Teenager held over acid attack in Romford

Tara, the acid attack victim The victim said she "does not understand" why she was targeted

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A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with an acid attack on a woman at her home.

The 28-year-old victim, called Tara, is being treated at a specialist burns unit after suffering injuries to her face and upper body in the attack in Romford, east London.

She was attacked as she answered her door on the night of 30 April.

The teenager was arrested on Saturday night and is being questioned at an east London police station.

Tara, who asked for her surname to be withheld, answered the door to a stranger who asked to speak to "Michelle".


He returned about 30 minutes later and squirted an acidic substance in her face from a bottle, according to police.

Last week Tara said: "I feel devastated and am coming to terms with the fact I might have to bear the scars of this cowardly attack for the rest of my life.

"I was at home with my family at the time. It doesn't bear thinking about that this could have been one of the children instead of me as the man didn't even look up when threw it at me.

"He is a coward."

The Crimestoppers charity has offered a reward of up to £3,000 for information leading to the capture of the person responsible.

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    13:57: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

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    13:50: Dickens desk goes on display

    The desk where Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations is finally on public display thanks to a £780,000 grant.

    Charles Dickens' desk The desk is now on display at Charles Dickens' former home in Doughty Street

    The Charles Dickens Museum in London has been given the grant to buy the desk and chair, which has always been in private ownership.

    13:43: 'Busy 2015'

    Tower RNLI tweet: Its been a busy start to 2015 for us with just under 80 call outs & saving 5 peoples lives. Thank you for all your continued support.

    13:31: Restaurant to 'charge £65 for cancellations' London Evening Standard Newspaper

    Shoreditch restaurant The Clove Club is set to charge diners £65 per person if they cancel their booking within 24 hours of their reservation, according to the Evening Standard.

    Chef Isaac McHale told the paper it was necessary to ensure the restaurant remains affordable but would probably "ruffle a few feathers".

    13:21: Lunch time bulletin BBC London News TV

    On the programme just after 13:30 on BBC One we've got the latest on the start of the election campaign as well as a full weather forecast.

    13:09: Video: Afghanistan meets London in Hackney's Finest
    Neerja Naik in Hackney's Finest

    A Cambridge graduate who left a career in investment banking makes her acting debut in a gritty gangster film set in London's east end.

    Neerja Naik plays a biker girl originally from Afghanistan in Hackney's Finest - a film that pits a bunch of drug dealers against a group of corrupt policemen over a period of 24 hours.

    BBC Asian Network's Shabnam Mahmood met the West London actress to talk about her role in the film and her plans for the future.

    12:59: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Our top story at 13:00 on BBC London 94.9: A leading Liberal Democrat has described as "ridiculous" an opinion poll that suggests the party could be virtually wiped out in London and left with only one MP - Vince Cable in Twickenham.

    12:50: Cabbie jailed for sex assaults

    London black cab David Perry driver who sexually assaulted two women when they fell asleep in his taxi has been jailed for 10 years.

    David Perry

    The 52-year-old admitted four counts which include attempted rape and sexual assault after his DNA was found to match both attacks, which happened in January 2013 in north and east London.

    12:40: Wind and rain to increase

    Cloud will continue to increase this afternoon with outbreaks of occasionally heavy rain slowly spreading in from the west. It will become increasingly windy later, with the strongest winds over the higher ground of Hampstead Heath.

    Top Temperature: 12C (54F).

    12:31: A new dawn Beth Rose BBC News Online

    You may already be feeling a bit election-weary and I know it's officially the afternoon but this image of the sunrise above Churchill's statue and parliament was too good to ignore.

    12:21: Convicted burglar absconds

    Police are trying to trace a convicted burglar who has absconded from a mental health unit in Homerton in east London.

    Peter Kerrigan, 26, is serving an 11-year sentence but disappeared yesterday afternoon while on escorted leave from the John Howard Centre. He has links to Brent and Maidstone.

    12:12: Tube 'rescuer' hit and killed by train

    A man has been hit and killed by a Tube train as he attempted to save another man who had fallen onto the tracks.

    Scene outside Old Street Station

    The 35-year-old, from London, was found at Old Street Station after police were called at 12:22 yesterday. A second 32-year-old man, from Manchester, thought to have fallen onto the tracks by accident, is in a critical condition in hospital.

