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”.
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.”
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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
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.
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.”
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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.”
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.
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.
About 20,000 fans are expected at Sunday’s Women’s Super League game between West Ham and Tottenham at the London Stadium, Jack Sullivan has said.
The Hammers’ women’s side will be playing at the 60,000-seater stadium for the first time.
Both sides have won once and lost once in the WSL this term.
“We have either sold, or given away to local community groups and schools, just under 20,000 tickets,” said West Ham women’s managing director Sullivan.
“I think we’ll get maybe just over 20,000 there, and considering we only had five weeks to sell it, we’re pretty happy with that number.”
Such a turnout would be the third-largest in the WSL era, which began in 2011, and comfortably a club record for West Ham’s women.
They usually play at Rush Green Stadium, on the site of West Ham’s Rush Green training ground near Romford.
A crowd of 1,297 saw their first home league game of this season – the 1-0 win over Birmingham on 15 September.
Sullivan added: “It’ll be a really amazing occasion for us but they are the sort of numbers we’re hoping for, which will fill the lower bowl and just a bit above that as well.
“It’s an exciting week off the back of the men’s team beating Manchester United as well, so hopefully there’s a feel good factor around the club and we can kick on with those numbers.”
Manchester City, Chelsea and Bristol City all hosted matches at the home of their male team’s ground during the opening weekend of the WSL season, with attendances of 31,213, 24,564 and 3,041 respectively.
The turnout at the Etihad Stadium smashed – by almost a factor of six – the previous league record, which had been the 5,265 that saw Arsenal clinch last season’s title at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.
Spurs, who were promoted to the WSL from the Championship at the end of last term, will host the Gunners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 17 November, during the Football Association’s first annual Women’s Football Weekend.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.
A former child refugee trying to track down a camp worker who bought her a bike has been inundated with offers to help trace him.
Mevan Babbakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands for five years during the 1990s.
She posted a photo on Twitter of the “generous man” who bought her a bike “out of the kindness of his own heart” asking for help to find him.
Within 30 minutes of posting more than 100 people had retweeted the message.
Hundreds more have since offered to help, with one person claiming to know who he is.
Ms Babakar and her parents fled Iraq during the first Gulf war, travelling to refugee camps in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia before spending a year at the one near Zwolle between 1994 and 1995.
The family eventually settled in London.
Asked on Twitter what she would do if she found her benefactor, she replied: “Honestly I’d cry my eyes out.
“There was so much hardship at that point in our lives and this was such a generous act, it taught me kindness can exist everywhere, no matter how terrible it may seem.”
The tech manager said her mother, who was also given a bike, believes the man was nicknamed “Ab” and he was an odd-job staffer.
He also invited the family to spend one Christmas with him at his home.
Ms Babakar has taken a sabbatical from work to retrace her refugee journey and is in Zwolle carrying out research.
But she said she has had more success with a single Twitter post.
“We have some leads, someone has said they might know him. I would love to meet him and thank him in person.
“It’s quite important for me to find him. When I go through bleak times I always go back to that feeling I had when he was so generous to us.
“Acts of kindness can shape a person and I hope I can do the same for others.”
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford Tigers (16) 42|
|Tries: Egodo 2, McMeeken 2, Rankin, Trueman, Clare, Clarkson Goals: Rankin 5|
|London Broncos (4) 10|
|Tries: Dixon, Williams Goals: Dixon|
Castleford Tigers sent London Broncos back to the bottom of the Super League table with an eight-try thrashing.
Mike McMeeken grabbed a first-half brace after Tuoyo Egodo’s opener to put Cas 16-4 up at the break, with Kieran Dixon responding for the Broncos.
Jordan Rankin then scored Tigers’ fourth immediately after the break.
A second try for Egodo and further scores Jacob Trueman, James Clare and Chris Clarkson saw London’s three-match winning run end in emphatic fashion.
Rhys Williams skipped through Tigers’ defence for a late consolation try, but it was not enough to stop them from slumping to the foot of Super League on points difference.
Earlier on Sunday, Leeds Rhinos moved off bottom and up to ninth in the table with a 31-12 win over Catalans Dragons. Although Leeds are level on 14 points with all sides below them, including the Broncos, after 20 games.
