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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

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.

CCTV issued after handbags worth £25,000 stolen

Detectives in Islington borough have issued CCTV footage of two men they wish to trace after handbags worth £25,000 were stolen.

On Thursday 9 June police were called at about 11:50 to reports of a burglary at Handbag Clinic, Camden Passage, Islington.

CCTV caught the moment a motorcycle pillion passenger walked into the shop with his helmet on.

Metropolitan Police

When approached by staff, he pulled out a knife and a metal bar from the waistband of his trousers and brandished the bar in front them. The man then went into the rear of the shop and took the handbags.

The driver of the motorbike also walked into the store and took handbags from the display window.

A member of the public who came into the shop was assaulted as he tried to tackle the driver near the store entrance.

Murdered teenager named as 18-year-old Matthew Kitandwe

A teenager killed in Battersea has been named as 18-year-old Matthew Kitandwe.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service on Tuesday to an address on Wayford Street to reports of a man having been stabbed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wayford Street

A post-mortem examination found that the cause of death was stab injuries.

An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody at a south London police station.

Orbit slide opens tomorrow

Fancy going down the world's longest tunnel slide?

The Orbit was originally built for the London 2012 Olympic Games but has now been turned into a huge slide - it takes riders around 40 seconds to reach the bottom, reaching speeds of up to 15mph as the slide loops its way around the sculpture 12 times.

Ride the Orbit

Reaction: Many LGBT+ people 'hide sexuality'

BBC London Facebook

We've had loads of reaction on our story which says that 74% of LGBT people surveyed felt the need to hide their sexuality.

Getty Images

Jon Jones said: "Sadly I can relate very well," while Kathy Lloyd said: "These days, there really is no need to say what team you bat for, but on the other hand some people have to hide it too."  

E-fit issued following attempted rape of schoolgirl

Detectives investigating the attempted rape of a 13-year old schoolgirl have released an e-fit image of the suspect in the hope that someone will identify him. A man placed his hand over the girl's mouth at about 08:20 BST on Wednesday 8 June in Highbury.

The suspect forced her into Coach House Lane where he assaulted her before a member of the public interrupted and confronted him, causing him to leave the scene.

Rape suspect
Metropolitan Police

The suspect then took a bike from a teenage boy, rode it a short distance along Highbury Hill before abandoning the bike and making off on foot. Despite numerous inquires neither the suspect nor the teenager boy have been identified.The suspect is described as a white man, about 6ft and of muscular build. He had black and grey hair.  

Flooding at Westminster Underground station

Westminster Tube station is now home to a waterfall as heavy rain continues to batter London.

This video was taken by Huffington Post executive editor Paul Waugh:

View more on twitter

Man jailed for string of sex attacks

A man who carried out a string of sex attacks on women in south London has been jailed for eight years.

Algerian national Mehdi Midani, of no fixed address, attacked several women aged in their 20s and 30s in Clapham and Brixton between 22 and 31 October.

 The 28-year-old was found guilty of six assaults and admitted a seventh at Inner London Crown Court.

He was also found guilty on one count of common assault.

Mehdi Midani
Metropolitan Police

Pictures: Puddle dodging and delays

Victoria station
Grange Primary School

Travel update: Tube greatly affected by flooding

There are severe delays on the Metropolitan Line due to a signal failure at Farringdon. 

There is no service on the Bakerloo Line northbound between Stonebridge Park and Harrow and Wealdstone due to a signal failure at Stonebridge Park. 

There are minor delays on the Victoria Line between Victoria and Brixton due to earlier faulty train at Seven Sisters.

There is no service on the London Overground between Surrey Quays and New Cross

Cannon Street and London Bridge have both reopened following earlier signalling problem, however Southeastern services remain disrupted with some services still diverting to Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Victoria.

Underground delays
Transport for London

BreakingMan jailed over 10-day sex attack campaign in south London

Algerian national Mehdi Midani, 28, who carried out a 10-day campaign of sex attacks on lone women in south London, has been jailed for eight years at Inner London Crown Court.

Commuters urged to leave work early

Commuters in London have been urged to consider leaving work early as disruption to the rail network continues following torrential rain and thunderstorms.

The Environment Agency warned that continued heavy rain could lead to further flooding across England and the South East this evening, affecting homes and businesses and causing delays and cancellations on rail, roads and the Tube.

