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Brentford Travelodge: Dozens evacuated from major fire in west London

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Media captionThe fire is said to have started in a “bin room” next to the Travelodge

More than 100 firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at a hotel in west London which has forced dozens of guests and staff to be evacuated.

Crews from several fire stations were called to the Travelodge on the High Street, Brentford, at 02:52 GMT.

The fire started in the “bin room” on the ground floor of a neighbouring building and spread to the five-floor hotel.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said there were no reported injuries.

The fire was brought under control shortly before 07:00 and the cause of the fire is now being investigated by the fire brigade and the Met Police.

Station commander Nathan Hobson said: “Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the hotel and around 160 guests and staff evacuated the building.”

He added that a “rest centre” had been set up by the local authority and the conditions had been “challenging”.

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Jay Phelps

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More than 100 firefighters took just over four hours to tackle the blaze

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Samantha Callachan

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Crews from Chiswick, Heston, Acton, Richmond, Ealing, Hammersmith, Southall were called to deal with the fire

LFB’s assistant commissioner Graham Ellis warned people to avoid the Brentford High Street area.

“Fire crews will be damping down pockets of fire and carrying out salvage work throughout the morning,” he said.

One guest, who is from Barnsley and only gave his name as Nigel, said he initially thought the alarm was “a hoax”.

“We woke up and the fire alarm was going off, we thought it was a prank and maybe a few lads having a bit too much ale – but obviously it wasn’t,” he said.

“We come down the stairs and come outside and that’s where we saw all the bin storage in a blaze.

“Everyone was out really quick and everyone was fine, but we are all a bit tired and cold.”

Another guest, Reg Williams, described the aftermath of the evacuation.

He said “some people panicked” and “there was a few small children”.

He said one firefighter came round taking names and room numbers, “just to make sure everyone was out”.

At the scene

Greg McKenzie, BBC News, London

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Brentford High Street was closed by police while firefighters tackled the blaze

The blaze is out now, although the fire brigade is still hosing down the building.

The hotel is just off Brentford High Street in the middle of a residential area, and consequently many people have been evacuated from their homes.

Fire alarms in neighbouring buildings were going off because the smoke was filling the air.

Many guests emerged from the hotel with only the clothes they had grabbed.

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Vincent Stephenson

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Nearly 20 emergency calls were made to 999 operators

Buses were brought in to relocate guests to another Travelodge Hotel in Hounslow, but Mr Williams said there was not enough room for everyone. He said he had been told he would not be allowed back into the hotel until after midday.

In a statement, Travelodge said its guests were “being looked after”.

A spokesperson added: “Our team are now making arrangements for their future accommodation and support.”

Have you been affected by the hotel fire? If it’s safe to do so, you can get in touch via email: .

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Jonathan Miller, director and humorist, dies at 85

Jonathan Miller in 2013

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Miller was knighted in 2002 for services to music and the arts

Sir Jonathan Miller, the distinguished theatre and opera director who famously starred in the Beyond the Fringe comedy revue, has died at the age of 85.

In a statement, his family said he had died “peacefully at home… following a long battle with Alzheimer’s”.

A man of many parts, Miller was also an author, a photographer, a sculptor, a broadcaster and a qualified doctor.

Born in London in 1934, Miller studied medicine at Cambridge before embarking on a career in the arts.

The catalyst was Beyond the Fringe, in which he appeared with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett.

The groundbreaking revue premiered at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the West End and Broadway.

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Miller (far right) appeared in Beyond the Fringe with Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

Its success led to Miller becoming editor and presenter of BBC arts programme Monitor and a director of plays at the National Theatre.

His productions included a modern-dress staging of The Merchant of Venice, with Laurence Olivier as Shylock.

He went on to direct six of the BBC’s 1980s Shakespeare productions, among them The Taming of the Shrew with John Cleese and Othello with Anthony Hopkins.

Despite being unable to read music, he also directed operas for the ENO, Glyndebourne and the Met in New York.

The Royal Opera remembered him on Twitter as “one of the most important figures in British theatre and opera of the past half century”.

Miller, who was knighted in 2002 for services to music and the arts, was witty and erudite but could be cantankerous.

“I’ve got this, I think, unjustified reputation for being grumpy,” he once said, insisting he only objected to “people who are 30 years younger than I am and know 100% less than I do”.