The resurgent Broncos, who had beaten St Helens, Catalans and then Hull KR in recent weeks, made Tigers work hard in the first half.
A fine cut-out pass from Rankin sent Egodo over for the opener and McMeeken, who was earlier stopped just short of the line, helped edge them to a 10-0 lead just before the half-hour mark.
Dixon, however, responded with a stunning intercept try, running the length of the field to touch down.
A hesitant moment in defence by Jordan Abdull as the half-time hooter sounded, however, allowed McMeeken to pounce on a grubber kick from Rankin to make it 16-4.
Rankin then added to the advantage himself just seconds into the second half, with McMeeken running through Abdull to set up the try.
Trueman sent Egodo over for his second before going over himself, with Clare and Clarkson going on to complete win.
Castleford Tigers: Rankin; Clare, Minikin, Blair, Egodo; Trueman, Ashton; Watts, Milner, Smith, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey.
Replacements: McShane, Millington, Cook, Clarkson.
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Smith; Battye, Cunningham, Krasniqi, Pitts, Gee, Yates.
Replacements: Lovell, Fozard, Richards, Butler.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (RFL).
The coroner at the London Bridge inquest said he was “not convinced” MI5 and police missed any opportunities that would have prevented the attack.
The inquest into the deaths of the eight victims ended with chief coroner of England and Wales Mark Lucraft concluding they were unlawfully killed.
He said he would not be criticising MI5 and the police in his conclusions.
But Mr Lucraft did criticise the lack of barriers on the bridge – a “particularly vulnerable” location.
The attack, in June 2017, happened only two and half months after the Westminster Bridge attack.
He said the lack of barriers showed “weaknesses in systems for assessing the need for such measures… and implementing them promptly”.
Summing up evidence earlier, Mr Lucraft also said the family of attacker Khuram Butt were not “convincing witnesses” in court.
He said each of Butt’s family members “accepted that they should now have done more at the time” and that they all “knew something of his extreme views”.
Four of Butt’s family gave evidence during the inquest at the Old Bailey: his widow Zahrah Rehman, brother-in-law Usman Darr, brother Saad Butt, and sister Haleema Butt.
Mr Lucraft said he could understand the pressures on Saad Butt – whose daughter had been killed in an accident.
But he said: “It seems to me that on the basis of what he accepted he did know of his brother and the worrying views he was espousing, he did very little, if anything, to accurately monitor his brother’s movements.”
The coroner said police officers, medics and members of the public rushed to help despite the danger.
PC Charlie Guenigault, 27, was off duty when he took on the three attackers alongside British Transport Police PC Wayne Marques and Spanish banker Ignacio Echeverria.
He said: “In my head I just see all three of them standing in front of me, knives in hand and fake vests on and that look of, ‘We’re going to kill you,’ basically that sort of anger in their eyes.”
PC Guenigault, who was awarded the George Medal, said he “played dead” after being stabbed in the head.
Philippe Pigeard, whose 26-year-old son Alexandre Pigeard was killed, paid tribute to nurse Helen Kennett who came to his son’s side.
Standing next to Ms Kennett outside court, he said: “I want to thank so much Helen for her courage.
“She came to help my son who was bleeding to death. She was stabbed too in a few seconds.”
Earlier in the inquest Butt’s widow, Ms Rehman, told the court his actions were “disgusting” and their children would never know where his grave was.
She said she would not grieve for his death and also denied prior knowledge of her husband’s plot – although she said she had been worried he wanted to go to Syria.
Eight people died when ringleader Butt, 27, alongside Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out and stabbing people in and around Borough Market. Another 48 people were injured.
The three attackers were shot dead by police less than 10 minutes after the rampage began.
During the last eight weeks, the inquest has also heard of extraordinary acts of bravery by members of the public and off-duty medics who rushed to help.
Off-duty nurse Helen Kennett, who was out to celebrate her birthday, was stabbed in the neck as she tried to help one the victims.
And another man, an off-duty doctor who having dinner with a friend, begged to be let out of a restaurant on lockdown so he could help injured victims.
Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, were all killed.
A boy aged 16 has been arrested over a homophobic attack which left two women covered in blood after refusing to kiss on a bus.
