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Teenager 'incredibly fortunate' to survive Ilford stabbing

An 18-year-old man is "incredibly fortunate" to be alive after he was stabbed in a park in Ilford.

SEVEN KINGS PARK
Google

The victim was approached by three men, of a similar age, in Seven Kings Park on Aldborough Road South at about 15:30 on 2 December.

The suspects asked him for a cigarette before he was attacked and suffered multiple stab wounds.

Detective Constable Jonathan Lam said:

"The victim was incredibly fortunate that the consequences of the attack were not graver.

"It is entirely understandable that having witnessed this, you may be fearful of coming forward, but please, consider making the call to police or Crimestoppers anonymously."

Police believe there may be phone footage of the incident.

One suspect is described as Asian, and was wearing a dark beanie hate.

The two other suspects are described as black and white.

Westminster Council leader to quit after election win

Local Democracy Reporting Service

City of Westminster Council leader has announced she will leave her role after she was elected as an MP last night.

Nickie Aiken said she felt "dazed" after a long campaign which saw her win the Cities of London and Westminster constituency.

Straight away, the new MP pledged to help the capital's rough sleepers.

She said: “My main priorities for the constituency will be to try and work with ministers to really tackle the on-going issues of rough sleeping we have in London and to change their lives around.

“And short term lettings have got to be addressed. It’s caused a massive issue and that’s really got to be addressed. It’s caused major problems many many for people in central London.”

She will be tendering her resignation next week as Leader of the Conservative controlled Westminster City Council as she said you can’t do both jobs.

Child burned at carol service in critical condition

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A young boy who suffered serious burns during a school Christmas carol event at a south London church is in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Three people including the boy were injured during the incident at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church on Bingham Road, Croydon, at around 14:10 yesterday.

The child, who is understood to be between the ages of seven and 10, was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

A man and a woman were also taken to hospital by road.

The boy was attending a carol service with pupils at St Thomas Becket Catholic Primary School, which is less than a mile away from the church.

The school confirmed it was aware of the incident and will be releasing a statement later.

The London Fire Brigade and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were also informed after the incident.

An investigation will now be opened into the incident by either HSE or Croydon Council.

An HSE spokesman said: "HSE has been informed by the emergency services, who have led the initial response. We will liaise with the local authority to establish which agency is best placed to take this forward."

Greater Anglia: Delivery of new Bombardier trains delayed

Greater Anglia train
Greater Anglia

Delivery of the next phase of Greater Anglia's new £1.4bn fleet of trains has been delayed by software problems.

Manufacturer Bombardier said the first trains were expected to enter service by spring and not the end of this year.

It said development of the software to be used on the 111 trains had taken longer than anticipated.

Greater Anglia, which has seen a string of delays and cancellations with its new trains, said it had been told extra staff had been assigned to the job.

The first of the trains - which will run into London Liverpool Street - were expected to come into service at the end of the year, with all of them in use by the end of 2020.

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Fans leave small bears at Paddington creators grave

The daughter of late Paddington bear creator Michael Bond has revealed fans leave little bears on his headstone.

Children's author Bond died at the age of 91 in 2017 and is best remembered for creating the beloved character. Paddington, a small bear from Peru with a battered suitcase, distinctive blue duffel coat and a love of marmalade, first appeared in print in 1958.

He has also starred in two Hollywood films, with actor Ben Whishaw lending his voice to the character.

Bond's daughter Karen Jankel told the Radio Times Christmas issue it is "lovely" to see her father's legacy, adding: "I feel fortunate because my father is remembered. People leave little bears on his headstone (in Paddington Old Cemetery)."

Real Change: How this election could reduce knife crime
Andre Aderemi was murdered in 2016 and his mother Yemi Hughes says not much has changed since.

Severe accident: A5 London northbound

BBC News Travel

A5 London northbound severe accident, at A4205 Praed Street.

A5 London - A5 Edgware Road in Paddington blocked northbound at the A4205 Praed Street junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

BreakingFire chief to step down early

London's fire commissioner Dany Cotton is to step down at the end of this month instead of April next year, London Fire Brigade has announced.

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Croydon 'a busy menagerie'

Winnie Agbonlahor

East Croydon
BBC

As you step out of East Croydon Station - one of London's busiest transport hubs - on this cold morning, the area's diversity becomes apparent immediately.

There is a man wearing a turban, a woman wearing a traditional African dress and headscarf, elderly women pushing mobility scooters being taken over by a small group of joggers and a large group of school children being guided to a traffic light.

