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  1. Updates on Thursday 12 May 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 tomorrow at 08:00 with the latest, news, sport, travel and weather.

Tonight's weather: Dry and mild night, fog by dawn

BBC Weather

It will be a fine end to the day, with some evening sunshine to enjoy. However, low cloud will be drifting in from the North Sea overnight, which will shroud The Chilterns, leading to some hill fog by dawn.

It will stay mild overnight underneath the cloud.

Lows of 10C (50F).

Coming up on BBC London this evening

BBC London News

Car in the sinkhole

Join us from 18:30 at BBC London to hear from the owner of a family car swallowed-up by a sinkhole in south-east London this morning. 

Ghazi Hassan says he's "thankful" that his family and no passersby were hurt in what he described as a "crazy event". 

Investigations into what caused the crater in Charlton are being carried out - and our reporter, Helen Mulroy has been at the scene for us, for much of the day. 

Boy, 14, found guilty over stab death

Haile Langa
Met Police

A 14-year-old boy has been found guilty of stabbing a man to death in London.

Haile Langa, 21, was attacked in Watling Gardens, on Shoot Up Hill, Kilburn, on 5 November. He died from a single stab wound to the chest.

The boy, who cannot be named, was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Imaan Farjani, 20, of Unity Close, was found not guilty. Ahmed El-Sayed, 20, of Watling Gardens, was acquitted on 25 April.

The teenager will be sentenced next month.

Spurs plan to open north London free school

Spurs in action

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has joined forces with fee-paying Highgate School to propose setting up a state sixth form in north London.

The free school, planned for September 2017, will use staff and educational expertise from Highgate, where pupils pay £18,705 per year.

Spurs will be the school's main financial sponsor and provide premises.

Highgate's head teacher says it will allow the school to offer an education to poorer families "on our doorstep".

Prince William given teddy and wellies for Charlotte and George at lifeboat station

Prince William with a teddy and RNLI wellington boots for his children
Getty Images

Prince George will soon be old enough to model a pair of RNLI wellies, the Duke of Cambridge said earlier today, when touring a London lifeboat station. 

Prince William was given a pair of yellow boots for the young prince and a teddy bear for Princess Charlotte.

rince William, Duke of Cambridge meets staff as he attends the launch of an Emergency Services & Transport Industry Coalition on Male Suicide Prevention at Tower RNLI Lifeboat Station
Getty Images

Earlier, he had attended a meeting between a number of emergency frontline services - encompassing the water, land and air - which were pulled together by the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.

He later moved on to the RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station on the River Thames. 

Director of community lifesaving at the RNLI Leesa Harwood said the gifts were given to William for his children as a memento of his visit to the station and as a thank you for backing the coalition.

Tonight's travel: Leadenhall Street closed, traffic on M25 and delays to King's Cross trains

BBC Travel

  • Leadenhall Street is closed in both directions closed due to a gas leak and burst water main between A10 Gracechurch Street and Cornhill and Aldgate.
  • The M25 clockwise has severe delays in Essex due to an earlier incident involving a lorry and a car at J28, with congestion to J24
  • Trains departing King's Cross are being delayed up to one hour due to problems at Grantham

 More updates at BBC London's Travel website or listen to BBC Radio London.

London's train delays 'worst for a decade'

London Bridge

London’s train services are the most unreliable they have been for over a decade, data released today has revealed. 

A fifth of London and South East train services failed to reach their destination within five minutes of the scheduled arrival time in 2015-16, the lowest recorded since 2004-5.

The capital's commuters experienced delays worse than the national average, the study by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found

Screengrab of ORR report

A silver lining for London commuters is that failing services taken over by Transport for London (TfL) last year have improved in punctuality. 

TfL is due to take over all London's suburban rail network as the franchises come up for renewal, starting with South West in 2017.

Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi AM, said: "The sooner TfL takes control of London’s other train services the better.”

Pensioner attacked and raped in south London home

Met Police

A woman in her 70s was attacked and raped when a stranger entered her south London home on Wednesday morning. 

The attack took place shortly before 08:00  in Russell Hill Road, Purley, south London, when she became aware of a man outside.

She opened the door and the man used his foot to force his way in, before assaulting her, causing bruising to her face, and raping her. 

The suspect is described as white, with a tattoo or mark on his neck, and a circular tattoo on the left side of his chest. It is thought he spoke with a Scottish accent. 

Det Insp Keith Ward said he was aware the incident would "cause alarm to people living in the area" and said detectives were "working around the clock" and doing everything they could to arrest the suspect.

