UPDATE: Friday 24 March: A Corbyn spokesman told IBTimes UK: "He is not refusing to say 'terrorist'. The story is false."

Jeremy Corbyn's team have failed to deny reports that the Labour leader has "refused" to refer to the Westminster attack as an act of terrorism, when originally approached by IBTimes UK on Friday (24 March).

The left-winger condemned the vehicle and knife assault by Khalid Masood, 52, as an "atrocity" and a "violent incident", as well as laying flowers for the four victims of the attack and the dozens injured.

"[The] horrific attack in Westminster has shocked the whole country. All our thoughts are with the victims of this outrage, their loved ones, families and friends," Corbyn said in a statement on Wednesday (22 March).

"Those victims include civilians and police officers, Londoners and visitors, subjected to a brutal and indiscriminate assault.

"Our thanks and gratitude go to the police and emergency services who responded so bravely, and to those – including the MP Tobias Ellwood – who went to the aid of the injured and dying.

"This was not only an attack on innocent people. It was also an attack on our democracy. But I know that Londoners and people across the country will stand together in defence of our values and diversity."

The Prime Minister Theresa May and Metropolitan Police have continually referred to the incident as a "terrorist" attack.

But Corbyn, who has previously referred to Palestinian militant group Hamas and shia Islamist militants Hezbollah as "friends", has not used the same language since the attack.

Sir Gerald Howarth, the former Conservative minister, told The Daily Telegraph that the Labour leader was "in denial".

"He has declared support for Hamas and for Sinn Fein in the past and if he cannot be unequivocal about what happened yesterday, then he is simply not fit to be anywhere near the government of this country, let alone be in the charge of it as he aspires to be," the senior Conservative said.

Mark Rowley
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police makes a statement outside of New Scotland Yard Getty