Clapham Junction

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operating companies and Network Rail, advised passengers travelling through affected areas that "services will be severely disrupted this evening". 

He went on: "Passengers should check before they travel and consider travelling earlier if they can in order to get home."

Crash victim named as 81-year-old Shirley Clayton

An elderly woman who died following a collision with a motorcycle in Croydon has been named as Shirley Clayton, 81.

Police were called on Sunday 5 June to St James's Road, near the junction with Tavistock Road, following a report of a crash involving a pedestrian and motorcycle.

Shirley Clayton
Metropolitan Police

Mrs Clayton was taken to a south London hospital where she died on Wednesday 15 June.

The rider of the motorcycle stopped at the scene and is assisting police with their inquiries. There have been no arrests at this time but police continue to investigate.

Car submerged in Romford

Travel update: Severe delays due to flooding in Barking and Victoria

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

In Barking there are severe delays and Movers Lane Underpass is closed due to flooding. There is congestion on the A13 eastbound to Prince Regent Lane and westbound queues from Wennington Interchange.

In the City, Upper Thames Street eastbound is partially blocked due to a broken down lorry between Blackfriars Underpass and Southwark Bridge

Victoria Embankment is partially blocked and has slow traffic due to flooding at Temple Place (Temple Station).

In Hounslow, London Road is closed in both directions and there is very slow traffic due to and accident at St John's Road.  On the M25 anticlockwise, one lane is blocked and there is very slow traffic due to an accident between J26 A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25 A10 (Enfield). 

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

Travel update: Delays and cancellations on Tube

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

There are minor delays on the Bakerloo and Circle lines, and severe delays on the Metropolitan line. 

There is currently no service between Baker Street and Aldgate due to a signal failure at Farringdon.

Canning Town Station is exit only on the DLR due to flooding.

Balham underground station is now open.

On the London Overground there is no service on between Surrey Quays and New Cross/Clapham Junction.

There is no service from Highbury & Islington to Dalston Junction, Surrey Quays to New Cross.

There are minor delays from Surrey Quays to Crystal Palace and West Croydon.

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

Travel update: Rail services affected by flooding

BBC Travel

Cannon Street station is closed due to a signalling problem. It is expected to remain closed until 17:00 - Southeastern services are severely disrupted, and trains will be diverted to Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Victoria

Due to heavy rain flooding the railway at Manor Park, train services between Liverpool Street, Shenfield, Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich and Norwich are being disrupted. Short notice alterations, delays and cancellations can be expected.  There is no service on South West Trains between London Waterloo and Guildford, Woking, Hampton Court and Chessington South due to flooding and signalling problems. There is no service between London Waterloo, Woking and Guildford via Esher. There is no service on Southern between Victoria and Sutton, Epsom and Caterham, and also a limited service to Brighton.  

Wandsworth Common and Battersea Park stations will not be served for the remainder of the day.

With two of the four lines open there is an extremely limited Southern and Gatwick Express service to and from London Victoria. Gatwick Express services are running and will stop additionally at Clapham Junction and East Croydon.

Services between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes are suspended for the rest of the day.

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

BreakingMan jailed for life for plotting to carry out Remembrance Sunday beheading

Islamic State-inspired Nadir Syed, 23, has been jailed at the Old Bailey for life with a minimum of 15 years for plotting to carry out a Lee Rigby-style beheading around Remembrance Sunday.

Syed had targeted a poppy seller before his arrest shortly before Armistice Day in November 2014.

Following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court last year, Syed, from Hounslow, west London, was found guilty of planning a terrorist attack. 

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Saunders said: "I am satisfied like the killers of Fusilier Rigby, Nadir Syed followed the precept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 

"In my judgment if he was released from prison he would go and try to carry out what he failed to achieve in this case - he would set out to kill in furtherance of his beliefs." 

Nadir Syed

£10 billion plan for ‘Canary Wharf of West’ to be reviewed by City Hall

Evening Standard

A review of the £10 billion redevelopment of “the Canary Wharf of the West” has been ordered amid concerns that it could fall short on delivering affordable housing for the capital. 

Power cuts across London following storms

Power supplies are being affected across London following the flooding.

A UK Power Networks spokesman said: "Torrential rainfall has caused flooding across various parts of London, submerging some electrical equipment and the floods are impacting our engineers’ ability to travel to sites.  