Woman 'overwhelmed' by high heels petition response

Nicola Thorp
Nicola Thorp

A woman says she is "overwhelmed" after a petition calling for a ban on forcing women to wear high heels at work was signed by 100,000 people.

Nicola Thorp set up the petition after being sent home from her temp job as a secretary after refusing to wear shoes with a "2in to 4in heel".

Outsourcing firm Portico said "with immediate effect all our female colleagues can wear plain flat shoes".

Ms Thorpe said the reaction was "testament to how big the issue is".

'House gap' plot sold for £400k

The development plot

A 4m (13.1ft) wide former service road in west London is being sold with planning permission for a two-storey home for more than £400,000.

Its owners live in an adjoining terraced house and had hoped to extend into the gap but decided to sell after their extension plan was turned down.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said the new building would help provide "much needed" additional housing in the area.

Watch: Police practice terror response in London

They are rehearsing what they would do if an office came under armed attack.  

Police practice terror response in London

Activists set up 'Tax Haven pop up' in Trafalgar Square

BBC Radio London

Activists in Trafalgar Square

As David Cameron launches a money laundering crackdown in central London today demonstrators Christian Aid, Action Aid and Oxfam have set up what they are calling a pop up Tax Haven in Trafalgar Square. 

Activists told Valley Fontaine from BBC Radio London they wanted to make sure leaders at a global summit talked about the "elephant in the room" - overseas tax havens.

They say the poorest countries in the world, where Action Aid works, lose $170bn USD through tax evasion and avoidance every year.

Activists at Trafalgar Square

Car is pulled out of giant sink hole - and the engine even starts

Anna O'Neill

BBC Radio London reporter

A man attaches the rope to the car

A car which was half swallowed up by a giant sink hole in south-east London has been pulled out by a crane. 

The crane lifts the car out of the hole

A man was lowered onto the Vauxhall Zafira, which was teetering on the edge of the huge hole which opened up in Woodland Terrace, Charlton.

Tied to a crane for his own safety, he lashed a rope around the car, which was then pulled out by the crane. 

Mr Hassan is re-united with his car

Ghazi Hassan, who left the car outside his brother's house last night, even managed to start the engine after it was rescued. 

The road is expected to remain closed for a number of days.

Watch: 'Thank God it's only the car'

Ghazi Hassan has spoken of the moment he saw his car had fallen down a huge hole in south east London.

The Vauxhall Zafira was left on Woodland Terrace in Charlton by Mr Hassan, who was visiting his brother on Wednesday night.

He said "it was a surprise" but was "thankful" his family were not hurt and nobody was injured in the incident.

BBC Radio London has reported speculation that the 11ft deep hole could be due to recent heavy rain.

Black Eyed Peas reunite in London - without Fergie

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Black Eyed Peas perform
Getty Images

The Black Eyed Peas have played together for the first time in five years at a free show in London's Royal Albert Hall.

Led by, the band played hits including Where Is The Love and I Gotta Feeling for an audience of 10,000 fans.

But singer Fergie was not part of the line-up - with her parts sung by Lydia Lucy, who Will mentored on The Voice.

£2.5bn new town next to Wembley Stadium approved

The new town next to Wembley Stadium

Plans to build a £2.5bn new town next to Wembley Stadium have been approved by Brent Council despite objections from football bosses. 

New homes, a GP surgery and a school would be built as part of the new development. 

The Football Association says it could mean fans driving to games could be stuck for hours in the car park.

However, Brent says it is "confident" fans and other visitors to the national stadium will "continue to enjoy these facilities while providing the significant regeneration which the area needs.”

Quintain’s plans will now be subject to consideration by the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Sinkhole update: Road will be 'closed for several days'

The sinkhole

A south east London road which developed a giant sinkhole overnight, half swallowing a family car, will remain closed for several days, the local authority has confirmed.

The stretch of Woodland Terrace between Heathwood Gardens and Maryon Road will be closed to traffic and a diversion is in operation for the 380 bus, said the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

In a statement, a council spokesperson said: "It has been confirmed the car is not resting on a gas main and can safely be removed. 

"Once the car has been removed this will facilitate the investigations into the causes of the incident.

“The hole is stable at this time, and while there will need to be further investigations to establish the cause, the geology in the area is sand/gravel and there is nothing to indicate that the collapse is related to old mine workings etc."

Greenwich council said it would prioritise the welfare of residents, and was ensuring that Thames Water and SGN are communicating with households at the scene.”

