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Summary

  1. An inquest into the death of Tory activist Elliott Johnson has concluded he died 'as a result of suicide'
  2. Bedfordshire's police and crime commissioner says gangs used Luton Carnival as cover to settle grudges on Sunday night
  3. A 26-year-old woman from Luton has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of Saima Khan in Overstone Road
  4. Updates for Tuesday, 31 May 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Wednesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Goodnight from the team at BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks Live.

We've heard an inquest conclude that a 21-year-old Conservative activist took his own life and the news that a 26-year-old woman was arrested as part of the murder inquiry into the death of a Luton mother-of-four.

And the police misconduct hearing into two officers accused of inappropriate behaviour has finished for the day and is due to reconvene tomorrow.

We return at 08:00.

Forecast: More rain and drizzle

BBC Weather

Further drizzle across the three counties this evening as the temperature dips to 10C (50F).

East of England weather map
BBC

Wednesday will see cloudy skies with more isolated outbreaks of rain with the temperature peaking at 14C (57F).

For more visit BBC Weather.

Man falls from forklift

A man has suffered a serious head injury after falling 6ft (2m) from a forklift in Welwyn Garden City.

Burrowfield, Welwyn Garden City
Google

The man in his 30s was airlifted to hospital in London after he fell from the vehicle onto concrete in Burrowfield.

It's not believed his injury is life-threatening, East of England Ambulance Service said.

Milton Keynes entertainment space to open

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

We won't make a song and a dance about it... but the new performance space in Oak Court in Milton Keynes shopping centre will open to the public on Friday.

Oak Court, Milton Keynes
Intu

The entertainment in the Intu centre on Friday will start at 11:00 and will include live jazz music, and activities for children.

The space used to be home to the great oak tree and the infamous concrete cows, which were moved to Milton Keynes Museum last month.

Neighbour says constable's behaviour was 'terrible'

Another neighbour of paralysed moped rider Christian-Lee Thompson has been giving evidence at the misconduct hearing for two Hertfordshire police officers.

Lisa Sandridge said she also arrived at The Nickey Line footpath and found Mr Thompson, 15, bleeding with a lump under his eye.

She said of PC Stuart Francis: "His behaviour was terrible. He didn't show any concern, he gave him no first aid.

"He said if he [Mr Thompson] didn't lay still, he was going to cuff him."

Neighbour said she was 'worried' about paralysed moped rider

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

Penny Cooper has been telling a Police Misconduct Hearing about the sequence of events when she found injured moped rider Christian-Lee Thompson.

She said she found him injured on The Nickey Line footpath, near Hemel Hempstead, "squirting blood from his nose and mouth as he stood up".

She said PC Stuart Francis, who was investigating an alleged assault, told him to stand still or he would handcuff him.

Ms Cooper said: "Why wasn't he asking him questions about his injuries rather than about the assault?"

Coroner: 'Beyond all reasonable doubt' Conservative activist took own life

The coroner has told the inquest he is "satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt" that Elliott Johnson took his own life and "intended to do so".

"In his own mind he regarded himself as a failure and that he was being bullied," Tom Osborne said in his conclusion. 

Elliott Johnson believed he had been bullied and betrayed at time of death, says coroner

Conservative activist Elliott Johnson believed at the time of his death "that he had been bullied and had been betrayed", the coroner has concluded.

Elliott Johnson campaigning
Johnson family

But in his summing up, Tom Osborne told the inquest he did not find "that there is any connection between the redundancy notice that he had and the altercation and the complaint".

Neighbour realised man on footpath was 'seriously injured'

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

A neighbour of a moped rider paralysed after he was pushed off his moped said: "I realised he was seriously injured".

Penny Cooper has been giving evidence at a Police Misconduct Hearing into two police constables accused of using unnecessary force on Christian-Lee Thompson when he was lying on the ground near Hemel Hempstead.

Ms Cooper told the hearing one of the officers, PC Stuart Francis, said he was responding to reports of an assault and pushed Mr Thompson to the floor.

She said: "He didn't need to do that - Christian-Lee didn't know what was going on."

BreakingElliott Johnson inquest verdict: Suicide

The inquest into the death of Elliott Johnson, from Wisbech, has concluded that the 21-year-old Conservative activist died "as a result of suicide", and that there was no connection between his redundancy from Conservative Way Forward and his death.

