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  1. Updates on Thursday 7 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Matthew West

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Updates for London have now ended for the day but we'll be back at 08:00 on Friday with the latest video, news, sport, travel and weather. Have a good evening.

Tonight's weather: A dry and warm night

BBC Weather

Most places will be dry with variable amounts of cloud during the evening. 

It will be relatively warm in light south-westerly winds with a chance of some rain arriving from the west by dawn. 

Minimum temperature 14C (57F).

On air: London mayor pledges to prevent another 7/7 attack

BBC London News

Coming up on BBC London News at 18:30 on BBC One and again on iPlayer.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to do "everything possible" to prevent a 7/7 style attack from ever happening again. It comes on the 11th anniversary of the London bombings.

On that day PC Elizabeth Kenworthy was travelling as an off-duty police officer on the Circle Line at Aldgate Station. Acting alone, she saved the lives of two seriously injured passengers. She was later awarded an MBE for her bravery. Today she retires from the Met and has been speaking to BBC London.

And BBC London's Brenda Emmanus has details of Hatton Garden the movie, coming soon.

'Suspicious package' sent to Muslim peer

Police van outside Parliament
Getty Images

There has been a security alert in Parliament after an envelope containing white powder and a racially offensive note was sent to a Muslim peer.

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said he opened the envelope in his office and was told to stay where he was as it was treated as a chemical or biological incident.

The independent House of Lords member said the powder was later found to be harmless.

More on this story.

London parents issued 17,700 penalty notices for school absence

Parents in London were issued almost 17,700 penalty notices for their children's term-time absence from school during 2014-15, figures released by the Department for Education show.

Family on holiday

In 2013-14 nearly 14,700 penalty notices were issued in the capital.

Across England there was a 54% increase in fines compared with the previous year with 151,125 notices handed out in total.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Children should not be taken out of school without good reason."

Rise in fines for pupil absence

The number of penalty notices issued to parents in London has risen

Travel update: Severe delays expected on Circle, District and H&C Lines

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

Transport for London have advised the Circle, District and Hammersmith and City Lines are likely to experience severe delays after services were suspended due to a security alert at Baker Street station.

Bakerloo and Jubilee line services were unaffected by the security alert but did not stop at Baker Street station.

Baker Street was closed from 16:05 to 17:20. TfL advise the station has reopened and services have resumed. 

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

London firm posts prime minister job ad

A London career change website has begun a recruitment process for a new resident of 10 Downing Street posting a job advert to find the person that can ‘save the mad house (of Commons). 

Those seeking a new challenge have been invited to apply for the recently vacated role of Country Happiness Officer, otherwise known as prime minister. The role  is open to all, but the advert requests that eligible applicants prioritise transparency and leadership and have an aversion to petty bickering. 

Downing Street
Getty Images

The London based start up, Escape the City is seeking "entrepreneurial all-rounders"  with "Braveheart meets Patch Adams" leadership and a good handle of Twitter and Snapchat to come forward for the role. Duties will include caring about ‘the happiness of people above all else’ and getting a handle "on this headless chicken coop we call the House of Commons". 

The advert notes that expenses are not included and the applicant must hold relevant work visas and permits. Salary is dependent upon experience, a range of 0-30 years will be considered. 

Satire in UK political life appears to be alive and kicking after all. 

Urine trouble: Driver caught speeding at more than twice the limit told cops he was ‘desperate’ for the loo

Sutton Guardian

Covent Garden open air art gallery returns

Pop artist Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has created a series of live illustrations on Covent Garden’s newly installed mirrored wall.

Better known as JCDC, the fashion designer and artist transformed the area with an array of pop-art inspired murals.The live installation forms part of Covent Garden After Hours, a series of late night shopping events throughout July for which JCDC designed the visual identity.

POP art in Covent Garden
FTP Edelman

Every year, Covent Garden’s cultural programme transforms the Piazza into an open air art gallery.Previous commissions include the French artist Charles Pétillon, who filled the Market Building with 100,000 balloons last year, and Alex Chinneck, who unveiled a floating building on the Piazza. Covent Garden has also worked with luminaries including Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.  

7 July London bombings: What happened that day?

7/7 victims

Eleven years ago four suicide bombers with rucksacks full of explosives attacked central London, killing 52 people and injuring hundreds more. It was the worst single terrorist atrocity on British soil. A decade on, we look back at how events unfolded on 7 July 2005.  

This is the story of how that day unfold.

South West Trains disruption between Barnes and Twickenham

Heroine of 7/7 London bombings retires

Hannah Gelbart

BBC London News

PC Elizabeth Kenworthy is retiring 11 years after she saved the lives of two people in terrorist attacks on the London transport network in July 2005.

PC Elizabeth Kenworthy, who saved two lives in the 7/7 attacks, retires today.

