Sadiq Khan’s former policing adviser has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying his children were no longer safe in London due to rising violence.
Leroy Logan, a former police superintendent, said he quit the Labour Party over the London mayor’s failure to “grasp” knife crime.
Mr Logan will now become policing adviser to the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.
Mr Khan said he was wished Mr Logan “all the best of luck in the Lib Dems”.
“I think lots of parents, me included, are concerned about safety in London and across the country,” the mayor added.
“One of the things I’ve been keen to do since I became mayor is to persuade the government to realise that their cuts over the last nine years have consequences.”
Speaking at the Lib Dem’s conference, Mr Logan said: “I’ve seen my children and their generation grow up in fear.
“It’s so tangible. It’s been normalised to such an extent it can happen anywhere, not just small pockets of deprived areas.”
Mr Logan said the mayor “doesn’t really understand” knife crime, and had “isolated himself” on the issue.
“He’s surrounded himself with people who think they are problem solvers, but are creating more problems on the street because they’ve lost touch with what is going on.”
Mr Logan previously criticised the choice of Lib Peck to run London’s Violence Reduction Unit – a role he had also applied for.
Ms Benita, who is running in London’s 2020 Mayoral election, said: “Sadiq has wasted his mayoral term in not addressing this issue with the urgency it needs.
“While he continues to blame other people, our young children in London continue to be traumatised, petrified and at risk. There is so, so much more we can do.”
West Bromwich Albion maintained their unbeaten Championship record as they came from behind to rescue a point with a draw in the south west London sunshine at Fulham.
Both goals owed a good bit to fortune, as Semi Ajayi’s controversial late headed equaliser cancelled out an attempted cross from Anthony Knockaert which deceived Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and dipped in at the far post.
Knockaert’s 49th-minute goal – his second in three home games – looked likely to earn all three points for the hosts at Craven Cottage.
But, from deadline signing Matheus Pereira’s 80th-minute corner, home keeper Marcus Bettinelli was distracted by Albion striker Charlie Austin attempting to lay his hands on him on the line.
The indignant Bettinelli and could only parry the ball tamely, allowing Ajayi to nod in at the far post for his first goal for the club.
Fulham had the better chances before the break as Tom Cairney evaded the linesman’s flag to get free inside the box and latch onto Harrison Reed’s pass, but his left-foot strike was touched onto the bar by the fingertips of Johnstone.
Reed was then also denied by the West Brom keeper, who reacted sharply to keep out his close-range header.
Austin, still to score his first league goal for Albion, volleyed over, then could only direct a tame header straight at Bettinelli.
And they were second best before the second-half introduction of Slaven Bilic’s three substitutes Flip Krovinovic, Kyle Edwards and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Bilic’s Baggies have won the most points from losing positions in the Championship this season (12), having gone behind in six of their seven games and lost none.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day three):|
|Durham 147& 191: A Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49|
|Middlesex 143 & 151: S Robson 765; Carse 6-26|
|Durham (19 opts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by 44 runs|
Durham boosted their promotion chances and dented Middlesex’s hopes of a place in Division Two’s top three with a 44-run victory at Lord’s.
Pace bowler Brydon Carse took a career-best 6-26 as the home side were bowled out for 151, having been set a target of 196.
Resuming on 21-0, they lost three wickets in the first nine overs of play, including skipper Dawid Malan.
Sam Robson made 65, but Carse cleaned up the tail to seal Durham’s win.
The north-east county picked up 19 points to move into the third and final promotion place, although results in other games will decide whether they stay there, and put them 27 clear of Middlesex, who only earned three.
And they may need to win their last two games against unbeaten leaders Lancashire and Derbyshire to have a chance of returning to Division One in 2020.
Durham were soon among the wickets at start of play with Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi quickly back in the pavilion, followed by Malan, who was lbw to Ben Raine.
Robson put on 51 with Max Holden, and reached his half-century off 87 balls, only to edge Rushworth to the keeper to leave Middlesex on 107-5.
And after Carse had George Scott caught behind for 14 and bowled James Harris second ball, Durham had the match in their hands.
John Simpson made 15 before chopping a ball from the paceman into his stumps and Carse ended the game by comprehensively bowling Tim Murtagh.
