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  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 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 for the day but we'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Tonight's weather: Dry but cold and windy night

BBC Weather

The showers from earlier will clear through this evening to leave a dry night in most places.

But it will be windier and colder, with patchy frost possible by dawn. 

Minimum temperature: 3C (37F) 

Search for Westminster police officer missing since Friday

Gordon Semple
Met Police

The Met are hunting for a police constable who went missing on Friday after a meeting at the Shard.

Gordon Semple, 59, failed to return home from work after a 12:00 rendezvous at the Shangri-La hotel. He was captured on CCTV in Great Guildford Street, SE1 at 15:00 that day.

London doctors leaving for Australia over junior doctors' contract row

Fears have been raised some junior doctors could quit their jobs in the UK for work overseas if new contracts come into force. 

Dr Jason Seebaluk, 27, who works in Euston,  is moving to Australia permanently in August because of the government's proposed amendments to junior doctors' contracts.

Jason Seebaluk
Jason Seebaluk

"The NHS is a great example of how medicine should be practised around the world but it is in a bit of a mess at the moment," he told the BBC.

"I do feel a sense of guilt leaving but I have to think about my future".

Dr Dagan Lonsdale, 32, an intensive care registrar in clinical pharmacology, works at St George's Hospital in south London. 

Dagan Lonsdale
Dagan Lonsdale

He and his wife are both doctors and they moved to Australia in 2011 but returned in 2012 to work in the NHS and believed in its "core values".

"We are now considering our options, one of which may be to leave to work overseas again."

First female tailor opens store on Savile Row

Kathryn Sargent, who has become the first female tailor to open her own store in historic Savile Row, has said she feels "a real sense of achievement".

The 41-year-old master tailor who has dressed royalty, actors and dignitaries, rose through the ranks at Gieves & Hawkes, before opening her first store in Brook Street in 2012.

Kathryn Sargent outside Savile Row store

At the opening of the Mayfair store, Ms Sargent said: "I am thrilled to be making history, although for me being a woman is incidental, I am a tailor first and foremost.

Kathryn Sargent in her Savile Row store

"There are more and more women coming through now and doing the training - 65% of the newly-qualified tailors last year were women. It is more diverse," she said.

Kathryn Sargent

On air: Transport challenges for London's next mayor and actors on picket line

BBC London News

On BBC London News at 18:30, over the next few weeks we will look at the big challenges facing the next mayor of the city.

Tonight we are at Old Oak Common and start off with transport and what can be done to make travelling into and around the city less time-consuming and affordable.

Also, actors from TV comedy series Green Wing joined junior doctors at the picket line at Northwick Park Hospital during a strike over new contracts.

Life in jail for jobless pensioner murderer

An unemployed man has been jailed for life for bludgeoning to death his disabled and elderly former neighbour whom he killed for his bank card.

Raymond Sykes smashed Arthur Walters-Girout's skull and cheek on 15 June and went on a spending spree in JD Sports and GS Superfoods in Woolwich.

Raymond Sykes
Met Police

The body of Mr Walters-Girout, 82, lay undiscovered at his home in Sidcup, south east London, for five days. 

Sykes, 36, of Engineer Close, Woolwich, must serve at least 25 years in prison for the murder.

Police sergeant charged with £58k theft

A serving Metropolitan Police detective sergeant has been charged with 11 counts of theft totalling £58,000. 

DS Michael Harrington is a financial investigator based within the Specialist Crime and Operations (SCO) Specialist and Economic Crime Command. 

The offences relating to 11 victims are believed to have taken place on various dates between 12 October 2010 and 28 July 2015.

The 44-year-old was arrested on 28 July 2015, and was suspended from duty that day.   

He will appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 19 May.

Pregnant fall death woman was 'drinking alcohol and had some effects of cocaine'

Richard Wheldon, 28, was arrested on suspicion of murder after his partner Georgina Drinkwater fell from her flat in Queens Park, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

But he was released without charge after the Crown Prosecution Service found insufficient evidence.

He said his partner climbed down on to the second floor balcony but slipped, and he was unable not stop her. 

Pathologist Dr Simon Poole said Ms Drinkwater died from "multiple injuries consistent with free fall from a height".

A forensic scientist's report found she had been drinking alcohol and it is likely she was "experiencing some of the effects of cocaine at the time of her death". 

Pregnant fall death woman said her partner was 'violent when drunk'

A five-month pregnant woman who fell to her death from the balcony of her third floor flat in Queens Park, north-west London, had told her friends her partner would become violent when he was drunk, an inquest has heard.

Georgina Drinkwater, 30, a mother-of-two, fell from her flat at Orpheus House in the early hours of 23 February 2014. 

