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  1. Updates on Wednesday 29 June 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 from 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. Have a good evening.

Polish centre inundated with messages of support

A Polish centre in west London has been inundated with gifts and messages of support from the local community after racist graffiti was written on its doors

UK ministers and Polish ambassador Witold Sobkow visited the Polish Social & Cultural Association in Hammersmith to promote the message that Europeans are welcome in the country following the EU referendum. 

'It's a message of solidarity'

Tonight's weather: Heavy rain and strong winds

BBC Weather

Much of the evening will remain wet with heavy rain at times and strong winds, especially across the North Downs and other areas of high ground. Through the night, it will turn drier and clearer from the north with winds gradually easing. 

Lows of 13C (55F).

BBC London News: Brexit, babies in boxes and Ab Fab

BBC London News

Since last week's EU Referendum, race hate crime incidents have increased in the capital. The Polish community is reporting increasing levels of concern, a fear the Polish ambassador has confirmed.

Also on the programme, we head to Queen's Hospital in Romford to gauge the reaction of staff there to Brexit as pictures have appeared on Twitter expressing support for foreign NHS staff. 

Away from the EU, find out why babies are being given boxes and the ultimate fashionistas, Edina and Patsy from Ab Fab, are back on the big screen - we'll be at their new film's premiere.

All at 18:30 on BBC One.

Bilic would not take England job - Gold

BBC Sport

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham co-chairman David Gold says Slaven Bilic would not be "the slightest bit interested" in becoming the England manager.

'I knew he would kill his daughter', says Ben Butler's ex-girlfriend

Ben Butler's former girlfriend says she knew before he regained custody of his daughter Ellie that he would go on to kill her.

Butler was found guilty of murder and child cruelty earlier this month and has been jailed for a minimum of 23 years.

Ben Butler
Met Police

Speaking today on the TV show Good Morning Britain, Hannah Hillman, who was physically assaulted by Butler in 2005, said she knew without a trace of a doubt that he was guilty of shaking Ellie as a baby.

She said: "I turned on the TV and I actually saw him on the show and I thought, he's actually going to get this girl back, and I said, 'he's going to kill her'.

"I knew that one day that man was going to kill somebody," she added. Miss Hillman was never called as a witness in the baby shaking case for which Butler was later exonerated. 

Travel news: Delays on M25, A40 but Tube is running well

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

On the roads, there is congestion on the M25 clockwise at J14, Heathrow Airport.

Due to a broken down bus on the A40 exit slip road to Argyle Road in Perivale, traffic is slow eastbound from the Target Roundabout.  

There are no reported delays on the Tube.

Police investigate possible beach sighting of woman whose remains found near mansion

The remains of 36-year-old librarian Saima Ahmed from Wembley were found near Gogar Mount House, on the outskirts of Edinburgh on 9 January.

Her family had previously reported her as a missing person. Following a recent Crimewatch appeal, Met Police now believe she may have been spotted on Portobello beach in Edinburgh on 31 August.

Saima Ahmed
Police Scotland

A member of the public spoke with a woman on the city beach, who was walking alone and who closely matched Ms Ahmed's description, at about 10:30 on a Monday in August, possibly 31 August, although an exact date is unknown.  

Her death is being treated as unexplained and anyone with information is asked to contact police.

'Go Now', Corbyn told in Brexit PMQs

Calls intensify for the Islington North MP to stand down as the Labour Party leader following a no confidence vote by MPs.

But TSSA Union leader Manuel Cortes says Labour MPs should be ashamed of their conduct and urges them to get behind Mr Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn says quitting his position would betray everyone who voted for him to become leader.

At PMQs, the outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron said: "For heaven's sake man, go."

Lord Blunkett appointed to lead Heathrow skills taskforce

Former Labour minister Lord Blunkett has been chosen to head up a new skills taskforce for Heathrow Airport.

The group will ensure there is a "clear plan" to provide the skills needed to build and operate the airport if the government agrees to a third runway at Heathrow. 

Airport graphic
BBC/ Source Airports Commission

One of the aims is to ensure young people in the local community have the necessary skills to build careers at an expanded Heathrow Airport.

Lord Blunkett said: "Too often in the UK we make large-scale investments in projects that deliver short-term results which do not benefit and include the wider population, or the long-term needs of the country."

