Naked man brings Whitehall to a standstill

By Charles Maggs

Roads around Whitehall were sealed off this afternoon as a naked man mounted a statue of the first Duke of Cambridge.

It was not immediately clear why the man had staged the stunt, but some speculated he was protesting in order to bring exposure to a specific topic.

The incident lasted around three hours. A police spokesman confirmed the scene just after noon when there was a shrinking chance that they would have to get their truncheons out – but there were no signs of a cover-up any time soon.

"We were called just after midday to reports of a man who had climbed a statue in Whitehall," he said.

"Officers are on the scene and trying to talk to him to bring the incident to a successful and peaceful conclusion."

The man was seen gesticulating with officers and at one stage balanced on top of the statue's head.

Eyewitness Iain Chambers described the man as "very small". "I don't know why he is protesting, I don't even think he does," he said.

Even so mounting such a high monument was judged by other observers to be a "very ballsy feat".

Matters came to a tipping point at around 14.50 this afternoon when it was feared that a police chopper might have to get involved. 

It's hoped that now the man has come down, police can flesh out some information and get to the bottom of what he was doing. 

The statue was erected in 1928.