BBC Charter renewal: Key points of White Paper

BBC logo
  • The new charter will run for 11 years, with a break clause after five 
  • The licence fee will rise in line with inflation until 2021-22
  • People using iPlayer to catch up on BBC content will need a licence in future 
  • Managers earning more than £150,000 and top talent earning above £450,000 will have their salaries published
  • There will be a requirement to provide distinctive content and services, and a focus on underserved audiences, particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Ofcom is to become the external regulator of the BBC
  • The BBC Trust will be abolished

To find out more, go to the BBC Entertainment and Arts live page or take a look at the Charter's key points.

High heels petition reaches 100,000 signatures

A petition asking the government to make it illegal for companies to require women to wear high heels at work has reached more than 100,000 signatures.   

Nicola Thorp
Nicola Thorp

This means Parliament will consider it for a debate and the government will respond to the petition. 

The petition was launched after London receptionist Nicola Thorp, 27, was sent home without pay because she refused to wear high-heeled shoes when asked to by her employer.

Outsourcing firm Portico has now changed its policy "with immediate effect".

Employment law firm Thompsons told BBC Magazine yesterday that UK firms were allowed to set separate dress codes for men and women at work, as long as they were "reasonable"

Firefighters from 'London's Burning' fire station move to new building

Firefighters at the Wolseley Street building
London Fire Brigade

Firefighters based at Dockhead fire station, the fictitious Blackwall Fire Station in the ITV series London’s Burning, have started operating out of a new building.

Located on Wolseley Street, the new building replaces the old station and will provide firefighters with modern facilities.

It includes two larger appliance bays for the Brigade's vehicles, a four storey drill tower for training, offices and meeting rooms, a gym, lecture and quiet study rooms and a kitchen and dining area for firefighters.

Afternoon weather: Fine and dry

BBC Weather

It will be a fine and dry afternoon, with good spells of sunshine. In the sunshine it will feel pleasantly warm in a light northeasterly breeze. 

Highs of 23C (73F).

We strike, say staff at Dalston’s Rio cinema

Loving Dalston

Community news website

The Rio is to go on strike. Staff at the dispute-hit cinema, which has resisted paying a good wage, this week voted overwhelmingly to go on strike on Wednesday 25 May 2016.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino signs contract extension

BBC Sport

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has signed a contract extension which commits him to the club until 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino
Getty Images

The Argentine, 44, was appointed in May 2014 on a five-year deal and guided Spurs to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League and a League Cup final in his first season in charge.

With one game to go, Spurs are guaranteed a top-three Premier League finish this season.

"We believe this is just the beginning," said Pochettino.

Date set for by-election

Susana Mendonca

BBC Radio London Political Reporter

The Tooting by-election will be held on Thursday 16 June.

The full list of those standing in the by-election, caused by Sadiq Khan's resignation after his mayoral victory, will be announced on 20 May.

Chris Evans: 'I'm paid too much'

Chris Evans has said people who do jobs like his own are "paid too much".

The Top Gear presenter said he had a job most people would "kill for" and the BBC should "pay us less".

Chris Evans: 'I'm paid too much'

Coming up on BBC London this lunchtime

Sonja Jessup

BBC London News

Car in hole

Coming up on BBC London from 13:30, we'll be live in south-east London where a huge hole has appeared

A parked car has fallen down it - and now residents are being warned they may have to evacuate their homes. 

Adidas ends Chelsea sponsorship six years early

Adidas logo on football

German sportswear firm Adidas has said it is ending its sponsorship of English football club Chelsea six years early.

Adidas, which has sponsored Chelsea since 2006, said it had reached a mutual agreement to end the deal on 30 June 2017 instead of 2023.

The club will have to pay Adidas tens of millions of euros in compensation, but is free to sign a new sponsor.

The payment means Adidas profits are expected to rise 25% this year rather than the 15-18% originally forecast.

Heathrow opens car park for private hire vehicles after 'Uber nightmare'

Uber app

Heathrow is to open a car park for private hire vehicles after local residents said Uber drivers waiting for fares were causing a "nightmare".

They were "parking in people's driveways, leaving rubbish in gardens" and "causing a huge amount of local distress", according to airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye.

Uber said it was "something we have been calling for for many months".

Heathrow already has a car park for black cabs.  

FirstGroup wins right to run budget Edinburgh to London rail services

First Train Hull
First Trains

A new budget rail service between Edinburgh and London has been given the green light by the Rail Regulator.

The 10-year deal will allow First Group to operate five trains a day each way via intermediate stations at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth from 2021.