Tony Hall, the BBC’s director general, said Miller was “a creative genius whose imagination knew no bounds… he brought arts and culture to millions on the BBC”.

He was also remembered by BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Petroc Trelawny as “a polymath and cultural giant” whose “contribution to British cultural life was as varied as it was vast”.

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Tottenham: Jose Mourinho appointed after Mauricio Pochettino sacked

Jose Mourinho: Watch the new Tottenham head coach’s classic moments

Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho has signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me,” said the 56-year-old Portuguese. “Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.”

Tottenham will be the third Premier League club managed by Jose Mourinho

Tottenham reached the Champions League final last season under Pochettino, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

The Argentine, who was appointed in May 2014, did not win a trophy in his time in charge of the north London club, with Spurs’ last silverware being the League Cup in 2008.

Levy said Mourinho has “a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician”.

“He has won honours at every club he has coached,” he added. “We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

Mourinho still has a home in London and won three Premier League titles – in 2005, 2006 and 2015 – as well as one FA Cup in two spells at Chelsea.

Having taken over at Manchester United in May 2016, he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup with them in 2017.

Mourinho was sacked by the Old Trafford club in December 2018, with the club 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool, and had not managed another side before joining Spurs.

He has also previously managed Portuguese side Porto, where he won the Champions League in 2004.

At Italian club Inter Milan, Mourinho won a league, cup and Champions League treble in 2010 and was named Fifa’s world coach of the year, while he led Spanish team Real Madrid to the La Liga title in 2012.

He takes over a Spurs side that are without a win in their past five games and have slipped to 14th in the Premier League, 20 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 12 matches.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust had said “many fans thought Poch had earned the right” to try to turn around the side’s form and that “there are questions that must be asked of the board”.

Following Mourinho’s appointment, it said it had “concerns about how Jose and our club’s executive board will work together”.

It added: “The club must ensure it does not find itself in the same position in two or three years’ time, and we need to hear from the executive board what the long-term thinking behind this appointment is.”

Mourinho’s first match in charge is a trip to West Ham United on Saturday (12:30 GMT kick-off).

Spurs go to Manchester United on 4 December, and host another of Mourinho’s former teams – Chelsea – on 22 December.

Mourinho has turned down a number of managerial opportunities, including in China, Spain and Portugal, since leaving Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s Man Utd ups and downs


BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Spurs have never hired a manager as expensive or demanding as Mourinho, nor spent the kind of money on players that he became accustomed to at clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But Spurs have come a long way in recent years under Pochettino. They have a new £1bn stadium and training ground, and spent four successive seasons in the Champions League.

They now have a European pedigree, and a hugely talented squad.

Mourinho has been out of the game for almost a year but retained a home in London.

His tribulations at Manchester United saw him lose his ‘Special One’ status, but his many achievements in the game still command widespread respect.

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EFL Trophy: 52 goals, four hat-tricks and academy sides impress

Tristan Abrahams got his first-ever hat-trick as a professional in Newport County’s 7-4 win over Cheltenham

An 11-goal thriller, a 17-year-old becoming his club’s youngest captain and a record number of Premier League academy sides making the knockout stages – the penultimate night of matches in the EFL’s Leasing.com Trophy certainly had a few tales to tell.

BBC Sport rounds up Tuesday’s action in the final round of group matches in the tournament for sides in Leagues One and Two and selected academy teams from the Premier League and Championship.

Can everyone stop conceding goals?

The EFL Trophy could not be accused of being dull on Tuesday night – 52 goals in 14 games meant most people who went to a match got their money’s worth in terms of entertainment.

Top of the lot has to be Newport County’s 7-4 win at Cheltenham Town – Taylor Maloney and Tristan Abrahams both scored hat-tricks for the Welsh side who move second in Southern Group E.

The away victory was their first in the competition this season but might not be enough to see them through – West Ham’s academy side will leapfrog them if they can avoid losing to Exeter City on Wednesday.

The biggest win of the night was 60-odd miles up the M5 as Cheltenham’s Gloucestershire rivals Forest Green Rovers were thrashed 6-0 at Walsall.

Josh Gordon scored the first three goals for the Saddlers – who are struggling towards the foot of League Two – before Wes McDonald, Liam Kinsella and Cameron Norman wrapped up the win in the final 20 minutes to top the Southern section’s Group D by a point from Coventry City.

