The prime minister has called for a “peaceful and orderly transfer of power” in the United States after violent protesters stormed the Capitol and cut politicians’ formal approval of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
In chaotic scenes, supporters of President Donald Trump broke barricades and staged an occupation of the building in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Protesters clashed with police, tear gas was distributed and one woman later died after being shot dead in the U.S. Capitol.
Protesters invaded near the White House after a rally where Mr Trump encouraged them to march on Capitol Hill.
Boris Johnson described the scenes as “shameful”.
He tweeted, “The United States represents democracy around the world and it is important now that there is a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
His comments followed the condemnation of a host of British politicians from all parties who described the Washington scenes as “deeply shocking” and “extremely terrible”.
Called them “terrible,” union leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted, “These are not” protesters – this is a direct attack on democracy and lawmakers carrying out the will of the American people. “
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab tweeted: “The US is rightly proud of its democracy and there can be no justification for these violent attempts to thwart the lawful and orderly transfer of power.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that the scenes were “extremely horrific,” adding, “Solidarity with those in (the United States) on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who attacked instigated democracy. “
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Twitter account Justin Welby urged people to “pray for the US” and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that “the outcome of these democratic elections must be respected” .
Mr Trump had previously urged supporters to travel to Washington to protest against Congress approving Mr Biden’s election victory in November.
When protesters attacked the Capitol, both houses of Congress were forced to pause as they discussed the electoral college vote to give Mr. Biden the presidency.
Mr Trump initially tweeted to ask his supporters to “stay peaceful” before posting a video urging protesters to “go home”.
But he also used the video to claim that the election was “fraudulent” and that he feels the “pain” of the supporters.
Twitter removed the retweet, like and reply functions of the video post “due to a risk of violence” before suspending his account and demanding the removal of the clip and two other posts.
Police urged politicians to put on gas masks after tear gas was released during skirmishes in the Capitol rotunda.
Senators have been evacuated and other politicians tweeted that they were seeking refuge in their offices.
Police officers later said an explosive device near the building was “no longer a threat”.
After heavily armed police officers were deployed, the Capitol complex was later declared “safe”.
Washington DC Police Chief Robert Contee called the violence “riot” and said at least five weapons had been recovered and at least 13 people were arrested for the protests.
A 6 p.m. curfew was also imposed.
Facebook followed Twitter to block Donald Trump’s page.
“We have assessed two policy violations against President Trump’s page that will result in a 24-hour function block, which means that he will no longer be able to post on the platform during that time,” said Facebook in a statement posted on Twitter.
The platform previously removed a video of Mr Trump addressing his supporters who had clashed with police in Washington DC and forced a lockdown on the U.S. Capitol building.
Guy Rosen, Facebook Vice President for Integrity, tweeted, “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate immediate action, including removing President Trump’s video.”
“We removed it because we felt it would carry rather than reduce the risk of persistent violence.”
In chaotic scenes, supporters of Mr Trump broke barricades and occupied the building in Washington DC to interrupt the formal approval of the politicians for Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
Twitter then suspended Mr Trump’s account for the first time, asking him to remove tweets apologizing for violence as it threatened him with a “permanent suspension” from the platform.
The Senate has resumed debate on the Republican challenge to Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.
Numerous Republican officials and 13 GOP senators had planned to object on Wednesday to the votes of perhaps six states in support of Mr Biden.
Here’s what we know about the incident so far:
– President Donald Trump spoke to thousands of supporters at a rally near the White House ahead of the chaos, pledging “never to admit” that he lost before Congress met on Wednesday to celebrate Democrat Joe Biden’s victory to confirm.
– After Mr Trump apparently got them to march to Capitol Hill, supporters broke barricades and fought past the police to storm the building, forcing Congress to stop the voter certification process.
– As rioters yelled and waved Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, people in the building were ordered to duck under their seats and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol rotunda.
– According to officials who spoke to the Associated Press, one person was shot dead in skirmishes between police and Trump supporters.
– As pressure increased on President Trump to condemn supporters when they clashed with law enforcement, he tweeted, “I urge everyone in the US Capitol to stay peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are law and order – respect the law and our great men and women in blue. Many Thanks!”
The Department of Homeland Security announced that additional federal agents have been dispatched to the US Capitol to suppress violence. Federal Protective Service and US Secret Service officials supported the US Capitol Police.
– The White House said the National Guard forces also went to the Capitol.
– Police officials said at least one IED was found near the US Capitol, confirming it “no longer poses a threat”.
– Speaking to the nation, Mr Biden said democracy “is facing an unprecedented attack” and urged President Trump to make a televised address urging his supporters to stop the violence.
– The riots have been condemned by numerous US and British politicians, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described the “shameful scenes” adding: “The United States is democracy around the world, and it is important now that there is one Peace gives and orderly transfer of power. “
– In a video posted on Twitter, President Trump urged followers to “go home”. He claimed that the election results were fraudulent and that he felt their “pain”. Twitter later removed this tweet and a later one calling on protesters to “go home with love and peace”.
Officials declared the Capitol complex “safe” after heavily armed police ended the nearly four hours of violent occupation, and House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Congress will resume the electoral college process when it is safe.