STREETS around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens have been cordoned off as dozens of armed police swooped on the scene.

Armed officers could be seen surrounding the car before leading a man away in handcuffs.

A series of ambulances arrived at the scene and police have cordoned off Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens.

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Armed police, ambulances and firefighters were all on the scene.

Scotland Yard said: "At 0737hrs today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

"The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene. A number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers remain at the scene.

They later clarified that the man arrested over the Westminster car crash is in his 20s and is being held on suspicion of terrorist offences.

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

More than 10 police vehicles and at least three ambulances remain outside Parliament.

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Firearms officers and at least two police dogs are stationed inside Parliament Square.

Officers have cordoned the whole square off and are asking the public and press to move away from the scene.

Eyewitness Ewalina Ochab told the Press Association: "I think it looked intentional – the car drove at speed and towards the barriers."

She said: "I was walking on the other side [of the road]. I heard some noise and someone screamed. I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement."

"The person driving did not go out" of the vehicle, she said.

The vehicle did not appear to have a front registration plate when it crashed, she added.

Members of the public and press have been moved back further from the area as police put up a "Terrorism Act cordon", according to an officer at the scene.

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The cordon has been extended past the Cenotaph on Whitehall – a five-minute walk from the scene at Old Palace Yard.

Westminster station has been closed for both entry and exit due to the security alert, Transport for London said.

Passengers are still able to change between lines at Westminster.

Scotland Yard said: "At this stage, officers do not believe that anybody is in a life-threatening condition.

"Cordons are in place to assist the investigation.

"Westminster tube station is closed."

Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, was driving passengers past the front of Westminster when he saw the crash.

"All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle ... I just stopped the bus," he said.

"The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came.

"They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier, I didn't know how it got there.

"I think someone was inside the vehicle because many police went towards the vehicle."

He said officers had their guns out when they arrested the driver.

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An eyewitness, who gave his name only as James, described how he had been cycling past Parliament shortly after the incident happened.

"There was a cyclist clearly injured on the floor, there was a number of cyclists off their bikes. As I went past, an ambulance turned up," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"As I carried on down I was told to get off my bike by a police officer. He said there'd been an incident. As I looked up as I got off my bike, I saw there was a car in the barrier.

"My natural reaction was to get away from the scene."

Two people were treated at the scene in Westminster for injuries that are not thought to be serious, London Ambulance Service said.

Assistant Director of Operations Peter Rhodes said: "We were called at 7.40am today to reports of an incident on St Margaret Street, SW1.

"We sent a number of resources to the scene including three ambulance crews, responders in cars and an incident response officer.

"We have treated two people at the scene for injuries that are not believed to be serious and have taken them to hospital."

Local businessman Jason Williams said he had seen a man drive a car into a bollard outside the Houses of Parliament.

"He had driven it at speed – more than 40 mph. There was smoke coming out of the car," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"I have seen people on the ground, lying on the road. I don't know if they have actually been hit by the vehicle or not. I saw at least 10 people lying down.

"I was told basically to move away, to run. I have run for my life."

Jason Williams, 45, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the incident.

He said: "I saw a car going at high speed towards Parliament.

"It hit a bollard. A dark looking man, I would say maybe Asian, Mediterranean."

He added: "It looked deliberate. It didn't look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang."

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A Scotland Yard statement said: "While we are keeping an open mind, the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the Westminster incident."

A number of armed police officers were stationed at a cordon beside Parliament.

Westminster Bridge and Tube station were both closed.

The cordon was widened twice and sniffer dogs were seen scanning the area.

Scores of commuters on foot and cycling arrived at the police tape trying to get to work.

Workers at Portcullis House have been allowed through the extended cordon and were seen queuing to get into the building.

The length of Whitehall is completely shut off to traffic, with the cordon extended up to where the road meets Trafalgar Square.

Cyclist James Maker, 30, of Chelmsford, Essex, passed the scene in Westminster within minutes of the crash to see a woman injured on the floor and the car crashed into the barrier.

"I looked to the right-hand side and there was a cyclist on the floor, clearly injured," he said.

"It was a woman, they were clearly quite injured, they weren't moving and they were in the recovery position."

Fellow cyclists were helping her, he said, adding: "There were a couple of cyclists who had clearly been involved who were sitting on the floor and perhaps had minor injuries.

"I must be honest, I've got a young son and a wife and my initial reaction was as long as paramedics were seeing to the woman, I wanted to get away from the incident."

The head of policy at the County Councils Network then saw the silver Ford Fiesta crashed into the barrier outside Westminster Palace.

"You've got to have an intent to go for that barrier, there's so many security barriers and the way the car ended up in that part it would appear deliberate to me. It's gone up the driveway and hit the actual barrier thinking perhaps it would open," he said.

Scotland Yard said: "At 07:37hrs on Tuesday 14 August, a silver Ford Fiesta collided with a number of cyclists and pedestrians, before crashing into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

"The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers. He has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody.

"He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.

"There was nobody else in the vehicle, which remains at the scene and is being searched. No weapons have been recovered at this stage."

The force spokesman added: "At this stage, we are treating this as a terrorist incident and the Met's Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation."