Widow of Westminster terror attack victim Pc Keith Palmer works for Newham Council
PUBLISHED: 13:57 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:02 24 March 2017
The widow of the heroic police officer who was stabbed to death in the Westminster terror attack works for Newham Council.
Michelle Palmer is the wife of Pc Keith Palmer who was one of four people killed by Khalid Masood during the atrocity on Wednesday.
The couple have a five-year-old daughter.
The legal and governance worker’s 48-year-old husband was on duty outside parliament when he was knifed by Masood.
The Kent-born killer, who is believed to have previously lived in Forest Gate, ploughed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking Pc Palmer.
He also killed Aysha Frade, a mother who was on the school run, American tourist Kurt W. Cochran, who was in the UK to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes from Streatham who died last night.
Masood was shot dead by armed police at the scene.
A book of condolence has been opened by the council and staff are being offered counselling and support.
Kim Bromley-Derry, chief executive of Newham Council said: “The thoughts of everyone at the council are with Michelle, her family and her friends at this extremely difficult time. We have offered her our full support.
“We have also offered practical and emotional support to colleagues who work closest with her as they come to terms with the news. Our employee assistance programme is available around the clock.
“The shocking and tragic events that happened in Westminster on Wednesday afternoon have left us all shocked and deeply saddened.
“A period of silence was held across our council buildings yesterday and the flags were lowered at the Old Town Hall in Stratford.
“A book of condolence was opened at our Newham Dockside offices for those staff wishing to offer their sympathy.”
Pc Palmer, who joined the Met in November 2001and was married with a five-year-old daughter, he had been nominated in 2015 for best thief taker in the Commissioner’s Excellence Awards for making more than 150 arrests in 12 months
Pc James Aitkenhead, who worked alongside him in the TSG, paid tribute to his former colleague describing him as a ‘genuinely nice guy who nobody had a bad word to say about’.
He added: “When I heard what had happened I knew it would be him because that’s just the sort of guy he was, to step straight in when others might step back.
“He had a great work ethic, he worked on our warrants’ car for years, getting up at 4am to serve warrants and arresting wanted offenders. He was always so positive, always staying late after everyone else and getting in early.
“In his personal life he was a massive Charlton Athletic fan and had a season ticket.
“We will miss him so much.”
Inspector Mark Turner, from the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, who most recently worked with Pc Palmer, added: “He really was a solid reliable member of the team - he came in and just got the job done, quietly and efficiently.
“He was a fantastic member of staff and will be sorely missed.”
A memorial fund set up by the Metropolitan Police Federation to raise money to support Mrs Palmer and her family has raised more than £550,000 in two days.
To make a donation click here.