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London's worst affected hospital sees 600th patient die with Covid-19

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

More than 600 patients have now died with coronavirus at London's worst affected hospital trust.

Two more deaths linked to coronavirus were registered at Barts Health NHS Trust on Sunday, taking the total to 601 since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

Only one other trust has registered more deaths in the whole of England - 917 patients have died after testing positive for coronaviurs at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

London remains the region worst affected by coronaviurs, with 5,956 deaths in the capital's hospitals linked to the virus.

Six other hospital trusts in London have registered more than 400 deaths of patients that had tested positive for coronavirus.

They are:

  • North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (587 deaths)
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (495)
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (481)
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (417)
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (413)

data chart
BBC
Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.
A London firefighter joins his paramedic brother to help fight coronavirus on the front line.

Brothers in arms: Siblings fighting on the coronavirus frontline

BBC London

Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.

Two brothers have come together to help on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, working side by side.

Tom is a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and Jack is a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service (LAS).

Tom says: “I thought it was an opportunity I really couldn’t turn down.”

Film by Gem O'Reilly

Coronavirus: Brothers fighting on the front line

Jack and Tom Binder have joined forces to battle the pandemic together.
Two brothers have come together to help on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Tom is a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and Jack is a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service (LAS). 

Tom said: “I thought it was an opportunity I really couldn’t turn down.”

Police confiscate £1m in cash following a traffic stop

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

Confiscated cash
Metropolitan Police

Police have confiscated £1m in cash from a man's home after stopping his car.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Venice, which tackles moped crime, stopped the suspect in a car park in north London on Tuesday.

They found £12,000 cash in the car, and the 31-year-old was unable to explain why he had so much money, the force said.

Officers then went to his home in Haringey, north London, and found nearly £1m in banknotes stuffed into shoe boxes and bags, along with a number of passports.

Det Ch Insp Shaun White said: "There is no justifiable reason for this much cash not being kept in a bank account, unless it has been sourced from ill-gotten activities involving criminality."

Police called to crowds at Ruislip Lido over bank holiday

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

Ruislip Lido
@MPSHillingdon

Police were called to disperse crowds at Ruislip Lido over Bank Holiday weekend.

Officers were see engaging with sunbathers and "offered advice about social distancing" on Monday afternoon.

Large crowds of people were seen congregating on the west London artificial beach and reservoir in pictures posted on social media.

A large number of people subsequently left the area after police arrived.

On twitter police pleaded with the public to "use common sense

No fines were issued and no arrests were made, police said.

GLA restart investigation into Johnson relationship Jennifer Arcuri

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri
Shuttershock

The London Assembly will resume its investigation into Boris Johnson after the police watchdog ruled against undertaking a criminal investigation over his ties to US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri while he was London mayor.

Ms Acruri, a technology entrepreneur, joined Mr Johnson on overseas trade missions in 2014 and 2015.

According to an investigation by the Sunday Times one of her businesses had received £11,500 in sponsorship money from a mayoral organisation when Mr Johnson was mayor and a £15,000 government grant for foreign entrepreneurs in Britain.

A further £100,000 grant was awarded to Ms Arcuri's company, Hacker House, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in January.

Mr Johnson is accused of not declaring a personal interest despite the pair having a friendship.

Len Duvall, the Greater London Authority's oversight committee chair, said: "The [Independent Office for Police Conduct] was looking specifically at whether he committed a criminal offence.

"That's not our remit and their decision doesn't have any real bearing on our investigation, which will focus on his conduct as Mayor of London.

"Our investigation will consider whether Boris Johnson conducted himself in a way that's expected from anyone in that position. It's important we get those answers, because Londoners deserve to have their politicians held accountable.

"The oversight committee will take into account the current emergency when looking at the timetable for the investigation."

The coronavirus is still out there, warns Mayor of London

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

sadiq khan
Getty Images

Sadiq Khan has said he wants to get London's economy "back on its feet as soon as possible".

Discussing declining coronavirus infection rates in the capital, Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm still very cautious, the virus is still out there.

"But what this good news - and it is good news - gives us is a window of opportunity to begin the test, trace, isolate and support programme which we so desperately need.

"Let me tell you why: we know that test, trace, isolate works best when numbers are low and we've got a small window now to be testing everyone that has got symptoms, to be tracing everyone they have been in contact with over the last few days and then to make sure they are tested, isolated and supported.

"Because my fear is that this good news could lead to complacency, which could lead to a second wave that would overwhelm the NHS and be really bad for people's lives, but also their livelihoods."

Minister denies a TfL power grab after bailout

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Minister for London Paul Scully has denied claims the Government wants to take back devolved powers from Transport for London (TfL) in the wake of a major bailout for the network.

Passenger numbers on public transport in the capital have plummeted during the coronavirus lockdown, and TfL has lost 90 per cent of income from fares as a result.

A last minute bailout agreed late last Thursday saw the Department for Transport hand the network £1.6 billion to keep services running until September.

But the deal came with conditions – fares will rise next year, the congestion charge will be ramped up, and free travel for children and for pensioners at peak hours will be suspended.