    12:00: Cameron arrives at Buckingham Palace

    That's it for Vanessa's election debate on board the Golden Star boat complete with sea sickness and all.

    Cameron at Buckingham Palace

    But if you're still keen for more election news, then David Cameron has just arrived at Buckingham Palace for a final audience with the Queen during which he will inform her parliament has been dissolved.

    You can watch live coverage here.

    11:58: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story at 12:00 on BBC London 94.9: David Cameron's due at Buckingham Palace shortly for his final audience with the Queen before the general election.

    11:54: Right to Buy scheme 'essential' BBC London General Election 2015

    A listener on board the Golden Star tells Vanessa: "I'm a council tenant and if we didn't have the Right to Buy there would be no chance in hell we could get onto the property ladder, if we can't get on the property ladder our children couldn't get on the property ladder so we'd need more social housing."

    Green Tom Chance says: "It's called affordable housing but it doesn't stay affordable for a long time, so Right to Buy isn't the right solution, but you can have co-operative ownership where you have an agreement to keep it affordable.

    "It's going to take at least a generation to solve the housing problem but in the mean time people need protections, we're one of only a few counties in Europe that doesn't have rent controls."

    11:47: 'Affordable rented properties, not deposit help' BBC London General Election 2015

    Listener Shane says: "What we really need is affordable homes for renting where people can put down roots.

    "I don't want to be giving my taxes to someone, who will be slightly better off in the long rung, a hand-up with their deposit."

    11:45: Parties unite on housing BBC London General Election 2015

    Labour's Tom Copley says he agrees with "much" of what the Green's have proposed during the debate.

    "What we see in London is an agreement on housing. I think there's a particularly strong case on housing for powers to be devolved to the mayor."

    Conservative candidate James Cleverly smiled and nodded in agreement.

    11:42: Tenant tax allowances Susana Mendonca BBC London 94.9 political reporter

    Greens @tom_chance tells @VanessaOnAir they'd take away tenant tax allowances and use that to build social housing #GE2015

    11:41: 'Windfall tax' BBC London General Election 2015

    Tom Chance says there should be a "windfall tax" so if you've bought a property and see its worth "rocket" from the arrival of a publicly funded project such as Crossrail you should have to pay back a proportion of that financial good fortune.

    What do you think? Tweet @BBCLondon949 or call 020 7224 2000.

    11:39: Tom Chance: 'I got evicted' BBC London General Election 2015

    Tom Chance, of the Green Party, admits to Vanessa: "After moving to London I got evicted from the first home I moved into because I complained about the boiler."

    Aside from his personal experience he says: "The first thing we want to deal with is the demand from all the investors, re-form the tax system to people stop seeing housing as an investment and about building homes.

    "In a lot of other countries it isn't seen this way....what it's doing is driving up the prices. and we need to get away from that."

    11:36: Election debate line-up BBC London General Election 2015

    Here's the current political panel giving their views on how to ease the capital's housing crisis.

    Election programme L to R: Tom Chance (Green), Simon Hughes(Lib Dem), Andrew Charalambous (UKIP) and James Cleverly (Con). Top Copley (Labour) was on the panel earlier

    Listen live to the debate on BBC London 94.9 and contact the team by tweeting @BBCLondon949 or calling 020 7224 2000.

    11:32: Key worker homes 'needed' BBC London General Election 2015

    Lib Dem Simon Hughes says there are numerous policies he believes should be introduced to help ease the housing crisis.

    He says his plans include punishing councils if they fail to provide the affordable homes they promise for a development, all new homes should be advertised locally and key worker housing should be available to ensure homes are there for people such as doctors and firefighters.

    11:27: House prices causing 'social cleansing' BBC London General Election 2015

    Andrew Charalambous, UKIP's housing spokesperson says the reality is London needs 63,000 new homes in London annually.

    "As a Londoner I feel really aggrieved that people are having to move out of London because they cannot afford it. We're going through an era of social cleansing in this city like never before. Rents in London are 2.5 times more than any other country so you need to adjust that.

    "UKIP does not want to see London as a playground only for millionaires and the rich."