Worried about Brexit? Try being a banker

BBC Newsbeat

A worker walking in the City of London
Getty Images

It's "nerves all round" in the finance industry, according to people working in the City of London.

Workers Newsbeat spoke to said that companies are thinking of moving jobs abroad, so they can stay in the eurozone.

The pound fell to its lowest level for 31 years on Monday, after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

But the man in charge of the country's finances, George Osborne, says we're "well prepared" for the economic shock.

Imminent union announcements expected to support Jeremy Corbyn - analysts say

BBC chief political correspondent Vicki Young says Tom Watson is understood to have had another face to face meeting with under fire Jeremy Corbyn.

MPs believe the deputy Labour leader is asking Mr Corbyn to stand down.

Jeremy Corbyn

ITV Political editor Robert Peston says GMB and Unite unions are poised to back Mr Corbyn and are expected to tell Labour MPs to behave.

Peston adds that 13,000 additional Labour supporters are believed to have joined the party last week with 60% citing support for Corbyn as their main reason.

Should Oxford Street be pedestrianised?

The London Assembly will discuss this later. 

London's mayor Sadiq Khan proposed the measure in his mayoral election manifesto.

Oxford Street

The assembly will consider what impact closing the road to vehicles may have on road users and retailers.

Rain delays play at Wimbledon on outside courts

BBC Sport

Stay up to date on all the latest Wimbledon news here.

View more on twitter

High heels row: Nicola Thorp tells MPs she was labelled a 'trouble maker'

Nicola Thorp, who set up an online petition calling for a ban on employers requiring women to wear high heels at work, has been giving evidence to MPs.

The temp worker from Hackney, arrived at finance company PwC to be told she had to wear shoes with a "2in to 4in heel".

Nicola Thorp
Parliament TV

When she refused and complained male colleagues were not asked to do the same, she was sent home without pay.

She told MPs: “There was certainly an air of ‘she’s a bit of a troublemaker’ and ‘you’ve embarrassed us as an agency, I hope you’re not going to drag our names through the mud.

"I actually requested on that day that I was sent home for a copy of the male dress code because I wanted to make comparisons and that was denied to me on three or four occasions.

“I personally don’t understand why an employer should have the right to distinguish between male and female.”

M25 slow moving traffic because of obstruction in the road

BBC Travel

The M25 at Surrey has slow moving traffic in an anti-clockwise direction between J6, (A22 for Godstone) and Clacket Lane Services because of an obstruction in the road.

For the latest travel updates visit the BBC London travel page.

Memorials to war dead listed to mark Somme centenary

First World War

More than a dozen war memorials - three in London - have received greater protected status to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Seven memorials have been given newly protected status and eight have had their protection upgraded, Historic England said.

The Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916 and is considered to be one of the bloodiest in human history.

Find out which memorials will be protected.

Retail assistant tells MP she was encouraged to unbutton her blouse for male shoppers

Emma Birkett told MPs she applied for a retail sales assistant position where there was a strict uniform policy for women – which was a skirt or a dress with a blouse and high heels. The uniform for men was a smart suit.

Emma Birkett
Parliament TV

Ms Birkett told the committee how she once forgot to bring heels because she used to walk to work and on that occasion they gave her the option of going to buy a pair of heels otherwise she would be sent home.

“On that occasion I went home and got my heels, and had to use that time as an unpaid break.

“I did feel quire insecure there. When I was offered the job I really needed the job so I didn’t challenge the uniform at that point."

“In retail the team was actively encouraged at Christmas time to wear shorter skirts and unbutton the blouse a little, because at Christmas time you have a larger proportion of male shoppers. We were encouraged to flirt a little to get the gentleman customer to spend a little bit more.”

Parliamentary committee calls BA uniform policy on high heels "remarkable"

Ms Campion told MPs British Airways staff were expected to wear full uniform, including high heels, from the moment they left their house, on public transport, in the airport building, right up until the passengers were sitting down and only then were they allowed to change into flat shoes.

She said you were expected to put your high heels back on from when the passengers were disembarking the aircraft until you reached the privacy of your hotel room.

Petitions Committee member Ian Blackford said it was "remarkable" behaviour on the part of the employer, because allowing staff to change shoes during the flight "was recognising there's potentially a health and safety issue" with the footwear.

