Croydon. Famous for concrete, Boxpark, Stormzy and Kate Moss.
The south London borough is home to some 387,000 people, with the highest number of under-18s in the capital.
Croydon North, Croydon South and Croydon Central are its three parliamentary constituencies. The latter is a marginal, bellwether seat and since 1979 its winner has belonged to the party that forms the next government.
On a wet, grey day, residents shared their views on the election issues that mattered most to them.
Gemma, 33, is a council officer who moved to the area five years ago and lives in Shirley.
She said she “loves Croydon” and it had improved in her time there with the opening of places such as Boxpark – a pop up mall next to East Croydon station that serves a variety of cuisines from converted shipping containers.
The election however, is causing her some consternation. “I just feel like we’re on the precipice of something awful and there just needs to be a massive change.”
The environment and education are her top priorities.
“As I have two young children, my son just started school and I love his school but I’d be devastated if cuts affected it,” she said.
Waiting for a tram Courtney Robinson, a software engineer in his 20s, said Brexit was his bugbear.
“I feel the people are being sold isolation as independence and it is my generation and those after us who will pay the consequences,” he said.
He is not entirely convinced by any of the main party leaders.
He said he was disappointed with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn not taking a stance over Europe and believed the Tories have “screwed over the country”.
According to the council, about 7,000 people are employed in Croydon’s tech-associated industries, with a further 7,000 in engineering.
As a millennial working in tech, Mr Robinson said housing costs were less of a problem for him, despite the “ludicrous” prices.
He rents a flat in New Addington that only takes up 15% of his salary but said the price of commuting was a big concern.
His views on Brexit and transport were shared by 50-year-old Daisy Nahrulla, who has lived in her own home in Thornton Heath for the past 18 years.
She has been training to be a business coach after years working in the City in transport financing.
Ms Nahrulla has previously voted Labour but said she wanted to move away from the “mess that is Brexit” and would either vote Liberal Democrat or Green.
“We need more stations in south London. Transport has been under-invested for years,” she said.
Melissa Brooks, 33, is a single mother of two who was born in Croydon. Retail accounts for a large proportion of the local economy and for the past 16 years Ms Brooks has worked part-time at Next.
She said violence and drugs were her worry, having witnessed people “sniffing things off bin lids” outside her home.
Her eldest son starts high school next year and she has chosen a school nearest to their home.
“He’s so quiet and you don’t have to be part of a gang now. They’re targeting random innocent people and that really scares me,” she said.
She did not vote in the 2017 election but did take part in the EU referendum.
Essentially though she has lost faith. “I don’t know if it makes a difference really,” she said.
- Drug crime in the year to September in Croydon was twice England’s national average, according to Croydon Council data
- Violent crime was also higher, with 17.3 crimes per every 1,000 of the population compared to 11.3 across England
- Croydon University Hospital’s most recent CQC report found it needed to improve overall but that outpatient waiting times were good and within national standards for many conditions, including cancer
- Croydon Council and the Home Office have been the town’s largest employers with more than 41,000 people working in these offices
- Retail and logistics employed more than 16,000 people respectively in 2017
Her friend Ann Charles, 69, lives in South Norwood and is a mother of three.
She is a carer for her eldest daughter and volunteers at a lunch club.
Ms Charles said normally she voted Labour but would not be doing so as she did not trust Mr Corbyn but she said she was “not sure about Boris either”.
She recently spent more than eight hours waiting on a regular trip to a hospital with her daughter and said the main problem for her was immigration.
“We need some of it but schools and hospitals are inundated with people, they’re struggling to cope,” she said.
Milo, 18, is studying mechanics at Croydon College. His mum and dad have always voted in the election and he said he planned to vote Labour.
He wanted politicians to “look out for the youth” and speak to young people, especially those in areas of “higher gang activity”.
“Ask them what they’re into and make the changes,” he added.
Tom Magrath has been working on a stall at the town’s Surrey Street market since he was 14.
He shared Milo’s concerns about knife crime but said he could not vote for Mr Corbyn and would be voting for the Conservative Party on 12 December.
Mr Magrath added: “They’ve got to… get us out of the EU because we voted for that.
“I know what we’re going to get though – the best of a bad bunch.”
Arsenal have identified Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a potential replacement for Unai Emery if the Gunners decide to sack the Spaniard.