The funeral of “very special” teenager Nora Quoirin, who died after vanishing on a family holiday in Malaysia, has been held in Belfast.
Nora’s family “united in unspeakable pain” to return to the same church where she was baptised as a baby, mourners heard.
Fr Edward O’Donnell said 15-year-old Nora had depended on others and “gifted others with immeasurable love and joy”.
She was missing for 10 days before her body was recovered on 13 August.
She was found beside a stream about 1.6 miles (2.5km) from the jungle resort of Dusun, where she was staying with her family.
A post-mortem examination revealed she died from internal bleeding probably caused by hunger and stress and Malaysian Police said there was no suspicion of foul play.
Nora’s family had believed she was abducted from their accommodation in the holiday resort.
Following the post mortem examination, her family said the test results gave “some information” but she died in “extremely complex circumstances”.
Nora had been described by her family as vulnerable having been born with holoprosencephaly, a disorder which affects brain development.
Speaking after her body was found, her Irish-French parents, Meabh and Sebastien, who lived in London, spoke of their heartbreak after losing their “truest, most precious girl”.
Fr O’Donnell recalled the “joy filled afternoon” for Meabh and Sebasatien when Nora was baptised at St Brigid’s Church in Derryvolgie Avenue.
Speaking of her “gentleness and her innocence”, he said she had brought much joy to her family, including her brother and sister.
Two more people have been arrested in a murder investigation in east London, police have said.
Santino Angelo Dymiter, 18, from Plaistow, was found fatally injured at Chadd Green on 26 August.
The two in custody are a 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murder and a 24-year-old man suspected of assisting an offender.
A 14-year-old boy from Barking was charged with Mr Dymiter’s murder on Saturday and remanded to a secure unit.
He will appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Transport for London (TfL) will install a 20mph speed limit on all central London roads it manages from next year, following a consultation.
The scheme would see a new limit along 5.5 miles (8.9 km) of roads including Millbank, Albert Embankment and Borough High Street by May 2020.
There were nearly 2,000 responses to a public consultation which ran for five weeks until 10 July.
TfL said: “We know that lower speeds save lives; it’s that simple.”
The plan is part of the mayor of London’s Vision Zero scheme, which aims to eliminate all road deaths in the capital by 2041.
The affected roads include all those managed by TfL within the congestion zone, along with the Aldgate Gyratory.
The height of pedestrian crossings will be increased in seven “high-risk” locations, such as on the Embankment and outside Tate Britain.
Of the 1,912 public responses, about half said the plans would lead to more people walking. Some 59% said many more people would choose to cycle.
Nearly 50% of respondents believed the proposals would have no impact on the number of car journeys. Some 58% believed the number business journeys would not be affected.
Penny Rees, of TfL, said: “It’s clear people agree that making our roads safer will encourage Londoners to travel in more active and sustainable ways.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Every single death on London’s streets is one too many so I’m really pleased that Londoners have backed our plans.”
Roads which would have the new limits are:
- Albert Embankment
- Lambeth Palace Road
- Lambeth Bridge
- Victoria Embankment
- Upper Thames Street
- Lower Thames Street
- Tower Hill
- Aldgate gyratory including: Leman Street, Prescot Street, Mansell Street, Minories and Goodman’s Yard
- Borough High Street
- Great Dover Street
- Blackfriars Road
- Part of Druid Street (between Tower Bridge Road and Crucifix Lane)
- Crucifix Lane
- Part of Bermondsey Street (between Crucifix Lane and Tooley Street)
- Part of Queen Elizabeth Street (between Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Road)
Transport bosses have said they also hope to introduce lower speed limits on 93 miles (150km) of streets run by TfL across London over the next five years.
Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Florence Eshalomi, said: “We suggest the Mayor considers going further to areas outside of the Congestion Charge Zone where walking and cycling should be safer.
“Every life lost on the road is tragedy. Particularly when the cause is a driver not obeying the speed limit.”
|Rugby World Cup warm-up: England v Italy|
|Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle Date: Friday 6 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live with highlights on BBC Two at 23:05 BST|
Harlequins centre Joe Marchant will start England’s final warm-up match against Italy on Friday despite not being part of the World Cup squad.