Westminster Coroner's Court heard she had shown bruises to her friends and told about Robert Weldon's behaviour, but friend Lee Byers told the court the couple would always "patched things up". 

Robert Weldon at the inquest
Robert Weldon arriving at the inquest

Mr Byers, a psychiatric nurse, described Mr Weldon as a "binge drinker".

The court heard the pair were captured on CCTV leaving a local pub. Ms Drinkwater looked "somewhat frustrated" and they stared arguing on reaching home.

Neighbours heard "banging and shouting", before Mr Weldon was heard shouting: "Somebody help me! Somebody help me!"

The inquest heard that Mr Weldon was seen "hysterical" and "sobbing" at the scene, and saying: "She just fell, she just fell. She's pregnant. You've got to save her." 

New Beefeater talks his journey to Tower of London

Lewisham-born Lawrence Watts, who is one of the latest Beefeaters at Tower of London, has told BBC Radio Berkshire's Anne Diamond about his journey. 

After 23 years in the army, he worked as a security consultant in London's Canary Wharf before donning the Yeoman Warder uniform and moving into the historic site.

Tower of London
Met Police

Council publishes list of streets it will be targeting

Wimbledon SW19 News

Illegal pavement parkers in and around Wimbledon could face fines of up to £130 from later this month in a new Merton Borough Council crackdown.

Latest travel: Delays on the roads across the capital

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

Billy Reeves has the latest on the roads:

In North London: Queuing traffic on A504 Turnpike Lane in both directions at A105 Green Lanes (Turnpike Lane Station), congestion to A103 Church Lane and on Westbury Avenue to Willingdon Road.

It's not helped by the roadworks on Wightman Road.

In East London: The A13 very slow at Canning Town to Beckton heading out of town (Eastbound)  due to a breakdown near the Beckton Roundabout.

There is queuing on A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach Northbound at Blackwall Tunnel, congestion on A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach to Blackwall Lane & Woolwich Road. Usual delays, not helped by a much earlier accident.

In South London: Brixton Water Lane is closed, and there is queuing traffic due to a police incident at A204 Tulse Hill (in the one-way system).

Rotherhithe mudlarker discovers 18th Century cannonballs

Southwark News

A Rotherhithe mudlarker salvaged a handful of historic items from the Thames last week to add to his ever-growing haul: three eighteenth-century iron cannonballs

Rail delay payouts to be made by cheque on Virgin Trains

Delayed passengers on Virgin Trains are to receive compensation in the form of money back, rather than travel vouchers.

The operator is the first in the UK to make compensation payments automatically by cheque. This will apply to delayed passengers on the east and west coast.

Delayed passengers

The announcement comes the day after rail passengers - including those on some Virgin Trains services - faced delays and cancellations across England after overhead electric wires stopped working in the Midlands. 

Services affected yesterday included routes to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Wales and Southampton.

UK's 2016 Invictus Games challengers unveiled

Prince Harry met with athletes at Buckingham Palace who will represent the UK in The Invictus Games 2016.

The prince has been the driving force behind the Games, which began in 2014, to challenge wounded, sick or injured service personnel, and those who have left the Armed Forces.

Prince Harry with athletes

A team of 110 were chosen out of the more than 180 military personnel and veterans, who will compete in 10 sports.

Athletes at Buckingham Palace

About 500 competitors from 15 nations will compete in the Games taking place in Orlando, Florida, next month.   

Council housing company appoints director with Qatari links

Inside Croydon

Croydon Council has appointed a director of lighting contractor Skanska and a property developer who has worked with the Qataris on controversial speculation schemes to the board of a new development company which is supposed to be overseeing £250-million-worth of house-building in the borough.  

London mayoral election: UKIP cab share

The UKIP candidate for mayor of London says he will push for a if he is elected mayor in May.

Peter Whittle is one of 12 candidates hoping to succeed Boris Johnson.

Norman Smith and Peter Whitlle

Mr Whittle also answered a series of London-based questions asked by assistant political editor Norman Smith.

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.

Campaign bus attack 'politically-motivated', says George Galloway

Respect Party mayoral hopeful George Galloway has said the attack on his campaign bus in north London was "politically-motivated".

Six windows of the open-top bus were broken, and a mixing desk and generator for the public address system were stolen, Mr Galloway's campaign team said, adding it estimates the loss to be more than £5,000.

The campaign bus before the damage

Mr Galloway said: “I've no doubt that this was a politically-motivated attack.

"The bus isn't visible from the road, the site is edged with steel fencing and barbed wire, there's 24-hour security and CCTV."

He added: "The bus, bloodied but unbowed, its windows temporarily patched, will be back on the election beat later this evening.”

LU to replace Tube staff's blunder boots

Tom Edwards

Transport Correspondent, BBC London

New boots issued to thousands of London Underground's (LU) Tube workers are not fit for purpose and will have to be replaced, it has emerged.

