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  1. Updates on Thursday 26 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 but we'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with the latest videos, news, sport, travel and weather.

Tonight's weather: Dry and clear

BBC Weather

This evening and overnight will remain dry with some lengthy clear spells across London, however some low cloud may begin to spread into the far east later. 

Minimum temperature 9C (48F).

On air this evening: Mayor calls for EU backing & Winnie-the-Pooh comes to London

Riz Lateef

BBC London presenter

Coming up on BBC London News this evening:

Sadiq Khan has made his first intervention on the EU Referendum after he called on Londoners to stay in Europe - we'll be assessing what impact this could have on the vote.

And we'll be finding out about a new Winnie-the-Pooh adventure which sees the celebrated bear head to the capital for a double birthday celebration.

Winnie-the-Pooh celebration

Join me at 18:30 on BBC One.

Researchers find more people are speaking like Londoners

More people around the UK are speaking like Londoners compared to the 1950s, researchers have found.

A scone and a person removing a splinter

About 30,000 people used the English Dialects app, which was created by developers at Cambridge University, to answer questions about the pronunciation of words such as "scone".

The researchers said initial results showed a decline in the number of distinctive regional accents with a lot more people now speaking like "southerners".

Vicar appeals on Twitter after wife's jewellery stolen

An Islington vicar has posted a picture of a man on Twitter who he said he found in his house shortly before discovering his late wife's jewellery was missing.

Picture of man taken by Revd Simon Harvey/PA
Revd Simon Harvey/PA

Reverend Simon Harvey said he was "devastated" after realising rings belonging to his wife Jennifer, who died nine weeks ago, had been taken from their Islington home.

Mr Harvey, who is a vicar at St Mary's Church in Upper Street, wrote: "I found this man in my house yesterday. Can you help find my late wife's stolen jewellery? Contact police on 101."

He has said he is willing to meet with the thief to "help him find some redemption".

'Millwall's pride is back' - Neil Harris on play-off final

BBC Sport

Neil Harris
Rex Features

Millwall manager Neil Harris says the "pride is back in the club" as they prepare for the League One play-off final against Barnsley on Sunday.

Harris told BBC Radio London: "We have a terrific bunch of lads who have great spirit. Whatever happens we have foundations to build on."

Victory would secure an immediate return to the Championship, after the Lions saw their five-year stay in the second tier come to an end last season.

Travel: Disruption in Bloomsbury and the West End

BBC Travel

There is disruption in Bloomsbury where one lane is closed on the A40 Theobald's Road eastbound between the Southampton Row junction and the Old Gloucester Street junction because of an earlier vehicle fire.

And a lane is blocked on the A4201 Regent Street/St James northbound at the Jermyn Street junction because of an accident.

For the latest travel updates visit the BBC London travel page or follow @BBCTravelAlert

In pictures: 'Boy hero' remembered at Jutland commemoration events

A commemoration event has been held in Waltham Forest to remember "boy hero" Jack Cornwell who died following the Battle of Jutland.

Members of the Royal Navy during a commemoration event for sixteen year old Jack Cornwell at Coronation Gardens

A memorial paving stone was unveiled at Coronation Gardens to mark 100 years since the conflict.

Poppy wreaths laid at the memorial paving stone unveiled at the war memorial

David Cornwell, a relative of the 16-year-old who died in the battle and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery, was at the service.

David Cornwell at the ceremony in Waltham Forest

Elsewhere, the Duke of York attended a ceremony on board HMS Duncan in West India Dock.

The Duke of York leaves a personal message for the "Jutland Capsule"

He left a personal message in the "Jutland Capsule" which will be taken on the ship when it later sails to the Jutland Bank as part of the centenary events.

The battle on 31 May 1916 saw 6,094 British and 2,551 German personnel lose their lives.  

Watch: Crackdown on 'rip-off' pedicab drivers

Pedicab drivers who charge extortionate fares for short journeys will be driven off the road under a new licensing scheme, the government says.

