UK parliament briefly locked down over ‘suspicious package’
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UK parliament briefly locked down over ‘suspicious package’

Police find no security threat after discovery of envelope prompts security alert

An illustrative photo of the British Parliament, seen across Westminster Bridge in London. (Wikimedia)
An illustrative photo of the British Parliament, seen across Westminster Bridge in London. (Wikimedia)

The British Parliament was briefly placed on lockdown on Thursday after a suspicious package was discovered in the building.

The security alert, reportedly sparked by a letter sent to a peer containing white powder, lasted for an hour and a half before police declared the incident over.

“The incident has been stood down. It was a suspicious package that had been delivered to the Houses of Parliament,” a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police told AFP.

“There are no reports of any injuries or illnesses.”

A Lords spokesman had told AFP earlier that parts of the building, including the car park and terrace overlooking the River Thames, were closed “due to a potential security issue that is being investigated.”

He later said: “It’s over. The investigation found that there wasn’t any security threat and so the closed areas were re-opened.”

Matt Chorley, a reporter for The Times newspaper who was on the terrace at the time, had tweeted that police were investigating a “chemical incident”.

“Letter to a peer being analysed by police over white powder in envelope,” he said. Neither police nor the House of Lords would immediately confirm his account.

Britain was marking on Thursday the 11-year anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London that killed 52 people.

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