    Questioned how he would make the improvements, he said: "We'd stop spending £70m a day and sending it to the European Union and we'd stop the £60bn mad-cap project to improve journeys by seven minutes."

    11:22: 'A lie that housing situation is simple to solve' BBC London General Election 2015
    James Cleverly

    James Cleverly adds: "Anyone that tells you there is a simple solution to the housing problem doesn't understand or is lying to you."

    What do you think? listen live to BBC London 94.9 and contact the team on 020 7224 2000 or tweet @BBCLondon949

    11:20: 'Conflict between supply and demand' BBC London General Election 2015

    James Cleverly a Conservative Party candidate for Braintree, said: "Housing is absolutely central to the Conservative party's offer. We've made a pledge to build, because a lot of things around housing are trying to make incremental improvements, but ultimately until we have a step-change in the pace of building homes we're always going to be in that conflict between supply and demand."

    In response to Vanessa quizzing him about what the Tories have been doing for the past five years he replied: "In London we have been leading the way. We've built, through the mayor's intervention, 85,000 social houses, so it's not just talking the talk."

    11:15: Labour's housing plans BBC London General Election 2015

    Labour's Tom Copley (pictured) said: "We will be building 200,000 a year [nationally] by 2020. We haven't built anywhere near 200,000 per year since 2007 so our policy is to seriously push up the house building. Only 17,000 were built in the last year....50-60,000 is the figure we need to be building.

    Tom Copley

    "We're going to put into place three years tenancy as standard and crucially caps on rent rises and abolishing up-front letting agency fees."

    11:13: London is 'all about housing' BBC London General Election 2015

    Political correspondent Paul Osbourne has been listening to the debate and says: "What you've learned today is how important housing is in this election to London.

    "Nationally it's the NHS, immigration and housing but it's a different issue in London."

    He adds that on average rent is going in London up by 11% every time it is raised.

    11:07: Housing panel BBC London General Election 2015

    The panel is switching over now, but here are Doreen Barber, Paul Karakusevic and Luke Doonan working alongside Vanessa for the election special.

    Doreen Barber, Paul Karakusevic and Luke Doonan
    11:05: 'Regressive' mansion tax BBC London General Election 2015

    BBC London 94.9 political reporter Susana Mendonca tweets: Mansion tax getting a grilling @VanessaOnAir housing debate "regressive" says one man Other says it's fair- but he was labour member GE2015

    11:02: 'I lost my home' BBC London General Election 2015

    David in Kingston says: "I lost my home and I was one of Maggie Thatcher's people that bought their council home and thought everything was hunky dory, but sadly we fell behind on our mortgage and couldn't pay it.

    "We went to our local authority asking for assistance but it was at a time when council properties were non-existent.

    "I think there is a solution and it's very simple. Council's should offer developers the opportunity to actually buy land to develop, what needs to happen is that at least 50% of the houses built need to be sold back to the council at cost, the developers will still be making a profit."

    11:00: Coming up: New panel for housing debate BBC London General Election 2015

    In the third hour of Vanessa's election debate aboard the Golden Star the housing debate continues, but there's a new panel.

    Tom Copley and Andrew Charalambous Tom Copley and Andrew Charalambous

    Labour's Tom Copley, UKIP's Andrew Charalambous, Simon Hughes from the Lib Dems, Tom Chance from the Green Party and Conservative Bob Neill will all be giving their thoughts.

    Simon Hughes and Bob Neill Simon Hughes and Bob Neill

    Get involved by listening to BBC London 94,9, tweeting and phoning 020 7224 2000.

    10:56: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story at 11:00 on BBC London 94.9: David Cameron has described May's election as the "most important for a generation", ahead of his visit to the Queen to mark the dissolution of Parliament.

    10:54: #GE2015 debate on BBC London 94.9 via Facebook
    BBC London 94.9 debate

    BBC London 94.9 has posted: A great debate on ‪#‎housing‬ taking place on Vanessa's show right now - we're hearing all sorts of things from renting beds in 12 hour shifts to whether foreign investors should buy homes here in the capital.

    10:50: 'Ban foreign investment for £500k properties' BBC London General Election 2015

    One listener tells Vanessa that some European countries have bans on foreign investors buying properties under £500,000 enabling locals to purchase homes.

