Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has condemned the horrific attack in Westminster and paid tribute to its victims.

He said: “Yesterday’s attack in Westminster and on our Parliament was depraved and abhorrent.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families, and especially with the family of PC Keith Palmer, a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our democracy.

“We pay tribute to the dedication and professionalism of our emergency services, who put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and to treat the wounded. They are the pride of our nation.

“At this time, we know that many of our Muslim neighbours and friends who detest Islamist ideology will be feeling anxious. Our message is clear: our society must stand united at this time and not be turned against one another by extremists of any kind who wish to divide us. There can be no excuse for hatred. We stand firmly with Muslims who overwhelmingly reject the jihadists.

“Together, we can and must build a winning coalition to fight and defeat extremism and stand up for our liberal, democratic and inclusive society.

“We will redouble our efforts towards this aim over the coming weeks and months and I shall continue the visits I have been making to Muslim communities up and down this country to build bridges and promote our shared British values.

“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the tireless work of the Community Security Trust, who work to keep the Jewish community safe. As they have said, there is no specific information about an imminent threat to the Jewish community, but as a community we must remain calm and vigilant and follow the advice of the CST, police and others to make sure we stay safe.”

There will be a candlelit vigil in Trafalgar Square tonight to remember and show solidarity with the victims of the Westminster attack. For details, clickhere.

The Board of Deputies held a roundtable with representatives of the Gypsy, Roma and Travellers community this week. To read a full report on the event, click here