VIDEO: Naked statue protest causes Whitehall closure
13:00 23 November 2012
Whitehall in central London was closed for three hours today after a naked man mounted what appears to be a protest atop a statue.
WARNING: The video below contains footage of a naked man
Officers were called to the scene at about noon. The road was cordoned off between Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square while they attempted to tackle the incident.
He was eventually coaxed down at around 2.45pm and put into the back of a police van. A Met Police spokesman said a man was detained under the Mental Health Act.
Crowds of onlookers gathered by the cordons. He is thought to have been clothed while climbing the statue.
Eyewitness Jennifer Walker said she saw the man stood on the statue wearing his underpants.
She said: “He then took those off and got into various positions.
“I could see him spitting and talking to the police and shouting at windows in the neighbouring buildings occasionally doing the peace sign.
“At one point he urinated and he seemed to be trying to pull the hat off the statue a few times. I couldn’t hear what he was shouting.”
Traffic on the Victoria Embankment and surrounding routes was affected.