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  1. Updates on Thursday 28 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 but we'll be back on Tuesday at 08:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. Enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend.

Tonight's weather: Cold, dry night with chance of frost

BBC Weather

Any showers this afternoon should die away through the evening.

Cloud will then break up, allowing temperatures to fall, leading to a light frost, particularly for rural areas such as the Chilterns. 

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F)

Crash victim meets people who saved his life

A cyclist who nearly died after being hit by a van has met the people who saved his life.

Dave (third from left) was cycling to work in north London in February 2015 when he was dragged under the vehicle - with the front wheel stopping directly on top of his chest. He stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating. 

Dave and the people who saved his life
London Air Ambulance

If it wasn’t for members of public and four off-duty British Transport Police Officers he is certain he wouldn’t be alive today. 

Recently reunited, this time in more positive circumstances at the London’s Air Ambulance helipad at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, member of public James said to Dave: "To be honest, when I saw you under that van I thought you were dead, for sure. 

"To be sat here talking to you today is unbelievable."

Negrini faces showdown with developers over £1.4bn scheme

Inside Croydon

Westfield and Hammerson’s sharp-suited executives will have a lot of explaining to do when they come up before the Croydon Council planning committee tonight, where the borough’s residents will discover whether Jo Negrini, recently announced as the council’s interim CEO, is prepared to stand-up to old colleagues she worked with at the Stratford shopping centre development.  

Tottenham Hotspur boss plans to extend contract

BBC Sport

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he plans to extend his contract at Spurs by two years until 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentine, who has guided the club to second in the Premier League table, has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Paris St-Germain.

"It was an easy decision when you feel the love of the people and the potential of the club is massive, so why change?" he said.

On air: Jack Susianta inquest verdict and Sian Blake's partner admits killing

BBC London News

On tonight's news on BBC One at 18:30, the lawyer for the partner of the former EastEnders actress Sian Blake has told a judge at the Old Bailey that his client has admitted killing her and their two children

Sian Blake and her two children Zachery and Amon
Met Police and BBC

An inquest today has found teenager Jack Susianta, who drowned in a London canal, died as a result of a drug-related accident.

Talks aimed at avoiding further strike action by Southern Railway conductors have broken down.

In the final hustings of the Mayoral campaign - five of the main candidates have outlined how they'd encourage more cycling in London.   

Retired teacher pleads guilty to indecent image charges

A retired teacher who used to work at a private school in Northwood has avoided prison after he pleaded guilty to making an indecent image of a child. 

Barry Abraham, 57, from Pinner, was given a suspended sentence and ordered to undergo a year-long sex offenders' treatment programme at Isleworth Crown Court.

Family of canal death teenager say police could have done more

The family of teenager Jack Susianta who drowned in a canal after a drug-related accident said he would still be alive if police had done more. 

The 17-year-old died after having a mental health crisis and jumping into a canal near Walthamstow marshes - an inquest today concluded his death was a drug-related accident.

Jack Susianta
Met Police

Jack's mother, Anna Susianta, said she was "relieved" the jury did not blame Jack for his death but said she believed the police and health services could have done more. 

"We believe that Jack did not get the help he needed from East London Foundation NHS Trust or from the TSG officers by the River Lea. If he had received that help, we believe Jack would be alive today." 

Testing regime for primary schools 'in chaos'

The testing regime for primary schools in England is in chaos and distracting to pupils, says the National Association of Head Teachers.  

Helena Rooney, from  Little Ealing Primary School told Victoria Derbyshire earlier: "The content of the test is not age and stage appropriate."

View more on twitter

Travel update: Dartford tunnel closed as Bank Holiday getaway gets underway

BBC Travel

Much of the M25 is very slow with bank Holiday traffic.

The M25 at Dartford Tunnel (anticlockwise, Kent into Essex) is having to be closed intermittently to stop traffic getting stuck. Approach roads around Lakeside, the A13 locally and through Dartford are very congested.

On the M25 in Surrey, almost all of the anti-clockwise carriageway is very heavy from J9 (Leatherhead) to the scene of an accident up the Badgers Mount (near J5).

There are also big problems for much of east London tonight. An earlier diesel spill on the A12 westbound in Wanstead has left extraordinary queues around the Redbridge roundabout, for the A12, Leyton, the A13, the M11 southbound from J5, Barking town centre and the Bow area.