In an email sent to all staff, bosses admitted there is an issue with new boots worn by staff as they contain metal "above the insulated sole and beneath the insole".

Station staff can work close to electricity supplies, and LU's specification for footwear "asks there is no metal parts".

The email reads: "It is safe to continue to wear the shoes but if there is any puncture of the sole or any excessive wear of the tread, the shoes should be discarded and replaced... controls already in place mean it remains safe to wear the shoes... remember when accessing the track traction current will be switched off."

Running the marathon in chain mail

Rare recording of Verdi's Aida wins BBC Music Magazine prize in London

A lavish interpretation of Verdi's Aida, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, has won recording of the year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London.  

Warner classics

The winning recording of Aida was performed in Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica, which was designed by Renzo Piano, the architect behind London's Shard skyscraper.

F1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone's husband in court

Jay Rutland, husband of Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone, has appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court accused of assisting an offender. 

The 35-year-old, from Kensington, west London, spoke to confirm his name, date of birth.

Mr Rutland did not enter a plea and was released on conditional bail. The alleged offence dates back to 2010.  

Jay Rutland

His co-defendant Martin Beckett, 42, who is charged with the same offence, spoke only to confirm his details.

Both Mr Rutland and Mr Beckett will next appear in the same court on 20 April.  

Met investigates damage to George Galloway's bus

The Met has confirmed officers are investigating reports that George Galloway's campaign bus was vandalised whilst parked in north London. 

George Galloway, the Respect candidate for London mayor, tweeted photos appearing to show damage to the bus earlier today.

But the show must go on @alondonforall
But the show must go on @alondonforall
But the show must go on @alondonforall

But the show must go on @alondonforall

Scotland Yard said police were called at approximately 11:15 to reports of damage to a vehicle at a site in Brentfield. 

There was also an allegation of theft of equipment from the bus.

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Greens plan like 'robbing Paul to pay Peter'

UKIP mayoral candidate Peter Whittle has dubbed Green Party's plan to charge for parking spaces as an "anti-business, anti-success, anti-people agenda", which is "superficially pleasing".

"The business will therefore have less money to employ people, it will have less profit and will increase the prices of their goods and services, prices paid by everybody. 

"UKIP support infrastructure improvements including the extension of the tram system in Croydon. But this is robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is counter productive".

From left: Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, UKIP's Peter Whittle and Sian Berry from Green Party

Lib Dem hopeful Caroline Pidgeon said: "We can't put at risk continued funding in London's transport infrastructure.  

"My plans involve targeted fare reductions like half price fares before half seven in the morning, scrapping road tunnels and river crossings and and increasing charges on the most polluting vehicles to ensure that investment continues."

Green Wing backing for junior doctors strike

Alice Bhandhukravi

The cast of medical sitcom Green Wing have come out in support for striking junior doctors at Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London.

Actors Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Grieg along with other cast members displayed banners.

Green Wing cast members

Afternoon weather: Sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

This afternoon, we'll see a mixture of sunny spells and showers. Some of the showers may be heavy with a risk of hail and thunder, especially over higher ground such as the Chilterns. 

It will be quite windy as well which will make it feel colder than recent days. Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

On air: Zac Goldsmith will scrap free travel perk and Green Wing cast join junior doctors' strike

BBC London News

On BBC London news at 13:30, Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has said he will scrap the free travel perk for friends and family of Transport for London staff and use the money to pay for 500 more police officers on the transport network.

And, the cast of hospital drama Green Wing have joined junior doctors on the picket line at Northwick Park Hospital as they take part in the fourth strike over new contracts.

Old Bailey judge on 'challenges' ahead of filming debut

The Recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, spoke about "challenges" ahead of a pilot scheme to film judges' sentencing remarks at Crown Courts.

Speaking at the formal opening of the court session in Court One of the historic Old Bailey in the City of London, Judge Hilliard said he and Common Serjeant Richard Marks QC will participate in the pilot. 

Old Bailey

"This will not be easy and we recognise the challenge we face."

The televised product would not as yet be broadcast, he said, adding: "Follow the advice: when tempted to criticise you first walk a few miles in the other person's shoes. 

"If you make a criticism, you will be a few miles away and you will have of course the other person's shoes." 

Demonstration near Parliament and Rotherhithe Tunnel

BBC Travel

A demonstration heading towards Parliament is causing the traffic to move slowly on the westbound A23 Westminster Bridge Road.

The northbound bore of the A101 Rotherhithe Tunnel has been closed due to a broken down vehicle.

On the Tube, services have returned to normal on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines following an earlier signal failure at Ruislip, which had caused severe delays between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge.

