Protesters prompt closure of St Paul's


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St Paul's Cathedral has shut its doors for the first time since the Second World War because of the anti-capitalist demonstration camped next to it.

The Dean of St Paul's, Graeme Knowles, said the decision, taken yesterday after consultations with health-and-safety officers, was "unprecedented in modern times". In an open letter to the protesters, the Dean said he had "no legal alternative" but to close and asked the protesters to leave the area soon.

Mr Knowles said the makeshift campsite was blocking access to the cathedral and that protesters' stoves and fires posed "a clear fire hazard".