    Paul Karakusevic replies: "On council owned land that's an absolutely viable proposition through very simple controls on the marketing."

    10:47: Public housing 'not sexy enough' BBC London General Election 2015

    Andy in Morden tells Vanessa: "Housing needs to be put back into public hands because every developer will be looking to make money. But when a developer is making a lot of money out of it they're just going to be putting public housing to one side because it's not sexy enough for them."

    Property expert Luke Doonan says for every five social housing properties sold, one is built. "It wouldn't surprise me if a couple of council's in London go bankrupt because each council is trying to get as much council tax in and provide housing which is a really sad state of affairs."

    10:45: Boat dwellings BBC London General Election 2015

    BBC London 94.9: tweets: Simon from #Kingston is boat dweller & he asks why no new moorings are being generated & why they're being threatened with eviction.

    10:43: Sharing a bed BBC London General Election 2015

    BBC London 94.9 political reporter Susana Mendonca tweets: Property expert @LukeDoonan tells @VanessaOnAir some sleeping in a bed by day while other person sleeps in same bed by nite #housingcrisis

    10:41: Housing for the elderly BBC London General Election 2015

    Listener Susan on the boat says: "The elderly are the most vulnerable group and there is already a shortage of state care homes resulting in many elderly having to stay in hospital for over three months and the outrageous fees of between £1,000-£2,000 a week and basically they've been completely neglected by every party.

    Luke Doonan says: "If I was in charge of the housing in London I'd have 20% of housing for OAPs or the vulnerable on every developments. The housing issue is very linked to care in the community and the NHS and I worry when I see elderly people come out of their tower blocks because they must be very lonely up there in the sky."

    10:39: Housing debate #GE2015 Susana Mendonca

    My first day as political reporter @BBCLondon949 Listening to floating voters on a boat at the big housing debate @VanessaOnAir #GE2015 calls from listeners for an end to right to buy and more affordable homes

    10:29: 'Reluctant landlords' BBC London General Election 2015

    BBC London 94.9 political reporter Susana Mendonca tweets: Estate agent tells @VanessaOnAir landlords r reluctant 2 rent 2 social tenants as some tenants choose between eating & paying rent #GE2015

    10:28: Should rent caps be introduced? BBC London General Election 2015

    Luke Doonan believes one way to get around the housing crisis in London is to look at "rent caps" or to crack down on estate agents and some of their "outrageous fees".

    Paul Karakusevic said: "It's going to take 20-30 years to rectify these situations. In the 1960s a lot of mistakes were made and we're now inheriting those problems."

    What do you think? Get involved by listening live to BBC London 94.9 and contacting the team by tweeting @BBCLondon94.9 or call 020 7224 2000.

    10:24: 'Bedroom tax' is 'absolutely awful' BBC London General Election 2015
    Vanessa Feltz broadcast aboard the Golden Star The Vanessa Feltz election broadcast aboard the Golden Star

    Artie in Southwark says she has been affected by the Removal of Spare Room Subsidy and has seen many of her friends move out of the borough because they cannot afford to pay the money to cover a spare room.

    She says: "It makes you feel very insecure where you live. You find it very difficult to plan and to make a payment on a weekly basis. It's absolutely awful."

    10:19: 100 MPs use Buy to Let BBC London General Election 2015

    Housing blogger Doreen Barber says MPs don't address the housing situation because "there are about 100 MPs who have properties here in London on Buy to Let, so why introduce a policy which would hurt them personally?

    "Over the past five years I've had to work two jobs to keep my bedroom basically."

    10:17: Housing Commission 'needed' BBC London General Election 2015
    Vanessa Feltz

    Property expert Luke Doonan said: "I fear the poor are bashing the rich and the rich are bashing the poor and that's not good for a happy London.

    "We need a housing commission or something to get all the experts across the board involved in."

    10:14: 'Not enough social housing' BBC London General Election 2015

    Do you feel like you've got or could get a grip on the property ladder and that there are enough properties?

    Paul Karakusevic, who works with housing authorities in the capital, tells Vanessa "it's been about 40 years since London built the right amount of social housing".

