London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton has welcomed a critical report on the Grenfell tower fire, but said that the building “failed spectacularly”.
Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.
A killer once dubbed one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been jailed for at least 26 years.
Shane O’Brien, 31, evaded police for three-and-a-half years after he slashed Josh Hanson’s neck in Hillingdon, west London, on 11 October 2015.
He fled the UK, changed his appearance and moved around Europe before his extradition from Romania in April.
O’Brien, who jurors found guilty of murder last month, was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey.
CCTV released during the trial showed 21-year-old Mr Hanson clutching his neck and stumbling as blood poured out of a 37cm (14.5in) wound.
‘Abrupt, vicious, violent’
After the killing, jurors heard, O’Brien was seen “calmly” walking out of the bar.
He made his way to Ashford, Kent, where a contact had chartered a private four-seater plane to take him to the Netherlands.
The killer grew a beard and long hair and changed his tattoos as he travelled through countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic, the court was told.
In 2017, the father-of-two was arrested over a dispute in a Prague nightclub but gave police a false name and fled while on bail.
The trial heard the 31-year-old was added to Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists but still managed to lay low.
However, he was eventually caught by Romanian authorities after he contacted Scotland Yard to arrange a possible meeting, the jury heard.
Sentencing the father-of-two, Judge Nigel Lickley QC called it “a grotesque, violent and totally unnecessary attack on an innocent man”.
“The reason why you behaved in such a way may never be fully explained. You, however, know the reason,” he said.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Hanson’s mother Tracey described her son as being “considerate, kind and generous”.
“He was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently,” she said.
The victim’s sister, Brooke, said the 21-year-old “was not just my brother, he was my best friend”, and described his “infectious smile” and “magical presence”.
She told the court she had suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress since the killing and found herself always wondering if she could have protected him from the “evil” that took him away.
During the trial, O’Brien had claimed he felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” and had only meant to scare his victim.
There were angry shouts of “coward” from the public gallery as he was led away from the dock.
Extinction Rebellion activists are continuing protests despite a London-wide ban by police.
The group says it has taken initial steps towards a judicial review of the ban. Lawyers and politicians have also criticised the move.
Meanwhile climate change protesters targeted the Department for Transport and MI5 on Tuesday morning.
A government spokeswoman said protests “should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives”.
Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, was arrested after climbing on to the entrance of the Department for Transport on Tuesday morning. Police also cleared further protesters from outside the building.
Activists have also been arrested on Millbank outside MI5’s headquarters, where a small group had gathered. Two men briefly sat in the middle of the road before being moved by officers.
The Metropolitan Police began clearing protesters from Trafalgar Square on Monday evening following the announcement of new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which required activists to stop their protests in central London by 21:00 BST or risk arrest.
The force said it decided to impose the rules after “continued breaches” of conditions which limited the demonstrations to Trafalgar Square.
Extinction Rebellion said it had taken the “first steps” towards a judicial review of the Met’s “disproportionate and unprecedented attempt to curtail peaceful protest”.
“Our lawyers have delivered a ‘Letter before Action’ to the Met and asked for an immediate response,” a statement read.
Tobias Garnett, a human rights lawyer working for the movement, said the letter warned police to withdraw the order, giving them a deadline of 1430 BST to respond, or else the group would file a claim in the High Court.
“We will be looking for an expedited hearing either today or tomorrow morning,” he added.
The Met confirmed it had received “pre-action judicial review correspondence” alleging Human Rights Act breaches.
“The letter will be reviewed by the Met’s Directorate of Legal Services, and we will respond to the claimant in due course,” a statement read, adding it would be “inappropriate” to comment further.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is “seeking further information” about the decision to impose the ban and why it was necessary.
“I believe the right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the government said the UK was “already taking world-leading action to combat climate change”.
The statement added: “While we share people’s concerns about global warming, and respect the right to peaceful protest, it should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that “supporting our [police] is vital” and accused the Labour Party of supporting “law breakers”.
‘Overreach of powers’
Meanwhile, lawyers have also questioned whether the ban by police is legal.
Anti-Brexit barrister Jo Maugham QC said the move was “a huge overreach” of police powers, while human rights lawyer Adam Wagner described it as “draconian and extremely heavy-handed”.