Ms Campion highlighted how difficult it would be to perform the job continuously in high heels because she said you could easily walk miles on board plane during the flight.

Work place dress code: Equalities committee told of BA 'frumpy' cardigan ban

The Commons Petitions Committee and Equalities Committee are discussing uniform policy and specifically high heels at work, after Nicola Thorp, who was working as a receptionist in London, was sent home for refusing to wear high heels at work

Equalities Committee hears evidence from Ruth Campion and Nicola Thorp
Parliament TV

Ms Thorp is calling for a ban on employers forcing women to wear high heels at work.

The joint session heard evidence from former British Airways cabin crew member Ruth Campion who told MPs that BA staff employed before 2010 were allowed to wear cardigans on board a flight because it can get cold in an airplane.

After 2010, she said staff were not allowed to wear cardigans, because reading "between the lines it was a bit frumpy and not very attractive."

Watch: Cardboard boxes for west London babies

Need somewhere for your baby to sleep? Babyboxes are being introduced in west London to lower infant mortality rates.

Cardboard boxes for babies

Man found guilty of burglary at Rita Ora's home

Rita Ora
Getty Images

A burglar who targeted pop star Rita Ora has been found guilty of a raid worth more than £200,000 on her home. 

Charaf Elmoudden, 26, went to the singer's four-bedroom house in north-west London on November 28 last year and made off with a stash of expensive shoes, phones, computers and a designer doggy bag.

He was found guilty with a majority verdict of 10 to two of burglary at Harrow Crown Court.

'I don't want to be made to feel like this isn't my home'

There have been claims in some parts of the UK of incidents of racism as a direct result of last week's EU Referendum result.

Here, one London student describes what happened to her and her brother following the referendum result.

Post Referendum racism

Afternoon weather: Heavy rain at times

BBC Weather

Rain will turn increasingly persistent through the afternoon, bringing drizzly outbreaks and some heavier bursts in places, especially over higher ground such as Hampstead Heath. 

It'll be windy too. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Lunchtime News: Post referendum race attacks and blue plaque for WWl's youngest soldier

BBC London News

Coming up in our lunchtime news bulletin at 13:30 on BBC One:

Racist or xenophobic attacks have increased by a third since the referendum, according to the Minister for Countering Extremism. 

Lord Ahmad spent this morning at a Polish community centre in Hammersmith where he was joined by the Polish ambassador.

Plus, this Friday marks 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme, the most deadly battle of the First World War. 

We follow the story of Sidney Lewis, who left home to fight aged just 12. The youngest soldier in the war, his house in Tooting will receive a blue plaque.

Man arrested over social media postings on suspicion of inciting racial hatred

A man from London was arrested at 06:30 in London on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.

Detectives executed the pre-planned operation and searched two addresses in north London in connection with social media postings of an extreme right wing, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic nature.

View more on twitter

Some digital items have been seized. The man, whose details have not been released, remains in custody.

What do we know about the Lesedi la Rona diamond?

  • Lesedi la Rona means "our light" in the Tswana language of Botswana
  • It is hailed as "the find of a lifetime" by Sotheby's jewellery division chairman David Bennett
  • It is about the size of a tennis ball and measures 6.64 x 5.5 x 4.2cm (2.6 x 2.1 x 1.6in) 

Lasedi la Rona
  • It is a type IIA diamond - the most chemically pure
  • Less than 2% of all gem diamonds are classed as IIA 
  • Other famous examples of type IIA diamonds include the Cullinan I diamond and the Koh-i-Noor - both part of the British Crown Jewels

Feast your eyes on this: World's largest uncut diamond goes on sale

The world's largest uncut diamond is expected to be sold for more than £52m in an unprecedented auction in London.

The Lesedi la Rona is almost the size of a tennis ball and was unearthed in Botswana in November.

World's largest uncut diamond to be auctioned in London

The rough diamond is 1,109 carats and is believed to be more than 2.5bn years old.

The Mayfair auction, which is the first time a rough diamond of such a size has gone on public sale, takes place at Sotheby's later.

Crew tackle fire at flats in Feltham

Up to 35 firefighters are tackling a fire at a block of flats in the Centre, Feltham, which started at about 09:20 this morning.

About 100 people were evacuated and a five room flat on the first floor has been badly damaged.

