The representative for Bexhill and Battle added: "Incredibly courageous response from police, who are now helping him".
"Then all of a sudden he's pouring petrol over himself".
"And fair play to the coppers, they were here quick".
'They came out with a fire extinguisher and hosed him down on the street.
London Fire and Ambulance Service also attended.
'It was over in a split second.
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'It would have been a bad tragedy.
Huw Merriman, the Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle, who witnessed the incident, tweeted his praise for the police who he said had responded bravely and quickly.
"Firefighters made the scene safe by dispersing the suspected flammable liquid".
The man is now being assessed by paramedics.
There were no injuries and the man was assessed by paramedics from the London Ambulance Service. The area, which saw huge traffic delays, was reopened relatively swiftly as the police were confident that the scene did not require further crime examination.
The Met confirmed there had been an incident in which a man had "doused" himself with an unknown substance outside Carriage Gates - the main entrance to Parliament. There was no ignition and the man was detained.