Nickey Line police misconduct: Evidence given at hearing

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

A police misconduct hearing has been taking evidence from a teenager who was at the scene when 15-year-old Christian-Lee Thompson came off his moped along The Nickey Line in Hertfordshire.

Jared Reed, 18, from Hemel Hempstead, was 17 at the time of the incident last July. He told the Coroner: "I saw someone lying on the floor. He looked badly injured, with bleeding from his nose.

"I was trying to comfort him. He stood up and fell back down. I went off to get help."

When asked which police officer touched Christian-Lee, Jared said: "He was on his stomach, his legs kept kicking up. One of the officers put his knees on Christian-Lee's legs and said 'If you kick I'm going to arrest you'."

Elderly woman told there was bee on her - then robbed

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Remember the story last Monday when an elderly woman was robbed after being told she had a bee on her shoulder? Well, a woman has now been charged by police.

High Street, Arlesey
Google

The 27-year-old has been charged with theft after the incident along the High Street in Arlesey, Bedfordshire, on 19 May, where the woman's handbag, money and keys were stolen.

Police called to 'reports of shooting'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

We've been looking into the exclusive story from the Luton News about shots fired at a house in Luton. Police have confirmed they were called to a property in Summerfield Road just before 05:00.

Summerfield Road, Luton
Google

They told us no-one was injured and they are appealing for any witnesses.

Officers want to assure the public they "are committed to finding the individuals responsible and ensuring they cannot carry out further such attacks."

Elliott Johnson inquest: Father's 'firm belief' employment ended because of activist

Ray Johnson has told the inquest it was his "firm belief" his son's employment at campaign group Conservative Way Forward was ended because of Mark Clarke.  

Elliott Johnson was made redundant shortly after complaining about bullying by the activist in August 2015. 

Ray and Alison Johnson arriving at the inquest
PA

Mr Johnson said the opening paragraph in his son's redundancy letter read "more like a notice of disciplinary action" by Conservative Way Forward.    

Earlier the organisation's chief executive Paul Abbott told the hearing there was "no link" between Elliott's complaint and the decision to make him redundant.

'No indication' Elliott Johnson would take own life, says father

The father of Elliott Johnson has told an inquest there was "no indication at all" that his son might be considering taking his own life in the weeks leading to his death.

Elliott Johnson dancing at family wedding
Johnson Family

Ray Johnson, from Wisbech, told the inquest his son was was "on good form" at a family wedding (above) three days before his death.

He said his son "was having the time of his life" while he was working for Conservative Way Forward.

Topiary cats 'seen by millions' on Facebook

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

If you love cats like I do, then you'll more than likely love this story...

Last week, my colleague Mike sent me an image created by Hertfordshire artist Richard Saunders - I immediately knew we had to do more. And so a brilliant article about "Topiary Cats" was born.

The images have been taking social media by storm, but how did they come to be?

The first image Richard Saunders created was inspired by topiary at Hall Barn in Beaconsfield
Richard Saunders

Football League club ownership: Why buy a lower-league club?

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Most Football League clubs may be in the hands of private investors, but four are owned by supporters trusts, including Wycombe Wanderers.

Wycombe play Yeovil Town
Getty Images

At Wycombe, about 1,000 people pay nominal fees and they elect a Trust board, which elects a football board.

The Chairboys have been successful on the field since the Trust took control in 2012, even reaching the League Two play-off final in 2015.

But their board structure is where it gets interesting. Why? Find out here.

VW profit tumbles 20% in wake of emissions scandal

German car maker, Volkswagen, has announced a sharp drop in its profits - down 20% in the first three months of this year.

The company, whose UK headquarters are in Milton Keynes, admitted last year that it had rigged diesel emissions tests. This has lead to higher costs and falling sales.

VW car
Getty Images

Nemo facts: He used to live in a care home

Ben Nye

BBC Three Counties Radio

Nemo the goldfish originally lived in a care home where one of his Buckinghamshire owners had worked.

His tumour started to get larger when Caroline Hands brought him home with her upon leaving the company.

Nemo the goldfish
Roy Hands

Caroline's husband Roy told us that while Nemo went for his operation in Bristol, the pair went for a walk: "My wife found a penny on the floor. They always say pick up a penny and have good luck, and it worked.

"It [the operation] was just under £230 but it was worth it."

Found Nemo: Bucks goldfish recovers from cancer

Ben Nye

BBC Three Counties Radio

A Buckinghamshire goldfish called Nemo is in all the papers this morning - after making a miraculous recovery from cancer.