Envelope delivered to Parliament contained 'racially offensive message'

London murder suspect reward doubled

Shane O'Brien
Getty Images

A new five-figure reward has been offered in an attempt to find one of Britain's most wanted fugitives. 

Shane O'Brien, 28, is the chief suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in west London last year.

It is believed Mr O'Brien has fled to several countries, and may now be in the United Arab Emirates, possibly travelling on a fake passport. 

An initial reward of £10,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction has been doubled. the Metropolitan Police said. 

Originally from Ladbroke Grove, he is described as white, 6ft tall with grey eyes and short dark brown hair. He may use the name Troy O'Brien.  He  also has a distinctive tattoo on his back that reads "Shannon 15-04-06". 

Watch: Robots for London school

A new secondary school in London is to introduce humanoid robots into their classrooms from September...

A new London school is introducing robots to the classroom

Clifford cleared of sexual assault

Max Clifford
Getty Images

London publicist Max Clifford has been cleared of historical sexual assault charges involving a 17-year old girl in the 1980s. 

The 73-year-old, who is already serving a prison sentence for historic sex offences against young women, showed little emotion as the jury foreman returned the verdict at London's Southwark Crown Court. 

Clifford had always denied the offencce.

Clifford, formerly of Hersham, Surrey, was jailed for eight years in May 2014 after being convicted of eight charges under Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan Police investigation set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Suspect package at Parliament leads to lockdown

Houses of Parliament
Getty Images

A suspect package containing white powder has sparked a security alert at the Houses of Parliament earlier.

There are no reports of illness or injury, police said.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said a suspect package had been received in Parliament at around 12.30 and was being examined. 

A reporter for the Times said on Twitter a letter to a member of the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, was being analysed by police after white powder was found in the envelope.

A spokesman for the House of Lords said a potential security incident was being investigated but could not give any more details.

Entrances to parliament appeared to be open as normal and there was no visible increase in police presence.  

Further devolution for London 'vital'

When is a phone case not a phone case?

Essex Police have tweeted details of an incident at Stansted Airport under the hashtag #dontbedaft after a man was stopped for carrying what appeared to be a gun in his back pocket. It turned out to be an iphone case. 

View more on twitter

Watch: 'I was simply doing my duty'

BBC London News

PC Liz Kenworth recalls the 'hellish' scene 11 years on from 7/7

Asked why she pushed through to the next carriage on the Tube train at Aldgate to help victims of the bomb attacks, PC Kenworthy told BBC London News: "I am a police officer and I have a responsibility to other people, that's why I carry that warrant card.

"I think certainly because of my job, I definitely needed to act there. Whether I would have done so as a civilian I don't know, I would like to think so, but I wouldn't bank on it."

PC Kenworrthy added:  "[Andrew] Mr Brown and Martine Wright were passengers on the train, unfortunately in the carriage where the bomb went off, and they were badly hurt.

They were very badly hurt but they were conscious and breathing, so I just reassured them and gave basic first aid to them until the help arrived, sometime later."

7/7 police officer retires 11 years on

BBC London News

PC Liz Kenworthy
Metropolitan Police

A police officer who helped rescue people trapped on a Circle Line train in the aftermath of the 7 July London bombings has announced her retirement 11 years on from the attacks.

PC Liz Kenworthy was travelling on the Circle Line when it was bombed at Aldgate Station in 2005.

The police officer's actions saved the lives of two victims including Martine Wright, who went on to compete in the 2012 Paralympic volleyball team and who recently received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

PC Kenworthy spoke to BBC London News about why she had decided to retire today.

It's a significant date for me. I was a passenger on the train at Aldgate when the bomb went off on July 7, 2005. Every year I've always marked that anniversary because I'm friendly with some of the survivors and families of people who were killed on my train, so it's always been a significant date for me. This year I was due to retire and I thought that was the right date to go so that I have something positive to think about as well as a sad event.

PC Liz Kenworthy

Afternoon weather: Muggy and mainly dry

BBC Weather

Staying on the muggy side through this afternoon with some cloudy and damp weather, there will be some dry and brighter breaks which will make it feel rather warm. 

Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

Watch: Just how intelligent are goats?

Hannah Gelbart

BBC London News

Researchers at Queen Mary University in Mile End, east London, have discovered goats are smarter than we thought...

Researchers at a London University have discovered goats may be smarter than we think.

Prince Harry to meet HIV medical experts in London today

Prince Harry is to sit down with medical experts at an HIV service in London as he continues his drive to highlight the fight against HIV/Aids. 

The Prince is visiting King's College Hospital in London later where he will meet leading clinicians for round table talks. 

Harry, whose charity Sentebale helps youngsters with HIV/Aids in the impoverished southern African kingdom of Lesotho, will discuss efforts to combat the virus over the last quarter of a century, the role of sexual health services, paediatrics in the UK and Africa, and the research programmes hosted at King's.

