Man arrested outside Buckingham Palace now detained under Mental Health Act

A man who was arrested outside Buckingham Palace earlier this week has now been detained under the Mental Health Act, police say.

The 59-year-old was originally held on suspicion of possessing a knife and ammunition and was taken into custody on Tuesday evening, as a controlled explosion was carried out by officers outside the royal residence in central London.

Police said they were called at around 7pm after he approached the gates of the palace and allegedly threw a number of items, believed to be shotgun cartridges, into the grounds.

Officers detained the man who was allegedly found with a knife and was not in possession of a firearm, said the Metropolitan Police in a statement.

On Wednesday, he was held under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital. He will remain on bail while receiving medical care.

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of the King's coronation on Saturday, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan said the man had initially asked officers if he could speak to a soldier.

When the officers said that was not possible, the man allegedly started throwing the ammunition, Mr Adelekan said.

He was searched and was allegedly found to be in possession of a lock knife.

He was then arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife and ammunition.

During the arrest, the man told officers they should handle his rucksack with care, which led to a controlled explosion being carried out on the bag.

The police statement said: "Cordons were in place after the incident after the man was also found to be in possession of a bag.

"Specialists attended and a controlled explosion was conducted as a precaution."

There were no reported injuries and the incident was not being treated as terror related, the force added.

Neither the King nor the Queen Consort were at the palace when the incident happened, but the monarch did host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese there earlier on Tuesday.