The stab victim knifed in an “unprovoked” attack outside the UK Home Office in London is a government worker.
A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after the assault on Marsham Street in Westminster.
The injured man, aged in his 60s, went inside the Home Office, which was put on lock-down, to get help following the assault at around 1pm on Thursday.
It later emerged the victim works for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which is based on the same street as the Home Office.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I am deeply shocked by this horrific attack on a colleague today.
“My thoughts, and those of all my staff, are with him and his family. We are ready to provide as much support as we can and we all wish him a speedy recovery.
“We will be reviewing security across the MHCLG estate. All our staff must feel safe as they go about their important work.
“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the police, ambulance service and our staff for their swift response today.”
Witnesses reported that people were approached by a man carrying knives who asked at least one person if they worked at the Home Office.
The Metropolitan Police said the incident is “not being treated as terrorism-related” but added that officers are “still keeping an open mind with regards any possible motive”.
An image shared online showed a bloodied, topless man being helped by a police officer as well as someone from the ambulance service.
Police initially said the victim’s injuries were life-threatening but later updated that to say they were not life-threatening nor life-changing.
A man, who an eyewitness said could have been the perpetrator, was apparently seen putting something into his bag and then walking “calmly” down the road after the incident.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “All my thoughts are with the victim and their family following horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.”
London Ambulance Service said the man was taken to a major trauma centre.
The arrested man was detained in nearby Smith Square and is also suspected of being in possession of CS spray, the Met said.
The force also confirmed that an animal carrier box left at the scene of the incident contained a ferret.
Eyewitnesses described seeing the victim who was “full of blood” being helped out of the building.
An office worker opposite the Home Office, who asked to remain anonymous, described seeing a man walk calmly down the road after the incident.
She told PA news agency: “He was standing over there outside the Home Office and then he was putting something away in his bag, but I didn’t see a knife or anything.
“He was putting something away and then he just calmly just walked off down the road as if nothing had happened.
“Then people were being asked to go into the Home Office, they were being ushered in.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office described the stabbing as “deeply concerning”.
She said: “The Metropolitan Police is investigating a knife attack which took place outside the Home Office this afternoon. The victim is receiving medical care. This is a deeply concerning incident and our thoughts are with him and his family.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
– Press Association