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Far-right groups could exploit Brexit tensions - police

Police officer
Getty Images

The "febrile" atmosphere around Brexit could be exploited by far-right extremists, the UK's most senior counter-terrorism officer has warned.

Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said 18 terror plots were foiled in Britain since 2017, four of them far-right.

He said a "far-right drift into extreme right-wing terrorism" was a concern but officers were working to ensure groups did not gain a "foothold".

Mr Basu added leaving the EU with no deal would be "very bad" for policing.

Westminster residents 'unhappy' with '£20m cladding bill'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Luxborough Tower
LDRS

Nearly 1,000 central London tower block leaseholders face the possibility of a £20m bill for installing sprinklers following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2016.

However, there are discrepancies between residents in different high-rise blocks as the amount which could be paid depends on whether residents were tenants, pre-1987 or post-1987 leaseholders.

At a Westminster City Council meeting it was heard they would either be “paying nothing or quite a lot, on different legal terms” to get new sprinklers.

Luxborough Tower residents’ association treasurer Andrew Hughes says sprinkler installation at the high-rise is “unnecessary” as it is concrete and does not have Grenfell-like cladding.

The council’s housing scrutiny committee on January 14 discussed the issue behind closed doors, being asked to agree sprinklers taskgroup’s recommendations to pass the costs on to post-1987 leaseholders only.

Luxborough residents were already going into a major works programme tipped to cost about £5m, Mr Hughes said.

“Already this is going to push the ability of lessees to pay. With the added cost of a sprinkler system I cannot see how people will pay,” he said.

While there is currently no legal requirement for sprinklers, the Hackitt review, and the outcome of Grenfell Inquiry could change that, Westminster Council warned.

“This is a national challenge for councils up and down the country and we are lobbying government to address this,” housing services Councilor Andrew Smith said.

“The safety of our residents is our top priority, which is why we set up a task group to look at all council-managed properties so that we can take the necessary action.”

There are 21 tall buildings in Westminster comprising 114 pre-1987 leaseholders and 844 post-1987 leaseholders.

The council said evidence supported sprinklers for tower blocks as there were “almost zero” reported deaths resulting from fires in buildings with the systems.

Severe disruption: London both ways

BBC News Travel

London both ways severe disruption, around Parliament Square.

London - All approaches in Westminster closed around the Parliament Square junction, because of all traffic being temporarily held and Demonstration - Private Hire drivers are protesting the congestion charge. Congestion to surrounding roads around Waterloo, Newington and Southwark, including A3200, The Cut and around Elephant and Castle due to diverting traffic.

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

Brexit protests: Testing the atmosphere on College Green

Justin Rowlatt gets in amongst the protesters on both sides of the Brexit debate.

London's street food scene is bursting with flavour
Stalls are now starting to be set up in derelict spaces in Shoreditch, Brixton, Croydon and Wembley.

Severe disruption: A3212 London southbound

BBC News Travel

A3212 London southbound severe disruption, between The Strand and Westminster Bridge.

A3212 London - Rolling road-block and a march on A3212 Whitehall southbound in Westminster between Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.

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

Ambulance at the match

Alistair Magowan

BBC Sport

Charlton's Women's Championship game with Manchester United was abandoned because the home side had no oxygen to treat injured players.

Read more

Two in hospital after Hanworth car park stabbing

Two men are recovering in hospital after being attacked in a car park in Hanworth last night.

The Met Police say the men, both aged 21, were found on nearby Osborne Close at 17:19.

One of the victims was suffering from a stab wound and the other had a "facial injury".

A spokesman said: "At this early stage, it is believed that the men were assaulted in a car park on Bear Road before attempting to make their way to hospital."

The Met say there have been no arrests and the men's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Suzy Lamplugh: Search house owners waiting for repairs
A family is still waiting for repairs to their property, which was dug up by detectives.

Watch: Does Croydon have its own accent?

The police have been looking for someone with a Croydon accent, but what is it?

Chips and punch thrown during McDonald's 'assault'

man wanted over waterloo assault
btp

A man is being sought in connection with an attack at Waterloo station which left another man with a fractured eye socket.

Police say the victim was ordering food when chips were thrown at him and his colleague.

He asked those involved to stop and a young man is said to have punched the victim in the face, according to the British Transport Police (BTP).

The alleged assault is said to have happened on 4 October at 12:10.

BTP have released a CCTV image of the man they wish to speak with.

New book queries benefit of new Spurs stadium for residents

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Inside the new stadium
Tottenham Hotspur FC

Haringey Council needs to drive a harder bargain with developers so existing residents benefit from regeneration projects, according to an expert.

Dr Mark Panton, who lectures at Birkbeck, University of London, has written a book – Tottenham’s Trojan Horse – exploring the costs and benefits of regeneration schemes linked to the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in Haringey.

He says while councils are under financial strain due to austerity, they need to push harder to ensure developers provide enough affordable homes for their residents.

Dr Panton is giving a free talk on his work at Islington College later – and he hopes those affected by the Tottenham project will attend.

He said: “Where developers build on their land, councils should be driving a harder bargain. Developers are starting off with 20% profit and saying anything less is not viable.

“They (councils) have got to say no to that – not everyone gets a guarantee of a 20% profit.

“Spurs ended up with plans for a new ground and 585 units. They got a financial viability report that said they were working with a one per cent profit margin.

“It wasn’t challenged – but if you are giving up land on the other side of the High Road, you would try and reach those (affordable housing) targets.”

The football club defended its plans and claimed it was developing hundreds of new affordable homes and creating thousands of jobs for local people.

The spokesman said: “The club makes no apologies for investing hundreds of millions of pounds in the development of a new stadium that will bring significant economic benefits to one of the most deprived areas of London, developing hundreds of new affordable homes or creating thousands of jobs for local people.

“We have a track record from the stadium site of successfully relocating businesses, the majority of whom chose to stay in the area – they all had choices, and all benefited.

“The club’s previous affordable housing schemes have enabled Love Lane Estate residents choosing to relocate to stay within their local area.” Tottenham Hotspur is contributing £4 million to improve nearby infrastructure and has also opened a primary school and sixth form college.

Haringey Council says the new Spurs stadium will bring more than 1.5 million visitors to the borough every year, create 3,500 jobs and pump £293 million a year into the local economy.

Severe accident: A302 London eastbound

BBC News Travel

A302 London eastbound severe accident, from A3212 Whitehall to Canon Row.

A302 London - A302 Bridge Street in Westminster closed and queuing traffic eastbound from the A3212 Whitehall junction to Parliament Square, because of an accident. Congestion to Trafalgar Square and Lambeth Bridge.

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

Severe disruption: A3211 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A3211 London both ways severe disruption, from A302 Bridge Street to A400 Northumberland Avenue.

A3211 London - A3211 Victoria Embankment in Westminster blocked in both directions from Parliament Square to Embankment Station, because of People's Assembly March and Rally a demonstration.

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

Severe disruption: A302 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A302 London both ways severe disruption, from A3212 Whitehall and Parliament Street to A3211 Victoria Embankment.

A302 London - A302 Bridge Street in Westminster closed in both directions from the A3212 Whitehall and Parliament Street (Parliament Square) Parliament Square junction to Westminster Bridge, because of People's Assembly March and Rally a demonstration.

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

Severe disruption: A302 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A302 London both ways severe disruption, from A3212 Parliament Street to A3211 Victoria Embankment.

A302 London - A302 Bridge Street in Westminster closed in both directions from the A3212 Parliament Street junction to Parliament Square, because of People's Assembly March and Rally a demonstration.

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