By politics.co.uk staff
St Paul's cathedral has been forced to close its doors because of the growing anti-capitalist protest in Paternoster Square.
Initially the cathedral clergy had welcomed the protest, even asking the police to reduce their presence at the protest.
But by mid-week the congestion caused by the occupation, targeted at the nearby London Stock Exchange, had begun limiting access to the cathedral.
Health and safety officers had advised that the limited entry and exit points were compromising the cathedral's ability to operate.
"With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard," the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul's said.
"Then there is the public health aspect, which speaks for itself.
"The dangers relate not just to cathedral staff and visitors but are a potential hazard to those encamped."
This is the first time St Paul's cathedral has been forced to close since the Second World War, when its survival throughout the Blitz became an iconic symbol of British resistance to Nazism.