Green candidate: Charge from workplace parking to fund transport projects

A levy on workplace parking across London could raise about £500m annually, which could then be invested in transport projects, Green Party mayoral hopeful Sian Berry has proposed.

Ms Berry wants businesses to pay a yearly parking charge, in consultation with councils. 

Her plan is based on a scheme in Nottingham, whereby sufficient money was raised to fund a tram extension. 

One million people in London, about 28% of the workforce, use their cars to commute and park in an estimated 671,000 private parking spaces.  

Sian Berry
Getty Images

The levy could vary, with higher charges in central London compared to outer London where public transport options are fewer.

Ms Berry said: “As part of our integrated plans for transport, a levy on workplace parking spaces is an effective way to reduce daily car travel by providing an incentive for employers to remove workplace parking and encourage sustainable travel.

“But for businesses currently offering parking spaces to their staff as a perk of the job while the vast majority of Londoners use public transport, it’s reasonable to ask them to pay an annual fee."

Man charged with murder over Finchley stabbing

A man has been charged with murder after a 46-year-old man was found stabbed in a flat in Kinloss Court in Finchley.

Police said they found the victim collapsed in the flat after they were called to reports of a stabbing in the early hours of Tuesday.

Kinloss Court

  Radek Sindler, 22, will appear in custody at Hendon Magistrates' court later today.

Trains return to normal after signal problem resolved

Microchipping dogs become compulsory

Dog owners who have not had their pets microchipped could face a fine of up to £500, as a new law comes into force today in England, Scotland and Wales.

All dogs are now legally required to be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old.

Dog and a microchip

It's hoped more stray or lost dogs can be reunited with their owners.

The government says one million dogs have not yet been chipped. A law has been in place in Northern Ireland since 2012.

Fourth junior doctors' strike hits NHS

Junior doctors in England are taking part in a fourth walkout in their long-running contract dispute.

The 48-hour strike started at 08:00 as the doctors prepare legal challenges to the government's decision to impose changes to their pay and conditions from this summer.

Junior doctors' demonstration

Doctors are again providing emergency cover, but 5,000 operations and procedures have been postponed.

NHS England said the continued disruption was "deeply regrettable".

Tories 'failing Londoners on policing', says Labour candidate

In response to the Tory policing pledges, Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate for London mayor, said: "You simply can't trust the Tories to keep London safe.

"The last Tory Mayor broke his election promises to cut crime and improve confidence in the police.

Sadiq Khan
Getty Images

"And the number of police officers in London is down 1,535 since the Tories came to power.

"It would be exactly the same under Zac Goldsmith - fewer police officers, more cuts and Londoners left less safe."

Conservative policing pledges: More officers on the Tube and greater say in local policing

There will be 500 more police officers on the Tube, Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has promised to Londoners.

He plans to scrap the free travel perk for friends and family of Transport for London staff, and use the money to pay for the extra officers which would cost £25m a year.

Zac Goldsmith

He also promised to: 

  • Let residents decide what policing priorities would be in their communities 
  • Launch a "City-wide crime reporting app" for smartphones creating a virtual Neighbourhood Watch, allowing data to be fed directly into Met Police computers.
  • Roll out body-worn cameras to frontline police officers 

Mr Goldsmith said: "The first job of any Mayor is to keep Londoners safe – and I will do exactly that.

"London needs a Mayor who will stand up for the police officers who do so much to keep our city safe."

Funds appeal for stabbed teenage rapper's funeral

Friends of a 17-year-old rapper who was stabbed during a fight in New Cross have raised more than £10,000 through online donations to pay for his funeral

The appeal says Myron Yarde's siblings are left to bear the funeral costs of the rapper, also known as MDOT.

Myron Yarde
Met Police

Police believe up to 10 teenagers were involved in the fight in New Cross Road on Sunday evening before Myron was killed. 

Two boys, aged 15 and 16, have been released on bail.  

Two arrested over Turkish terror group links

A man and a woman have been arrested over links to an extreme-left Turkish terror group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party (DHKP-C), Met Police said.  

The 45-year-old woman was arrested in north London yesterday on suspicion of disseminating a terrorist publication and supporting a proscribed organisation while the man, 49, was arrested in east London on suspicion of disseminating a terrorist publication. 

They are in custody and their homes are being searched. The arrests are linked to the distribution of a magazine which glorifies terrorism.

Watch: Why transport will again be key in the London elections

Claire Timms

BBC London News

Transport will once again play a big part in London's mayoral and assembly elections in May.

BBC Radio London political reporter Susana Mendonca has spent the morning in the back of a London taxi. 

Here, she outlines what some of the key issues are surrounding transport - however you get around - and she also gets a robust opinion from one of the capital's thousands of cabbies.

Get the latest information on the election, the candidates vying for your vote and their policies at our special election website.

Political view from a London taxi