At the A102 Blackwall Tunnel northbound, a breakdown lead to a brief closure which has left major delays back through Limehouse and Rotherhithe.

Roadworks on Queenstown Road in Battersea is causing major delays - especially for buses.

Keep up to date with @BBCTravelAlert

Where's the mayoral candidate: Peter Whittle (UKIP)

UKIP's mayoral candidate, Peter Whittle, was in Westminster to show his support for party leader Nigel Farage who was speaking about the European Union campaign. Mr Farage told the audience UKIP will put the issue of immigration at the heart of its EU referendum campaign. 

Mr Whittle is spending the day preparing for the final weekend of campaigning.    

UKIP party leader Nigel Farage
UKIP party leader Nigel Farage

Where's the mayoral candidate: Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem)

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat candidate, spent the afternoon in Putney and Wandsworth, then headed to a visit to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. She's also added her support to protect historical adverts in the capital.

View more on twitter

Where's the mayoral candidate: Sadiq Khan (Labour)

Labour candidate Sadiq Khan spent some time at a market in Dalston, talking to local traders. Yesterday the party was embroiled in an anti-Semitism row which lingers on. 

Mr Khan was one of the first Labour MPs to call for Ken Livingstone's removal from the party over his controversial claim that Hitler supported Zionism, and he told the Press Association there should be "no place in the Labour Party for anyone with these views".

View more on twitter

Where's the mayoral candidate: Zac Goldsmith (Tory)

The Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith has been out and about in south east London. He's also spent more time campaigning with outgoing mayor Boris Johnson.

Yesterday, Mr Goldsmith predicted the election would go "down to the wire" urging Londoners to get out and vote as he and Boris Johnson were in the square mile.

Where's the mayoral candidate: Sian Berry (Green)

Sian Berry, the Green party candidate, launched a manifesto for East London in Shoreditch, after that she headed to Sidcup to join locals campaigning to save Old Park Farm which Bexley Council is looking to sell as a way of reducing the number of open spaces it has to maintain.

Sian Berry with East London Green activists and City & East candidate Rachel Collinson in wheelchair
Green Party

Arsene Wenger: Emirates Stadium atmosphere cost Arsenal title

BBC Sport

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the "difficult climate" at some of their home games is the reason they are not competing for the Premier League title.  

Arsene Wenger says "difficult climate" at Emirates Stadium cost Arsenal title

Islington estate agents targeted with anti-gentrification graffiti

Police are investigating after an estate agents in Islington was targeted with anti-gentrification graffiti.

Police investigate after Islington estate agents targeted with graffiti

Rob Mulholland, who has run the independent business in Holloway for three years, says he was "horrified" when he saw the paint daubed on his window, although he sympathises with the increased cost of housing in the area.

He told BBC London the perpetrator should get into politics to get their view across better.

Mayoral issue of the day - Cycling

Heading into the weekend before the mayoral election, six of the candidates battling to become the mayor of London took part in a debate on cycling. 

The BBC London's Tom Edwards says it striking how investment in cycling infrastructure has become an important issue in London politics. He says "cycling is now a mainstream policy in London politics. That is quite a story." (Read more from Tom here).

Taking part in the campaign, which was organised by The Times and the London Cycling Campaing, was Sian Berry (Green), Zac Goldsmith (Tory), Sadiq Khan (Labour) Sophie Walker (Women's Equality), Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem).

Find out more about the candidates here.

View more on twitter

Cycling - a mainstream policy in London politics

Tom Edwards

Transport Correspondent, BBC London

Four years ago, cyclists were angry at the perceived lack of progress under Boris Johnson and that the infrastructure that had been introduced in the first four years, was little more than "blue paint on the road."

Mr Johnson switched policy from the first sub-standard - by his own admission - cycle superhighways to segregated lanes.

Boris Johnson

He also appointed a cycling commissioner to drive through these changes.

All of the five main candidates in next week's election have also committed to having a cycling commissioner.

This means whoever is elected, the intention is the transformation of London's streets towards segregated bike lanes and being more pedestrian and bike friendly, will not stop.

In pictures: Stars turn out for David Gest's Golders Green funeral

Flowers in the shape of a musical note and the words Unforgettable, That's What You Are adorned the coffin of David Gest as stars including Kerry Katona, Kym Marsh and Darren Day gathered for his funeral. 