It said average fares would be less than £25 and there would be only one class of carriage.

Stagecoach, which operates Virgin Trains East Coast on the same rails, has warned its revenue will be harmed.

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) currently holds the franchise to run services on the line until at least March 2023.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator has now granted approval for FirstGroup to launch open access services between London, north-east England and Edinburgh from 2021.

Boy, 12, designs new London Travel Card wallet

A drawing by a 12-year-old boy is set to be turned into a new Travel Card wallet for London.

Oliver Chalcroft, from Hertfordshire, entered a competition run by the Institute of Imagination to re-design the holder.

Institute of Imagination

His image, based on the theme "dance through your imagination", was chosen by a judging panel chaired by ballet star Darcey Bussell.

10,000 wallets will be handed out during the Big Dance 2016 festival.

Engineers work on giant sinkhole to 'ensure continued safety'

Car in sinkhole

Gas and water company engineers are on the scene of a giant sinkhole in south east London to investigate the safety of pipes under the road, after a family car fell into it overnight.

Residents of Woodland Terrace in Charlton told BBC Radio London earlier they believe the car is stuck on a water or gas pipe

A spokeswoman for Scotia Gas Network said engineers were carrying out investigations alongside emergency and utility partners. 

"We'd like to reassure residents the situation is being monitored closely to ensure their continued safety," she said.

Thames Water said there were engineers at the scene checking whether there is any damage to clean water or sewer pipes.

A diversion is in place for bus route 380.

BBC charter renewal: White Paper to be published

The Culture Secretary will set out the government's proposals for the future of the BBC shortly.

BBC Logo

It's expected John Whittingdale will propose scrapping the BBC Trust, which governs the Corporation, and force details of top stars' salaries to be made public. 

But the licence fee is expected to survive for at least 11 more years. 

And some of the more controversial ideas, like allowing the government to dictate when popular programmes can be broadcast to avoid clashing with commercial rivals, have reportedly been scrapped.

Watch: The scene of giant sinkhole which swallowed car overnight

A parked car is swallowed by a sinkhole in Charlton, south London

Church closes after giant sinkhole appears in road

A south-east London church has closed after a giant sinkhole opened up in the road outside, engulfing a family car.

Car in sink hole outside church

Rev Erica Wooff, the rector of Charlton, lives next door to the church on the corner of Woodland Terrace and Maryon Road. 

She said her initial reaction was "Oh my goodness, there's a hole in the road".

"There was a massive storm last night," she said.

"It has been raining constantly for the past two days but I didn't hear tarmac rip open."

Rev Wooff confirmed the church was closed and that she was working with the community and authorities.

Car in sinkhole

Plan to stamp out money-laundering in property shake up

David Cameron and Nigeria's President Buhari

The government has announced foreign companies that own property in the UK will have to publicly declare their assets in a bid to stamp out money-laundering.

David Cameron is hosting a summit today with other world leaders aimed at tackling global corruption. 

Downing Street said foreign companies owned about 100,000 properties in England and Wales and that more than 44,000 of these were in London.  

David Cameron sorry over 'IS' cleric comment

David Cameron has apologised for "any misunderstanding" after he described a former imam from south London as a supporter of the Islamic State group. 

Suliman Ghani

Three weeks ago, in the Commons, the prime minister accused Suliman Gani in Parliament of backing the militant group as he questioned Sadiq Khan's judgement in sharing a platform with him.

Mr Ghani says he's never advocated extremism.

High heels row: Firm accused of sexism changes policy

A firm that sent home a temp without pay for refusing to wear high heels has changed its policy.

London receptionist Nicola Thorp, 27, says she was told to wear shoes with a "2in to 4in heel" when she arrived at finance company PwC in December.

Nicola Thorp
Nicola Thorp

When she refused and was sent home she set up a petition calling for the law on dress code to be changed.

Outsourcing firm Portico said "with immediate effect all our female colleagues can wear plain flat shoes".

Labour's candidate shortlist for Tooting by-election announced

Susana Mendonca

BBC Radio London Political Reporter

Labour has announced five people on its shortlist of candidates for  next month's Tooting by-election. 

One of them will be chosen at a meeting of Tooting Labour members on Saturday to stand for Labour at the by-election, as a result of Sadiq Khan resigning to become London Mayor.

The Labour candidates shortlisted are:

  • Naushabah Khan
  • Mike McLaughlin
  • Jasvir Singh
  • Rosena Allin-Khan
  • Martin Smith