The man is believed to have been clothed while climbing the statue. Picture: Jennifer Walker/Twitter

VIDEO: Naked statue protest causes Whitehall closure

Friday, November 23, 2012
1.00 PM

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

The man was on the statue for almost three hours. Picture: John Stillwell/PA WireThe man was on the statue for almost three hours. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

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.

Police closed the surrounding routes during the incident. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PAPolice closed the surrounding routes during the incident. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA

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.