Government officials will now sit in on TfL board meetings – and speaking at the London Assembly’s GLA Oversight committee, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon said the Department for Transport is “effectively imposing itself” on the network.

Having Government officials at meetings is “in some ways trying to take powers away from the directly elected Mayor of our city,” she claimed.

But the Minister for London said Government oversight was “part of accountability” in the bailout.

TfL has more than £11.2 billion in debt, with an annual loss of around £300 million – down from almost £1 billion two years ago.

The network used to receive a £700 million grant from the central government – but that was scrapped under a deal negotiated by Boris Johnson during his time as Mayor.

Missed fare revenue from delays to Crossrail and spiralling project costs under Sadiq Khan’s mayoralty have added to the strain on TfL’s finances.

“If we’re going to offer wider taxpayer support it’s only right that we have oversight over the repairing of Transport for London’s finances to be able to move forward in a sustainable way,” Mr Scully said.

“That’s not to take powers away – but we’ve got to make sure that the Mayor of London is fully accountable.”

Frustrations over Grenfell-style cladding replacement delay

Caroline Davies

BBC London News

Grenfell
Getty Images

Before the coronavirus pandemic - ministers told those living in tower blocks with Grenfell-style cladding that it would be replaced by June this year.

But, due to the lockdown, it's pretty clear that's not going to happen.

Now, the ambition is to get it done by sometime next year, three years after 72 people died in the tower block fire on 14 June 2017.

Rebecca Smith, who moved into a flat in Bromley by Bow, Tower Hamlets, in 2016 says she feels uncomfortable and claustrophobic in her own home after discovering the cladding surrounding her building was unsafe.

"There are issues with the cavity barriers behind the cladding. There are also issues with the material used on the balconies.

"It sounds like it's not going to be a quick or easy fix.

"All of my life savings and my parents life savings are tied up in this flat.

"It plays on your mind a lot and I feel quite claustrophobic and lost.

"I don't know how safe I am in my own home - which is horrible."

Ms Smith
BBC
Rebecca Smith

Ms Smith said at this point in time, nobody has excepted fault for the claim and she remains in limbo.

"Our correspondence with officials has been that coronavirus has had an impact and has slowed things down."

City Hall said that £208m has been approved by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help repair 65 London buildings.

As of 30 March, £90,927,547 has been disbursed, it added.

"By May, 57 private buildings in London were n the process of applying for funding and £22.8m has been awarded to 19 London buildings," a spokesman said.

‘I can’t be the mayor I want to be’

Sadiq Khan speaks on TfL changes

Volunteer police double hours during lockdown

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

Officers passing out parade
Getty Images

Volunteer officers have doubled the number of hours given to help the Metropolitan Police respond to coronavirus.

The Met's special constables have given more than 100,000 hours of their time in March and April - according to new figures.

In April alone they they worked 61,779 combined hours, more than double than the same period in 2019, when 29,645 hours were logged.

Special constables are working alongside police officers to enforce the lockdown rules, are out on patrols, and engaging with the public to keep London safe.

In March Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick asked for retired officers to return to the force as it tries to cope with the coronavirus outbreak in London.

Former Police Constable Chris Neal returned to the Met after 18 months away.

He said: "I had a sense of duty to do my bit during this pandemic and put my skills and experience to good use.”

Footpath widening in Waltham Forest announced

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Waltham Forest Council is widening the borough’s footpaths to make social distancing easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Parking bays in four busy areas were temporarily suspended at the start of May and the Council is “investigating a number of other locations” that could follow suit.

Measures are currently in place in Leyton High Road and Church Lane, Wood Street, Cann Hall Road and Higham Hill Road.

Where possible, parking for the disabled, businesses or deliveries will continue to operate.

ULEZ and C-charge suspension to remain for three weeks

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Congestion Charge will be suspended for another three weeks, Sadiq Khan has said.

The central London levies are designed to reduce gridlock and toxic air pollution at the heart of the city.

Drivers normally pay £11.50 for the congestion charge on weekdays, and £12.50 if they drive a polluting vehicle within the ULEZ zone.

But the charges have been paused during the coronavirus outbreak to help key workers get to their jobs without using public transport.

Now the Mayor says since lockdown has “not been lifted”, the suspension will stay in place.

Patients using donated iPads to keep in touch

Nurse holding iPad
Barts Health NHS Trust

IPads have been donated to a London hospital so that patients can keep in touch with their loved ones during the lockdown.

The devices have been given to St Bartholomew’s Hospital by Barts Charity so that video calls could take place.

Emily Huntingford, a critical care nurse at the hospital, said the iPads were having a huge affect on patients, allowing them to "meaningfully connect" with their family.

“Last week, I had the immense pleasure of assisting a patient’s video call with his family... Seeing the delight on his face at the sight of his son’s face made him come alive.

"As more and more faces appeared on the screen with happy greetings, the exclamations of joy and affection were infectious. " she said.

She added that following the call, the patient "had a renewed grit and determination".

“I don’t believe that any action from myself, doctors, or physios could have encouraged him in this way," she said.

VE Day: Red Arrows flypast over central London
The Red Arrows fly over an empty central London to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.