Head coach Emery is under pressure after a winless run of six matches across all competitions.
Arsenal have only won four of 13 Premier League games this season.
BBC Sport understands that if Emery is sacked and Nuno is allowed to speak to Arsenal, then the Portuguese would be a strong contender to take over.
Nuno said it would be “disrespectful” to talk about being linked with Arsenal when asked in a news conference before his side’s Europa League tie against Braga on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t ever mention an issue which is not a reality,” he said. “Speaking about a job which has a manager would be disrespectful and I will not do so.”
Emery said he still has the full support of the club, having been warned results must improve while being offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy earlier this month.
“Really the club is supporting me,” he said. “I feel the club, everyone responsible in that area, is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot.
“I feel strong with that support and know my responsibility to come back and change that situation.”
The former Sevilla and Paris St-Germain boss added he is only focused on “today and tomorrow” as he prepares for his side’s Europa League match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
“My job is to prepare for the match, to show the best performance in front of our supporters,” he said.
Arsenal go into Thursday’s game top of Group F, four points clear of both their German opponents and Standard Liege.
On Sunday, a number of Arsenal fan groups called for “urgent action” over the “state of things” at the club.
“My focus is only today and tomorrow, to do all the things that we have worked on here at the training ground,” Emery added.
“We know our supporters were disappointed by the draw against Southampton, but we have the perfect chance to reconnect with our supporters.
“Our wish is that every supporter tomorrow helps the team, we need them.”
Arsenal are also eight points adrift of the top four and 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Chelsea became the first team through to the Women’s Continental League Cup quarter-finals after beating Tottenham 5-1 at Kingsmeadow.
Beth England scored two of Chelsea’s five second-half goals to ensure Chelsea progressed and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games this season.
Elsewhere, there were also wins for fellow WSL sides Brighton and West Ham.
Brighton’s 5-0 win over London Bees moved them top of Group B.
The Hammers’ 3-1 win over Lewes moved them up to second in Group D behind Chelsea.
In the only all-WSL fixture of the night, Drew Spence’s early second-half goal set Chelsea up for a convincing win.
The London derby defeat was Spurs’ second in four days, having gone down 2-0 to Arsenal in front of a Women’s Super League record crowd of 38,262 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
There was nothing like that crowd at Kingsmeadow, a ground with a capacity of less than 4,900 – which itself attract a record attendance for a WSL game held at a non-Premier League stadium when 4,790 watched Chelsea overcome Manchester United on Sunday.
In the all-Championship fixtures, Charlie Estcourt scored a late winner for Charlton Athletic against London City Lionesses, while the second tier’s bottom side Coventry United held division leaders Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw before going on to earn an extra point with a penalty shootout win.
- Coventry United 2-2 Aston Villa (Coventry won penalty shootout 3-1)
- Charlton Athletic 1-0 London City Lionesses
- London Bees 0-5 Brighton
- Chelsea 5-1 Tottenham
- West Ham 3-1 Lewes
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.
Saracens have brought in a major communications company to help manage the public fallout of the salary cap scandal, with the Premiership champions yet to formally appeal against their points deduction and fine.
Sarries are set to be docked 35 points and fined £5.36m after an inquiry into business dealings between owner Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.
Journalists were banned from asking director of rugby Mark McCall questions about the salary cap breach during Wednesday’s regular media briefing.
The news conference was called to preview their match against Racing 92 on Saturday, when they will begin the defence of their European Champions Cup crown.
FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm, were present at the briefing and will oversee how Sarries manage the situation publicly.
McCall confirmed the club have until Monday, 18 November to officially lodge their appeal.
In a statement issued on the same day the sanctions were announced, owner Wray said it felt as though “the rug is being completely pulled out from under our feet” and vowed to “appeal against all the findings”.
Premiership Rugby has said a review “can only be on the basis that there has been an error of law, the decision is irrational or that there has been some procedural unfairness”.
What did McCall actually say on Wednesday?
Former Ireland international McCall said it will be a “heck of a challenge” if the 35-point deduction stands, adding that it would be about the Premiership holders “trying to avoid relegation”.
“It’s a challenge we haven’t had to experience before as a group and I think one that we’ll get our head around and relish if we have to do that,” he told BBC Sport.
