve people were arrested in the investigation into the terror attack, and homes in East London were raided. But on Monday night, the police said that all those in custody had been “released without charge.”

The main political parties suspended campaigning on Sunday as a sign of respect for the seven people killed and the scores wounded in the attack, but as electioneering resumed on Monday, so did the pressure on Mrs. May.

Although there has been widespread praise for the professionalism and courage of the armed officers who shot and killed the assailants within eight minutes of being called Saturday night, the country’s broader antiterrorism strategy was questioned.

“I am so sick of Theresa May blaming others for terror when the system she presided over has obviously failed so lamentably,” Steve Hilton, once a close adviser to Mr. Cameron, wrote on Twitter. Mrs. May, he added in a separate tweet, “should be resigning, not seeking re-election.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, when asked by a reporter if he would support calls for Mrs. May’s resignation over the falling number of police officers, replied, “Indeed, I would.”

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Back on the campaign trail on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at a security think tank in London about the terrorist threat to Britain. CreditDan Kitwood/Getty Images

Stung by the criticism just days before a national election that will decide her political future, Mrs. May responded at a news conference. “We have protected counterterrorism policing budgets,” she said. “We have also provided funding for an increase in the number of armed police officers.”

A focus on security would normally be expected to help the prospects of Mrs. May’s Tories in the approaching election. But as the investigation builds, so does speculation of potential security lapses that could have been prevented, possibly along with Saturday night’s attack.

Late on Sunday, Mr. Corbyn criticized the decrease in the number of police officers since 2010. “You cannot protect the public on the cheap,” he said.

The total number of officers in England and Wales fell more than 19,500 from September 2010 to September 2016, according to the Home Office. Authorized firearms officers declined to 5,639 in March 2016 from 6,976 in March 2010.

The government says, however, that the number of armed officers is to increase by more than 1,000 in the next two years, that additional specialist teams are being set up outside London and that there will be 41 additional armed response vehicles.

Mr. Corbyn also accused the government of failing to publish a report, undertaken in early 2016, on foreign financing of extremist groups, for fear of upsetting foreign governments, although he himself is vulnerable on security issues.

He has demonstrated past support for Irish republicans and expressed doubts two years ago about a so-called shoot-to-kill policy for police officers during serious terrorist attacks.

Also on Monday, Mrs. May came to the defense of Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, who has been accused of being soft on terrorism by President Trump. Mrs. May said that she was working closely with the mayor and that he was doing “a good job,” adding, in answer to persistent questioning by reporters, that it was “wrong to say anything else.”

Mr. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of the British capital, had said after Saturday’s attack that Londoners should not be “alarmed” if they saw more police officers on the street. On Twitter on Sunday, Mr. Trump mischaracterized the quote to make it seem as if the mayor was telling his people not to be alarmed by terrorism; Mr. Khan’s office said that the “ill-informed tweet” deliberately took his remarks out of context.

The president fired back on Monday. “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement,” he wrote.

On Monday night, Mr. Khan led a brief vigil for the victims at Potters Fields Park, near the River Thames.

“I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who commit these hideous crimes. We will defeat you,” he said, adding, “as a proud and patriotic Muslim I say this: You do not commit these acts in my name.”