The former owner of a car which crashed into the gates of Downing Street has claimed that the vehicle is “cursed”.
Jonny McFarlane, a Glasgow-based journalist, said he had sold the Kia five years ago after it cost him hundreds of pounds in repairs and that he had been amazed to see it in news coverage of Thursday’s incident.
The Kia Ceed was seen being driven into the gates of Downing Street at low speed, causing a major security alert which prompted a lockdown of the Prime Minister’s residence.
A suspect, who is in his 50s, was ordered to the ground before being taken away in handcuffs. The car’s boot was opened and checked for explosives.
Mr McFarlane, who is newspaper publisher Newsquest Scotland’s head of digital sport, said his partner Nicola had noticed the car’s registration plate was identical to his former car.
“I looked at it and went: ‘wow… it can’t be?,” he told Newsquest title The Herald. “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.
“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.”
Mr McFarlane said he had bought the car from second hand dealer Arnold Clark in Edinburgh and sold it to another branch of the same company in Glasgow.
He added: “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’.
“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 man who was driving the car was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving. The incident is not being treated as related to terrorism.
The vehicle slowed down almost to a stop before gently hitting the Downing Street gates, witnesses said.
Records show that the vehicle had a valid MOT and tax, and it appears that it changed hands again in 2021, three years after Mr McFarlane sold it.
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