Police said they arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum.”
London police said Assange was arrested moments after Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said on Twitter that the country had withdrawn his diplomatic asylum.
Mr Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 when he sought to escape questioning in a Swedish sexual-assault case. While those charges were dropped in 2017, Mr Assange has remained in the embassy as he has continued to avoid American prosecutors.
Mr Assange’s exit from the embassy ends a nearly seven-year standoff between the transparency advocate and British authorities. While he will initially face punishment for jumping bail in the UK, Mr Assange faces the possibility of a looming extradition request to the US.
WikiLeaks and Assange became famous in 2010 when the organisation published government secrets leaked by US Army soldier Chelsea Manning highlighting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, the website put itself at the centre of the 2016 American presidential race by publishing hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.