“We’re in a bit of adversity at the moment and I think over the years when adversity has come our way we’ve dealt with it pretty well.
“This is obviously probably adversity at a different level to what we’ve been used to before.”
Saracens have won six of their opening eight games in all competitions and are likely to be without most of their England World Cup players for their European opener in France, with several yet to return to training.
“I genuinely don’t think it’s realistic that people can jump from being away for five months into something completely different,” McCall added.
“For us to try and tell them playing against Racing’s the biggest game – they played a World Cup final two weeks ago – so we’ve been having some individual conversations to see how they genuinely feel and try to make some decisions with them, rather than for them, as to when they come back.”
What does it all mean for their European campaign?
Saracens centre Alex Lozowski, who spoke to the media after McCall, insisted the club can “absolutely” defend their European crown, adding they are “not going to lie down and give it away”.
But European Professional Club Rugby director general Vincent Gaillard earlier said the sanction “isn’t good news” for their tournament.
“Our concern rests in their capacity to put everything into the European Cup knowing that they will have to fight all the way to avoid relegation,” said Gaillard.
“Perhaps other clubs will be happy that they are going to be a bit wounded but it’s not good news for us.
“We would prefer that they are thoroughly behind the competition.”
England international Lozowski said the Saracens squad had become accustomed to not being popular within the sport, after the silverware they have won over recent years.
“Since I’ve been here we’ve been pretty much been universally disliked so it’s not really new to us,” he said.
“That’s what happens when you have success and win championships. What happened has, I guess, made that a bit worse but we are used to being disliked so it’s nothing new for us.
“The target on our backs may be a little bit bigger now but looking at the people we have I’m pretty sure everyone’s ready to deal with that.”
What’s the background?
The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens previously claimed they “readily comply” with salary cap rules and were able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.
The Allianz Park outfit have several of the game’s biggest stars on their books, including seven of the 31-man squad that represented England at the World Cup in Japan.
One of the dominant forces in northern hemisphere club rugby, Sarries have won five Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups since 2010-11 – with two of those domestic titles coming in the timeframe that Premiership Rugby have been investigating.
Their three European successes have all come within the past four seasons.
Several people were injured in a roof collapse during a show at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End.
The venue in Denman Street was packed for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman.
Screaming was heard from the circle when the partial ceiling collapse happened just before 20:00 GMT. Some theatre-goers left covered in debris.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the venue, the Met Police said.
Five members of the audience needed hospital treatment for minor injuries, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) said.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show – which only opened on Monday – apologised to those who had been evacuated.
A video shared on social media shows the US actor outside the theatre asking the crowd to come back and see the play another time.
“We’re so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that this happened,” he said.
BBC journalist Iain Haddow, who was in the audience, said the collapse happened about 20 minutes into the show.
He said that before the collapse there had been a steady drop of water “which turned progressively into a stream” – although it was not raining at the time – and said there was some panic when the ceiling fell in.
Outside the theatre, including on the roof, he said there was scaffolding and building work going on.
Following the collapse, an ATG spokeswoman confirmed the section of ceiling collapsed in the rear upper circle, at 20:00 GMT.
“The performance was immediately stopped and the theatre safely evacuated,” she said.
“We take the safety and security of our audiences extremely seriously and we are doing everything we can to ascertain the cause of the incident.
The theatre group has not yet made any announcement on when the venue will reopen and whether any shows or ticket-holders will be affected – but indicated a statement would be made later in the day.
In December 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a ceiling at London’s Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show.
London Fire Brigade said three fire engines and three rescue units were at the scene on Denman Street and investigations were taking place.
Police added that road closures have been put in place and advised motorists to use alternative routes.
One Festival of Homeless Arts brings together works of visual art, theatre, film and photography, all created by artists who are or have been homeless.
The work is being exhibited at the Old Diorama Arts Centre in London.
Three festival artists talk about their work and how their art relates to their experiences of homelessness.
Geraldine Crimmins, from London, discovered her love of art when in prison at the age of 50 as a result of her drug addiction. “I got arrested and it was great because I got detoxed,” she says. “Prison was brilliant, it got my head clear, I cleaned up in there. It saved my life.”
Previously, Geraldine was a businesswoman but says her mental health deteriorated in her late 30s. She lost two businesses and her house to drug addiction by the time she was 40.
