A number of people have been injured after a car crashed into them ‘at speed’ before hitting a barrier outside the Houses of Parliament.
The car came to a standstill against a ‘stop’ barrier towards the House of Lords end of the Palace of Westminster.
Police confirmed that a number of people were injured in the collision and the driver has been arrested while a witness described seeing several cyclists being hit. They later added that none of those injuries is believed to be life-threatening.
Scotland Yard has not yet confirmed whether the incident is terror-related, but counter terror officers are at the scene. Parliament is currently in recess.
However reporters at the scene said they were told the cordon being put in place was a ‘terrorism act cordon’.
Images posted to social media showed a male suspect, wearing a black puffer jacket, surrounded by officers, being led away in handcuffs from a silver-coloured Ford.
Eyewitness Ewalina Ochab told the Press Association: ‘I think it looked intentional – the car drove at speed and towards the barriers.’
She said: ‘I was walking on the other side [of the road]. I heard some noise and someone screamed.
‘I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement. The person driving did not go out.’
The vehicle did not appear to have a front registration plate when it crashed, she added.
Streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens have cordoned off while police, ambulances and firefighters arrived at the scene. Westminster tube station has been closed.
Firearms officers and at least two police dogs are stationed inside Parliament Square. Police said in a statement: ‘At 0737hrs today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.
‘The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene. A number of pedestrians have been injured.
‘Officers remain at the scene. We will issue further info when we have it.’
The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.
The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.
Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.
Parliament Square has been closed off and people were being moved away from the area following the crash.
A police officer’s radio suggested that the counter terrorism unit was now responding to the incident.
Scotland Yard said that they were responding to reports of a collision in the Westminster area.