    He says some boroughs including Hackney and Enfield are now using their "land banks" to develop more properties and re-plan new estates but schemes such as Right To Buy need to end' because it makes future regeneration of areas very difficult".

    10:04: 'Dig in the ribs' BBC London General Election 2015

    Mary from Hertfordshire says she feels "despair of the politicians" and "unsure who to vote for because where I live I can't influence the vote, which fills me with horror, so I'm thinking along the lines of voting for a smaller party so it gives a dig in the ribs to the larger parties".

    Tom Mludzinski, from political polling company ComRes, said this was a common view shared by many which was making it so difficult to predict the ultimate result of this year's election.

    But John Rentoul believes when people are confronted with the choice there are "ultimately only two party leaders - Ed Miliband and David Cameron - to vote for and people will soon make up their mind".

    09:57: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Our top story at 10:00 on BBC London 94.9: David Cameron will meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace later, formally marking the end of the five-year coalition government and the start of the general election campaign.

    09:53: Coming up: The housing debate BBC London General Election 2015

    Coming up in the next hour in the election special with Vanessa Feltz aboard the Golden Start will be the topic of property and housing.

    Paul Karakusevic, who works for Housing Associations and Local Authorities, property expert Luke Doonan and property activist Doreen Joy Barber will all be on the panel.

    Get involved by listening live to BBC London 94,9, tweeting @BBCLondonNews or calling 0207 7224 2000.

    09:49: 'Party's campaign in poetry but govern in prose' BBC London General Election 2015

    Les says he won't be voting because of the number of promises that were broken after the last election.

    But Toby Young said "I think that's unduly cynical. For the most part politicians are in politics for the right reason. They want to serve the public and improve things in their country and some can't make good on their promises because party's campaign in poetry but govern in prose.

    "With the Lib Dems and cutting student fees that promise was broken because the art of governing is the art of compromise and the coalition did not sign up to it."

    09:46: UKIP 'give direct answers' BBC London General Election 2015

    Ed in Hounslow said he will be voting for UKIP. He tells Vanessa: "UKIP, for all its faults, is the only party whereby the people representing it when asked questions give direct answers."

    Get involved by calling 0207 7224 2000 or tweet @BBCLondonNews.

    09:43: All aboard the election vessel

    BBC London journalist Jen Conway tweets: Good morning from the @BBCLondonNews election boat. It's pretty choppy, but we're off with @VanessaOnAir

    Election boat
    09:37: 'Tax the super-rich' BBC London General Election 2015

    Listener Kingsley says he left the Labour party after 30 years and is going to vote for a minority party this election because they're not increasing tax rates for the "super-rich" but "closing my libraries and youth clubs" instead.

    But Toby Young said: "It's an illusion to think you can raise money by increasing the top rate of tax from 45% to 50% which is why Labour's claims that they're going to use that to decrease the deficit is implausible."

    09:31: Coalition 'success' BBC London General Election 2015
    Toby Young

    Toby Young, associate editor of the Spectator, has arrived on board the Golden Star and says he believes this election will see a "lot of people who vote for smaller parties in larger numbers than every before such as UKIP and the Greens" with the Conservatives getting the largest share.

    He also says if people had the chance at the last election to vote for a Tory-Lib Dem coalition "they probably would have done", although Tom Mludzinski believes people prefer one-party government's rather than a coalition.

    09:27: Voting UKIP BBC London General Election 2015

    Kim from Lewisham says he will be voting for UKIP because: "I do not want Brussels to tell me what to do in a country where we founded democracy".

    John Rentoul comes back with: "In Lewisham I'm afraid it's safe-seat syndrome (for Labour) and almost no point in voting at all."

    Tom Mludzinski says he understands why people will be voting for UKIP because they "want something different, they want something to look forward to".

    09:24: 'It will be a mess' BBC London General Election 2015

    John Rentoul, of the Independent on Sunday, tells Vanessa: "One of the big unknowns is how the votes will translate into the number of seats. It will come down to who can negotiate the best deals for themselves the day after the elections.

    "Labour and the conservatives are likely to fall far short of a majority meaning they will have to combine with another party to get a coalition.

    "You may need two-three party agreements meaning a coalition is almost too hard to form a government and you get a minority government where they work issue by issue - it will be a mess."