Three penalties and 17-year-old captain

Nico Jones played three times in League One for Oxford United last season

Whatever happens in 17-year-old Nico Jones’ career, Tuesday 12 November might take some topping.

The teenager became Oxford United’s youngest-ever captain and led his side to a 4-1 win away at 10-man Crawley Town.

The game was a dead rubber as Oxford were already through in second place, but that did not stop Robert Hall hitting a hat-trick – the fourth across all the games.

Hall opened the scoring after 12 minutes before Anthony Forde doubled the lead 16 minutes later from the penalty spot.

The former West Ham and Bolton attacker then dispatched two more penalties after half-time to take home the match ball.

Iron end Sunderland’s hopes of second final

Sunderland are out of the EFL Trophy, but new manager Phil Parkinson can still aim for promotion and a run in the FA Cup

Sunderland have never won the competition but have reached the knockout stages in their previous two campaigns, reaching last year’s final.

However, they were dumped out 3-0 at Scunthorpe.

It was goalless until Luke O’Nien’s red card in the 65th minute for a foul on Abo Eisa in the box with Lee Novak scoring the resulting penalty.

Eisa made the game safe in the 89th minute before Novak scored a stoppage-time third as Scunthorpe leapfrogged the former Premier League side and took second place in Group A of the Northern section.

A derby’s a derby…

Twenty-year-old Ryan Clampin scored his first-ever goal for Colchester United

The Trophy is much-maligned for its poor attendances – Coventry City mustered just 375 paying punters for their 3-2 win over Southampton’s academy last week.

But you cannot accuse Ipswich’s fans of taking it lightly – 2,871 fans made the 30-odd minute journey across the border from Suffolk to Essex as they faced closest rivals Colchester United.

Sadly they did not see a famous victory – although they did see a wonder goal as Ryan Clampin’s 80th-minute chip from the halfway line saw the U’s win 1-0.

Colchester take top spot in Southern Group A, although Gillingham’s 2-0 win over Tottenham’s academy in the other game in the group ensured both sides progressed.

More academies set to make knockout stages than ever

Academy teams through to knockout stages
Leicester City Manchester United
Everton Brighton and Hove Albion
Manchester City Chelsea
Wolverhampton Wanderers West Ham United (will progress if they do not lose at Exeter City)

It is the fourth season that top academy sides from clubs in the Premier League and Championship have been allowed to play in the EFL Trophy.

It has always been a bone of contention among some who have concerns that it is the start of allowing ‘B’ teams into the English football pyramid, while crowds for matches between academy sides and ‘first teams’ have not always been great.

In the past, most of the academies were eliminated after the group stage – the highest number ever to make the knockout stages had been three.

Only Chelsea in the 2017-18 season have made it as far as the semi-finals when they lost 4-2 on penalties to Lincoln City and had the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu, Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Kylian Hazard (Eden’s younger brother) in their squad.

But this season seven academies are already through, while West Ham could make it eight on Wednesday, meaning a quarter of the teams in the knockout stages are academy teams.

EFL Trophy results in full:

Scunthorpe United 3-0 Sunderland

Tranmere Rovers 0-2 Salford City

Port Vale 2-1 Newcastle United Academy

Burton Albion 1-2 Mansfield Town

Bradford City 1-2 Rochdale

Morecambe 3-1 Carlisle United

Lincoln City 3-0 Rotherham United

Gillingham 2-0 Tottenham Hostpur Academy

Colchester United 1-0 Ipswich Town

Crawley Town 1-4 Oxford United

Walsall 6-0 Forest Green

Cheltenham Town 4-7 Newport County

Milton Keynes Dons 1-2 Wycombe wanderers

Peterborough United 2-1 Cambridge United

The group stage is completed on Wednesday, while the draw for the competition takes place at 14:00 GMT on Saturday 16 November.

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Extinction Rebellion: High Court rules London protest ban unlawful

Extinction Rebellion protest in Oxford Circus

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Nathan Williams/ BBC News

Extinction Rebellion has won a High Court challenge against the Metropolitan Police over a London-wide ban on protests.

The police imposed a four-day ban last month, prohibiting two or more people from the group taking part in protests dubbed the ‘autumn uprising’.

However, judges have ruled that the move was “unlawful” and officers had no power to impose it.

Lawyers for the group described the police action as “hastily imposed”.