Gest, 62, was a music producer and the former husband of Liza Minnelli. 

He was found dead in a five-star hotel in London on 12 April. 

David Gest funeral

Denise Welch, Danniella Westbrook, Gemma Collins, Lizzie Cundy, Vanessa Feltz and Dean Gaffney were also among the mourners at his funeral at Golders Green Crematorium.

Denise Welch
Lizzie Cundy (left) and Denise Welch (centre) arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London

A wooden coffin with gold handles and adorned with white flowers arrived in a hearse for the ceremony. 

A white floral display with a black musical note, a butterfly and the lyrics to Nat King Cole's famous song rested alongside it.

Vanessa Feltz
BBC Radio London's Vanessa Feltz

Hail in London as changeable weather continues

Forecaster predictions were proved right as hail hit London this afternoon.

Hail in London

Southern Trains talks collapse, union says

Tom Edwards

Transport Correspondent, BBC London

Southern Trains talks have collapsed, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has confirmed.

A 24-hour walkout by members of the RMT in protest at the introduction of driver-only trains, ended at 11:00 on Wednesday.

Husband and wife arrested in connection with running of brothels

A 33-year-old man and his 37-year-old wife, from King's Langley in Hertfordshire, have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and running five brothels in the City of London and one in Bracknell, Berkshire

Police officers raided six addresses believed to be brothels, rented by the suspects.

A 19-year-old woman was also arrested.

The couple were taken to a central London police station and have been bailed until 27 July pending further investigation.

Met commander responds to Jack Susianta inquest verdict

Police officers were "very upset" they couldn't save the life of teenager Jack Susianta who drowned in the River Lea, the Met's Commander for east London Lucy D'Orsi has said. 

The inquest into Jack's death reached a verdict of drug-related accidental death at St Pancras Coroner's Court.

Lucy D'Orsi
Met Police

In a blog post she said: "My colleague who entered the water to help Jack and others involved, are naturally very upset that they were unable to help him and save his life.

"It's often forgotten that they have to live with that feeling."

She adds that mental health "remains a complex area" and that her thoughts are with Jack's family and friends.

Thirteen arrested over 'cup and ball' illegal gambling on Tower Bridge

Thirteen men have been arrested in an operation targeting illegal gambling on Tower Bridge, the City of London police say.

Police are warning tourists they'll always lose if they fall for the game because it's fixed to fleece people of their cash.

Plain clothed officers have seen men encouraging members of the public to participate in playing ‘cup and ball’ which entices the public to gamble with no chance of winning.  

Thirteen men aged between 19 and 46 have been arrested under section 33 of the Gambling Act. They have been bailed until dates in April and May.  

Afternoon weather: Showers likely, risk of hail

BBC Weather

It will become cloudier this afternoon with a few showers likely. The showers may be heavy with a risk of hail, and it will be feeling cool in the breeze. 

Maximum temperature 12C (54F).

'Drug-related accidental death' ruling on canal plunge teenager

Jack Susianta
Met Police

The drowning of a teenager in a London canal was a drug-related accident, a jury has concluded. 

Jack Susianta, who was 17, died in a canal at Walthamstow Marshes on 29 July last year. 

He had suffered a psychotic episode and smashed through a window at his family home and fled in just a t-shirt, socks and boxer shots. 

The teenager jumped into the canal as he evaded capture from police who he thought were not real officers. The jury at St Pancras Coroner's Court reached a unanimous conclusion of drug-related accidental death.

PC dismissed after gross misconduct proven

PC Shane Moulds, attached to Camden borough, has been dismissed following a conduct hearing.

It was alleged that in September 2014, the officer detained a man using unreasonable and unjustifiable force against him. It was further alleged that the officer used abusive language towards the man.

The panel heard live evidence from four officers who had been present during the incident as well as PC Moulds.

The panel found the allegations proven as gross misconduct and PC Moulds officer has been dismissed without notice.

On air: Partner of EastEnders actress Sian Blake 'admits killing her and their two children'

BBC London News

On today's lunchtime news at 13:30 on BBC One, a lawyer for the partner of the Eastenders actress Sian Blake has told a judge at the Old Bailey that he has admitted killing her and their two children.

