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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 21 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Updates for London have now ended for the day but we'll be back at 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.  

Tonight's weather: Becoming cloudier and cooler into Friday with some rain

BBC Weather

It will remain dry this evening, with the easterly wind continuing. Cloud will thicken through the night to perhaps bring a little light rain towards the North Downs by dawn.

Minimum temperature: 8C (46F). 

Blue plaque in City of London for William Shakespeare

Shakespeare plaque unveiled
PA

A City of London Blue Plaque has been unveiled near to the site where William Shakespeare took lodgings in around 1604, at St. Olave"s Churchyard, on the corner of Noble Street and London Wall.

The unveiling of the plaque marks for the first time the Bard's residency in this area of the Square Mile and is being held in the week commemorating the 400th anniversary of his death.  

Watch: Has Damien Hirst's art been leaking formaldehyde gas?

Scientists have discovered an exhibition by the artist Damien Hirst - including dead animals preserved in giant tanks - released potentially dangerous formaldehyde fumes at the Tate Modern in London.

A report in the journal, Analytical Methods, said levels of the gas at the 2012 exhibition were above those legally permitted - but the scientists and the museum say the public were not at risk.

"Tate always puts the safety of its staff and visitors first, and we take all necessary precautions when installing and displaying our exhibitions," a Tate Modern spokesman said.

"These works contained a very dilute formaldehyde solution that was contained within sealed tanks."

Will Gompertz explains claims that Damien Hirst artworks have been leaking gas.

On air: Labour's Sadiq Khan visits Scotland Yard's armed response team

BBC London News

Coming up on air tonight: Although we are cautious about polls after the general election last year, when the latest mayoral poll puts Labour's candidate, Sadiq Khan ahead by 16 points, even Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith might take a long hard look at the figures. 

Today, after weeks of coming under fire from the Tories over alleged links with extremists, Mr Khan was at Scotland Yard looking at the work of the armed response team. 

BBC London's political editor Tim Donovan was there too.

Watch: Can you match the policy with the mayoral candidate?

Claire Timms

BBC London News

With less than two weeks to go until Londoners go to the polls to vote for a new mayor and London Assembly members, how much do you know about what the candidates stand for?

BBC Radio London's political reporter Susana Mendonca took to the streets to find out how recognisable the main mayoral candidates are and if people could match policies with the politicians.

Can you match the policy with the candidate?

Mayoral election: At-a-glance policy guide

Storm clouds over Kings Place as Guardian moots move in rent negotiation and ding dong over digital direction

Kings Cross Environment

Community website

The Guardian has fired a traditional opening shot in any rent renegotiation by floating rumours of a move from its Kings Place office.  And there’s a right old ding dong about how to finance the Guardian and its digital ambitions post Alan Rusbridger’s editorship.  

Watch: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn's birthday wishes to the Queen

Woman saved from drowning in the River Thames

A woman was saved from drowning in the River Thames in the early hours of this morning after a London RNLI lifeboat crewman heard a splash through a window, the lifeboat says.

Duty RNLI helmsman Craig Burn was in the crew room of Tower Lifeboat station, next to Waterloo Bridge at 02:30 when he heard a splash.

He first thought it was a black sack but attended with his crew and saved the unconscious woman. 

Rail delays out of King's Cross, Pancras Road blocked by protesting black cab drivers

BBC Travel

Trains out of King's Cross are delayed by up to an hour tonight after passenger incident at Stevenage. The disruption is expected to last throughout rush hour this evening.

Southeastern trains also have delays of up to 40 minutes from Cannon Street to Dartford after signalling problems at lunchtime.

Outside King's Cross, Pancras Road is closed because of a protest by black cab drivers.

Chelsea Pensioners celebrate Queen's 90th birthday

Alice Bhandhukravi

Alice Bhandhukravi
BBC

I'm happy to be back at the Royal Hospital with the Chelsea Pensioners celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday.

You can watch my report on BBC London's 18:30 bulletin on BBC One.  