London Ambulance Service chief at 7/7 memorial

View more on twitter

London Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Dr Fionna Moore, stood with London mayor, Sadiq Khan and other leaders from emergency services to mark the 11th anniversary of the London bombings today.

Dr Moore attended the Hyde Park memorial service to lay a commemorative wreath to remember the 52 people who lost their lives and those who were injured on 7 July 2005.

She said: “Our thoughts remain with the families and friends who lost loved ones and those who were injured that day.

UK economy more reliant on London tax

Tim Donovan

BBC London, Political Editor

City of London
Getty Images

Centre for Cities said its report showed how important the capital is "post-Brexit". 

Chief executive Alexandra Jones called for "more to be done to strengthen the economies and tax bases of other city regions such as Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and the North East". 

While the amount of tax generated in London increased by 25% (£28bn) in real terms between 2004/5 and 2014/15, Manchester's tax intake grew by only 1%, while Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds all saw significant decreases in their tax intake.

It suggests any slowdown in London's economy following the vote to leave the EU would pose major challenges to both the capital and other parts of the country.

Read more from Tim's report here.

London pays 30% of all UK tax

Centre for cities map
Centre for Cities

This probably won't come as a huge surprise but a new report from the Centre for Cities has found Londoners pay almost a third of all UK tax that goes to the Treasury.

The Centre for Cities found London generated almost as much tax as the next 37 largest UK cities combined. The amount of tax paid by Londoners to the government has also risen 5 percentage points since 2005.

Other major UK cities have seen little or no growth in their tax income over the last ten years.

Scotching the theory of the Northern Powerhouse the report finds Manchester’s tax contribution had grown by just 1% in the last decade, while Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds tax contributions fell in the same period.

Interim chief executive appointed for North Middlesex University Hospital

An interim chief executive has been appointed for the hospital where a patient lay dead for up to four-and-a-half hours before being spotted in A&E.

Libby McManus has today taken on the role of the interim chief executive at North Middlesex University Hospital.

A&E sign

A spokesman for the trust said the decision to appoint her was taken by the board at a meeting earlier this week.

She was with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and has previously held the role of interim chief executive at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Julie Lowe, the previous chief executive at North Middlesex University Hospital, is "on leave".

Serena & Venus target another Williams' final

BBC Sport

Serena and Venus Williams
Rex Features

Defending champion Serena Williams has said her elder sister Venus is "super inspiring for me" as they attempt to set up a fifth all-Williams Wimbledon final.

Serena plays unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina, 29, in Thursday's first semi-final on Centre Court at 13:00 BST.

Eighth seed Venus, 36, faces Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber,28.

When five become three: Spice Girls one-off reunion announced

Emma, Melanie and Geri
Emma, Melanie and Geri in 1997

Three of the Spice Girls are reuniting for a one-off concert in Hyde Park next year, according to reports. 

Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Brown have reportedly agreed to a show at the London landmark next July to mark the 21st anniversary of their debut single Wannabe. 

Victoria Beckham has previously ruled herself out of a reunion, while Melanie Chisholm has said she is focusing on her solo album. 

How the Spice effect still packs a punch.

London boroughs among councils topping up benefits after cap

Several London boroughs are among a third of councils in England which have spent additional money topping up a government fund aimed at cushioning the impact of welfare changes.

Graph of housing benefits top ups

Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hackney and Enfield all spent money on top of their government grant.

In all, some 111 councils across the country spent £7.8m on payments to cover housing costs on top of what they were allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  

It follows the introduction of the so-called "bedroom tax" and benefit cap.

Sadiq Khan remembers the victims of 7/7

London mayor tweets...

Sadiq Khan lays wreath at 7/7 memorial

Sadiq Khan

London mayor Sadiq Khan has laid a wreath at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the capital.

V&A named museum of the year

The Victoria & Albert Museum has pledged to support smaller museums across the country after being named the Museum of the Year 2016.

V and A museum
Polly Braden

The judges said the London-based V&A had "indisputably become one of the best museums in the world".

It was announced as the winner by the Duchess of Cambridge at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum.

V&A director Martin Roth with the Duchess of Cambridge

Two teens accused of Notting Hill stab murder

Folajimi Orebiyi
Metropolitan Police

Two teenage boys have been accused of the murder of 17-year-old Folajimi Orebiyi in Notting Hill on Sunday 3 July.

A 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy will appear in custody later at Hammersmith Youth Court accused of murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Two other teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, arrested on suspicion of murder have been bailed to a date in August. 

Murder accused tells court he met victim for sex

A man accused of murdering a 17-year-old girl in 1982 has told a court he used to meet her for sex.

Yiannoulla Yianni
Met Police

James Warnock, 56, told the Old Bailey he had been in a sexual relationship with Yiannoulla Yianni.

The court was told medical evidence suggested the Greek Cypriot had been a virgin when she was raped and strangled at her home in Hampstead, north London.

The divorced father-of-two, who would have been 22 at the time, denies rape and murder charges.