A man has been arrested and the Home Office put on lockdown after a stabbing outside the government building in Westminster.
Police said the victim was stabbed in an “unprovoked” attack and his injuries are not life-threatening.
They have arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and he is also suspected of possessing pepper spray.
A knife was recovered from the scene
Witness Gareth Milner said he was eating his lunch outside the Home Office when a number of police “arrived on scene”.
“Some time later a gentleman with quite a bloodied face and with dressing pressed into his face was escorted out of the Home Office by paramedics,” he said.
Another witness said the man she saw walking out of the building was topless and was “full of blood”.
Police have searched a bag and an animal carrier which they said contained a ferret.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “All my thoughts are with the victim and their family following horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said it was a “deeply concerning incident”.
“The Metropolitan Police is investigating a knife attack which took place outside the Home Office this afternoon. The victim is receiving medical care,” she said.
“As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Police said they are keeping an open mind as to what may have happened in the lead-up to the stabbing.