Marchant is alongside Piers Francis in the midfield in what is described as a “mix and match selection strategy”.
Ruaridh McConnochie will finally make his debut on the wing and joins Jonny May and Anthony Watson in the back three.
Billy Vunipola makes his fourth start of the campaign at number eight.
“We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation,” explained head coach Eddie Jones.
Friday’s match in Newcastle will be the first England Test match to be staged at St James’ Park.
Jones’ side then fly out to Japan on Sunday before their tournament opener against Tonga on 22 September.
“We are playing at an iconic football ground and we know the area is an important one for rugby in the northern part of England,” Jones added.
“We are looking forward to seeing and playing in front of the fans.”
Marchant made his England debut as a replacement against Wales last month before also coming on against Ireland a fortnight ago.
His inclusion raises questions over the fitness of Jonathan Joseph, after the Bath man pulled out of the Ireland game with unspecified muscle soreness.
Fellow centre Henry Slade is also missing, and has not played a minute of rugby since picking up a knee injury in camp last month but forwards coach Steve Borthwick said the 26-year-old is “doing well”.
“He was running [on Tuesday],” Borthwick added. “It’s just a case of that next stage, that last stage. He’s just not quite ready for this game, but he’s close.
“Jonathan is also close. He’ll be in full training [on Thursday]. Clearly there has been some need for adaptation, but this is a great opportunity because we’ve been able to use different combinations again.”
Meanwhile Vunipola’s inclusion in the back-row for the fourth consecutive match appears a gamble by Jones.
However assistant coach Neal Hatley said on Thursday the England management had no concerns about Vunipola’s workload.
“One of the key things with Billy is to keep him playing,” Hatley said.
Captain Owen Farrell starts at fly-half for the first time in the warm-up schedule, while Anthony Watson plays at full-back for the first time since March 2018.
“We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night,” Jones added.
“Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.”
England: Watson; McConnochie, Marchant, Francis, May; Farrell (c), Youngs; Marler, George, Cole, Launchbury, Lawes, Curry, Wilson, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Sinckler, Ewels, Kvesic, Heinz, Ford, Cokanasiga.
UK house prices could drop by 6.2% next year if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October, according to accountants KPMG.
However, if a deal is reached, KPMG predicts that house prices will rise by 1.3%.
London will probably see a fall in prices with or without an exit deal this year and next, it said, with sharper declines if no deal is reached.
However, the low supply of new housing stock could prop up prices over time.
“Overall, while a no-deal Brexit could dent property values in the short term, it may make less impact on one of the fundamental factors driving the market: the stock of regional housing,” said the report.
“Housebuilders are expected to reduce the supply of new housing in some regions in the short term as a response to a deteriorating economic outlook.
“So, while there will be fallout from the initial economic shock following a no-deal Brexit, the market is expected to recover most ground in the long run,” it said, assuming the economy recovers.
Given that the housing market is hard to predict, KPMG said prices could see steeper falls – of perhaps 10-20% – in a no-deal scenario.
“Transactions volumes will likely fall much more than prices – making government housing delivery targets impossible to achieve and slowing new building across the sector,” said Jan Crosby, UK head of housing at KPMG.
Assuming no agreement is reached, KPMG says Northern Ireland will be the hardest hit next year, with average price declines of 7.5%, followed by London at 7%. The least-hit will be Wales and the East Midlands, with 5.4% declines apiece.
This year, most regions will see changes of less than 2%, KPMG says, with the exception of London, down 4.8%, and Northern Ireland, down 2.2%.
If a deal is struck, prices in London and Northern Ireland are still predicted to fall this year, by 4.7% and 1.2%, while most other regions will be largely unchanged. Scotland and the North West will see gains of 1.4% and 1.6%.
In event of a no-deal Bexit
6.2% fallif UK leaves the EU
7.5%fall in Northern Ireland (highest)
7%fall in London
5.4%fall in East Midlands and Wales (lowest)
And next year, all regions will gain aside from London’s predicted 0.2% slide. The average increase will be 1.3%.
