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Man arrested after disturbance near House of Lords public gallery

It occurred as Labour peer Lord Giddens was speaking during the annual debate led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and criminal damage after a disturbance near the House of Lords public gallery.

It occurred as Labour peer Lord Giddens was speaking during the annual debate led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A shout could be heard, which the peer referred to and then attempted to continue his speech.

Lord Giddens paused again approximately 35 seconds later and noted there was a “continuing disturbance from outside” before being encouraged to resume his speech, which he did.

A House of Lords spokeswoman said the incident occurred at the entrance to Strangers Gallery, where visitors can watch debates, adding the Metropolitan Police escorted the individual away from the chamber.

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(Andrew Matthews/PA)

They gave no further indication as to the reason for the disturbance.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At approximately 11.15am on Friday December 8 police were called to reports of a disturbance within the Palace of Westminster.

“A man, believed aged in his 20s, was escorted from the premises by officers.

“He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of common assault and criminal damage and remains in custody at a central London police station. Enquiries continue.”

The Most Rev Justin Welby’s debate on Friday focused on the role of education in building a flourishing and skilled society.

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