Police have confirmed that four people were killed last night as supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in a bid to overturn the election result.
Egged on by the President, rioters broke into the House of Representatives, smashing windows and fighting with police, who said that 52 people had been arrested.
The protests forced lawmakers to suspend a special joint session to confirm the election of Joe Biden.
Congressmen and women have now returned to the House of Representatives to continue the hearing, having been forced to evacuate the chamber for several hours.
When the House returned, several more attempts to overturn the election results were swiftly overturned, including by the majority of Republicans.
The extraordinary scenes in Washington drew condemnation from politicians around the world.
Boris Johnson tweeted that the events were a “disgrace” and called for an orderly transfer of power.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the events were ” not American”, while German foreign minister Heiko Maas said that Trump’s supporters were “trampling on democracy”.
Last night’s events were the culmination of months of bitter partisan struggle over the result of November’s election, which Biden won comfortably.
Over the subsequent two months Trump has repeatedly and baselessly made claims of electoral fraud, calling for the result to be reversed.
Speaking to crowds yesterday, he called on them to march on the Capitol building to protest the results.
Some of the President’s longstanding allies, such as vice president Mike Pence and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have now abandoned, saying that the results should be respected.