The man is taken away to the police van. Photo: Reuters video grab

LONDON: A man was arrested by police on Friday (March 29) evening after being stopped as he attempted to scale the security gates to Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister.

The arrest comes on a day when thousands of people opposed to Britain delaying its departure from the European Union marched through central London as lawmakers in parliament strongly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time.

Man attempts to scale the security fence into Downing Street, is pulled to the floor by police and detained. Photo: Reuters video grab

Friday’s protest, a week after hundreds of thousands marched through calling for a second referendum, shows how divided Britain is over Europe almost three years after voting to leave the EU.

As the result of the vote in parliament filtered through to the crowds on Parliament Square, scattered cheers went up as some protesters viewed it as boosting the chance of a rapid departure from the bloc.

However the mood of protesters ranged from satisfaction to despair as some also viewed the result as leading to a delay, or even a cancelling, of Brexit.

Police said they were prepared for potential trouble, although the atmosphere was festive for most of the day with people drinking beer and eating sandwiches.

The man is taken away to the police van. Photo: Reuters video grab

Later in the evening there was a small stand-off between the police and supporters of far-right activist Tommy Robinson, as around 100 people protested outside May’s office shouting “We want Brexit! We want Brexit!”.

London’s police force said it had arrested five protesters as of 2100 GMT.

Many of the day’s marchers predicted the political elite will be punished if it fails to fully sever ties with Brussels. – Reuters