Arthur Simpson-Kent
Arthur Simpson-Kent will enter a plea in July

Footage has been released of the moment two men suffered "extensive injuries" when they were hit by a car which then drove away in east London.  

A man who sent approximately 8,000 tweets campaigning for the so called Islamic State has been jailed for five years.

Parents have been banned from entering a school in Ebbsfleet unless they have a pre-booked appointment, after a series of incidents of abuse against staff. 

Ex-MEP Peter Skinner jailed for £500,000 expenses fraud

An MEP who dishonestly claimed almost £500,000 in expenses has been jailed for four years.

Peter Skinner, 56, who was Labour MEP for the South East from 1999 to 2014, was found guilty of three charges after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Peter Skinner

Skinner, of Snodland in Kent, claimed he had been confused over the rules, blaming European Parliament procedures.

The politician made fraudulent payments of £10,000 a month to his wife from December 2007 until July 2009.

He also created a fake letter claiming his father was working for him, to justify his payments of £5,000 every three months, his trial heard.

Severe delays following emergency services incident at Romford

BBC Travel

Train lines at Romford are now open following an emergency services incident, but there are severe delays.

One lane is blocked on the M25 anticlockwise at J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange), because of a broken down lorry.

There is blocked and queuing traffic on the A406 North Circular Road eastbound in New Southgate at the A109 Bounds Green Road junction, because of an accident involving a lorry and a van. Congestion stretches to Colney Hatch Interchange.  

Many urban areas 'fail superfast broadband test'

Tests on 42 towns and cities across the UK suggest almost half have average broadband speeds below 24Mbps.

London and Edinburgh have average speeds of 22.4Mbps and 21Mbps respectively.  


Hull, with an average of 12.4Mbps, is the UK's slowest city, according to comparison site uSwitch, which conducted the tests.

These speeds are likely to be low not because of lack of availability but because people have chosen not to take up faster services.

Jewellery and memorabilia recovered from pond by police divers

Jewellery and memorabilia have been recovered from a pond by police divers.

Metropolitan Police's Dive Team were working on an unrelated case at Slade Ponds in Greenwich on Wednesday, 20 April, when they recovered the items in a supermarket carrier bag. 

Officers believe the objects have been in the pond for a considerable length of time.  

Met Police

Among the items are a watch with an inscription on the reverse, a cycling medal with the inscription '1937 Club 50, 1st H cap, J. Hutchinson' and a ring with the inscription 'In Arduis Fidelis', the insignia of the Royal Army Medical Corp.

Met Police

PC Steve Morgan of the Marine Policing Unit, said: "Most of these objects are likely to be of sentimental, rather than monetary value and it would be wonderful if we could reunite them with their rightful owners, or their descendants."  

Cycling medal
Met Police

Right To Buy extension criticised by MPs

The government's controversial plan to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants has been sharply criticised by a group of MPs.

Blocks of houses
Getty Images

A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned how the policy will be funded, and whether proper replacement homes will be built.

The MPs also said there was evidence that Right to Buy could increase overcrowding for those in housing need.

Londoners will be able to get discounts of up to £103,900 through the scheme.

BreakingPartner of EastEnders actress Sian Blake 'admits killing her and their two children'

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, admits killing former EastEnders actress Sian Blake and their two children, his lawyer says. 

Mr Simpson-Kent, of Pembroke Road, Erith, Kent, admits to the killings of his girlfriend, former Eastenders actress Sian Blake, 43, and their two young children Zachary, eight, and Amon, four.

Sian Blake

Jim Sturman QC, said this could be reported because the jury would be told - although he asked that his client was not asked to make a plea until a later date. 

Mr Simpson-Kent is due to face a 10-day trial on 4 October.

Travel update: Incident at Romford causing train delays

BBC Travel

There is no service on Abellio Greater Anglia between Liverpool Street and Shenfield due to emergency services dealing with an incident at Romford. London Underground is accepting tickets for reasonable routes.  

On the A128, Brentwood Road is closed in both directions between Orsett Cock in Orsett and Halfway House in West Horndon, because of an accident involving three cars.  

On the M25 at Hertfordshire anti-clockwise at J23 for the A1, a lane closed on the exit slip road and queuing traffic because of a broken down car.

There is queuing traffic on the A21 Lewisham High Street in Ladywell, Lewisham at Lewisham Fire Station, because of a traffic light failure. Police are directing traffic.