KPMG noted that the UK housing market is healthier than it was at the time of the last housing crash – when prices fell by 15% in 2008. House prices are lower as a percentage of earnings in most regions outside London and the South East.
In addition, compared with the aftermath of the 1991 recession – when housing prices dropped 20% over about four years – mortgages are much cheaper. Back then, the Bank of England’s base rate was about 14%.
Amount of the United Kingdom that has housing you can afford
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The prices are based on the local market. If there are 100 properties of the right size in an area and they are placed in price order with the cheapest first, the “low-end” of the market will be the 25th property, “mid-priced” is the 50th and “high-end” will be the 75th.
Demonstrations are taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in cities including Leeds, York and Belfast.
In London, Whitehall has been brought to a standstill, with protesters chanting “Boris Johnson, shame on you”.
The decision to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.
When Parliament is suspended, no debates and votes are held. This is different to “dissolving” Parliament – where all MPs give up their seats to campaign in a general election.
If this prorogation happens as expected, it will see Parliament closed for 23 working days.
Critics view the length and timing of the prorogation – coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October – as controversial.
Chancellor Sajid Javid, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, defended the prime minister’s move.
He said: “It’s quite usual this time of year for Parliament to go in to a recess. It’s perfectly correct and appropriate to prorogue Parliament.
“I think it’s absolutely right that this prime minister and his government get the chance to set up their agenda.”
Protests in towns and cities
Journalist and activist Owen Jones, who will speak at the London protest, said: “This is about defending democracy.
“We have an unelected prime minister shutting down the elected representatives of the British public who are supposed to be scrutinising the biggest upheaval since the end of the war.
“I think people who voted Remain or Leave should take to the streets today – no one voted for a no-deal Brexit.
“There will be Remainers [at the protests] but I’ve had Leavers get in touch with me and tell me they will be marching, too.”
In Oxford, crowds holding banners gathered outside Balliol College, where Mr Johnson studied at university.
Protests are also set to take place in more than 30 towns and cities, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.
Named “Stop the Coup”, the protests are organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe is Possible.
The group also says there are protests planned in Amsterdam, Berlin and the Latvian capital Riga.
The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016, warned that anger over Brexit “should not spill over into something more dangerous”.
Meanwhile, a petition against the prime minister’s plan to suspend Parliament has received more than a million signatures.
And on Friday, former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major announced he will join forces with anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to oppose the decision to suspend Parliament in the courts.
He believes Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament is aimed at preventing MPs from opposing a no-deal Brexit.
The prime minister has dismissed suggestions that suspending Parliament is motivated by a desire to force through a no deal, calling them “completely untrue”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The idea this is some kind of constitutional outrage is nonsense.”
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Fleabag must have sounded like an odd prospect on paper when it was first performed in 2013.
A monologue about an unnamed woman with a considerable sexual appetite who runs a guinea pig-themed cafe while mourning the death of her best friend is an unconventional premise to say the least.
But the TV series which the original play birthed has since become hugely successful and made a bona fide star out of its creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The second and final series concluded earlier this year and now Waller-Bridge is back in the West End performing the original play. “As a hot ticket, it’s on a par with Harry Potter, as high on the list as Hamilton,” wrote Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph.
It’s a fair assessment – the press night on Wednesday evening was an A-list event. Cast members from the TV show like Andrew Scott (the “hot priest”) and Fiona Shaw rubbed shoulders with Oscar-winner Rami Malek, 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne and journalist Caitlin Moran.
But it’s the fans queuing at the stage door every night to meet Waller-Bridge who are the real testament to just how much the show has connected with audiences on a deep, emotional level. Young women in particular saw a lot of themselves in Fleabag, and grapple with the issues surrounding dating and feminism raised by the show.
For fans who don’t have tickets, Fleabag is also being broadcast live in cinemas on 12 September and it could be the last chance to see Waller-Bridge play her most famous role.
Here are a few things to know about how Fleabag differs on stage and screen.
1. The core storyline is the same as the first TV series
Ironically, considering the theatre show came first, those who have watched Fleabag as a BBC series will feel like they’ve had several spoilers for the play.
Whether it’s the dates Fleabag goes on, the interactions she has with her family, or the underlying grief and guilt she feels about the death of Boo, there won’t be many surprising twists for Fleaophiles.
