Police investigating a “suspicious vehicle” near Westminster Abbey have closed roads around Parliament Square amid reports of an alleged bomb threat.
Officers and emergency services are in the area to investigate the incident close to Parliament and Downing Street, the Metropolitan Police tweeted.
Streets around Parliament Square have been cordoned off and deserted, except for police vehicles, pictures shared on social media show.
Police were called to the scene just before 4.30pm. Two controlled explosions have reportedly taken place but this has not been confirmed by the authorities.
The force added: “A number of road closures are in place while emergency services deal with the incident.”
Two tube stations, Westminster and St James’, have also been shut – Transport for London said.
A witness told Reuters news agency that they heard a muffled bang in the Westminster area.
James Heale, a journalist for the Spectator magazine, said that the nearby QEII centre had been evacuated.
He tweeted just after 5pm that Parliament Square had been reopened.
Westminster School, the private boy’s school, has also been evacuated, according to reports.