Melania Geymonat, 28, said the attack on her and partner Chris happened on the top deck of a London night bus.
A group of young men began harassing them when they discovered the women were a couple, asking them to kiss while making sexual gestures.
Four other males aged between 15 and 18 remain in custody, the Met said.
They are being questioned on suspicion of robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm.
Speaking about the attack, which happened in the early hours of 30 May, Ms Geymonat told BBC Radio 4’s World at One she had previously experienced “a lot of verbal violence”.
But she said she had never before been physically attacked because of her sexuality.
Asked whether the attack left her less willing to show affection in public, Chris, who lives in north London but is originally from the US, said: “I am not scared about being visibly queer.
“If anything, you should do it more.”
Ms Geymonat, who is a doctor but currently works for Ryanair as a stewardess, said she agreed.
Chris said: “I was and still am angry. It was scary, but this is not a novel situation.”
Over the five years to 2018, reported homophobic hate crimes across London have increased from 1,488 in 2014 to 2,308 in 2018, according to the Met Police’s crime dashboard.
The Liberal Democrats have gained three London MEPs in elections for the European Parliament.
Both the Brexit Party and Labour had two candidates elected, while the Green Party took the remaining seat.
It means the Conservative Party no longer has any MEPs in London, having lost the two seats it won in the 2014 European Parliament elections.
The Lib Dems vote share went up by 20%, while the Brexit Party took 18% of the overall vote.
Turnout was 41.3% – slightly higher than the 40.1% turnout in the previous election.
Labour’s share fell by 12.7%, while UKIP and the Conservatives fell by 14.8% and 14.6% respectively. UKIP leader Gerard Batten lost his seat as an MEP.
Earlier in the evening, Jeremy Corbyn’s party lost in his own Islington constituency.
By Professor Sir John Curtice
Nothing illustrates more clearly the success of the Lib Dems in winning over Remain voters than the party’s success at coming a clear first in the capital, something it has never come remotely close to achieving in a previous election.
The Greens have also prospered to some degree with a three point increase in its vote to 12%.
Meanwhile the Brexit Party have inevitably done less well here with a modest 18% of the vote.
Meanwhile the weakness of Change UK is underlined by its inability to get more than 5% in this most Remain party of England.
Lib Dem MP Ed Davey tweeted he was “hearing good things across London” as his party dominated Kingston-upon-Thames in his constituency with 25,006 votes, amounting to 47% of the total 53,027 turnout in the borough.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted her congratulations to successful London candidate Scott Ainslie.
After Change UK failed to win a seat in London, MEP candidate and former BBC journalist Gavin Esler thanked “the 170,000 Londoners” who voted for the new party.
He added: “Now the real fight begins – to save Britain from the self-harm of Brexit in a People’s Vote and work to Remain.”
One of the London Bridge attackers was seen washing his knife and wiping it on his beard shortly after eight people were killed, an inquest has heard.
Khuram Butt, 27, was caught on CCTV cleaning his 12in pink ceramic knife inside the Black and Blue restaurant.
In the same footage, an accomplice, Youssef Zaghba, 22, was seen having a drink from behind the bar.
The inquest also heard two victims might still be alive if barriers had been put up after a similar attack.
Khuram Butt, Youssef Zaghba and Rachid Redouane were shot dead by police after they drove a van into pedestrians, stabbed others, and confronted unarmed police officers shouting “Allahu Akbar” on 3 June 2017.
Counsel for the coroner Jonathan Hough QC had warned the families of the victims at the inquest at the Old Bailey that “distressing images” would be shown and that Butt’s reaction was “the most chilling”.
The inquest was also shown footage of diner Roy Larner, dubbed the Lion of London Bridge, being savagely stabbed in the stomach.
Mr Larner appeared not to react after he was stabbed twice in quick succession before he stood up and ran away.
In other footage, the third attacker, Rachid Redouane, 30, was shown on CCTV bending down to tie his shoelaces in the street during the attack through Borough Market.
Redouane was also seen, in other images, talking to an unidentified man and then walking away without attacking him, for reasons that are not known.
Mr Hough said: “There is clearly some form of discussion. We don’t know what was said. Despite appeals for witnesses, he [the man in the footage] never came forward.”