“After the TV show, the play felt like going to a gallery and looking at the artist’s sketchbooks,” said Kate Wyver in The Guardian. “The show is just so much more developed, so the play can’t help but feel a little disappointing.”
“I liked seeing the original source material,” added Laura Snapes in the same article. “But the play was originally such a bolt from the blue. If you see it now, you’re always aware: that’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. When it’s freighted with the phenomenon, it doesn’t work.”
2. There’s no hot priest
The second series of Fleabag focused on the lead character’s relationship with a priest, played by Andrew Scott. The pair’s relationship was the focus of scrutiny from fans and critics alike.
“Why are we so horny for Fleabag’s Hot Priest?” asked The Huffington Post in one of many, many think pieces about the storyline.
“The real bedrock of [series two] was tied up with the idea of religion,” Waller-Bridge told BBC News earlier this year. “I was starting to write jokes about perspectives on the Christian faith and Catholicism, and that bled into the show.
“I liked the idea of Fleabag meeting her match in someone with the same intelligence and wit she has who leads a completely different life.”
Sadly, however, the hot priest is nowhere to be seen in the stage show. While some jokes and plotlines from the play are sprinkled through the second series (such as Fleabag’s sister’s disastrous haircut), the central storyline involving the hot priest was entirely new and written specifically for TV.
There was only ever meant to be six episodes of Fleabag, which is why the play has far more similarities to the first series than the second.
3. But there are still some surprises in the stage show
Many of the jokes in the play haven’t featured in the TV series, so there’s still plenty to enjoy with the stage version.
But that also applies to some of the more heart-breaking elements of the plot.
“There’s one emotional absolute gut-punch in the stage version that – presumably having been deemed just too upsetting for telly – may be new to much of the audience, noted Holly Williams in The Independent. “Guinea pig lovers be warned: it destroyed me.”
4. The staging is minimal, but effective
A monologue show in the West End is a pretty rare event, particularly in a large theatre space, and its success is reliant on a powerhouse performance from a single actor.
Speaking about seeing the play in the Wyndham’s Theatre, Holly Williams in The Independent wrote: “She probably wouldn’t have written this kind of show for such a grand old space. It inevitably feels rather small, just Waller-Bridge sat on a tall stool on an empty stage.”
Although Fleabag darts around from her cafe to job interviews to taxi rides to dates, those surroundings are left entirely to the theatre audience’s imagination as Waller-Bridge barely shifts from the tall stool she’s sitting on for the 65-minute duration.
The only aides are the changes in lighting and a few audio clips of some of the other characters, to help viewers with the different scenarios.
5. The “fourth wall” dynamic is different
A key element of the TV series was when Fleabag “broke the fourth wall” to speak to the viewer directly, adding in-jokes and her own analysis to the situation she was in.
The play is different, insofar as Fleabag is effectively addressing the audience for most of the show, but she does still clearly separate the moments where she’s speaking to another character. There are benefits and drawbacks to the slightly different dynamic she has with the audience on stage.
“Delivering a manner of monologue – she does many voices, and there is disembodied dialogue at certain moments – Waller-Bridge shows herself to be skilled at story, deadpan comedy and one-liners” wrote Craig Simpson of the Press Association.
“Added to this is a stunning ability to mime and do impressions which sets the stage show apart from the restrictions of a TV show, where her sudden comic personifications become scenes and other characters, actors with faces of their own.”
6. There’s just as much sex
From literally the first scene of the first TV series, it was clear Fleabag wasn’t a show to watch with your family. But that is partially what has driven its appeal.
While the impact of porn on young people felt like more of a hot topic in 2013 than now – other elements of the show haven’t dated, and if anything feel more relevant now.
“I now wince a little at all the reviews of its original run – mine included – describing it as filthy, as if female sexual desire was inherently unclean,” acknowledged Natasha Tripney in The Stage.
“The show would never have achieved quite such a level of success if it were simply a collection of gags about anal sex and [pleasuring herself] over Obama. It’s subtler and smarter than that, incisive about self-sabotage, grief and the endless pressures women put upon themselves.”