Copycat 'U-Haul' Incident in UK? Car Rams Into Gate at Prime Minister's Official Residence

AP Photo/Aberto Pezzali

On Thursday, around 4:20 pm in London, a car crashed into the gates of Downing Street, where Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lives and works. The vehicle got beyond a low barrier that prevents traffic from turning into the street but was stopped before the main black wrought-iron security gates. Video shows a small silver Kia driving at a slow speed across Whitehall Street, before crashing. The vehicle was thought to come from a parking lot next to the main building of the Ministry of Defense.


The incident appears to be a copycat of a crash involving a U-Haul moving truck on Monday night in Washington DC, near the White House. Like the driver of the U-Haul truck in DC, the Downing Street motorist has also been taken into custody.

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The UK incident is not being treated as terrorism-related, but the suspect has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving.

Shortly after the incident, the car could be seen near the tall metal gates with its trunk open as police officers searched the vehicle, putting items into evidence bags. Approximately two hours later, the vehicle was transported away from the scene.


The building known as “Number 10” in the UK, formally 10 Downing Street, is the official residence and office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was inside Number 10 at the time of the collision and was initially locked down before being evacuated.

Downing Street is heavily fortified as the epicenter of the UK’s government. In the past, it was fully open to the public but has been closed to vehicles since the 1970s, and the current security gates were installed in the 1980s. Security was increased in 1991 after a mortar attack by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), during a period known as The Troubles.

The UK Metropolitan Police of Westminster released a statement about the incident, writing:

At around 16:20hrs a car collided with the gates of Downing Street on Whitehall. Armed officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving. There are no reports of any injuries. Enquiries are ongoing.

#UPDATE | A small cordon remains in place outside Downing Street after a car collided with the gates earlier this afternoon. The incident is being dealt with by local officers in Westminster and isn’t currently being treated as terror-related.


No injuries have been reported and after large sections of Whitehall were closed following the incident, the street is now fully open to the public.



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