Capital nightlife celebrated one week after London Bridge terror attack

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People have come out in a show of "defiance" a week on from the London Bridge terror attack by enjoying their Saturday night in the capital.

Revellers took to the bars and restaurants of the area where seven nights ago three perpetrators launched a deadly rampage, killing eight victims and injuring dozens more.

The British Red Cross's Saturday Night for London fundraising drive to support the victims of the attacks has raised over £700,000 since Sunday, and is backed by Borough Market where the knifemen attacked people enjoying a night out.

Anna Larragy, who is from Leixlip in County Kildare but lives in Crouch End, was sitting enjoying birthday drinks in the evening sunshine outside The Anchor pub where people danced to the music of a nearby busker.

Asked what she thought the lively atmosphere of revellers enjoying their Saturday night said about London, the 27-year-old said: "It is one of the best cities in the world. It is so defiant.

"This kind of thing is horrible.

"It's a horrible thing to have happened but it isn't the kind of thing that would break somewhere like London.

"It's an amazing place to be. It has done so many things for so many people.

"It's made a home for so many people like me and I think it's going to continue to be a a wonderful place."

Joining her was Nick Sawyer, 30, who is originally from Hoddesdon, but lives in Crouch End, and he said: "It's Anna's birthday today and there was nothing that was going to stop us coming into London today."

He added: "A week ago it could have been us."

Mr Sawyer said: "The best sign of defiance is coming out and living your lives."

Nick Cron, 24, who lives in Tooting and is originally from Southampton, was also enjoying his night out along the River Thames.

He said he felt no worries about coming out in London on Saturday night, adding: "I don't think about it. I think that's the key thing really.

"I think it's good not to think about it.

"You've got to just carry on."

Mr Cron said he feels safe and reflected on the response to the attack, saying: "Some of the heroes that came out of the attack ... What they did encourages me."

Anthony Wood, from East London, duty general manager at The Anchor, was working last Saturday when the attack unfolded nearby and said he felt no anxieties about returning to work.

He said the country, and Londoners, have been through a lot down the years, adding: "We're a pretty hardy nation."

But Mr Wood said one particular staff member does feel nervous when she sees people running past.

Commenting on the impression he is getting from customers, he said: "It hasn't been forgotten, but I don't think it's going to push them into a corner where they're not going to go out."

Michael Heneghan, deputy general manager at the pub, added: "It's great. Londoners have come back out in droves.

"It's great ... People are still dancing, still drinking."

He also said the attack has made staff think about how they would react and respond should something similar happen in future.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the city will stand united in grief for the eight people who were killed, adding that one of the greatest things about the capital is "how we pull together in the face of adversity".

The mayor said: "London is open. Our resilience, unity and defiance of those evil individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life will never change.

"As we mark one week on from the appalling attack, we are coming together to raise money for the victims and their families.

"I urge all Londoners to do what they can to support this appeal and show the world that we are city that will never be divided or cowed by terrorism."

Also among those marking a week since the attack were faith leaders and representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), brought together by the charity Muslim Aid.

The group, people of Christian, Muslim and other faiths, took part in a "sunset walk" from St Paul's Cathedral to the East London Mosque.

Speaking outside St Paul's where people were gathering ahead of the walk, Muslim Aid chief executive Jehangir Malik commented on how busy the capital felt a week on from the attack.

He told the Press Association: "We have the resolve to continue, to do what we have to do ... Living our lives as citizens of London."

Mr Malik added that there are people who want to cause divisions, adding: "But standing here today with all of those around us demonstrates one week on that that's not going to happen."

Reverend Alan Green, Rector of St John on Bethnal Green, said: "There is huge resilience here. And I think it's really important that people don't just carry on as usual but do a bit more than usual.

"And I think that's been the case in London. But certainly there is a move this weekend that people should be out and about to show that we're not going to be deterred by acts of terrorism however nasty or dangerous they are."

Meanwhile, police have revealed the ringleader of the terror gang tried to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry hours before the attack.

Detectives suspect the carnage inflicted could have been even worse if Khuram Butt had not failed to secure the vehicle because his payment did not go through.

Instead he resorted to "plan B" and rented a white van which ploughed into pedestrians.

After leaving the vehicle, the terrorists used 12in ceramic knives with pink blades in a stabbing spree.

Detectives made their 20th arrest in relation to the investigation on Saturday.

Scotland Yard said a 28-year-old man was held on suspicion of terror offences following a raid in east London.

Officers entered a residential address in Barking shortly after 2am on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday police said a 27-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the attack during a raid in Ilford, east London, but was later released without charge. 

Of the 20 people arrested in connection with the probe, 12 have been released without charge.

One man arrested on suspicion of drugs and firearms offences was bailed until a date in late June.

Butt, a 27-year-old Pakistani-born British citizen, and his two accomplices, Rachid Redouane, 30, who claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan, and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Italian national of Moroccan descent, were shot dead by armed police eight minutes after the first emergency call.

The trio were wearing hoax suicide belts made of plastic water bottles wrapped in grey duct tape.

Three 12in knives with pink blades were recovered at the scene of the killings.

Each attacker brandished one of the weapons with leather binding strapped around their wrists.

Southwark Council said on Saturday that the last cordon had been lifted and police had now left the crime scene.

Chief executive of Southwark Council Eleanor Kelly said: "We understand that the cordons have had a massive impact on local residents and businesses and would like to thank those individuals for their patience, goodwill and hospitality."