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Downing Street gate crash – live: Whitehall in lockdown as man arrested by armed police

A car has been driven into the gates of Downing Street and police have set up a cordon.

Photographs showed a silver Kia crashed into the gates, surrounded by emergency vehicles.

It is understood that no one has been hurt.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: “At approximately 16:20hrs on Thursday, 25 May a car collided with the gate of Downing Street on Whitehall.

“Armed officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving. He has been taken into custody.

“There were no reports of any injuries.

“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances.”

Key Points

  • Man arrested after vehicle driven into Downing Street gates

  • Whitehall closed as police patrol area

  • Police investigate crash

Bomb squad and sniffer dogs join search

17:52 , Jane Dalton

Police ordered a bomb squad and sniffer dogs to search the area, according to witness Simon Parry.

 (Adam Forrest/The Independent)
(Adam Forrest/The Independent)

17:51 , Jane Dalton

It is understood that counter-terrorism police are not involved in the investigation at this stage.

Driver ‘had face to floor’ during arrest

17:45 , Jane Dalton

Witness Simon Parry said the driver had his “face to the floor” as he was arrested.

He said the man had appeared to slow down before he reached the gates of Downing Street, having driven out from the other side of the road.

Asked to describe the mood in the immediate aftermath, he said: “We saw people that were in a panic running away and we saw people who were excited.”

Security scare delays Sunak

17:41 , Jane Dalton

Prime minister Rishi Sunak had been scheduled to leave Downing Street at the end of the afternoon but was slightly delayed by the crash and security scare, No 10 said.

Police search car

17:28 , Jane Dalton

Photos showed a middle-aged white man being taken away by armed officers as police vehicles swarmed the area.

Police were seen searching the car as the operation continued.

 (Ben Hatton/PA Wire)
(Ben Hatton/PA Wire)

Police used Taser guns

17:26 , Jane Dalton

Witness Simon Parry, 44, said: “I heard a bang and looked up and saw loads of police with Taser guns, shouting at the man.

“A lot of police vehicles came very quickly and were very quick to evacuate the area.”

Police at the scene (PA Wire)
Police at the scene (PA Wire)

Police investigate crash

17:22 , Jane Dalton

The Metropolitan Police said no-one had been hurt in the crash and that inquiries had begun.

They tweeted: “At around 16:20hrs a car collided with the gates of Downing Street on Whitehall.

“Armed officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving.

“There are no reports of any injuries. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Footage of the incident appears to show the car slowing down before it hits the gate.

Access to Downing Street blocked

17:19 , Jane Dalton

Many civil servants were leaving their offices for the day in the aftermath of the crash, adding to numbers of people in the street.

There are cordons around Whitehall with police officers blocking access to the street from outside the Ministry of Defence.

The silver car could still be seen where it stopped.

 (AFP/Getty)
(AFP/Getty)

Whitehall closed as police patrol area

17:16 , Jane Dalton

Large sections of Whitehall have been closed to the public and vehicles after the crash.

Pedestrians were being turned away from the main thoroughfare around Downing Street in central London.

There is a significant police presence in the area.

Watch: Police surround car that crashed into Downing Street gates

17:11 , Jane Dalton

Moment car drives into gates of Downing Street

Man arrested after vehicle driven into Downing Street gates

17:08 , Jane Dalton

A man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving after a vehicle was driven into the gates of Downing Street, the Metropolitan Police said.

The car crashed into the gates at around 4.20pm on Thursday, the force said in a statement.

Images on social media showed the car surrounded by emergency vehicles.