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  1. Updates on Friday, 6 October 2017
  2. Grant Shapp says 'change' in Tory leadership needed
  3. Luton-based EasyJet sees record passenger numbers
  4. Man jailed for stabbing friend 12 times
  5. Police ask hit-and-run driver to 'do the right thing'
  6. Road closed after pub damaged in Bedfordshire
  7. Lewis Hamilton top in second practice at Japanese Grand Prix

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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  1. Weather: Clear spells tonight, cloudy and breezy tomorrow

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    It will be a fine end to today with sunny spells.

    There will be some clear spells overnight, but generally it will remain rather cloudy with the chance of rain by the end of the night. Lows of 7C (45F).

    Weather map

    Saturday will be cloudy and breezy with outbreaks of rain - some heavy - but it will become brighter later. Highs of 16C (43F).

    Get more where you live at BBC Weather.

  2. Jethro steps in to help Monarch crisis-hit swimmers

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Jethro with Radio Cornwall's David White

    Legendary Cornish comedian Jethro stepped in to help a group of swimmers whose training camp abroad was threatened by the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

    Trip organiser Helen Tooley said the comic contacted her after he saw the story of the plight of the young swimmers from the North Cornwall Dragons on BBC Spotlight.

    Mrs Tooley said Jethro (pictured left with BBC Radio Cornwall's David White) offered to contribute £5,000 to help pay for new flights.

    The swimming club also raised more than £5,000 through donations from the public.

    Barclays Bank has paid back the £11,000 spent on flights and also made a donation of £4,000 to cover extra costs, so the group is all set to go ahead with the trip at the end of the month.

  3. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J22 for A1081 and J23 for A1 affecting J21 for M1.

    M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J22, A1081 (St Albans) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J21 M1.

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

  4. True grit

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    He may have retired from athletics, but Usain Bolt seems to have a new job.

    The Olympic gold medallist could soon be seen spreading salt on Buckinghamshire's roads...

    OK, so we're not talking about the world record holder, but "Usain Salt" - a new gritter for Buckinghamshire County Council.

    The name came from six-year-old Dylan Lambourne, who says "Usain Salt should be the fastest and best gritter ever".

    He entered the gritter naming competition and won.

    And here he is, showing off his best bolt...

    Dylan Lambourne
  5. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J23 for A1.

    M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

  6. Swimmers will go to Canary Islands

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Young swimmers from across Cornwall will get to go on a swimming trip to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands which was threatened by the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

    Helen Tooley, who organised the trip, said £11,000 spent on flights had been refunded by Barclays Bank, which also made a donation of £4,000 to the North Cornwall Dragons to help cover the cost of new flights.

    Parents of 48 children had paid £750 per child for the chance to train in Olympic-sized pools with top swimmers such as Welsh Olympian Jemma Lowe.

  7. Bank steps in to save swim group hit by Monarch crisis

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A swimming group which had its plans to go on a training camp abroad scuppered by the Monarch airline crisis has been rescued by Barclays Bank.

    The North Cornwall Dragons are taking 48 young people to Fuerteventura on 25 October for a week of intensive training in Olympic-sized pools.

    Swimmers from North Cornwall Dragons

    When Monarch folded, the trip looked unlikely to go ahead but Barclays refunded the main payment of £11,000 and made a donation of £4,000 to help the club get to Gran Canaria.

    The group raised another £5,500 itself, which means the trip can now all go ahead.

    Helen Tooley

    Helen Tooley (pictured), who has organised the trip, said: "It's been crazy and I haven't slept for three days but it's all been worth it."

  8. Man jailed for stabbing friend 12 times

    A man from St Albans who stabbed his friend 12 times with a kitchen knife has been jailed for 17 years.

    Craig Sutherland, 40 from Thorn House, Townsend Avenue, St Albans, carried out the attack last September after getting locked out of his flat.

    St Albans Crown Court heard Sutherland had been drinking at his home with 46 year-old Vinny Rajput.

    The two had a row when Sutherland used Mr Rajput's phone to order some drugs and Sutherland got locked outside.

    When he smashed his way back into the flat with a brick, and attacked Mr Rajput, armed police were called to arrest him.

    Craig Sutherland

    Sutherland (above), who had 57 previous convictions, was found guilty of attempted murder.

    Judge Marie Catterson also passed an extended sentence of five years, telling the court she had come to the conclusion he was a dangerous offender and posed a significant risk to the public.

    It means that when Sutherland is released from his jail term he will be under observation by authorities for five more years and could be recalled to prison if offences are committed.

  9. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Buckinghamshire clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Buckinghamshire clockwise severe accident, between J16 for M40 and J17 for A412.

    M25 Buckinghamshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J16 M40 and J17, A412 (Maple Cross), because of an accident involving several cars and a van earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is 30 to 35 minutes. Congestion to J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4).