    09:20: 'Nobody knows' BBC London General Election 2015

    Tom Mludzinski told BBC London 94.9: "Nobody can tell you confidently what is going to happen. The SNP are battling to be the third largest party in parliament and could take part in discussions to be part of the government."

    09:16: Lib Dems 'will be punished' BBC London General Election 2015

    John Rentoul has tells Vanessa he believes the Liberal Democrat's will be punished at the polls after "breaking promises" after the last election.

    09:12: Election 'sea legs' BBC London General Election 2015

    BBC London's Vanessa Feltz tweets: Trying to find our sea legs while we investigate floating voters @BBCLondon949 #GE2015

    09:01: Coming up: Floating voters BBC London General Election 2015

    In the first hour of Vanessa's election special aboard the Golden Star on the River Thames she is talking to those voters who cannot decide which party to get behind.

    John Rentoul and Tom Mludzinski

    The Independent on Sunday's chief political commentator John Rentoul (pictured left), Toby Young the associate editor of the Spectator and Tom Mludzinski (pictured right), head of political polling at ComRes are all giving their thoughts on the issue.

    Are you a floating voter? You can listen live on BBC London 94.9 and get involved by tweeting or calling 0207 224 2000.

    08:58: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Our top story at 09:00 on BBC London 94.9: The closest general election campaign in living memory officially gets underway today, once David Cameron's visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

    08:50: Mystery over seriously burned man

    A man found with severe burns in a street in Haringey, north London, almost a week ago is still in a medically induced coma in hospital.

    Police say they haven't yet been able to establish what happened to 34-year-old Bilel Ayadi last Monday night but say he walked for about two miles through north London, topless, before he was found.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact Scotland Yard.

    08:44: Special election programme

    Vanessa Feltz tweets: From 9am we have our election special on board the Golden Star - it's a gorgeous morning

    08:41: Four held over weapons in car

    Four men were arrested in north London when police found a gun, a sword and a knife in the car they were travelling in.

    Officers were called to Derby Road, Enfield at 15:30 on Saturday after reports of a gun being seen in a car.

    08:33: Election 2015 Claire Timms BBC News, London

    This morning Vanessa Feltz is live from a boat on the Thames as we kick off BBC London 94.9's coverage of the 2015 General election.

    This morning we are talking about floating voters and the difference they can make plus housing in London. What would you change?

    Listen in from 09:00 or follow Vanessa on Twitter @VanessaonAir. Beth Rose and myself will be publishing photos and updates from the boat throughout the show.

    08:28: Cyclist critical after runner collision

    A cyclist is in a critical condition following a collision with a runner in Greenwich Park, south-east London.

    Greenwich Park
    08:21: The fight for Number 10 is on

    BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins tweets: Vicious Downing St split, fighting like cats and dogs

    Downing Street
    08:16: Southern and Thameslink delays BBC London Travel

    On Southern and Thameslink there are 30 minute delays through Norwood Junction due to over-running engineering works.

    For the latest information go to our BBC London travel page or follow @BBCTravelAlert on Twitter.

    08:14: Thames Cable Car suspended Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    There is no service on the Thames Cable Car due to technical problems.

    For the latest information go to our BBC London travel page or follow @BBCTravelAlert on Twitter.

    08:08: Leytonstone Road closed BBC London Travel

    In Stratford, Leytonstone Road is closed southbound by Maryland station due to an accident.

    For the latest information go to our BBC London travel page or follow @BBCTravelAlert on Twitter.

    08:04: Bright and chilly BBC Weather Latest

    It will be a bright and chilly start with any isolated showers quickly dying out.

    Cloud will increase towards midday with outbreaks of occasionally heavy rain arriving later this afternoon. It will become increasingly windy late in the day.

    Speaking of wind, we spotted this tree in Great Portland Street, central London, early this morning which looks as if it may have been a victim of yesterday's gusty weather.


    Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

    08:00: Good morning Beth Rose BBC News Online

    Welcome to Monday, hope you had a great weekend.

    As well as bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather for London, we'll also be reporting live from a boat on the Thames as Vanessa Feltz kicks off BBC London 94.9's countdown to Election 2015.

    Send us your news, views or photos by email, Twitter or Facebook.



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