Mr Wagner added in a tweet: “We have a right to free speech under article 10 and to free assembly under article 11 of the (annex to the) Human Rights Act. These can only be interfered with if the interference is lawful and proportionate. I think the police may have gone too far here.”
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “This ban is completely contrary to Britain’s long-held traditions of policing by consent, freedom of speech, and the right to protest.”
Allan Hogarth, of Amnesty International, issued a statement saying the ban was “an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.
A number of demonstrations have been staged across the capital by Extinction Rebellion, which is calling on the government to do more to tackle climate change.
The protests were due to last two weeks and have led to more than 1,400 arrests.
The Met said there had been 1,457 arrests by 08:45 BST on Tuesday, in connection with the nine days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London.
Last week, the Home Office confirmed to BBC News that it was reviewing police powers around protests in response to recent demonstrations.
What are the rules around protests?
Police have the powers to ban a protest under the Public Order Act 1986, if a senior officer has reasonable belief that it may cause “serious disruption to the life of the community”.
Police are also under a duty to balance the task of keeping the streets open with the right freedom of assembly under the Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and freedom of expression, under Article 10. These rights are not absolute – the state can curtail them.
However, the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said: “The test, if and when it gets to a human rights court battle, is whether police action was proportionate to the threat and only what was strictly necessary.”
By law, the organiser of a public march must tell the police certain information in writing six days in advance.
Police have the power to limit or change the route of the march or set other conditions.
A Section 14 notice issued under the Public Order Act allows police to impose conditions on a static protest and individuals who fail to comply with these can be arrested.
Extinction Rebellion activists intending to continue protesting in central London “must” go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest, police have warned.
Police enforced a Section 14 notice to stop “serious disruption” to communities, after officers removed those camped out in Westminster.
Police have made 471 arrests over the two days of protests.
The prime minister has described the activists as “unco-operative crusties”.
But campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham said they are “the concerned people of the world.”
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Protesters say they are occupying 11 sites in central London and people have travelled from across the UK to take part in the demonstrations.
Activists glued themselves to a government department and to the underside of a lorry outside another.
A protester who attached himself to the top of a trailer with a bike lock for more than 28 hours in Trafalgar Square was arrested and removed from the area by five police officers.
The Metropolitan Police said at 15:20 BST on Tuesday there had been 471 total arrests over the two days, including 152 on Tuesday.
Police have enforced a Section 14 Notice of the Public Order Act 1986, forcing those who wish to continue protesting to move to the pedestrianised area around Nelson’s column in Trafalgar square.
Anyone suspected of breaching the condition – which has no time limit – could be arrested and prosecuted, police said.
A Section 14 order allows the police to impose conditions on a static protest – where campaigners are gathered in one place, rather than marching.
To impose the condition, police must have evidence that serious disruption is being caused to communities.
Activists have attached themselves to the underside of a lorry, which is blocking the road outside the Home Office.
The vehicle is parked on Marsham Street, where hundreds of protesters set up camp overnight. One activist climbed on top of the lorry and set up a tent.
There was a large police presence in the area on Tuesday, with pictures showing officers removing activists from the lorry.
Protesters have also glued themselves to the Department for Transport building – a tactic used in similar protests in April.
Two activists have attached themselves to the doors of the building, while others demonstrate outside.
Meanwhile, a group have placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament, in Old Palace Yard, as they call on the government to plant billions of trees across the UK.
Trees have been dedicated to MPs, and protesters hope they will use them to reforest the country.
Sean Clay, 36, from Newcastle, told the BBC: “Planting trees would go a long way to restore the habitats we have lost as well as absorbing carbon emissions.”
Asked about Boris Johnson’s description of demonstrators, Packham told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I was there yesterday. I met farmers, I met teachers, I met scientists, I met lawyers, I met grandparents, I met mothers and fathers, and I met children.
“These are the concerned people of the world.”
Mr Johnson had suggested while attending a book launch on Monday that the demonstrators should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads.
Protester Claudia Fisher, 57, from Brighton said campaigners would like to discuss their views with the prime minister.