Robin Wright heaps praise on London theatres and says the Queen is 'so with it'

BBC Radio London

About her role in House of Cards, Robin Wright says Claire is the the "best of both sexes, she is not just a woman and therefore she can meet him [Kevin Spacey] - there is an equality you don't have in TV drama". 

She says Kevin Spacey always says "you are so venal". But, she adds, "Claire is efficient". 

They had no idea how successful it would be at the beginning, when producers said it would last for three shows, she adds. "We are on our fifth one."

Robin Wright
Getty Images

Ms Wright says the Queen is "so with it" and she hasn't changed. 

This visit to London is mostly about work, says the Texan-born actor, but last time she went to the Old Vic. 

"What a wonderful thing he [Kevin Spacey] did. And the Young Vic - what a fantastic playhouse," she adds. 

You can listen to Jo Good's show in full on BBC iPlayer.

Actress Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler talk about "Pour Les Femmes".

Robin Wright: 'I'm just this blonde from that part of the globe' in the Congo

BBC Radio London

Ms Wright says she is trying to increase awareness about the mineral trade by speaking to Congress, pressurising electronics companies and trying to make the consumer aware if they "pay another dollar it will put protection on the ground". 

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, she says: "I'm just this blonde from that part of the globe over there - Momma Robin, that's what they call me. 

"How great is that, just to connect, human to human, how can I help you?"

Skyscraper rents are rising faster in London than in other global cities

The Guardian

Rents in London's skyscrapers are soaring, rising much faster than those in other major cities around the world, due to booming demand for landmark buildings and a lack of new office space.  

Robin Wright is in our London studio talking about her mission to help women in the Congo

BBC Radio London

Robin Wright, who recently played Claire Underwood in the Netflix hit series House of Cards, has been in the studio talking to Jo Good. 

She has set up a sleepwear company called Pour Les Femmes to help women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Robin Wright
BBC

Ms Wright says: "The Congo is this mission I have been on for over 10 years to try to be a voice for the ladies. 

"The minerals that exist in every gadget come from the Congo - it's a dirty trade mission just like diamonds."

London mayor row: Cleric feels 'betrayed' by Conservatives

A London cleric who David Cameron described as a supporter of so-called Islamic State has told the BBC he attended Conservative events and feels betrayed by the party.

Mr Cameron criticised Labour's London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan on Wednesday for appearing with cleric Suliman Gani.

On the BBC's The World Tonight, Mr Gani said he felt "disheartened and betrayed" at being described this way.

Number 10 declined to comment.

The PM says Labour's London mayoral candidate repeatedly appears with an IS supporter.

Mallin killed his ex-girlfriend and her 86-year-old fiancée after relationship ended

A spurned lover has been jailed for 19 years for stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her 86-year-old fiancée to death after trawling the internet for Breaking Bad poison, a court heard. 

Mallin, 51, armed himself with a meat cleaver and 25cm carving knife before attacking great grandfather John Down, 86, and Karen Reid, 53, at the sheltered housing complex where they all lived. 

Fernways in Ilford
BBC

Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones told the Old Bailey Mallin's relationship with wheelchair-bound Ms Reid, who had a muscle-wasting condition, had ended in February last year and she transferred her affections. 

Mr Down, who suffered from a degenerative eye disease, had met Ms Reid after he moved into the sheltered accommodation having broken his hip in a fall. 

The couple got engaged and she moved into his flat at Fernways in Ilford, north-east London.

BreakingPaul Mallin jailed for 19 years after Ilford care home killing

Paul Mallin has been jailed for 19 years at the Old Bailey for stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her 86-year-old fiancée to death after trawling the internet for Breaking Bad poison.

BrewDog falls short of £25m funding target

Craft brewer BrewDog, which has bars across London including in Shoreditch, Shepherd's Bush and Soho, has fallen well short of a £25m target it set for its latest funding round.

Craft beer
Brewdog

The company announced it had raised £19m in the fourth round of its Equity for Punks crowdfunding scheme.

BrewDog launched the round a year ago in order to expand its business.

Children's letters stolen from David Walliams are returned to him by the Met Police

David Walliams has had children's letters that had been stolen returned to him by the police, after a member of the public had found items of discarded mail in Camden on 8 April.

