The Prime Minister has praised the "extraordinary" bravery of Tobias Ellwood as calls grew for him to be given an honour after he battled to save the life of a police officer in the Westminster terror atrocity.

Mr Ellwood, a Conservative Foreign Office Minister, ran towards the gunfire to help Pc Keith Palmer, who was stabbed in the attack.

He tried to give the officer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and stem the blood amid the carnage in New Palace Yard, but the officer died from his injuries.

His bravery was praised by many MPs, who had gathered in the House of Commons chamber to listen and respond to Theresa May's statement on the terror attack.

But Mr Ellwood, a former soldier and now MP for Bournemouth East, and whose brother Jonathan was killed in the 2002 Bali terrorist bombing, shook his head as a fellow MP called for him to be recognised in the honours list.

Conservative MP Matthew Offord (Hendon) said: "Does the Prime Minister agree with me that we should actually use the honours system to recognise those people who made a contribution yesterday, including the honourable member for Bournemouth East?"

Bournemouth Echo:

Picture from PA. Tobias Ellwood in the House of Commons today

Mrs May replied: "I think proper consideration will be given to the issue that you raise.

"But if I may just say about the member for Bournemouth East, who I spoke to yesterday evening, I think we should all recognise that not only did he show huge professionalism in putting his past training to the use and the hope that he had of rescuing the life of Pc Keith Palmer.

"But of course, it was in the middle of a terrorist attack and our right honourable friend is somebody who knows the trauma and tragedy of losing somebody in a terrorist attack."

She had earlier singled out the minister for praise, telling MPs: "Yesterday we saw the worst of humanity but we will remember the best.

"We will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of Pc Keith Palmer, including those by my right honourable friend, the member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood)."

MPs packed into the Commons to hear the Prime Minister condemn the terror attack, and several were emotional and on the verge of tears as they spoke.

Throughout, Mr Ellwood stood at the back of the chamber with his arms crossed and his head bowed as he listened to his colleagues condemn the attacks and praise the bravery of those, including himself, who helped defend Parliament.

Several politicians walked up to have a quiet word with Mr Ellwood and pat him on the shoulder, while others across the chamber glanced over to him as the PM delivered her statement.

Mr Ellwood's wife Hannah, a lawyer, spoke of her pride in her husband's actions.

She told the Evening Standard: "I'm proud of him."

The MP has been hailed a hero after battling to save the life of a police officer stabbed in yesterday's terrorist attack at Westminster.

Mr Ellwood, a foreign officer minister, gave CPR and mouth to mouth to the officer in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster amid scenes of chaos.

It is not the first time Mr Ellwood's life has been touched by an atrocity, as his brother Jonathan was killed in the 2002 Bali bombing.

Mr Ellwood, who was pictured with blood on his face and clothes as he battled to help the police officer, was quoted by The Sun as saying the Westminster incident was a "huge tragedy".

"I am a witness, I was the last one on the scene before he died so I am not allowed to say anything. Number 10 has been in touch so I'll get into trouble.

"It is now murder, I was on the scene and as soon as I realised what was going on I headed towards it.

"It is a huge tragedy, it really is.

"I tried to stem the flow of blood and give mouth to mouth while waiting for the medics to arrive but I think he had lost too much blood.

"I'm not allowed to say anything, I'll get into trouble.

"It's very sad," the newspaper reported him saying.

Eyewitness Hugh Dickinson, a 21-year-old student from High Wycombe, posted a picture of Mr Ellwood on Twitter, showing the minister bleeding, but saying "he looked to be fine".

Mr Dickinson said: "He had blood on his forehead as you can see but he wasn't bleeding profusely.

"It looked like either a smear or graze and you can see some on his cuff too if you zoom in. He looked to be fine - no obvious limp or anything."

The Bournemouth East MP is Foreign Office Minister, with the Middle East, Africa and counter terrorism listed among the areas within his brief.

His actions drew praise from across the political spectrum, with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron saying: "He was utterly heroic, pure and simple. He went above and beyond and did all he could to save a police officer."

Tory MP Ben Howlett, tweeted: "Tobias Ellwood is an absolute hero for what he did to help the policeman this afternoon!"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also added to the cross-party praise for Mr Ellwood.

"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," he said.

Conservative MP Adam Afriyie saw his long-time friend Mr Ellwood try to save the life of the police officer.

He told BBC News: "We were going about our duties as MPs. I was walking from Portcullis House to the Westminster chamber to vote. As I was walking through (New) Palace Yard with many other MPs to vote, at about the fifth arch, then suddenly I heard gunfire.

"I have heard it before. I recognised it immediately so ducked in behind a pillar.

"We were then instructed very quickly by the house services and security services to basically go back to Portcullis House.

"I obeyed the instructions and as I turned around and started to walk back, my good friend Tobias Ellwood of 20 years was marching towards us with determination.

"I shouted something out to him along the lines of 'You look like you are on a mission'.

"He walked straight past and straight to where the incident had taken place. Then it occurred to me that he had lost his brother in Bali and he was going to do anything he possibly could to help the situation.

"I am really really proud of him. I am sure his family is too and the rest of us are for actually trying to give life support of the police officer who was injured."

Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox told Radio Four’s Today programme the way to deal with incidents such as this was to focus on the victims and the heroic actions of people like Tobias Ellwood, rather than giving the perpetrator notoriety.

The BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner also paid tribute to “my friend Tobias Ellwood.”

Mr Gardner was shot six times by Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia in 2004.

As paramedics treated the victim, the foreign minister walked back to onlookers who were watching from a distance, shaken and grim faced.

One embraced him before another patted his shoulder.

He later arrived back at the Foreign Office.

A spokesperson from the Foreign Office said Mr Ellwood was safe and well.

Mr Ellwood has been Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office since July 2014, covering the Middle East and Africa brief. 

He has been the MP for Bournemouth East since 2005.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill said: “This reminds us all that police officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe.

“The officer paid the ultimate price to protect the very seat of democracy in our country.”

He said he had the “utmost respect” for Mr Ellwood, who “stepped in to try and save a life using his Army training.”

Four innocent people, including the armed police officer, were killed in the attack yesterday.

The attacker, armed with two large knives, mowed down pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge, including schoolchildren, then rushed at the gates in front of the Houses of Parliament, stabbing the policeman before being shot dead by other officers.

Westminster attack: click here for latest updates 

Scotland Yard's top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley said the two other fatalities were on the bridge when the terrorist struck. At least 20 other people were injured.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns tweeted at 3.50pm: "Police and House security did a great job securing the chamber. We remain inside and on lockdown. Thoughts with the injured outside."

South Dorset MP Richard Drax said many Dorset politicians are at the House of Commons today.

"There's a lot of activity, with armed police and the helicopter overhead and all sorts," he said.

Mr Drax, a former soldier, said the thoughts of all MPs are with those injured in the incident.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in this horrific, shocking incident," he said.

A number of the county's politicians are currently waiting while police deal with the major security alert.

Sir Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West, said he believed offices in the Palace of Westminster were being searched.

The sitting in the House of Commons was suspended while police officers sealed off the area around the incident.