Police arrest man spotted on roof of British Parliament building

LONDON (AFP/REUTERS) - The British police arrested a man on Sunday after he was seen walking on the roof of Britain’s Parliament buildings for several hours overnight.

A police statement said they had arrested the man on suspicion of trespass and criminal damage at 5.01am having been made aware of his presence on top of the Palace of Westminster at 9.15pm on Saturday night. “At this stage it is too early to ascertain the reason as to why the man was trespassing on the roof,” the statement said, adding that police negotiators had attended the scene.

The police were in attendance on Sunday at the building after a man was spotted wandering about on the roof on Saturday night.

Fire crews and an ambulance team were also at the Palace of Westminster in central London, though there was no indication of who the man is or why he is on the building roof.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were on the scene to deal with the incident. "At 9.15 pm, officers were made aware of a man trespassing on the roof at the Palace of Westminster. London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service are in attendance," she said.

The BBC said the man was on his own, moving around a lot and seemed calm, with his hands in his pockets, staring down at the swelling crowd of onlookers on the ground.

The roof has been the scene of stunts by campaigners in the past, including by protesters demonstrating against plans for a third runway at London Heathrow Airport in 2008, and by Greenpeace a year later.

The 19th century Gothic Revival landmark, on the north bank of the River Thames, is home to the lower House of Commons and the upper House of Lords.