TORONTO — The latest incident in London is the third militant attack in Britain in less than three months, coming on the heels of the March 2017 killings on Westminster Bridge and last month’s deadly concert in Manchester. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain must be tougher in stamping out Islamist extremism after attackers killed at least seven people by ramming a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbing revellers in nearby bars.
“It is time to say enough is enough,” the Conservative leader said outside her Downing Street office, where British flags flew at half-staff.
“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” May said, adding that Britain was under attack from a new breed of copycat militants.
One Canadian was among those killed. At least 48 people were injured in the attack.
This weekend’s attack comes just as the UK heads into its high tourism season and just as Britain releases its visitor figures for 2016, when visits were up 4% on 2015 to 37.6 million while global spend was up 2% to £22.5 billion.
The U.K. saw record-breaking spend from Canada, with visitors from this market spending £634 million (Cdn$1.1 billion) across the UK last year, a new annual spend record and up 25% on 2015 figures, according to VisitBritain.
Canadian visits were up 17% to 828,000 in 2016, compared to 2015.
Before this weekend’s attack 2017 was looking strong with VisitBritain forecasting 38.1 million global visits. Britain was enjoying a strong start for North America with visits from January – March 2017 up 17% (760,000 visits) compared to the same period last year.
Over the weekend London police arrested 12 people in the Barking district of east London in connection with the attack and raids were continuing there.
With files from Reuters.