Man arrested after car collides with gates of Downing Street, where U.K. prime minister lives

LONDON — A car collided Thursday with the gates of Downing Street in central London, where the British prime minister’s home and offices are located, setting off a rapid security response in one of London’s most-fortified sites.

The Metropolitan Police force said a man was arrested Thursday afternoon at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving. There were no reports of injuries.

It was unclear whether Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in his office at the time.

Video footage posted on social media showed a white car heading straight for the gates at low speed across Whitehall, the main thoroughfare in London’s government district. Footage shot soon after showed a car with its trunk open up against the tall metal gates.

It was not immediately clear whether the crash was deliberate. Police said they were working to establish the circumstances.

Officers cordoned off Whitehall after the crash but later lifted some of the barriers.

Downing Street is a narrow street with a row of Georgian houses that includes the prime minister’s official residence at No. 10.

The gates were erected in 1989 in response to threats from Irish Republican Army militants. Public access to the street is restricted and the gates are protected at all times by armed police officers.

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Source: WT