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Stalker in Jack the Ripper row vandalises women’s Suffragette billboard

The Docklands & East London Advertiser

A billboard promoting a women’s heritage exhibition where Jack the Ripper stalked London’s East End has been vandalised with black paint carefully covering the venue details.

Private railway linking London to Windsor unveiled

Plans for a £200m private railway to improve transport links between Windsor and London have been unveiled.

CGI of new railway
Windsor Link Railway

Windsor Link Railway's "master plan" includes the regeneration of the riverside and the creation of a tunnel to allow through trains from Slough to join the Waterloo line.

Proposals also include the development of new homes and office buildings as well as creating a direct line from Windsor to Paddington and Heathrow Airport.  

WLR said the track would be the "first privately funded addition to the core network for over 100 years".

Man told father of woman who killed herself to 'keep quiet or face consequences'

A man accused of harassing the father of a woman who killed herself told the grieving man to "keep quiet or face the consequences", a court has heard.

Alexander Economou, 37, is accused of harassing David de Freitas, whose 22-year-old daughter Eleanor killed herself three days before she faced court on suspicion of making a false rape claim against Mr Economou.

Eleanor de Freitas
Family handout
Eleanor de Freitas died three days before she was due to go on trial

Prosecutor William Emlyn Jones said the alleged harassment against Mr de Freitas began on 6 November 2014 after Mr Economou learned he was approaching the media about the inquest and allegedly hand-delivered a letter to his home address.

"The effect of the letter was to make him feel extremely frightened and intimidated and distressed," he said.

But David Lee, defending, said the letter was not designed to cause distress or alarm or harass anyone,"

Mr Economou, of King's Road, denies a charge of harrassment without violence.

Watch: Seal spotted on Thames river bank

Eurostar to offer cheapest fares to Facebook users

Eurostar has launched a new website where customers will need a Facebook account to access the company's lowest fares.

Eurostar train and train passengers

Snap allows passengers to buy one-way tickets from £25 as long as they log in to the social network, the cross-channel firm said.

Passengers can select a date and whether they want to leave before or after noon for travel between London and Paris or Brussels, but they will not be told exact time of their train until 48 hours before travel.

The initiative comes just days after the high-speed rail operator reported a fall in passenger numbers as travellers "remain cautious" in the wake of the recent Brussels terror attacks.

Government to move 250 jobs to London

About 250 civil service jobs will be moved to London after a government department confirmed plans to close its Sheffield office.

Protest outside St Paul's Place, Sheffield

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is relocating to the capital in what it says is part of measures to help save £350m by 2020.

The Public and Commercial Services Union said the decision to relocate the department was "shameful".

Winnie-the-Pooh heads to capital for double birthday celebration

Winnie-the-Pooh visits the capital in a new adventure released to celebrate both the 90th birthday of the Queen and the fictional bear himself.

Winnie-the-Pooh illustration

Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday sees the much-loved bear travel to Buckingham Palace with Christopher Robin and friends, Piglet and Eeyore.

The free book has been written by Jane Riordan and is illustrated in the classic EH Shepard style.

Winnie-the-Pooh illustration

Watch: Ruislip shopkeeper robbed at knife point

CCTV footage has been released of the moment a shopkeeper in Ruislip was robbed at knife point as he tried to protect his teenage son.

Scotland Yard said the attack happened at the Taal Food and Wine shop on Field End Road on 14 May at about 22:30 BST.

This content only works in the UK.

The shop owner suffered lacerations to his hands as he tried to protect himself and his teenage son after the man held a knife to his throat.

He was taken to a west London hospital for treatment but later discharged.

The attacker, described by police as being a tall Asian man, aged in his mid 30s, and of medium build, stole a "substantial amount of cash" from the till, the Met said.

Watch: Steve Davis shows off his turntable skills

BBC Sport

Plumstead-born snooker player Steve Davis has been showing off his DJ skills following his retirement from the game.

This content only works in the UK.

Jutland boy hero's grave given listed status

The grave of "boy hero" Jack Cornwell and other memorials to those who died at the Battle of Jutland are being given new protected status to mark the centenary of the naval clash.

