St Paul's Protesters Evicted

Bailiffs swoop on Occupy London protesters at St Paul's Photo: ITV News

City of London Police say twenty people have so far been arrested in what has been a "largely peaceful" operation. Bailiffs and police arrived at the site early this morning, five days after Occupy London was refused permission by the Court of Appeal to challenge an eviction order.

Confirming the eviction had begun, City of London Corporation said in a statement: "We regret that it has come to this but the High Court judgement speaks for itself." A number of protesters remained defiant as bailiffs moved in, waving flags and banging tambourines on top of a makeshift wooden structure. This was eventually dismantled by bailiffs after police in riot gear surrounded it.

The protest forced a week-long closure of the cathedral in late October, the first time it had been closed since the Second World War, after officials received a report by health and safety officials. The cathedral is one of London's best loved tourist attractions and draws two thousand worshippers every Sunday, but costs £20,000 a day to run.