We've got 30 firefighters dealing with a flat fire above a supermarket atThe Centre in #Feltham © @godmh01

We've got 30 firefighters dealing with a flat fire above a supermarket atThe Centre in #Feltham © @godmh01

The fire has now been brought under control.

Residents claim the fire alarm in the flats was not working and failed to sound.

Hate crime guidance issued following Brexit vote reaction

In the wake of the Breixt vote Merton Council and the Met Police in Merton have issued guidance for anyone who experiences or witnesses hate crime.

In a joint statement council leader Stephen Alambritis and acting borough commander Steve Wallace said:

"Merton has always been a place that embraces and celebrates diversity and we have always welcomed people from different countries and backgrounds.

Vote leave sign

“Since the EU Referendum result where the UK voted to leave the EU, there have been reported incidents of hate crime in some areas of London. We have zero tolerance of hate crime and would strongly encourage anyone who witnesses this type of behaviour or is a victim of it to report it to police or tell a trusted adult.”

There are 900 specially trained investigators in the Met to deal with hate crime. You can call 101, visit a police station or go to Tell Mama or CST websites.

PC murder accused remanded in custody after court appearance

Italian defendant Stefano Brizzi, 50, has appeared via video link before a judge at the Old Bailey.

He is accused of murdering and dismembering Met Police officer Gordon Semple at his flat in Southwark Street in south London, sometime between 1-7 April.   

Gordon Semple
Family handout

Mr Brizzi, who is being held at Belmarsh prison, spoke only to confirm his name and has yet to enter a plea. The judge has agreed to postpone a plea hearing until 9 September at the Crown's request.

Mr Brizzi will remain in custody at Belmarsh prison.

EU Referendum: Becoming Polish

Undercover police 'rulebook' published for first time

A rulebook covering the conduct of undercover police officers in England and Wales and how they are supervised has been published for the first time.

The guidance bans sexual relationships and says officers must submit to regular psychological testing.

Peter Francis, a former undercover officer who suffered long-term damage to his mental health while deployed with a disbanded Scotland Yard unit, warned that more still had to be done to protect those in the field today.

Vodafone warns it may move staff out of London HQ post Brexit vote

Vodafone group, one of the UK's largest companies, has said it may quit its London HQ, in light of the EU referendum vote.

Vodafone sign
Getty Images

It says any decision to stay or go would hang on Britain's ability to negotiate "the free movement of people, capital and goods," which it says is vital for any pan European business.

The company employs more than 13,000 people in the UK and has offices in Newbury and Berkshire in addition to HQ in London.

Man accused of murdering PC Gordon Semple due to appear in court

The man accused of strangling and dismembering a Met Police officer will enter a plea later. 

Gordon Semple
Family handout

Italian Stefano Brizzi, 50, allegedly murdered 59-year-old PC Gordon Semple at his London flat between 1-7 of April.

Mr Semple was originally from Inverness in Scotland and had been with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years.

A provisional trial date has been set for 18 October and Mr Brizzi, who is in custody, is due to appear before the Old Bailey later. 

Princess Alexandra visits Brixton Market

Brixton Blog & Bugle

Princess Alexandra has visited Brixton Market and the Maytree children’s centre to see how the Alexander Rose charity’s voucher scheme for fruit and veg is helping families who swap the vouchers for fresh fruit and veg at participating market stalls. 

MPs expected to mount a challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Labour MPs are expected to announce a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership after a motion of no confidence in him was supported by three-quarters of the parliamentary party.

Jeremy Corbyn

Two possible candidates are the party's deputy leader Tom Watson and ex-shadow business secretary Angela Eagle.

But the Islington North MP has said he would not "betray" his supporters by resigning as party leader.

He is expected to receive a warmer reception at a rally of his supporters later.

Pro-EU protest marches on Westminster

Protesters staging a pro-EU demonstration marched from London's Trafalgar Square to outside the Houses of Parliament last night.

The crowd could be heard shouting "love not hate" and "no more lies".  

Support was shown from Alistair Campbell and MPs Paula Sherriff, Anna Soubry and Wayne David. 

Pro-EU protest in London

London mayor sends message of support to Istanbul attack victims

Sadiq Khan has tweeted a message for the people of Istanbul following the gun and bomb attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport, which he condemns.

Sending love and support to the great city of #Istanbul. London stands with you in condemnation of this deadly atrocity.