The menagerie of different languages being spoken blends in with the sound of construction: drilling and hammering noises emanate from building sites on almost every corner, and Croydon's many skyscrapers and tower blocks are interspersed with cranes.

Box park
BBC

This is emblematic of the huge amount of investment Croydon has seen in recent years, and regeneration which is afoot.

There is a large police presence around the station with what seem to be sniffer dogs. "They pick up on explosives", one station worker tells me, but she is quick to add that there is "nothing to worry about" and they are "just training" them.

Croydon's wealth inequality problem

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

A general view shows a bus stop near the Goat Pub in Croydon,
Reuters

London's third largest borough by area, Croydon encompasses some of the poorest and most affluent pockets of London.

According to the Land Registry Croydon is home to hundreds of million pound homes.

In 2017 buying a house on Kenley Lane, in Kenley, will set you back close to £1.9m.

The average wage in the area is £25,600, above the national average but well in to the bottom third of London earnings.

An estimated 16% of children live below the poverty line

In a walk of just two miles the average life expectancy drops 10 years.

Residents living in Selsdon, near the Croham Hurst golf club, can expect to reach 84.5 years old.

Those living in Selhurst, in the poorer northern tip, tend to make it just past 74 years old.

Frost fairs to be celebrated at museum festival weekend

Frost fair
Getty Images

London's famous frost fairs, which were held on the River Thames when it froze during particularly harsh winters, are to be celebrated at the Museum of London Docklands.

About seven frost fairs were held between 1564 and 1814, with Londoners descending on the ice to build markets, play games and cook up feasts.

The last to be held in 1814 even saw an elephant being marched across the river alongside Blackfriars Bridge.

The fairs will be marked at the east London museum with a free family festival on 21 and 22 December featuring choirs, talks, arts and crafts.

Aisling Serrant, community engagement manager at the Museum of London Docklands, said they hoped "to capture the spirit of these spectacular, winter celebrations of a bygone era".

Children serenade First Lady on Salvation Army centre visit

Melania Trump and children
PA Media

Melania Trump was serenaded with a rendition of Mariah Carey's festive classic All I Want For Christmas Is You as she visited a Salvation Army centre in east London.

The US First Lady bobbed her head slightly as around 30 children from Baden Powell Primary School belted out the well-known Christmas song.

Wearing a black and white houndstooth check coat over a black sheath dress, the wife of US President Donald Trump appeared to say "bravo" as she congratulated the ensemble.

She also spent around 20 minutes helping the school children make Christmas wreaths, using sparkly pipe cleaners, pine cones and tinsel.

Mrs Trump beamed throughout the visit, commending the Christmas hat-clad youngsters on their festivewear and chatting more generally about the festive season.

Melania Trump with child
PA Media

Westminster City contractors to get London Living Wage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

People working for contractors employed by Westminster City Council will get paid the London Living Wage as a minimum.

The council is the latest to insist that contractors who want to do business with it pay their employees the wage, which currently stands at £10.75 an hour.

It means that contractors will also get the wage, which the council had already signed up to for its own staff.

The move follows other councils, including City of London, which insist that contractors also pay the London Living Wage.

It means that 22 local authorities in London, including Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge, are fully signed up to the voluntary scheme.

A third are not listed by the Living Wage Foundation. Westminster city council’s chief executive Stuart Love said: “As a City for All, we’re enormously proud of being accredited as a London Living Wage employer.

“We are nothing without our staff and those who represent us. In Westminster we have some of the very best and it’s only right that they should be paid properly.

“We believe that should apply right across the board whether the staff work directly for us or come from a contractor.”

Brentford Travelodge: Dozens evacuated from major fire in west London
Firefighters face "challenging conditions" as the fire engulfs five floors of the Brentford hotel.

Remember when sportmanship won the Marathon?

BBC Sport advent calendar: Matthew Rees helps David Wyeth finish the 2017 London Marathon
Day seven of BBC Sport's advent calendar looking back at the sporting decade features one of the defining moments in London Marathon history when two runners became friends for life

Severe disruption: A5 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A5 London both ways severe disruption, from Broadley Street to Old Marylebone Road.

A5 London - A5 Edgware Road in Paddington closed and queues in both directions from the Broadley Street junction to the Old Marylebone Road junction, because of emergency repairs.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'There was blood, screaming and chaos'
The chief executive of Fishmongers Hall describes his team's actions during the London Bridge attack.