Responding to his description of activists as “unco-operative crusties”, Ms Fisher said: “We are a little bit crusty, I’ll put my hands up to it, after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not uncooperative.
“We’re actually very cooperative. We… would really like to hear what he has to say, and we’d really like him to… hear what we have to say.”
John Curran, a 49-year-old former detective sergeant for the Metropolitan Police, was one of the protesters who camped overnight.
Mr Curran, who has a three-year-old daughter, says he was arrested while protesting with Extinction Rebellion in April, and is willing to be arrested again.
He said: “Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the government.
“Take action, and we won’t have to be here.”
Activists camped at Smithfield Market overnight, but say they allowed traders to operate.
‘A last resort’
By Becky Morton, BBC News
The only rush hour traffic around Parliament this morning came from cyclists, who were cheered as they passed encampments of protesters dotted around Westminster.
Roads have been blocked by tents and gazebos, with protesters from all over the country camping overnight.
Bowls of porridge were served from food trucks, while volunteers said some local businesses had donated pastries.
One of those who spent the night here is Mikaela Loach, 21, who travelled down by bus from Edinburgh with a friend.
She said taking part in this week’s action was a “last resort”.
“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to,” she said.
“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation a few months ago that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.
“There need to be big structural changes.”
In an update at 15:39 BST on Tuesday, Transport for London (Tfl) said road closures included the Strand in both directions between Lancaster Place and Trafalgar Square; Trafalgar Square itself and Whitehall in both directions.
Also closed are Parliament Square; Marsham Street; Horseferry Road; and Millbank in both directions between Parliament Square and Horseferry Road.
All bridges remain open, however there is no access from Westminster Bridge into Parliament Square.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025year when the group aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been convicted of murder after a three-and-a-half-year international manhunt.
Shane O’Brien slashed 21-year-old Josh Hanson’s neck after a brief conversation in RE Bar in Hillingdon, west London, in October 2015.
The 31-year-old was on Interpol and Europol’s “most wanted” lists before he was extradited from Romania in April.
An Old Bailey jury deliberated for 55 minutes before finding him guilty.
Council worker Mr Hanson was stabbed in front of his girlfriend and suffered a 37cm (14.5ins) wound from his left ear to the right side of his chest on 11 October 2015, the court heard.
O’Brien walked calmly out the bar before enlisting the help of his friend “Vanessa” to secure a private plane to take him from Biggin Hill airport to the Netherlands, the jury was told.
He grew long hair and a beard and got a tattoo of his child’s name covered over.
He then used false identity documents to travel to countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Friends helped O’Brien avoid police after he was added to both Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists, his trial heard.
Despite being arrested in Prague in 2017 for assault, he managed to flee when he was released on bail and began using the alias Enzo Melloncelli.
O’Brien told jurors he had felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” on the night of the attack. He said he felt Mr Hanson was “ready to attack”.
At bar closing time he approached his victim and asked him, “what’s your problem?”, before pulling the knife from his jacket pocket and fatally slashing him.
He claimed he wanted to “pretend to attack” Mr Hanson in a bid to “scare him”.
“From the bottom of my heart, I did not mean to touch him with that blade,” O’Brien added.
Commenting on the verdict, Mr Hanson’s mum Tracey said: “The aftermath of Josh’s murder has left us broken beyond repair as Josh was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently.
“Nothing will ever erase the CCTV footage of Josh’s final moments from our minds as he was struck with a knife so horrifically and callously, along with his suffering as he tried to fight for his life.”
Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, of Met Police, said in a statement: “This is the day I, and certainly Josh’s family, almost feared would never come – O’Brien finally convicted of that unprovoked and vicious attack in a bar in Eastcote close to four years ago. And we still do not have a clear answer – why?
“O’Brien is an extremely dangerous individual who murdered a young man in the prime of his life in a packed bar for no reason whatsoever.”
He will be sentenced on 17 October.
Heavy rain is causing travel problems and flash flooding across England.
Twelve flood warnings and 39 flood alerts have been put in place by the Environment Agency.
The Met Office has a yellow rain warning covering most of the country in force until 23:00 BST.
