A man has been arrested after a car crashed into the gates of Downing Street, triggering a lockdown in Number 10.
The vehicle got beyond the initial low barrier that stops traffic turning into the street where Rishi Sunak lives and works, but was stopped before the main black gates.
Nobody was hurt in the incident. A source familiar with what happened said the driver of the car had been arrested and nobody else was in the vehicle.
The Prime Minister is understood to have been inside the building when the incident took place at 4.20pm on Wednesday. He has been informed about what happened.
Workers inside Number 10 were told not to leave the building, in what was effectively a lockdown, as police officers secured the area and investigated the incident.
The Telegraph understands that checks for explosive devices were carried out. Images showed the grey car with its boots and left door open surrounded by armed policemen.
Follow the latest updates below.
Latest police update
Children fled the scene in ‘panic’
Our political correspondent, Amy Gibbons, is on the ground outside Downing Street.
Simon Parry, who witnessed the incident from a protest opposite Downing Street, said children fled the scene “in panic mode”.
He said: “A lot of children ran away, the guy was quickly seized by the armed police, they pointed tasers at him, they dragged him out.
“Police vehicles arrived pretty quickly and he was taken away and they evacuated the area.”
He said the man did not hit the gate very hard, but the group “heard a bang”.
Another protester at the scene suggested the car had been travelling at around 10mph.
Mr Parry said there were around 12 to 15 police vehicles at the scene during the aftermath, with sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal unit.
He said the man appeared around 50 years old.
The other protester said the man looked like “a pretty normal person”.
“He drove out of these gates adjacent to 10 Downing Street… and half an hour earlier the UN soldiers who had done a parade for the fallen soldiers went in there and the gates were locked, so somehow he’s come out of those gates and drove directly into 10 Downing Street at about 10 miles an hour.”
Driver had ‘face to floor’ when being arrested
Witness Simon Parry said the driver had his “face to the floor” as he was being arrested.
He said the man appeared to slow down before he reached the gates of Downing Street, having driven out from the other side of the road.
“There were sniffer dogs and a bomb squad,” he added.
Asked to describe the mood in the immediate aftermath, Mr Parry said: “We saw people that were in a panic running away and we saw people who were excited.”
Police open cordon
Police have opened the cordon that was restricting access for the area of Whitehall outside Downing Street where a car hit the Downing Street gates.
Dozens of members of the public filed out as armed officers kept watch near the crashed car.
PM in No 10 at time of crash
Rishi Sunak was in Downing Street at the time the car crashed into the front gates, the PA news agency understands.
The Prime Minister, who had been due to leave No 10 anyway, departed after the crash.
Watch: Footage shows moment car crashes in No 10
Footage credited to BBC News appears to capture the moment the grey car drove up to the Downing Street gate, crossing a street before doing so.
It appears to be moving quite slowly. The vehicle also slows down a little as it approaches the entrance and moves past the initial low barrier before reaching the black Downing Street gate.
Car appears to be a silver Kia Ceed hatchback
The car appears to be a silver Kia Ceed hatchback manufactured in 2009.
‘I heard a bang and looked up and saw loads of police’
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.”
Checks for explosive devices carried out
The Telegraph understands that checks for explosive devices were carried out at the scene.
Images showed the grey car with its boot and left door open surrounded by armed policemen.
Counter-terrorism police not involved
The Telegraph understands that counter-terrorism police are not involved in the investigation at this stage.
Cordons in place around Whitehall
There are cordons around Whitehall with police officers blocking access to the street from outside the Ministry of Defence.
The incident comes as many civil servants are leaving their offices for the day in the area.
Armed police arrest suspect
Photographs showed a middle-aged man with grey hair, glasses and a bald patch being led away by three policemen.
He was wearing a white t-shirt, grey trousers and trainers.
The silver car which crashed into the gates of Downing Street has been pictured
Met Police Statement
The latest update from the Met Police states: “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.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Significant police presence
Large sections of Whitehall have been closed to the public and vehicles, with pedestrians being turned away from the main thoroughfare around Downing Street in central London.
There is a significant police presence in the area.
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