They say the Met Police now faces claims for false imprisonment from “potentially hundreds” of protesters.

The Met had argued the ban was the only way of tackling disruption caused by protests.

It has said 1,832 people were arrested during the demonstrations, with more than 150 charged with offences.

During 10 days of protests beginning on 7 October, Extinction Rebellion activists urged the government to do more to tackle climate change.

They shut down areas around Parliament and the Bank of England, and targeted London City Airport.

Police had tried to restrict protesters to Trafalgar Square, under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.

However, the ban was lifted four days later, with officers saying that it was no longer necessary because the series of protests, dubbed the ‘autumn uprising’, had ended.

During the court hearing, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, for Extinction Rebellion, told the court the move was “wholly uncertain, an abuse of power and irrational”.

‘Not a public assembly’

Announcing their judgement on Wednesday, Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Chamberlain said the Met had no power to impose the ban.

Lord Justice Dingemans said: “Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if co-ordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly within the meaning of… the Act.

“The XR autumn uprising intended to be held from October 14 to 19 was not therefore a public assembly… therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it under… the Act.”

However, the judges noted there are powers within that act which may be used lawfully to “control future protests which are deliberately designed to ‘take police resources to breaking point”‘ – one of Extinction Rebellion’s aims.

Responding to the ruling, Extinction Rebellion UK tweeted “we won’t be silenced”.

Lady Jones called the Extinction Rebellion victory “historic” shortly after the ruling.

Speaking in a Facebook Live broadcast outside the court, she said: “The police can over-step the mark. The police are getting more and more strong powers that they are misusing – and that’s absolutely unacceptable.”

Ms Lucas described it as “brilliant news” on Twitter.

Jules Carey, a solicitor representing protestors, said the ban was “hastily imposed” and “erratically applied”.

He said: “The police have powers to impose conditions to manage protests but not to ban them.

“This judgement is a timely reminder to those in authority facing a climate of dissent – the right to protest is a long-standing fundamental right in a democratic society that should be guarded and not prohibited by overzealous policing.”

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Grenfell Tower fire: Survivors group welcomes report

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Media captionWhat do survivors and bereaved families want from the inquiry?

A survivors group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire as a “forensic examination” with “clear recommendations” that could save lives.

The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.

It condemned the London Fire Brigade (LFB) for systemic failures in its response to the fire.

The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.

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London car scrappage scheme to be extended

Traffic in London

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Carl Court

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The mayor’s office hopes the scheme will help motorists choose the least polluting vehicles

A scrappage scheme aiming to get more polluting cars off London’s roads has been extended by the capital’s mayor.

The new £25m scheme for low income and disabled Londoners will offer motorists up to £2,000 for scrapping an older, more polluting car or motorcycle.

City Hall already runs a £23m fund for micro businesses, sole traders and charities wanting to scrap older vans.

London has previously adopted a target of meeting World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines by 2030.

The extended scrappage scheme is targeted at Londoners on low incomes or with disabilities.

It comes ahead of the planned expansion of the mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone up to the North and South Circular roads in 2021.

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Getty Images

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The mayor’s scrappage scheme is being extended to more Londoners

Polluting vehicles account for about 50% of London’s harmful air emissions, according to Sadiq Khan’s office.

Every year, air pollution has an economic cost to the capital of up to £3.7bn and a £20bn cost to the country, it said.

Mr Khan is also calling on the government to amend its draft Environment Bill to adopt the WHO’s pollution targets for 2030.

The first all-electric London black cab, which is expected to accelerate the retirement of current diesel taxis from city streets across the UK, has also been launched by the mayor.

Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell said the move was “great” news.

However, she added: “Too many Londoners feel forced into car use and ownership. The mayor must invest, throughout London, to make walking, cycling and public transport easy choices for everyone,” she added.

The mayor’s office said it was also increasing Santander’s bike usage scheme to provide more free cycles for up to 30 minutes.

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Tafida Raqeeb: Brain-damaged girl arrives in Italy

Mohammed Raqeeb and Shelina Begum (centre), the parents of Tafida Raqeeb,

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Press Association

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Mohammed Raqeeb and Shelina Begum (centre) were given an official welcome outside Gaslini paediatric hospital

A brain-damaged girl has arrived in Italy after her parents won a High Court battle to take her abroad for treatment.