Nemo the goldfish with a tumour on his right side
Roy Hands

Nemo developed a tumour half the size of his own body, so his dedicated owners Roy and Caroline Hands took him to a specialist vet for treatment.

Despite his heart stopping on the operating table, I'm pleased to say he pulled through and made a full recovery. 

I'm really, really chuffed that he's survived everything that he's gone through."

Roy Hands

Nickey Line police misconduct: Report from the hearing

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

We've heard this morning how Christian-Lee Thompson, 15, and a friend were riding a moped down The Nickey Line, a public path, without helmets on last July. 

A member of the public knocked Christian-Lee off the moped and he sustained life-changing injuries.

The Nickey Line in Hertfordshire
GOOG

A friend of Christian-Lee's told the hearing this morning that when he found him lying on the ground, it was clear he had serious injuries. He was bleeding and moaning.

He said when PC Stuart Francis arrived, his voice was aggressive and one of the officers knelt on Christian-Lee and said he was going to be arrested.

Elliott Johnson's father Ray to give evidence at inquest

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Ray Johnson, father of Elliott Johnson, is due to give evidence at the inquest this afternoon.

He and his wife Alison say that a verdict will help fill in the gaps that remain in their son's final weeks.

Mr Johnson said the inquest was "the very start of the process" for them.

Ray and Alison Johnson
BBC/Laurence Cawley

"We are under no illusions that the coroner will come back and say Elliott killed himself," he said.

"But we are hoping he will allude to reasons as to why Elliott took his own life and may make recommendations to prevent it happening again."

Elliott Johnson inquest hears of threats to sue and to 'destroy career'

The inquest into the death of Elliott Johnson, from Wisbech, has focused on how the young Tory activist believed he had been bullied and on his being made redundant by pressure group Conservative Way Forward (CWF) after making allegations about his treatment within the Conservative party.

Mr Johnson, 21, had accused former activist Mark Clarke, who led the Road Trip 2015 campaign for young activists, of bully following an altercation in a central London pub.

Mr Clarke allegedly threatened to sue him for copyright infringement and had "gone ballistic" in the pub, shouting and grabbing the younger man.

Mr Johnson claimed Mr Clarke had threatened to "destroy" his career in politics and journalism.

Saima Khan murder inquiry: 'Allow officers to do job'

The police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire has urged the community in Luton to allow officers to do their jobs following speculation on social media.

Forensics investigate car outside Saima Khan's home in Luton
SBNA

Kathryn Holloway, speaking before the arrest of a 26-year-old woman on suspicion of the murder of Saima Khan last Monday, said some people "decided they knew better than the police, they decided purely on the basis of rumour and speculation that they knew who was responsible for this murder".

"They pinned the blame on Eastern European men, particularly Polish and Romanian individuals. They set up a Facebook site calling for vigilantism... that is intolerable," Ms Holloway said.

Missed it Monday: Secret WW2 code machine found on eBay

You may have been too busy over the weekend to have spotted this story, but it's such a corker we felt we must bring it to your attention...

A historic machine used to swap top secret messages between Hitler and his generals has been found languishing in a shed in Essex by volunteers from The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

The teleprinter for the Lorenz cipher machine, which Hitler used to message his top generals
National Museum of Computing

Volunteers used eBay to track down the keyboard of the Lorenz machine, which was advertised as a telegram machine and on sale for £9.50.

The museum is now asking people to search for the motor, another key piece of the equipment.

Elliott Johnson inquest: Coroner says he will not allow it to 'degenerate' into a trial

Coroner Tom Osborne has just told the Elliott Johnson inquest in Ampthill that he will not allow it to "degenerate into a trial of Mark Clarke", the Tory activist accused of bullying Mr Johnson.

Mr Clarke denies all allegations of bullying.

"There is no prosecution; no defence. We are not here to apportion blame," the coroner told the hearing.

Travel: Traffic slow on M1 in Bedfordshire

BBC Travel

The M1 is moving slowly in both directions between J12 and J13 after police attended a "police incident" at the side of the road.

Traffic was briefly held but has now been released. Check the latest here.

Police horsing around...

Some of the Thames Valley Police horses based in Milton Keynes have had a bit of a diva moment this morning... 

The phrase "get that camera out of my face" comes to mind!

