Arrests at Palace as protesters storm wall

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PROTESTERS against British nuclear testing on American Indian homelands in the Nevada desert were arrested yesterday after breaking into the grounds of Buckingham Palace, writes Rhys Williams.

Although the 16 women and two men were aiming to draw attention to the plight of the Western Shoshone nation, they reawakened concern over security of the palace.

The Queen was in residence, but police said that there had been 'no possibility' of the intruders reaching the building. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'A number of people gained access to the gardens of Buckingham Palace and were immediately arrested.'

However, two of the women, who used ladders and cutters to breach the walls and barbed wire, claimed it was 10 minutes before they were apprehended. They were later released. Two men arrested outside the walls were later released on bail.

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, said he was 'very concerned' about the mass trespass.

The Shoshone believe the tests are responsible for an increase in leukaemia among their people.

Last night, 14 women were charged with disorderly conduct and conspiracy to cause criminal damage. They will appear at Bow Street magistrates' court today.