My ‘cursed’ car rammed the gates at 10 Downing Street, stunned Scot says
At around 4.20pm on Friday March 25 a silver Kia Ceed travelled from the far side of Whitehall and hit the barrier which defends the home of the UK Prime Minister.
The Metropolitan Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving, and remained in custody as investigators established the circumstances of the incident.
McFarlane, who is head of digital sport at Newsquest Scotland, said he had forgotten about the car – until he was suddenly reminded of it on Friday morning.
He said: “I’m sitting in bed this morning, minding my own business, looking through Twitter and my partner, Nicola, shouts to me: ‘have you seen this Downing Street thing?’.
“I had a wee look and thought, ‘that car looks awfully familiar…’
“Nicola said to me: ‘Jonny… have you seen the licence plate?’.
“I looked at it and went: ‘wow… it can’t be? That car would have never been good to go five years on’. I was looking through the images and you could see it was the same car.
“Honestly my driving is bad, so it was scratched up and I could see in some of the pictures some of the scratches and bangs were still on it.
“Sure enough, yeah, it’s the same car. We bought it from Arnold Clark in Edinburgh and sold it to Arnold Clark in Glasgow, so I’ve no idea what it was doing in London.
“You’re just a bit taken aback knowing you’ve spent so much time in this car, I used to sit in that car for hours and hours on end.
“We never took it to London – I want to make that very clear!
“You’re looking down at your old not-very-trusty motor, it’s a bit of a headscratcher.”
McFarlane explained about owning the vehicle: “I needed to buy a car because I got a new job travelling up and down the country.
“They gave me a stipend for the car, so I went in and bought this car. It was quite powerful, a 2l diesel engine.
“I used it for the next year driving about all over England, I was doing 30,000 miles a year at least – possibly 40,000.
“My job was as a travelling sales trainer so I was all over the country. I bought it in 2015 but for the next two years it was a nightmare – it was like it was cursed, honestly.
“It was constantly having issues, £500 here to fix, £600 there, £800 somewhere else.
“I’d only had it three years and yes, I’d done maybe 60,000 miles, but it was just a constant menace to my bank balance.
“I remember going to the local garage and the guy just said, ‘this car is giving you murder I don’t think it’s going to last an awful lot longer, you should consider trading it in’.
“There was an issue with it that was going to cost another £1,000 to fix, it didn’t need done right away but it was going to need to be done.
“I just thought, ‘he’s probably right I’ll go and trade it in’.
“So I traded it in and I honestly thought that car would last a maximum of a year for whoever Arnold Clark sold it on to.
“I thought I was selling them an absolute lemon.”
The Downing Street incident came as many civil servants were leaving work.
A police cordon was initially put in place in the Whitehall area outside Downing Street, but was later removed.
A tow truck then removed the vehicle from the area.
It is understood that counter-terrorism police are not involved in the investigation at this stage.