View more on twitter

Former chief executive of Conservative Way Forward warned of 'potentially dangerous' activist

Paul Abbott, the former chief executive of Conservative Way Forward, told employees at the organisation that activist Mark Clarke was "potentially dangerous", the Elliott Johnson inquest has heard. 

Mr Clarke (pictured) denies allegations of bullying made by 21-year-old Mr Johnson, shortly before his death.

The coroner has said the inquest will not seek to apportion blame.  

Mark Clarke
Facebook

Weather: Wet and grey across the three counties

BBC Weather

It's still looking very wet in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and very grey in Buckinghamshire, according to the latest updates from our Weather Watchers.

The forecast says the some of the rain is due to clear for a time this afternoon... Fingers crossed.

Wood pigeon in the rain, Dunstable
BBC

Elliott Johnson sought apology from Tory activist he accused of bullying, inquest hears

The inquest into Elliott Johnson's death has heard that after an alleged altercation Mr Johnson approached Mark Clarke in a pub and asked for an apology, but was told: "That's not going to happen."

Mr Clarke denies allegations of bullying made by the 21-year-old Conservative activist shortly before he was found dead on railway tracks in Sandy, Bedfordshire, on 15 September last year.

Other volunteers 'had concerns' about activist at centre of Elliott Johnson bullying allegations

The former chief executive of campaign group Conservative Way Forward, Paul Abbott, has told the Elliott Johnson inquest many other volunteers within the organisation had concerns about Mark Clarke.

Former Tory activist Mr Clarke, who denies allegations of bullying, was expelled from the party.

View more on twitter

Tory activist 'squashes people like ants,' Elliott Johnson inquest hears

The inquest into the death of Elliott Johnson has heard he complained that a former Tory activist had "turned sinister", telling him he "squashes people like ants".

The 21-year-old made a complaint to the Conservative party about bullying by Mark Clarke, while working for campaign group Conservative Way Forward.

Mr Clarke, who has since been expelled from the party, denies the allegations against him.  

Police misconduct over teen moped accident on Nickey Line

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Two police officers face a misconduct hearing today over the way they arrested an injured teenager after an accident in Hertfordshire.

Christian-Lee Thompson, 15, was left paralysed and unable to speak after coming off his moped along The Nickey Line near Hemel Hempstead last July.

Nickey Line near Hemel
Google

The route is only supposed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists, and it's alleged his injuries were caused when a man who was walking along the route knocked him to the ground.

PCs Stuart Francis and Rishi Patel, who were called to the scene, are accused of using unnecessary force on the injured teenager, and providing dishonest or misleading accounts of what happened.

Forty firefighters called to Bletchley false alarm

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Around 40 firefighters were called to a block of flats in Bletchley last night after reports of a smell of smoke on the tenth floor.

Mellish Court in Bletchley
Google

Seven crews from across Milton Keynes and North Bucks, plus the Command Unit from Aylesbury, went to Mellish Court in Melrose Avenue just after 20:00 - but it turned out to be a false alarm.

Elliott Johnson inquest hears more on bullying claims

The inquest into the death of Tory activist Elliott Johnson has heard details of the 21-year-old's allegations that he was bullied by a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

View more on twitter

Activist Mark Clarke, who is at the centre of the allegations, which he denies, has been expelled from the party.      

Coroner Tom Osborne has said he will not allow the inquest to be used as a tool for "putting anyone on trial."  

Elliott Johnson inquest: Three previous attempts to take his own life

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

The inquest into the death of 21-year-old Conservative activist Elliott Johnson has heard he made three previous attempts to take his own life.

But his parents believe previous attempts to take his own life were "cries for help", not serious attempts.

View more on twitter

'I've failed in politics... I've been bullied': Inquest hears Elliott Johnson left three notes

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

The inquest into the death of Conservative activist Elliott Johnson has heard the 21-year-old left three notes before his death.  One was to his parents, one was addressed to 'supporters' and one to 'the bullies'.  

View more on twitter

Mr Johnson claimed he was the victim of bullying at the hands of Tory supporters.

Elliott Johnson inquest: Large number of family members in court

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Look East reporter Tom Barton is at the inquest into the death of 21-year-old Conservative activist Elliot Johnson.

He says there are lot of family members in court to support Mr Johnson's parents, Ray and Alison, of Wisbech.

Mr Johnson's family says the verdict will be the beginning of their efforts to find out what happened to him.