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

  10. Road remains closed after vehicle hits pub

    A road closure remains in place on the A507 in Husbourne Crawley, Bedfordshire, while the exterior of the White Horse pub is repaired.

    White Horse pub

    Part of the wall was smashed after two cars collided at about 17:15 yesterday.

    White Horse pub

    The vehicles have since been recovered and the occupants of the cars treated for slight injuries.

  11. Smoking banned throughout hospital grounds

    Milton Keynes Hospital is now smoke free.

    Milton Keynes hospital

    Signs have appeared to make sure patients, visitors and staff know they are not allowed to smoke anywhere on the grounds, including outside buildings or in car parks.

    Milton Keynes hospital

    The hospital says it's part of "ongoing plans to contribute to improved public health and wellbeing".

    Milton Keynes hospital

    E-cigarettes and vaping are also prohibited.

  12. Japanese Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton top in wet second practice

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer in Singaore

    Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton was fastest in a rain-hit second practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix, in which only five drivers set a lap time.

    The Briton, driving for Brackley-based Mercedes, was 0.799 seconds quicker than Force India's Esteban Ocon.

    The Frenchman's team-mate Sergio Perez was third fastest ahead of Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the dry morning session, ahead of Hamilton and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

    Lewis Hamilton
  13. Strictly: Brian Conley in the show '100%'

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    There are media reports that Hertfordshire's Brian Conley "wants an early exit from Strictly".

    The Daily Mail claims it's because he needs to concentrate on his up-and-coming stint as Buttons in Milton Keynes' production of Cinderella, which starts on 9 December.

    He categorically claims on social media: "Just woke to news that I apparently want to be out of strictly what utter..." ahem, let's just say the language gets colourful.

    "I'm loving this & 100% want to stay in as long as poss," he continues.

    The theatre has already confirmed that there will be no evening performance of the panto on 16 December, as however far Brian gets he will need to be back for the Strictly final which is on that night.

    Here's how he's getting on with rehearsals...

    View more on twitter
  14. Plans to build 'smart' motorway picking up speed

    The final public exhibition to find out about plans to upgrade the M1 between junction 13 for Bedford and junction 16 for Northampton is taking place tomorrow.

    Highways England is behind the project to turn the 23.6-mile (38km) route into a "smart" motorway.

    It hopes it will "reduce congestion and improve journey times" with the road at times being four lanes instead of three, but at the loss of the hard shoulder.

    It will take place between 11:00 and 15:00 at Collingtree Village Room on the High Street.

    Smart motorway
    Image caption: A smart motorway already built

    The work is set to start in March and due to be completed by June 2021. It will cost £349m.

    The M1 is already a "smart" motorway between junctions 9 and 13 and work is under way to upgrade it between junctions 16 and 19.

  15. Police ask hit-and-run driver to 'do the right thing'

    A week after a woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in St Albans, police have made a direct appeal to the driver to hand themselves in.

    Barbara Liddle

    Great-grandmother Barbara Liddle, who lived in the city all her life, was found lying on Camp Road with serious injuries shortly after 20:20 on 28 September. She died at the scene.

    Hertfordshire Police said the 76-year-old was struck as she crossed the road outside her home. She was due to be picked up by a friend to go to a darts match.

    Officers said her injuries were consistent with being hit by a moving vehicle, but it had left the scene before the force arrived.

    They want to speak to the drivers of a medium-sized light-coloured car, possibly a BMW, and a small dark-coloured hatchback. Both were seen in the area around the time of the crash.

    Det Insp Chris Puddy, said: "To the person who was driving the vehicle involved, you have caused unimaginable pain and suffering to Barbara's family.

    "You cut her life short and her loved ones now have to live without their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

    "I am asking you to do the right thing and hand yourself in."

    Mrs Liddle's family described her as "a devoted, warm and sociable" person, for whom darts was her "passion".

    He son Kevin said: "She was the best."

  16. The challenges facing EasyJet

    Theo Leggett

    BBC Business News Reporter

    EasyJet plane

    Record passenger numbers and high load factors - yet EasyJet is expecting to make lower profits this financial year than it did in 2016. So what's the problem?

    A big factor is currency movements. EasyJet reckons the decline in the value of the pound will cost it £100m. There's a good reason for this. Half of its revenues are in sterling, but only one third of its costs.

    Then there's the state of the market. For much of the past year, there has been a glut of capacity on many short-haul routes, particularly to popular holiday destinations. That has brought down fares, and benefited consumers, but made life harder for the airlines themselves.

    The collapse of Monarch and the bankruptcies of Air Berlin and Alitalia reflect just how tough life in the industry has become - but they could also mean that the cut-throat competition starts to ease up.

    There's another plus point for the airline. As long-term fuel hedges expire, it's starting to see bigger benefits from the falls in the oil price over the past couple of years, which is helping to bring down its costs.

    So next year may be easier.