The World War One battle was fought over 36 hours from 31 May to 1 June 1916 and led to the loss of 6,094 British seamen and 2,551 Germans.

Jack Cornwell

However, the Germans failed to break the blockade of the North Sea by the British, making it a significant moment in the war.

Jack Cornwell, who was onboard HMS Chester, was considered a "hero" because he stayed at his post awaiting orders after all his gun crew were killed or fatally injured, despite having severe shrapnel wounds himself. He died on 2 June 1916.

The 16-year-old's grave in Manor Park Cemetery has been listed as Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

In pictures: Pig flies above Battersea again as stamps commemorate Pink Floyd

A set of stamps celebrating 50 years of rock group Pink Floyd have been unveiled by Royal Mail.

Album cover from Animals

The band, who formed in London, were famous for their iconic album covers which included a pig flying over Battersea Power Station for the record Animals.

Album cover from Wish You Were Here

The stamps also include photographs of their live shows including the band playing the UFO Club, which was based in a basement in Tottenham Court Road, in 1966.

Pink Floyd playing UFO Club

The collection goes on sale today.

Album cover from The Dark Side of the Moon

Griff Rhys Jones to return to West End

Griff Rhys Jones is to return to the West End for the first time in five years in a new production of The Miser.

Moliere's classic five-act comedy has been newly adapted by Phil Porter and Sean Foley, who will also direct it.

The production will visit Richmond and Bath before opening at London's Garrick Theatre in March 2017.

Griff Rhys Jones

This afternoon's weather: Warm sunny spells and isolated showers

BBC Weather

BBC weather chart

This afternoon will see a mix of sunny periods and patchy cloud with an isolated shower possible.

It will feel pleasantly warm in the sunny spells.

Maximum Temperature: 20C (68F)

On air this lunchtime: Khan pledges EU support & a Jutland boy hero

Sonja Jessup

BBC London News

I hope you can join us for BBC London's lunchtime programme.

New Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling on Londoners to vote to stay in the EU.

Sadiq Khan

He's waded into the referendum debate this morning for the first time since being elected - we'll get the latest from our Political Editor Tim Donovan.

And we'll be hearing about the Jutland "boy hero" Jack Cornwell whose grave has been given a new protected status.

That's all coming up at 1.30pm on BBC One.

Number 10 is 'the greyest frontage known to man'

Alan Titchmarsh has offered to buy and plant up a pair of garden urns for the doorstep of 10 Downing Street as part of efforts to make front gardens greener. 

Describing Prime Minister David Cameron's official London residence as "the greyest frontage known to man", the TV presenter and gardener said he would even return every season if needed to plant new blooms in the urns.

Number 10 Downing Street
Anthony Devlin/PA

He made the promise at a conference organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, which is trying to reverse a trend towards paving spaces outside homes for parking and ease of maintenance that has left millions of front gardens without any plants. 

The RHS, which is running a "greening grey Britain campaign", argues that front gardens filled with plants help wildlife and air quality and reduce the risk of flooding.

Canning Town evacuated after woman trapped between train and platform

Canning Town station was evacuated this morning after a woman got her foot caught between the train and the platform as she was leaving a Jubilee line train.

Tube train in Canning Town
Najeeb Khan

A jack was used to lift up the train when the woman became stuck at about 08:20. She was freed from the gap at 09:05.

The station was closed at about 08:45 because of overcrowding but was reopened again after 09:15, a spokesperson for TfL said.

London Ambulance Service said the woman suffered a minor leg injury but was not taken to hospital.

Emergency services outside Canning Town station
Merrell-Ann Maloney

Firefighters commended for actions to save husky puppy Max

Firefighter Llewellyn Legall and his Stanmore colleagues have received a Borough Commander's Letter of Commendation for saving the life of a husky puppy called Max and then raising thousands of pounds to put him on the road to recovery.

The London firefighter helped raise over £8,000 for the severely injured husky that his crew rescued after he was run over by a bus in October 2015.

London Fire Brigade

Firefighter Legall, who used to be a husky owner himself, said: "We knew straight away that the dog was badly injured.

