PC Palmer made what Prime Minister Theresa May described as the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ with the George Cross being the highest honour available to the copper
THE heroic policeman who died in the line of duty during the Westminster terror attack is in line to receive a top gong from the Queen.
PC Keith Palmer was killed protecting Parliament by knifeman Khalid Masood on 22 March and has now been added to Her Majesty’s birthday honours List.
The list had already been finalised but an exception was made for the 48-year-old because of his bravery in protecting the men and women working inside the Palace of Westminster.
Masood was shot before he could enter the building but killed four other people and injured over 50 others after ramming pedestrians on Westminster Bridge using a 4×4 vehicle.
The list is due to be published in June with the top honour available to a police officer being the George Cross which is given for conspicuous courage in the face of extreme danger.
PC Palmer would be the first officer to receive the award since Met explosives officer Roger Goad, a 40-year-old married man with two children, who died after unsuccessfully attempting to defuse an IRA bomb in 1976.
The bomb had been fitted with an anti-handling mechanism and was placed in a shop doorway in London’s Kensington Church Street by Provisional Irish Republican Army members.
The second highest honour available to a police officer for bravery is the George Medal with the third highest being the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
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Following the attack Prime Minister Theresa May said the Charlton Athletic football fan would be considered for an accolade after his “ultimate sacrifice”.
It is also thought that Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood is being considered for an award in the New Year’s Honours List.
The politician had tried in vain to save PC Palmer, a husband and father, by performing CPR with the assistance of ambulance staff.
Calls had been made to honour PC Palmer posthumously following the terrorist attack with James Cleverly, the MP for Braintree, telling Parliament to honour his army pal of 25 years.
He said: “It was a delight to meet him here again only a few months after being elected.
“Would my Right Honourable Friend, the Prime Minister in recognition of the work that he did and the other police officers and public servants here in the house do, consider recognising his gallantry and sacrifice, formally with a posthumous recognition?”
Prime Minister Theresa May said PC Palmer, who served with Mr Cleverlyin the Royal Artillery, “paid the ultimate sacrifice at the heart of democracy” and will be considered for an award.
She said: “The issue he has been raised, is of course one that will be considered. “
In a statement in the House of Commons today, the Prime Minister said PC Palmer was “every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten”.
Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, called for him to be awarded the George Medal for civilians who showed astonishing bravery.
Other policemen awarded with posthumous medals
In 2009, Detective Constable Stephen Oake received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
The officer, of Greater Manchester Police, was stabbed to death after attempting to arrest an armed terrorist suspect attacking his colleagues. He received the medal after six years of tireless campaigning to recognise his bravery.
In 2009 the Metropolitan Police commemorated the murder on duty of PC William Tyler, 31, shot dead by terrorists. His bravery led to the creation of the King’s Police Medal, which was awarded to three officers involved.
Detective Constable Michael Swindells, 44, of West Mindlands Police, received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2007 after attempting the arrest of a deranged knifeman. He chased the suspect and attempted to arrest him but was fatally stabbed in the heart.
Police Sergeant Derek John Carnie Robertson, 39, was awarded the same medal in 1996 after confronting an armed robber. The officer, of the Met Police, attempted to arrest the suspect despite threats. He was repeatedly and fatally stabbed.
Police Constable Lewis George Fulton, 28, received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in 1995 after apprehending a mentally deranged man in Glasgow. The officer, of Strathclyde Police, was stabbed in the chest after coming to the assistance of his fellow officers.
Special Constable Glenn Thomas Goodman, 37, got the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct in 1994. The North Yorkshire policeman was questioning two men in a car when, without warning, he was shot and fatally wounded.
PC Palmer is also to receive the same honour as former prime minister Margaret Thatcher after the Queen agreed to allow his body to lie in a special chapel in Parliament ahead of his funeral next week.
The officer’s coffin will rest in Westminster’s St Mary Undercroft with the honour usually reserved for distinguished heads of state.
Relatives and colleagues will be able to pay their respects to PC Palmer there the day before his full police funeral at Southwark Cathedral on April 10.
Yesterday it was revealed that all 12 people arrested in connection with the Westminster terror attack have been released without charge.
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