She has experienced homelessness, spending two years on the streets around Victoria station in London. When she was mugged, she spent six weeks in hospital and then moved to bed and breakfast accommodation, where she spent a further four years. She now lives in north London.
While in prison, Geraldine attended an art class and started to paint portraits of nude figures. “I’ve always liked the female nude. I’ve developed my artistic eye and I do more abstract figurative work now.”
She submitted a small watercolour painting of a nude to a prison exhibition. Six people wanted to buy the painting. “That gave me such a buzz when I sold it. At the exhibition the next year I sold two more pieces.”
Geraldine is now an art mentor for people with mental health difficulties who have been in a hostel or living on the street.
She also takes a women’s group to the Royal Academy of Arts every two months to see an art exhibition. “There are so few things for women in the homeless arena, I try to give women a voice.
“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and an anxiety disorder, and I got treatment.
“But I think a lot of mental health conditions of the homeless go untreated. Many homeless people don’t realise that they actually need to see a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.”
As a self-employed artist, Geraldine carries out consultancy work for Cafe Art, a social enterprise that aims to empower people affected by homelessness by supporting their art, photography and entrepreneurship.
“Someone once asked me what my dream would be and I said working with marginalised people and being an artist, [which has] ended up coming around. It’s been amazing.”
Geraldine has submitted a number of paintings to this year’s festival, including the image below called Woman with Purple Hair, drawing inspiration from a book of nude photo portraits.
One Festival of Homeless Arts was founded in 2016 by ex-homeless artist and campaigner David Tovey, seen below with one of his works during the hanging of the exhibition.
Artist Stephen O’Grady submitted three pieces of art to the festival, seen below.
The ink drawings show different places in which a homeless person may find themselves sleeping: a pavement, on a discarded mattress or in a seaside shelter.
“I’ve slept on mattresses I’ve found so many times,” Stephen says. “To someone that’s a discarded bit of rubbish, but at that time that was home to me. I’m trying to get that across in the art – that everything has a value to somebody.”
Stephen found himself homeless in late 2015, following several years of alcohol abuse and the breakdown of his marriage.
He was homeless in Watford, the area in which he grew up, before deciding to travel to the south coast. “If you’re going to be homeless, it’s nice to be beside the seaside, so I went to Brighton.”
The shelter seen in his work, next to the word Belvedere, is a scene from Brighton seafront.
While homeless, Stephen returned to his love of art, which began when he attended Watford School of Art as a teenager.
“I always drew even when I was on the streets, I’d have my sketchpad and pens in my bag. The output wasn’t great.
“But looking back on some of the art is quite eye-opening. It was a diary, like an outlet.”
Stephen found creative inspiration from the people around him. “I’m inspired by people’s faces, expressions and speed of movement.
“When you’re homeless you’ve got the freedom to stare a bit more at people, because you are being ignored, plus you’ve nothing else to look at. Not being looked at really got to me.”
Stephen is now in accommodation in Watford and is nourishing his love of art. “I like the feeling of opening a box of paints, or my art box, and just attacking a bit of paper.”
He recently filled a sketchbook with drawings dedicated to his partner, with every page inspired by her. “She got a feeling of joy when she was given it, saying, ‘No-one’s ever done anything like that for me, that’s amazing.'”
Artist Claire Bastow first experienced homelessness shortly after she moved to London in the 1980s.
“The landlord of the accommodation I was in found out that two of my housemates were gay, and so threw all six of us out,” she says. “I had to sleep on people’s couches. I ended up in a squat for a while. There was no legislation to protect us at that point.”
Later in life, Claire says she was made homeless again as a result of domestic violence.
“When I’ve experienced homelessness it’s been pretty awful, that uncertainty. I’ve had to spend the odd night on the street. Or living on people’s couches.
“I’ve been able to use some of that experience to inspire me creatively. There’ve been some positives from it, that’s how I’ve processed it. All that comes out in my art; a sense of belonging, and not belonging.”
Claire developed her art skills in her late 30s, earning various qualifications, including A-level art. She has fond childhood memories of spending time with her grandfather Basil Bastow, an established watercolour artist who was also president of the Nottingham Arts Council.
“We used to go to art galleries all the time. We queued up for three hours to see the Turner exhibition. Turner was his main inspiration.”
