One arrest after car crashes into Downing Street gates

25 May 2023, 16:46 | Updated: 25 May 2023, 18:30

Armed police sealed off Downing Street
Armed police sealed off Downing Street. Picture: LBC/Social media

By Will Taylor

A car crashed into the Downing Street gates, leading to armed police swooping on the scene and shutting Whitehall off.

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One person has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. Nobody was injured and the incident is not being treated as terror-related.

Footage posted online shows the car moving at slow speed past the cenotaph, moving across Whitehall directly at Downing Street, and even appears to break or slow down as it gets toward gates.

Rishi Sunak was working in No10 when the crash happened, then left on a pre-arranged visit having been delayed because of the incident..

The Metropolitan Police 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."

Later, officers said: "The incident is being dealt with by local officers in Westminster and isn't currently being treated as terror-related."

Police were putting up tape and sealing off Whitehall but the road reopened before 6pm. Staff in Downing Street were told to stay indoors but have now been allowed out.

A silver car was see in front of the secure Downing Street entrance.

An eyewitness told LBC he saw the car drive to the gates and said it sounded like a drum.

"It was weird but I just put it off to something else."

He added: "It seems like it's winding down slightly."