A BUTCHER, who had just been crowned Britain's best, found himself in lockdown in the House of Lords alongside hundreds of MPs during the Westminster terror attack.

Pete Lawton, from Inkberrow, near Worcester, had just been crowned Britain's best butcher at the Countryside Alliance Awards at the houses of Parliament.

The 56-year-old, who owns Pete the Meat, in Redditch, was enjoying the awards ceremony when Khalid Masood crashed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge at around 2.40pm.

As parliament went into lockdown he joined MPs, staff and visitors in Westminster Hall in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

He said: "It was quite scary at times. We ended up in Westminster Hall, there had to be 3,000 people in there waiting.

"All the MPs were in there. I saw Iain Duncan Smith, Paddy Ashdown, and Sajid Javid. They were in the same boat as us.

"Nobody seemed to know what had happened."

Mr Lawton said he first realised something was going on when he heard helicopters overhead during the awards.

"The bar overlooked Westminster Bridge and there were ambulances and police on the bridge," he said.

"All the traffic had stopped and police were going up and down the river in boats sifting through the river looking for something.

"I had no idea what was happening at the time and then all of a sudden the whole House of Lords was in lockdown.

"My wife said 'I think you should come away from the window' to me as I was watching what was going on outside."

He added someone came into the bar and told them that that an incident had taken place.

Two heavily armed plainclothes officers then came into the room and went outside onto the balcony.

The couple were released from the lockdown at around 8.45pm and found that Westminster tube station had been closed.

They travelled to St James's Park station and finally got home at midnight.

"I turned on the news in the morning and that was when I found out about the terrible things that had happened," Mr Lawton said.

"For me it was all about the award and that amazing moment but it's been overshadowed by the tragic events which have happened.

"I feel for the people that were involved in that and thankful that it wasn't myself."

The Countryside Alliance Awards are known as the Rural Oscars, and Mr Lawton found out he had won the Midlands round three weeks ago.

He was brought to tears when he was announced as the national winner on Wednesday.

"It's not just about butchery, it's about the whole story and what we do in the community," he said.

The butcher first started working in the Astwood Road shop 40 years ago, when it was owned by Co-op, and turned it into his own business in 1991.


ARMED police officers patrolled the streets of Worcester for the second day running yesterday (March 24) in response to the Westminster terror attack.

West Mercia Police sent extra police onto the city's streets and unarmed police officers also took part in additional 'reassurance' patrols.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: "Our additional reassurance and community engagement patrols remain in place across the city.

"We continue to regularly review all of our security measures to ensure we are doing all we can to keep local residents safe.

"Once again I would like to reassure the public that there is no intelligence to suggest any specific threat to Worcestershire and that these actions are a precaution."

Eddie Charko posted on the Worcester News Facebook page: " Total respect to these guys for keeping us safe."

Ali Vinson, who also lives in the city, posted: "I wish they would be around more!

"I totally support armed officers. I'm sure Worcester may have links just like any other city or town.

"Just because it isn't London doesn't mean we are safe."

Some readers said it was quite shocking to have armed police on the streets and thought it was an overreaction.

Bart Ricketts posted: " I'm not quite sure if this is reassuring or a little ott."

As the Worcester News went to press, it was reported five people died in the terror attack and 50 people were injured.