Just hours after Marine Le Pen gave a talk at the Cambridge Union Society, a fire broke out next to the Union building, by the Park Street car park.
At around 7.30pm emergency services were called to the site, just hours after police had been in attendance at an organised demonstration to protest against Marine Le Pen's invitation to speak at the Union.
Two fire engines and two police cars were in attendance. One member of the police told The Cambridge Student that the fire began in a skip and 'has nothing to do with the Le Pen protest'. This was reaffirmed by the few protesters who were still at the scene and preparing to leave, who said they had been 'in the pub' and had known nothing about the fire until alerted to it by the police.
Cars in the car park have been damaged by the fire and it has been suggested to TCS that they were set alight, possibly as a result of the protest. Smoke from the fire triggered alarms at shops and colleges whilst some of the restaurants along Bridge Street have been damaged.
One second-year MML student told TCS: 'I just noticed the smoke coming over the chapel. My first thought was that John's was on fire. I could hear all of the alarms going off, so I came to have a look.'
Police were continually moving people away from the scene as the smoke thickened, blocking access to Park Street from both sides and restricting access to Bridge Street. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.