Five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb had been on life support at the Royal London Hospital since suffering a traumatic brain injury in February.

Health bosses had tried to block attempts to take her to the Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa.

Her mother said she was seeking Italian citizenship for her daughter.

Shelina Begum and her husband Mohammed Raqeeb, from Newham, east London, were met outside the hospital in an official welcome organised by CITIZENGO Italy, a community organisation which paid for Tafida’s transfer.

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PA Media

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Specialists at the Royal London Hospital believe Tafida Raqeeb has no chance of recovery

At a press conference, Shelina Begum thanked the hospital for “believing in my daughter’s recovery”.

“I visited Tafida this morning, she is stable, she was awake, fully awake, turning her head from side to side.”

She added: “I just believe that since Tafida is in Italy it will be wise for her to have Italian citizenship.”

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Tafida Raqeeb was transferred by air ambulance via Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo airport

Ms Begum said the family were crowdfunding for Tafida’s treatment but added they had sponsors in place and the money “should not run out”.

UK specialists had previously argued any further treatment of Tafida, who suffered a brain haemorrhage, would be futile.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital in Whitechapel, had said ending Tafida’s life support was in her best interests.


By Fergus Walsh, BBC health correspondent in Genoa

The treatment in Genoa is centred on keeping Tafida alive.

But doctors here say although Tafida has suffered devastating brain damage they cannot rule out some small spontaneous recovery in the months ahead.

Dr Andrea Moscatelli said what Tafida needs more than anything else is time – and he denied his team was giving Tafida’s parents false hope.

Both Italian and British doctors agree there is no hope that she can be cured – the Genoa medical team told the High Court they did not foresee any therapies that might improve Tafida’s neurological condition.

But doctors now intend to give Tafida a tracheostomy – meaning she’ll have a tube inserted in her windpipe, connected to a ventilator – which will hopefully allow her to be cared for by her parents.

Tafida – deemed by the High Court to have minimal awareness and being unable to feel pain – has a sleep-wake cycle and opens and closes her eyes.

Doctors in London had argued it was near-impossible for Tafida to derive any benefit from continued life and she should be allowed the “dignity of dying peacefully”.

Tafida’s parents, both practising Muslims, argued Islamic law said only God could take the decision to end her life.

The High Court ruled on 3 October there was no justification to stop the child being taken abroad.

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Finsbury Park flood: Families stay in temporary housing

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Media captionFinsbury Park flooding

Some 50 households had to stay in emergency accommodation overnight after a burst water main flooded homes in north London.

About 250 properties including two schools were affected after a 36-inch (91cm) water pipe fractured in Finsbury Park before 08:00 BST on Tuesday.

One man was rescued from a basement while others had to be led to safety.

Thames Water said a temporary fix had been put in place and all flood water had been pumped away.

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Parkwood Primary school has reopened after being shut as a result of the flood

The water main burst at the junction of Queens Drive and Princess Crescent causing an area measuring about 600m x 200m (1,900ft x 650ft) to be flooded to a depth of about 1m (3ft).

About 12 fire engines and 80 firefighters were deployed to help rescue people and pump water away, while postcode areas N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 were left with no water or low water pressure.

Tanja Schnitzer, who lives in a basement flat on Queens Drive, said rooms in the property had filled up with water “within half an hour from floor to ceiling”.

“It’s devastating. We’ve pretty much lost everything,” she said.

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Residents of a basement flat escaped with their possession to the top floor of their property

Water supplies for most properties in the area have been restored but Thames Water said air locks in the system meant some residents were still experiencing problems.

A spokesman for the firm said bottled water and plumbers were on standby in case of issues while engineers would finish fixing the mains during the day.

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Thames Water said engineers would work throughout the day to repair the broken mains pipe

Woodberry Down Primary School remains shut but Parkwood Primary School has reopened.

Queens Drive, between Brownswood Road and Seven Sisters Road, has been closed to traffic.

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Banksy opens ‘pop-up’ shop in Croydon

Banksy has opened a “pop-up” shop in south London featuring the stab vest he designed for Stormzy’s headline act at the Glastonbury Festival.

A Tony the Tiger rug and a cradle surrounded by CCTV cameras are also on show as part of the venture, at a disused retail outlet in Croydon.

“I’m opening a shop today,” the artist said on Instagram. “Although the doors don’t actually open.”

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