A Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Father Christmas scaled the central gate at Buckingham Palace today and chained himself to a pillar.
The activist, named by the campaign group as David Pyke, shouted slogans as a crowd gathered below.
Police closed all palace gates and external doors during the alert.
“Christmas appears to have come early in the form of Father Christmas who has climbed to the top of a column,” said a Palace spokesman. “He hasn’t got into the courtyard – he is on the perimeter and is well surrounded.”
The stunt follows an incident earlier this year when a Fathers 4 Justice demonstrator dressed as Batman, breached the perimeter and climbed next to the central Palace balcony.
It is not the first time Pyke has attempted to scale the Palace. Last September he dressed as superhero character Robin with another protester in a Batman outfit.
Mr Hatch said Pyke would remain handcuffed to the Palace gates for as long as he could. The Fire Brigade would then be called to cut him down.