Claire has two portraits in the art festival, both paintings of women who have experienced homelessness, Marianne (below left) and Maiya (below right).
“You can see their stories in the characters of their faces. Marianne is pointing to her eye as though to say, ‘Look at me, I have a story to tell.'”
“When people see my work I hope they get from it the idea that when you first glance at somebody, whoever they are, it’s better to look further. Everyone has got a story.
“Everyone has experienced difficulties in their life. Everyone is valid and has a voice and deserves to be seen and heard, and not hidden away, or stigmatised.”
Interviews and photographs by Matthew Tucker.
Residents on two housing estates where blocks of flats burned down have been left at risk because of fire stopping measures in buildings being “missing or useless”, the BBC has been told.
A block built in Worcester Park in south-west London by the Berkley Group burned down in September.
The BBC has found apparent flaws in two more Berkley Group buildings it is said would allow fire to spread quickly.
The developer said all properties had been “independently signed off”.
Since September’s blaze, the housing association for The Hamptons estate has temporarily changed its “stay put” evacuation policy following advice from London Fire Brigade.
Former resident Stephen Nobrega told the BBC the way the fire spread “was more or less instant. It was like paper”.
Wood is combustible and so fire stopping in timber frame homes is important to prevent the spread of fire.
“You would expect that the materials would contain a fire for a considerable amount of time, but it just didn’t happen,” Mr Nobrega said.
Although there were no injuries, some residents believed they just about escaped in time.
‘Shoddily thrown together’
A number of families lost their homes in the fire while others on the estate said they were concerned their own homes were not safe.
The development has since been on high alert, with security guards patrolling 24 hours-a-day on the lookout for fire.
Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH), the housing association that now manages properties in the Hamptons, said it had “fitted smoke alarms in the electrical cupboards of all our blocks”.
“We are worried about how our homes are built and if they could go up, we want to be evacuated,” a resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
A large fire would be able to spread quickly at another building on The Hamptons site, two independent surveyors have claimed.
Independent chartered surveyor and fire safety inspector, Arnold Tarling, found a large gap between the fire stopping and the cladding on the outside of a building in the estate, which he said would act as a “chimney through which a fire will spread”.
“What we have here is a form of fire stopping which just won’t do its job,” he said.
Greig Adams, a fire safety expert, told the BBC these breaches had “consequences, including a considerable increased risk to life in the event of a fire”.
“The provision of effective fire barriers is a mandatory requirement, not an element that can be shoddily thrown together or to cut corners on,” Mr Adams said.
A former home owner at the Worcester Park estate has told the BBC she contacted the Berkeley Group nine years ago over safety concerns.
Sheila Majid said she had an independent inspection of her property in 2010 that revealed similar problems with fire stopping and meant “our home did not meet basic fire safety requirements”.
She managed to sell her property back to the Berkeley Group, but remained concerned other Berkeley properties had similar problems.
Two years ago a fire at another Berkeley Group-built property on the Holborough Lakes Estate in Kent destroyed a block of flats.
Mr Tarling inspected a loft space at a property in the estate and found similar fire safety problems to those at the Worcester Park estate.
“There needs to be a full investigation of these properties, not only by the contractor but by the authorities,” he said.
A spokesman for the Berkley Group said “all properties were independently signed off as building control compliant”.
Speaking about the Hamptons fire he said “the police and the fire brigade are still investigating the cause of the fire, which remains unknown” and the group was “making all necessary checks to reassure residents”.
A National House Building Council spokesperson said it was the approved inspector for the Worcester Park development and the organisation had “carried out periodic inspections at key stages of a development’s construction”.
However, they added that “the primary responsibility for achieving compliance with the regulations rests with the builder”.
Housing association MTVH said it had since commissioned surveys of all the buildings it owned and managed.
Geeta Nanda, chief executive of MTVH, said: “It’s our absolute priority to ensure we provide residents with the support and help they need at this difficult time, and making sure that the homes throughout The Hamptons are safe.”
London-based developer Berkley Group has built 19,500 homes in the past five years across the south of England and the Midlands.
Celebrity Extinction Rebellion supporters have admitted in an open letter being “hypocrites” over their high-carbon lifestyles.
But stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, who last week joined London protests, called for “systemic change” to the “fossil-fuel economy”.