David Walliams
PA

The actor and writer tweeted that Met Police had "kindly returned a number of children's letters to me that had been stolen in December".

Last week he apologised to fans if they had not received replies from him as he had just found out a large box of letters had been stolen.

Man sought after exposing himself and 'performing a sexual act' at a number of women in Lewisham

An E-fit of a man following a series of indecent exposures has been released by police in Lewisham. 

The first incident occurred on 7 March at 18:30, when two separate women were approached by the same man on Exford Road in Lee Green.

The man performed a sexual act on himself in front of both women.

E fit
Met Police

A week later, another woman was approached at about 22:00 on Tudway Road, close to Kidrooke Railway Station. 

The man politely asked for directions and, while the victim was replying, she noticed he was exposing himself.

And on 31 March at about 01:30 another woman was walking home from New Eltham Railway Station when she left an alley at Dulverton Road.

A man said: "Excuse me, can you help me."

When she stopped she noticed the man was exposing himself.    

Lily Allen's stalker 'needs help', says his family

A man who stalked singer Lily Allen for seven years "needs help, not jail", according to his family.

Alex Gray is awaiting sentence after being convicted earlier this month of burglary and harassment.

Lily Allen
BBC

The singer said she was not angry with Gray and claimed "the system has failed him", a view echoed by his mother.

The 30-year-old started pursuing the star by sending abusive rants and accusations in letters.

She previously told Newsnight the man had "sent an email to his mother saying that he was in London, had come into some money - probably from my handbag - and that he was determined to murder a celebrity".

This afternoon's weather: Warm and dry, but increasingly cloudy

BBC Weather

It is mainly dry this afternoon with some pleasantly warm sunny spells, although sunshine will become increasingly hazy as high cloud edges in from the south. 

Maximum temperature: 15C (59F). 

London Marathon 2016: Dame Kelly Holmes' latest challenge

BBC Sport

Spinal injections, 5am alarm calls and a body in "shock" - Dame Kelly Holmes shares her quest to finish the London Marathon.

Dame Kelly Holmes
BBC

"I wish I'd done this training under the radar, but I've opened my mouth now. I can't not do it," she says, three weeks after a crippling 18-mile run, a hint of seriousness hidden in the laughter.

"I didn't think about how training for the London Marathon would affect my body. I expected it to be hard, I expected it to hurt somewhere, but the body is in shock."

On air: The woman behind London's first A to Z as the book turns 80

BBC London News

Coming up on air at lunchtime: Now, with smartphones, and apps and sat-nav, the A to Z map book is a distant memory. 

But before these new technologies, it was vital for navigating the capital. 

On the book's 80th anniversary,  BBC London's Robin Gibson tells the story of Phyllis Pearsall, who was behind London's first A to Z. 

She spent months walking the streets of London cataloguing house numbers, junctions and street names.

Snow threat for London marathon runners

London Marathon competitors could be running in snow this weekend for the first time in the event's 35-year history. 

An unseasonal cold weather front is due to sweep in to the capital from tomorrow onwards, threatening to usher in icy Arctic showers in place of the recent spells of sunshine. 

This weekend's weather is a real contrast from the warm temperatures and long spells of sunshine enjoyed across Britain earlier this week. 

Yesterday, temperatures reached 18C in north Wales, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

Met Office forecaster Sara Thornton warned while occasional showers can be expected throughout tomorrow, "really the emphasis is on some cold winds coming in from the North over the weekend". 

Surrey County Cricket Club's Sangakkara sets himself for another long knock in Oval game

Inside Croydon

Surrey start their first game at The Oval since their return to the County Championship top tier this weekend. Marcus Hook interviews one of the biggest stars in the all-star dressing room, Kumar Sangakkara.  

Signalling problem at New Cross is disrupting trains to Cannon Street

BBC Travel

A signalling problem near New Cross is disrupting trains in south-east London this morning.

Southeastern services between Dartford and Cannon Street are delayed for up to 40 minutes. 

There is also no service between Liverpool Street and Chingford due to a faulty train and there are minor delays between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt / Enfield Town.  

