London-based Australian journalist Latika Bourke was in Parliament House when the attacks unfolded, and described the horrific scenes outside.

Bourke and other members of the media were told to stay put as the building was in lockdown.

London police have declared the incident outside the Houses of Parliament a "terrorist" attack conducted by only one attacker.

About 40 minutes later they were told to leave - and quickly.

"[They said] 'pack up your stuff, right now, hurry' and we were being evacuated out of that building," she told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning.


"It was only a few minutes [but] it was an incredibly intense experience. I would've counted in maybe one or two minutes at least 10 Swat police with huge guns, helmets on, faces covered in balaclavas.

"They were just shouting at us to keep moving but every single police officer was looking you up and down."

As well as Swat officers, there were also the armed police, who normally guarded Parliament House, and regular police, Bourke said.

"There were police everywhere. I said to someone 'where did all these police materialise from?' He said 'they're always here, you might not see them, not the Swat police anyway, but they're always here."

Evacuees included ministers and schoolchildren, the latter a particularly distressing sight for Bourke.

"I found that incredibly haunting for those schoolchildren. very, very young maybe 5, 6, 7. Their first experience of their parliament is going to be a horrible terror attack."

The evacuees made their way to Westminster Abbey, walking past the spot where a police officer was stabbed to death during the attack, she said.

"There looked to be a body covered in white material."

At least 1000 people were in the abbey with Bourke, who did not know when she would be able to leave the area.