"He was in a terrible state and had actually been 'de-gloved' up to his shoulder, meaning he had lost all of his skin and fur down one side of his body.

"I honestly didn't think he would survive."

London Fire Brigade

 A vet was called to the scene and Max pulled through - but Firefighter Legall was told the treatment would cost thousands and the owner couldn't afford to pay the bill, so he began fundraising.    

London Fire Brigade

Karen Robertson, from charity HEART brought Max to Stanmore fire station to meet the firefighters who saved him and Mark Barrett from the Dogs Trust, who donated a significant amount to help Max's vet bills.  

The charity HEART have been looking after Max and are now looking for the right home for him.   

A-list academics: Swapping the limelight for the lectern

Angelina Jolie Pitt, who has nabbed a post as visiting professor at the London School of Economics, is the latest in a line of celebrities who have swapped the limelight for the lectern at English universities.  

Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie Pitt, Stephen Fry, Kevin Spacey and Johnny Marr

Jolie Pitt - a UN special envoy - will be teaching part of a new masters course run by the LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

So what's in these starry appointments for the universities and for the celebrities?

Middlesex miss out on victory against Somerset

James Hildreth
Getty Images

An unbeaten 85 from James Hildreth scuppered Middlesex's hopes of victory against Somerset on the final day of the latest round of matches in cricket's County Championship.

The Lord's side were awarded nine points from the game, leaving them fifth in Division One.

Surrey are bottom after being thrashed by Lancashire by an innings and 96 runs.

NHS spend on private ambulances trebles in four years

The London Ambulance Service's spending on private ambulances has gone up 50 times in four years, to £13m.

Meanwhile NHS spending on private ambulances for 999 calls across England has trebled in four years, BBC research has found.


Ambulance trusts paid private companies and voluntary organisations £68.7m to attend emergency calls in 2015-6, compared to £22.1m in 2011-2. They respond to all types of calls.

NHS England said 999 calls for ambulances rose 4.5% last year.

Unions attacked "creeping privatisation" and called for more money for staff recruitment.

Watch: Jekyll and Hyde given 1950s twist

The sinister tale of Jekyll and Hyde by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson has been given a new twist in a dance production at the Old Vic.

Brenda Emmanus has been talking to the award winning choreographer behind it, Drew McConie.

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Battle of Jutland: Memorials and graves given protected status

The grave of boy hero Jack Cornwell and other memorials to those who died at the Battle of Jutland are being given new protected status to mark the centenary of the naval clash.

Jack was just 16 when he fought in the battle 100 years ago.

This content only works in the UK.

Jack Cornwell was just 16 when he fought in the Battle of Jutland

'Urban beach' to return to Olympic Park

An urban beach which had almost half a million visitors last year will return to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 23 July.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

BeachEast will feature a vast stretch of white sand, a kid’s paddling pool, funfair rides, two beach bars and a host of sporting events.

Beach East
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The event will also be hosting the Team GB fanzone from 6 August.  

Beach East
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

'Elderly and mentally ill at highest risk' of fire death

Fire risk facts

London Fire Brigade says in about half of the fire deaths in the capital there was a delay in calling 999.

That's why automatic sprinklers, a monitoring alarm system called Telecare and flame retardent bedding is so important for fire safety.

The brigade has approved a £1m investment in these fire safety systems to help London's most vulnerable homes.

London fire deaths down by 20% in five years

London Fire Brigade says the reduction in fire deaths is partly down to better fire education of the public.

Last year a total of 36 people died from fires in the capital compared with 47 fatalities five years ago. 

Fire deaths chart

Transport experts claim HS2 is 'over-priced'

HS2 is an over-priced, gold-plated project and will fail in many of its objectives, a group of transport experts has warned.

CGI of train on bridge

The independent academics agree the UK needs extra rail capacity and they support high-speed rail overall.

But they say the benefits of HS2 can be achieved much more cheaply, with lower CO2 emissions, and they want their analysis examined by government.

A spokesman for HS2 said options for bringing down costs were being studied.