It comes as Extinction Rebellion was granted permission to challenge a London-wide protest ban in court.
Several demonstrators have been arrested as hundreds defied the ban.
More than 100 celebrity supporters of Extinction Rebellion signed the letter to the media, which urges the media to focus on “the real story” of the climate and ecological emergency.
Spice Girl Mel B, comedian Steve Coogan, musician Bob Geldof, actor Sir Mark Rylance, model Lily Cole and Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis, among others, all confessed their culpability in the climate crisis.
The letter says: “Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites. You’re right.
“We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints.
“Like you, and everyone else, we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm.”
But they called on the media to focus on the “more urgent story” of life on earth dying in a sixth mass extinction.
They said they cannot ignore the call of young people such as Greta Thunberg to “fight for their already devastated future”, even if it means putting themselves “in your firing line”.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is to chair a new cabinet committee on climate change to drive action to cut emissions across the government. Green groups have been calling for such top-level co-ordination – although they remain critical of other policy details.
It comes as police have begun making arrests after Extinction Rebellion activists defied an order banning them from demonstrating anywhere in London.
About 500 protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square, some of whom covered their mouths with black tape to symbolise the silencing of their protest.
Within a couple of hours, the protest broke up and large numbers dispersed. Police arrested a small group who were blocking Whitehall, BBC correspondent Andy Moore said.
Among those arrested were Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and George Monbiot, the author and Guardian journalist.
As he was arrested, Mr Monbiot said: “We have to make a stand against the destruction of our life support systems.”
An application for a judicial review of the ban was accepted by the High Court, according to an Extinction Rebellion spokesman.
It means the case can go ahead, with an initial hearing scheduled for Thursday.
The claimants include the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Baroness Jenny Jones, Labour MPs Clive Lewis and David Drew, and Mr Monbiot.
Extinction Rebellion argues the ban is disproportionate and an unprecedented curtailment of the right to free speech and free assembly.
The group hopes the High Court will quash the decision to implement the blanket ban.
It follows the Metropolitan Police announcing new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which required protesters to disperse by 21:00 BST or risk arrest.
Any assembly of more than two people linked to the Extinction Rebellion action is now illegal in London.
The force said it decided to impose the rules after “continued breaches” of conditions which limited the demonstrations to Trafalgar Square.
More than 1,600 people have been arrested since the protests, dubbed the Autumn Uprising, began on October 7.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is leading the policing of the demonstrations, said he was confident the Met’s decision was “entirely lawful” and “entirely proportionate”.
Also on Wednesday, a group of mothers and babies defied the restriction, staging a “feed-in” outside Google’s offices in London’s King’s Cross, while other activists targeted the nearby offices of YouTube – a Google subsidiary.
They said they wanted to highlight the company’s political donations to organisations that have campaigned against action on climate change.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said concerns had been raised about the police’s decision to ban the protests, adding that shadow home secretary Diane Abbott was discussing it with the police.
“I think it’s important to protect the right of free speech, and the right to demonstrate in our society – obviously in a non-violent way,” he said.
He added that Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan had no involvement in the “operational decision” by police to remove the protesters.
On Tuesday, Mr Khan said he was “seeking further information” about why the ban was necessary, saying he believed “the right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld”.
A government spokesman said the UK was already taking “world-leading action to combat climate change as the first major economy to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050”.
“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,” he added.
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 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.
A “dangerous” drug addict has been found guilty of murdering his friend in a pub doorway in London.
Joe Gynane fatally injured Mohamed Elmi, 37, with a large kitchen knife in the doorway of the Coach and Horses pub in Soho, at about 06.00 GMT on 3 March.
Hours later he used the “blood-stained blade” to seriously injure a 16-year-old boy near Tottenham Court Road.
The 34-year-old, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of Mr Elmi’s murder at the Old Bailey, on Wednesday.
Gynane was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the unnamed teenager.
Gynane and Mr Elmi had spent parts of the early morning together walking around Soho, smoking and taking drugs with a group of people, the court heard.
The defendant admitted he had taken heroin, crack cocaine and spice.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told jurors: “In his first knife attack he fatally stabbed a man called Mohamed Elmi in Soho.
“In a short but deadly assault in the doorway of a pub he stabbed him repeatedly using a large kitchen knife.”
