Man arrested after ‘pushing 7-year-old’ over and grabbing at Queen’s coffin
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A man has been arrested after he allegedly pushed a seven-year-old out of the way and lunged for the Queen's coffin while dozens of mourners tried to pay their respects in Westminster Hall.
The man, who has not been identified, made it into the Hall at about 10:00pm on Friday (16 September) as the queues continue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state.
Members of the public are allowed to file past the Queen's coffin, which is surrounded by guards and raised on a platform, but the man broke free from the crowd and attempted to run up the few steps.
Footage from the scene shows members of the public looking shocked, and a man being tackled to the ground by guards.
A witness to the events, Tracey Holland, told Sky News: "Some person decided they were going to push my [seven-year-old niece] out the way, run up to the coffin, lift up the standard and try to do I don't know what. She was grabbed out the way and the police had him within two seconds."
Holland went on to describe the man's attempts as 'terrible, absolutely terrible', adding: "So disrespectful and unbelievable - and this poor little seven-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the Queen."
The incident has been confirmed by the Metropolitan Police in a statement, saying: "Around 10:00pm on Friday 16 September, officers from the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance. He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody."
Another witness told the MailOnline the man who has been arrested was by himself in the queue, and had joined the public in filing towards Westminster Hall throughout the day.
They continued: "When we entered the room we were at the top of the stairs when we saw the incident. A lady screamed as it happened, it was quite unnerving. Although he was detained and people kept calm and carried on."
A spokesperson for parliament said officials are 'aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the catafalque', the raised platform on which the coffin is placed.
"They have now been removed from the hall and the queue restarted with minimal disruption," the spokesperson said.
The Queen will continue to lie in state until Monday, 19 September, when her coffin will be moved for the state funeral.