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Braverman Warns Against ‘Counterproductive’ Speculation About Nottingham Attacks

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has warned people not to speculate about a series of attacks in Nottingham on Tuesday that killed three people, warning it “runs the risk of being counterproductive.”

The three people who died have been named as University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, who were all stabbed to death.

Coates’s van was then stolen and driven into three pedestrians, who were injured.

A 31-year-old man was taken into custody and is being questioned by police.

Braverman, speaking in the House of Commons, said the people of Nottingham should feel safe but admitted they had been “shaken beyond belief” by the horrific rampage on Tuesday morning, which led police to shut down all bus and tram services in the city.

Her comments come as footage has emerged of a man fitting the description of the suspect apparently trying to enter a supported living hostel in the city’s Mapperley Road on Tuesday morning, shortly before the third victim was killed.

Braverman told the Commons: “I can tell the House that the police are working flat out to establish the full facts and provide support to everyone affected. They are currently keeping an open mind as to the motives behind these attacks but I can confirm Nottinghamshire Police are being assisted in their inquiries by counter-terror police.”

“Though, this does not mean that it is currently being treated as a terrorist attack,” she added.

‘Vile and Cruel Act’

Conservative MP Lee Anderson told Parliament, “Nottingham is a beautiful city with wonderful people, and I doubt the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will ever come to terms with this vile and cruel act.”

He said: “The public want answers and more importantly they need to know that they’re safe on the streets of Nottinghamshire. So what reassurances can the home secretary give to the people of Ashfield and the whole of Nottinghamshire, and Nottingham city especially, that they are safe and the police are getting all the resources that they need?”

Epoch Times Photo
Undated images of Nottingham University students Barnaby Webber (L) and Grace Kumar (R) who were murdered in Nottingham, England, on June 13, 2023. (PA)

Braverman replied: “People can feel safe in Nottingham going forward. I know that is difficult for many people to feel in the immediate aftermath of a terrible incident of the type we have just seen, but they must know the police are working flat out to get to the bottom of this.”

“Ultimately we all want justice and we’re also backing the police and all of the other professionals to ensure they can do their operational work as effectively as possible,” she added.

MP Praises City’s ‘Unity and Resilience’

Labour MP Nadia Whittome, who represents Nottingham East, paid tribute to the “unity and resilience” of the people in the city and thanked the emergency services.

She said: “Nottingham is devastated by the deaths of three residents of our city: Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber, and Ian Coates. It was incredibly moving to join the vigil yesterday at St. Peter’s Church, where hundreds of people came together in grief, among them many students who lost two much loved members of their community.”

Braverman said she shared Whittome’s feelings and said: “The people of Nottingham will be shaken beyond belief over the events over the last few days. We are with them as a nation and we stand by them, with them and we will support them in all ways that they need.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Kate Meynell said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks.

She said Webber and Kumar were stabbed in Ilkeston Road at around 4 a.m. and Coates was later found in the street in Magdala Road.

Meynell said the attacker was believed to have stolen a van before driving it at pedestrians in Milton Street.

The van was eventually stopped in Maple Street by police, who used a stun gun on a suspect and detained him.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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