Buildings surrounding Whitehall and Downing Street were evacuated earlier today after police officers examined a 'suspicious package'.

City of Westminster Police confirmed that the package had later turned out not to be harmful.

Road closures in the area are now being lifted. 

Hundreds of people were spotted standing at Horse Guards Parade, behind Downing Street, after they were ordered to evacuate their buildings and the street was cordoned off.

The evacuation happened just minutes after Prime Minister's Questions had finished.

Item found to be 'non-suspicious'

After assessing the item, police declared it to be 'non-suspicious', and the road has been reopened. Workers have also been given permission to re-enter their offices.

The cordon stretched from Parliament Square past Downing Street and the Cenotaph.

Just last week a man was arrested after a car crashed into the gates outside Downing Street.

The Metropolitan Police said he had been held by armed officers on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving.

One witness said he saw officers pointing Tasers at a suspect, who was held to the floor as he was arrested.