In the space of three minutes, the attackers had struck Xavier Thomas, 45, and Christine Archibald, 30, with a van on the bridge then fatally stabbed Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sara Zelenak, 21, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, around Borough Market.
Within 10 minutes, the attackers, who injured 48 more people, had been shot dead by police marksmen.
In the CCTV, pedestrians were seen running for their lives as the attackers’ van mounted the pavement on the bridge.
The inquest also heard that two victims of the attack, Christine Archibald, 30, and Xavier Thomas, 45, might still be alive if barriers had been put up following the Westminster Bridge attack, which took place two months earlier.
The pair were among 10 people struck by a 2.5-ton hire van driven by Zaghba.
Mr Thomas was knocked into the Thames and found dead three days later, while Ms Archibald died after being dragged under the wheels of the powerful vehicle.
Gareth Patterson, QC, representing some victims, questioned a senior officer about why no barriers were put in place on London Bridge following the earlier attack in Westminster.
He said: “There were no barriers in place on that pavement protecting pedestrians from traffic on that road.
“If there had been barriers Christine Archibald and Xavier Thomas would now be with us today.”
Senior investigating officer Det Supt Rebecca Riggs agreed, saying: “That may well be the case.”
The court heard barriers were put up on London Bridge within two days of the attack.
‘In harm’s way’
Earlier, Det Supt Riggs told the inquest that armed officers who arrived at the scene withdrew when Butt and Zaghba had discarded their jackets to reveal fake suicide vests.
“They could see that the attackers were still moving,” she said.
“They believed they were going to activate the explosive devices they were wearing and they fired a number of shots.”
Neil McLelland, who was looking out of the window of the nearby Wheatsheaf pub, was hit in the head by a bullet and fell to the ground, while five other people were injured by shrapnel from the shooting.
The court heard the officers then put “themselves in harm’s way” to evacuate the pub, taking Mr McLelland and others to safety.
Mr McLelland survived his injuries.
The second day of the inquest was also told one victim was killed after he tried to beat the attackers with his skateboard.
Det Supt Riggs said Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria, 39, had been cycling with friends when he came across PC Wayne Marques and PC Charlie Guenigault trying to tackle the knifemen.
The officers had stepped in to help Oliver Downing and Marie Bondeville, who had been hurt by the trio.
Mr Echeverria, an HSBC financial crime analyst, ran across to help and swung his board at one of the killers but was knocked to the ground by Redouane, the inquest was told.
Det Supt Riggs said: “Ignacio got off his bike and ran across to where the two officers were to assist [them].”
“He had taken his board from his rucksack and swung at the attackers and managed to hit them. [Rachid] Redouane retaliated, causing him to fall on the ground,” she added.
“The attackers then set upon him on the ground.”
Counsel to the coroner Jonathan Hough QC added: “It was a brief but furious assault.”
Attack caught on cameras
BBC reporter Marie Jackson, at the inquest
Over several hours, the inquest watched the horrific attack unfold from every angle, second by second, from cameras on buildings, in restaurants, in taxis and buses, on police body-cams and the public’s mobile phones.
The hearing gasped as the attackers’ van was shown careering over London Bridge, knocking over pedestrians like skittles.
One camera captured Tyler Ferguson running to the side of his fiancée, Chrissy Archibald, as she lay dying in the middle of the road.
Other footage showed the attackers striding side-by-side through Borough Market, indiscriminately stabbing anyone in their path.
Their victims are filmed bleeding in the street, clutching their faces, heads and chests.
In the Black and Blue restaurant, the men stabbed customers with their knives before ducking behind the bar to swig some water from a tap.
On their way out, they picked up a couple of bottles, smashed them on the side of a table – another weapon.
On Thursday, the hearing is due to hear from an eyewitness, Christine Delcros, whose partner Xavier Thomas was knocked off the bridge and into the Thames by the attackers’ van.
Earlier, Ms Delcros wept in court as CCTV footage showed the French couple walking hand in hand towards the bridge, their final moments together.
In a touching moment, Julie Wallace, the bereaved mother of Sara Zelenak, crossed the courtroom to take a seat beside Ms Delcros to comfort her.
The inquest continues.