A man was tasered outside the Houses of Parliament on Friday after reaching for for a knife, police have said, adding that they “remain open minded as to whether terrorism was a motive”.
The Metropolitan Police said officers on routine duties near to the Carriage Gates entrance to the Palace of Westminster “became aware of a man acting suspiciously” around 11.10am.
“The officers approached the man in order to speak with him. The man reached for a knife, and police discharged a Taser,” the Met said in a statement.
Pictures on social media show the man being restrained by armed officers .
“There were shouts of ‘knife, knife, knife’ and man was brought down with a Taser,” Evening Standard reporter Joe Murphy wrote on Twitter.
The Metropolitan Police said the man, aged in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife.
It said no one was injured during the incident.
The arrest happened just yards from the spot where PC Kieth Palmer was stabbed to death by Khalid Masood after he killed four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge by driving into them on March 22.
The Evening Standard reported that armed officers ran towards St Stephen’s Gate after passersby were heard shouting “knife, knife, knife” after spotting the man.
Bradley Allen, 19, from Barking, told the newspaper that he saw the man moments before he was detained. He said the man “looked quite angry with fists quite clenched”.