Map of affected areas
UK Power Networks

"We apologise to customers affected and are doing all we can to restore power as soon as possible today, and keep people updated about progress."

For the latest updates visit UK Power Networks' website.

Weather forecast: Amber warning issued for further flooding

Showers and thunderstorms will clear north-eastwards through the night with some clear spells then developing. 

In light winds the odd patch of mist could then develop by dawn, especially along prone stretches of the River Thames. 

The minimum temperature will be 13C (55F)

BBC London weather Thursday 23 June with Elizabeth Rizzini

Teenager stabbed in back near troubled Thornton Heath nightspot Club 791

Croydon Advertiser


A teenager was stabbed outside a troubled Thornton Heath club the night it reopened for the first time since having its licence restricted.

Crown court cases disrupted by flooding

It is understood cases have been disrupted at Snaresbrook Crown Court in Redbridge after heavy rain caused ceiling tiles to collapse inside some of the court rooms and corridors. 

A source said: "All of our hearings have been very much delayed in their progress. We are dealing with it as best we can. The surrounding roads are flooded and a juror has been stuck in traffic for four hours."

Storms spark road and rail trouble

Cars are submerged and some polling stations are closing as flooding affects London and the South East.

Forecasters have warned further thundery downpours are expected later.

Richard Lister reports.

Aerial view of floods

Flood? No problem

EU Referendum voter Catherine Woods emailed in with this image of some quick thinking at her polling station when it got flooded.

She wrote: "The enterprising staff at my polling station in Wandsworth (SW18 5SF) built a bridge out of crates and bits of wood so we could still get into the building and cast our vote."

Wandsworth polling station
Catherine Woods

Disruption on Southeastern train services due to flooding

Southeastern trains has issued this statement: “The torrential rain and heavy thunderstorms overnight have caused significant delay across our network this morning. We know this has been very difficult for our passengers and we apologise.

“Due to this severe weather – which has seen flooding, signalling problems and a line side fire causing line closures -  a number of our trains and crews have been displaced, meaning they are not where they need to be on our network in order to meet our timetable.

“We now have to try and concentrate on ensuring that we have as good a service as possible up and running for the afternoon peak in order to get our commuters back home. This means that over the next couple of hours we will need to take decisive action, which will involve cancelling, or running short a number of our trains.

 “We would ask passengers to please bear with us and postpone their journeys until the early afternoon if at all possible as we work to recover and reset our services. We would advise any passengers who have seen their journey delayed by 30 minutes or more to please claim compensation via our Delay Repay scheme. Details can befound on our website.”

Afternoon weather: Muggy but thundery showers expected

BBC Weather

It will be a muggy day with some warm sunny spells, before further heavy and thundery showers with torrential downpours develop from the south later in the afternoon. 

Maximum temperature 23C (73F).

On air: Flooding latest and a preview of the Orbit slide

BBC London News

On BBC London live at 13:30 on BBC One, commuters have had hellish journeys to work this morning after London was hit by violent thunderstorms last night. A month's rainfall fell in just a few hours.

A BBC investigation has found that 600 dog thefts have been reported to the Metropolitan Police over the past three years. Nationwide the crime rate has gone up by 20%.

A leading HIV charity is warning support services could be cut in parts of London which have the highest infection rates in the country.

The Orbit slide in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens to the public tomorrow.

Firefighters called to smoke at flooded railway station

Two fire engines were sent to West Norwood Station after smoke started issuing from the flooded track during rush hour.

Commuters said they were evacuated from trains and had to continue their journey by bus.

Trains are running again through the station but Southern warns services are subject to speed restrictions.

West Norwood
Chris Waters

Teenager rescued while trying to get to school

A teenager and his dad had to be rescued by fire crews earlier as they got cut off while trying to get to school.

Josh Gleaves, 14, from Romford set out for the train this morning to get to the BRIT School in Croydon, but had to call his dad to pick him up when he realised trains weren't running.

After trying to get Josh to a different station, his dad Paul said they were stuck in "gridlock" in Colliers Row. 

Josh and Paul in the boat
Paul Wood

They tried to finish the journey on foot, but ended up being taken home by helpful rescue crews.

Josh is supposed to be performing at Lord's Cricket Ground tonight.