£20,000 reward in murder of Peckham man, 20

One year after 20-year-old Ola Raji was murdered in Peckham, detectives are offering a £20,000 reward for information to help catch his killers.

Ola Raji
Met Police

Ola Raji, 20, was found by officers who were called to reports of a shooting in East Surrey Grove, Peckham at about 22:30 on 21 April 2015.

Police believe he was making his way through the estate on a bike when he was attacked by two people.

Detectives believe the two men left the scene on foot via a cut through from Cator Street, into Sumner Road, before turning into Rosemary Road heading in the direction of the Surrey Canal Path. 

Winter paralympian Tim Farr on how his 'lifeline' hand bike was stolen in Streatham

BBC Radio London

Winter paralympian Tim Farr, on the British Disabled Ski team, had his hand bike stolen last night.

He told BBC Radio London's Nikki Bedi it was stolen from his car in south west London, between Streatham Hill and Balham.

Tim Farr's hand bike
Tim Farr

Mr Farr said: "It's a specialist bike people with injuries or disabilities might use. It's a very racy, expensive number. It's not something someone can use that readily - they need strength in their arms to get it going."

It would be a difficult piece to sell on, he added.  

He added: "The bike is my freedom to get out on the roads, out on my wheelchair. I use it for fitness, enjoyment, I have large adventures on it - it's my lifeline in something other than the wheelchair."

Kings Troop horse gets ready for the Royal salute

Reward of £10k offered after pensioner went missing from Abbey Wood

Police investigating the disappearance of pensioner Brian Smart, reported missing more six months ago, have made a new appeal for information today with a £10,000 reward on what would have been his 86th birthday.

Brian Smart
Met Police

Mr Smart was last seen at his home address in Abbey Wood at around 19:30 on 22 September. 

There has been no trace of him since. 

Police have carried out extensive enquiries around the places he is known to frequent in Bexleyheath, Dartford, Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and Bostall Woods in Greenwich.   

London Fire Brigade celebrates the Queen turning 90 with Lambeth photograph from 1977

Listen: London mayor row cleric says 'I feel betrayed'

BBC Radio 4

The row about Labour's candidate for mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has intensified, with David Cameron accusing him of repeatedly sharing a platform with a cleric he claims supports the Islamic State group.

Labour MPs reacted angrily during Prime Minister's Questions, saying Mr Cameron's comments were racist.

The Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, has described the cleric - Sulaiman Ghani - as “one of the most repulsive men in Britain”. 

In an exclusive interview, The World Tonight’s Andrew Hosken asked Mr Ghani about those remarks.

Cleric at heart of London mayoral row says he feels betrayed by Zac Goldsmith comments

Adele named as UK's richest female musician ever as fortune hits £85m

Adele has been named as Britain's richest ever female musician, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

A list of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland puts the Tottenham-born singer's £85m fortune in 30th place - an increase of £35m compared to last year.

Adele
Getty Images

The only female singer with a bigger fortune on the list - which also covers Ireland - is Irishwoman Enya on £91m.

For the fifth year running Adele is also ranked top of the Young Music Rich List, covering those aged 30 and under.

Man faces jail for stabbing to death care home residents in Ilford

A 51-year-old man is facing prison for stabbing to death two fellow care home residents. 

Paul Mallin had denied murdering Karen Reid, 53 and John Down, 86, at the Fernways sheltered housing unit in Ilford, north east London, on 5 September.

Paul Mallin
Met Police

But the defendant, who lived in the unit in Cecil Road, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, accepted by the prosecution after reports on his mental state. 

Judge Richard Marks will sentence Mallin at the Old Bailey later.

Artillery parades and Westminster Abbey bell ringing will mark the Queen's birthday

Celebrations will take place across London today to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride their horses and gun carriages past Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park to stage a 41 Gun Royal Salute at midday. 

The Queen
PA

And the Honourable Artillery Company will also drive through the city in their liveried Pinzgauer vehicles to the Tower of London to fire a 62 gun salute across the Thames at 13:00. 

Also 13:00, bells will ring at Westminster Abbey, where the Queen was married and crowned.