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A Fox News Expert Who Said The Westminster Attack "Shut Down" London Has Been Corrected By Actual Londoners

"The only thing that can really shut down London is a light dusting of snow."

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Walid Phares, a security and foreign policy expert based in the United States, has been corrected by Londoners after he said their city had been "shut down" after a terrorist launched an attack near the Houses of Parliament.

Fox News / Via Twitter

Phares said he was set to appear on Fox News to talk about the events, adding that "One man can shut down a city" as news developed that the attack left four people dead – including the assailant – and 40 people injured, with seven in a critical a condition.

Will be on Tucker on Fox News at 9 AM EST to discuss the terror act in London. "One man can shut down a city.."

Phares, who was also Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser during the 2016 US election, has spoken on Fox News for over a decade and became its national security and foreign affairs adviser this year.

Fox News

But his statement about the city being "shut down" was not quite true according to many Londoners, who pointed out that the only thing that can really shut down London is "a light dusting of snow".

Nonsense. Everyone knows the only thing that can shut down London is a light dusting of snow.

In fact, people were convinced that even pubs near the scene probably kept their doors open to show that Londoners were not afraid.

Bollocks, I doubt it even shut down the nearest pub...

Londoners didn't find it too difficult to get home last night. "Shut down = tube still running, most roads still open, able to walk around like normal no lockdown outside immediate area," one person wrote on Twitter.

@WalidPhares shut down = tube still running, most roads still open, able to walk around like normal no lockdown outside immediate area...

And there was a good service on all of the city's underground lines the following morning.

@WalidPhares You're talking bollocks is what you're doing. You don't speak for London or the UK you utter fraud

There was even a massive queue outside Pret in Holborn.

MATE, there was still a massive queue for coffee in Holborn Pret A Manger this morning, shush now.

DID NOT HAPPEN. Finished work to meet friends at Westminster. Had dinner. Walked over along the river. Took tube ho…

So what exactly did Phares mean by "shut down"?

If he meant that Londoners are getting on with their lives as normal, then he's completely right.

Oh @WalidPhares it's getting worse. #London in such a state of lockdown: on *another* train now. It's even more unr…

@WalidPhares The #districtline at 7.40am #london #londonisopen #WeAreNotAfraid #westminster

Some people found the statement insulting, especially coming from a person who doesn't live in the city.

The "London is shut down, city in fear" narrative is immensely insulting to Londoners, who have seen a lot worse. London is very safe now

It was business as usual in London – and it was clear that "one man" could definitely not shut down this city.

Yeah, London was really "shut down" today. Nobody about.

Those who do live in the city sent a powerful message to terrorists, with one saying: "We Londoners are made of sterner stuff, I live here I should know".

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at

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