Floods have been reported on roads in Southampton, Birmingham and Liverpool, while Transport for London (TfL) said a number of roads across the capital were also affected by flooding.
Wales has also been affected by the heavy rainfall, with the Met Office issuing warnings across south and north eastern areas of the country.
Flood alerts are in place and a landslip has blocked a road in Neath Port Talbot. South Wales Police said conditions on south Wales’ roads were “really poor”.
A flood warning is in place in Crawley, West Sussex, for the Ifield Brook and River Mole at Ifield and the River Mole at Lowfield Heath.
Flooding is also expected on the upper Frome, between Maiden Newton and Dorchester, in Dorset and on the Grace Dieu Brook, between Whitwick and Thringstone, in Leicestershire.
Edwinstone and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire are also at risk of flooding from the River Maun, as are areas around the Whinney Brook at Maghull in Sefton, Merseyside, and Wash Dike in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
Warnings are also in place for the River Tame at Hams Hall, Water Orton, Whitacre and Nether Whitacre in Warwickshire, and the Blackburn and Charlton Brooks, between Chapeltown and North Ecclesfield, near Sheffield.
National Rail warned of major disruption between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge earlier due to a tree blocking the line.
Southampton City Centre has seen problems with several cars having broken down in water on Millbrook Road West.
Motorists have also been advised to avoid the road between Waterhouse Lane and Paynes Road.
Roads have flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, while Mersey Fire and Rescue Service reported vehicles trapped in floodwater in the Queens Drive and West Derby areas of Liverpool.
A service spokesman urged drivers to “please take extra care”, adding: “Slow down, increase your distances, switch your lights on and please don’t drive into floodwater.”
About 2in (49.6mm) of rain fell in the six hours before 09:00 at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, according to the Met Office.
Spokesman Grahame Madge said it was a “significant” amount of rain.
He said the band of rain was “transient” and, having started in the South West, has moved to the Midlands before hitting the North later in the day.
He said some other areas could expect to see the same amount of rain as Boscombe Down.
In Harrogate, the fan zone for the UCI Road World Championships has been closed due to the “heavy rain”.
The cycling action can still be seen on West Park and Parliament Street, organisers said.
Despite playing fewer than 10 senior games, Conor Gallagher is already a European and world champion.
The 19-year-old was part of the England Under-17 squad which lifted the World Cup in 2017, and was an unused substitute for Chelsea as the Blues beat Arsenal in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan in May.
The midfielder is now making his mark back home in England, impressing in his first loan spell away from Stamford Bridge with Championship side Charlton Athletic.
Gallagher’s fine early-season form – scoring three times in six league appearances in August – has seen him win the English Football League’s Young Player of the Month award.
“I’m buzzing to receive this award,” he told BBC Sport.
“It has been a great first month for me at Charlton and I couldn’t have asked for more. We are third in the table and I’ve scored a few goals.”
Gallagher was rewarded with a place on the bench in Baku after being named as Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year for 2018-19.
Having played for the Premier League club in the EFL Trophy last season, he is relishing his first taste of senior football.
“I was a little bit nervous at the start but at Chelsea they get us ready for Championship football,” he said.
“I felt like I was ready to step up.
“My main aim was to get in the team. After I got the first game out of the way I grew in confidence.
“I think I have shown I am ready to play at this level. Hopefully I can stay in the team and play as much as possible this season.”
‘An all-round midfielder’
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has been impressed with how Gallagher has applied himself since his switch to The Valley, which came after he agreed a new three-year contract with Chelsea.
“To come here having not played senior football before and to do what he has done and embrace the league – because it is a tough league – he has had a great start,” said the 42-year-old.
“He is an all-round midfielder. His work-rate is unreal, he puts his foot in for tackles and he can also see a pass.
“Hopefully he keeps going for us, keeps doing the right things and keeps learning and improving. That would be good for us and Chelsea, when he goes back.
“It is his first individual award and I’m sure it won’t be his last.
“If he keeps pushing himself and stays lucky with injuries there is no reason why I can’t see him getting to the top.”
Bowyer started his own playing career at Charlton, making his first-team debut aged 17 in September 1994.
