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Man detained after pouring 'petrol' over himself near Houses of Parliament

Catherine Wylie/PA Wire

By Margaret Davis, PA Crime Correspondent

A man has been detained by police after pouring a flammable liquid over himself near the Houses of Parliament.

The incident unfolded at around 10.45am on Tuesday when the man, who had a lighter, doused himself with what was thought to be petrol at the Old Carriage Gates.

He was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and was not injured.

Conservative MP Huw Merriman wrote on Twitter: "Man next to me at Parliament's carriage gates appears to have poured (what smells like) petrol on himself. Incredibly brave response from police, who are now helping him."

London Fire and Ambulance Service also attended.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "At 10.44am on Tuesday officers became aware of a man dousing himself with, what appeared to be, a flammable liquid at Old Carriage Gates, Westminster.

"The man, who had a lighter, was sprayed with a fire extinguisher. There was no ignition and the man was detained.

"London Fire Brigade (LFB) and London Ambulance Service (LAS) have attended the scene.

"LFB made the scene safe by dispersing the suspected flammable liquid. The man was assessed by LAS and taken to a central London hospital.

"He has been detained under the Mental Health Act. No reports of any injuries."