The court heard Gynane was a “dangerous” man with previous convictions for robbery and several assaults.
Gynane, of Wimbledon, south-west London, denied murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He claimed diminished responsibility on the basis he was suffering from “misuse syndrome” – the effects of the misuse of drugs – and a personality disorder.
Judge Richard Foster remanded the defendant into custody to be sentenced on Thursday afternoon.
Willian’s excellent second-half volley gave Chelsea victory over Lille in their second Champions League group stage match in France.
The Brazilian put away substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross in the 77th minute after Victor Osimhen had cancelled out Tammy Abraham’s opener.
Chelsea sit third in Group H following Ajax’s 3-0 win over Valencia.
However, they have kept just one clean sheet in 11 games under manager Frank Lampard, and none away from home.
The Blues lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation as Lampard handed starts to 19-year-old Reece James and Fikayo Tomori, 21.
Both impressed but Lille were a threat throughout, and came close on several occasions in the second half.
Goalscorer Osimhen, bought as a summer replacement for Arsenal-bound Nicolas Pepe, caused problems in the air and it was his header which brought Lille level only 11 minutes after Abraham had given Chelsea the lead.
Benjamin Andre’s header was tipped past the post by Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the Chelsea keeper had a couple of nervous moments when he was forced to come out to the edge of the box to stop quick counter-attacks.
But Chelsea were the better side and deserved victory – Jorginho smacked the outside of the right post with a curling effort in the first half and Mason Mount was denied from close range after the break.
Abraham fighting for England spot
It was another test for Chelsea’s young squad, with four players in the starting XI who had played in the Championship last season.
Abraham, who turned 22 on Wednesday, was one of those, having spent 2018-19 on loan at Aston Villa.
He has impressed hugely since his return to Stamford Bridge, netting seven goals in as many Premier League games and picking up an assist in the Uefa Super Cup defeat by Liverpool.
And he was on the scoresheet again in France, bringing down Tomori’s diagonal cross with an exquisite touch before sorting out his feet and coolly slotting into the bottom right corner.
It was the first time since March 2012 that two Englishmen combined to score in the Champions League for Chelsea – the last when current boss Lampard set up John Terry – and Abraham will be hoping for a call-up to his country’s senior side when the squad is named on Thursday.
James became the first teenager to start for Chelsea in the Champions League since Ruben Loftus-Cheek in 2015 and was a threat from right wing-back – delivering dangerous crosses and using his pace to exploit the space in behind.
And Tomori was excellent at the back, while also recording his assist.
Willian’s experience proves decisive
In a season where Chelsea’s youngsters have impressed, it was 31-year-old Willian who provided the quality needed to win in Europe.
The technique in his volley was exquisite as he watched 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi’s cross fly onto his boot before he fired it into the ground and over the keeper.
The goal was his first in Europe since March, and his second in the space of five days after he netted against Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
It had taken him eight months to score in the Premier League, but he finished with a game-high six shots against the Seagulls.
Willian was a threat all evening in France too, whipping in dangerous crosses for Mount and Abraham before eventually scoring the winner.
“It’s never an easy place to play and Willian scores a worldie – no surprise there,” Abraham told BT Sport.
Man of the match – Willian
‘Tomori was outstanding’
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard on BT Sport: “It feels really good. This was a really hard place to come, added to the pressure of not beating Valencia. And it was the first time for a few travelling in Europe.
“Tomori was outstanding again. He has to keep on with that. Now Ajax have set their stall out in the group. This gives us confidence and points. Now the hard work begins.”
Abraham is a man in form – best of the stats
- Chelsea ended a run of four games without a Champions League win (D2 L2), picking up their first victory in the competition since November 2017 (4-0 v Qarabag).
- Lille are winless in their last nine home Champions League games (D3 L6), losing each of their last four.
- In the 68 games that Frank Lampard has managed Derby and Chelsea in all competitions, his teams have only kept a clean sheet in 22% of their matches (15 out of 68).
- Across all competitions, only Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling (nine) has scored more goals for an English club than Chelsea’s Abraham (eight) in 2019-20.
- Since making his Champions League debut for Chelsea in September 2013, Willian has been directly involved in more goals than any other player for the club (15 – 10 goals and five assists).