He went on to play for Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle, Birmingham and Ipswich, netting 89 goals from midfield over the course of his career, as well as winning one England cap.
“Lee has given me a lot of tips already,” said Gallagher. “He has told me to make the box, which I have done and is why I have got three goals already this season.
“He has given me a lot of information which has helped me perform well.”
But there is an even more prolific midfielder who could have a big influence on Gallagher’s career.
Working with a Blues idol
Gallagher says he was “excited” by the appointment of Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager in July.
The Surrey-born teenager – a Blues fan – grew up idolising the midfielder, who is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals.
After he featured under Lampard in pre-season, Gallagher is now seeing the former England international giving first-team opportunities to fellow academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
“I think it is about time that a manager came in and did that with the Chelsea youngsters,” said Gallagher.
“Mason, Tammy and Fikayo have been Chelsea’s best players at the start of the season. It shows that if you give more youngsters a chance they can perform.
“I hope one day I can work under Frank, because I think he has a lot to teach me.
“He scored loads of goals and I try to play my game like him, in terms of being box-to-box, scoring goals and making assists. It is how I aspire to be.”
Hopes for the play-offs
Charlton suffered their first defeat of the Championship campaign against Birmingham last Saturday, having astounded many pre-season predictions following their promotion from League One via the play-off final in May.
With the Addicks just two points off the top of the table, Gallagher hopes the south-east London club can continue to challenge for a play-off place again this season.
“It will be tough because it is a long season but with how hard the players work, they can achieve that,” he said. “I think it helps that we are underdogs.
“No-one really expected us to do well and we were one of the favourites to come bottom or whatever. That helped us in a way to grind out results, and hopefully we can carry on doing that.”
A man has died while working on a moving walkway at Waterloo station.
Paramedics were unable to save the 44-year-old engineer, who has yet to be identified, and he was pronounced dead shortly after 02:20 BST.
British Transport Police officers are investigating the death, which is being treated as unexplained.
Vernon Everitt, London Underground’s managing director, expressed “deepest condolences” to the man’s family from the rail network.
“We are also very conscious of the impact this sort of incident has on first responders and station staff, and a full support network has been stood up,” he added.
Police confirmed the man, from Cambridgeshire, was a contractor and was injured while working at the Underground station.
Passengers were advised they would be unable to change lines because of a fault with one of the Tube station’s two travelators.
A one-way system was implemented during rush hour on Wednesday morning.
Det Insp Darren Gough said: “This is a truly tragic incident and our deepest condolences are with the man’s family.
“They are currently being supported by specially-trained family liaison officers as they come to terms with this devastating news.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called for an urgent inquiry into what happened.
He said on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the tragic death of a contractor at Waterloo Station this morning.
“I know I speak for everyone at City Hall and TfL in sending our deepest condolences to their family & friends.”
Sadiq Khan’s former policing adviser has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying his children were no longer safe in London due to rising violence.
Leroy Logan, a former police superintendent, said he quit the Labour Party over the London mayor’s failure to “grasp” knife crime.
Mr Logan will now become policing adviser to the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.
Mr Khan said he was wished Mr Logan “all the best of luck in the Lib Dems”.
“I think lots of parents, me included, are concerned about safety in London and across the country,” the mayor added.
“One of the things I’ve been keen to do since I became mayor is to persuade the government to realise that their cuts over the last nine years have consequences.”
Speaking at the Lib Dem’s conference, Mr Logan said: “I’ve seen my children and their generation grow up in fear.
“It’s so tangible. It’s been normalised to such an extent it can happen anywhere, not just small pockets of deprived areas.”
Mr Logan said the mayor “doesn’t really understand” knife crime, and had “isolated himself” on the issue.
“He’s surrounded himself with people who think they are problem solvers, but are creating more problems on the street because they’ve lost touch with what is going on.”
Mr Logan previously criticised the choice of Lib Peck to run London’s Violence Reduction Unit – a role he had also applied for.
Ms Benita, who is running in London’s 2020 Mayoral election, said: “Sadiq has wasted his mayoral term in not addressing this issue with the urgency it needs.
“While he continues to blame other people, our young children in London continue to be traumatised, petrified and at risk. There is so, so much more we can do.”