Paul said: "It is still gridlock and people can't get through because of rising water. We were lucky."

Paul Gleaves in a boat
Josh Gleaves

SW London polling stations moved due to floods

A polling station on Devon Way, Kingston Upon Thames has been moved to a nearby community centre because of flooding.

The station has been moved to the Hook Centre on Hook Road.

The Shiraz Mirza polling station has also been moved to Maiden Manor Children's Centre, on Lawrence Avenue.

Devon Way
Devon Way
View more on twitter

Polling station relocated in Barking due to flooding

Barking Council has just issued this statement for voters in today's EU Referendum: “Due to flooding caused as a result of a burst water main, the Polling Station as St. Thomas More Church, Longbridge Road has had to be relocated. 

“No other polling stations have been affected. “Voters for BD16 will now be able to vote at Erkenwald Tuition Centre, Malborough Road, RM8 2HU. “Voters for BD35 will now be able to vote at Manor Junior School, Sandringham Rd IG11 9AG. “We are glad to say that we were able to notify and signpost affected residents first thing this morning. “We apologise for the inconvenience.”    

Watch: Flooding in Canning Town

Local resident Ana Luiza Negrao shows how close the water is getting to her home in Canning Town.

Flooding in Canning Town, London

Golf course severely flooded in east London

A golf course is under water after storms overnight.

Tim Green shared pictures of Upminster Golf Course in east London.

Upminster Golf Course
Tim Green
Upminster Golf Course
Tim Green

Flooding at Clapham Junction

Flooding at Clapham Junction station is affecting railway services this morning.

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

Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction

Going down 'world's longest' tunnel slide at Orbit sculpture

The UK's tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London, has been transformed into something new - a gigantic slide!

Orbit slide
ArcelorMittal Orbit

The Orbit was originally built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, but has now been turned into one of the longest and tallest tunnel slides in the world.

The slide takes riders around 40 seconds to reach the bottom, reaching speeds of up to 15 mph as the slide loops its way around the sculpture 12 times.

EU Referendum: How to vote

When can I vote?

The EU Referendum is taking place today, between 07:00 and 22:00. Provided you are at the polling station at 22:00, you will be guaranteed the opportunity to vote.

What are we voting for?

The referendum will decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.

You will be asked to answer the following question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

Polling Station

Where do I vote?

If you are on the electoral register, you should have received a polling card through the post which has your name, polling number and the address of your polling station printed on it.

Polling stations are usually set up in public buildings such as schools, community centres and village halls near where you live.

Watch: River Rom bursts its banks with 60 buildings affected

The River Rom in east London has burst its banks, affecting homes and businesses nearby, as shown in this video by Charlie Livings.

Rodney Vitalis, station manager for London Fire Brigade said: "We are currently dealing with an incident in Romford - five fire engines are there.

River Rom bursts its banks

"There's no serious injuries to anyone but 60 homes and businesses are affected with 1m of water.

"If there are welfare reasons or serious injuries then call 999.

"London Fire Brigade have been inundated and attended over 400 incidents today - if it is not an emergency, then do not call."

Storms cause massive disruption to London transport

BBC Travel

Last night's storms are affecting London's transport system today - with long delays on roads, rail and the underground due to flooding.

This photo was taken by Olly Dolphin at Surbiton station this morning - it took him two hours and 40 minutes to get from Surbiton to Old Street - and it took him one hour to just get on the train.

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

Surbiton Station
Olly Dolphin

Travel update: A40 now open but many roads still affected by flooding

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

The A40 is now open at Medway Underpass, with congestion to A437 (Hillingdon Circus).  

The A12 Eastway Tunnel is down to one lane southbound due flooding.

On the M25 there is congestion due to an earlier accident and flooding anti-clockwise at J9 Leatherhead, with congestion to J14 A3113 (Heathrow).

One lane is closed due to flooding on the M4 Westbound between J4 A408 (Heathrow Spur/Uxbridge) and J4B (M25).

The A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach is closed at the A13 East India Dock Road due flooding at Abbott Road.

In Barking the A13 is closed at the Movers Lane Underpass due flooding.

In Perivale the A40 is down to two lanes.

The storms and flooding have had a massive impact on transport in London. For the latest travel updates visit the BBC London travel page or follow @BBCTravelAlert