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Country profile for United Kingdom

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk)
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: London
  • Major Languages: English
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Timezone: GMT

Country Map

Map of United Kingdom

The UK has been experiencing a period of political uncertainty following the referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union (EU). In June 2016, just over 52 percent of the population voted for Brexit, sparking the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and the appointment of then Home Secretary Theresa May as his successor. Much of the campaign surrounding the vote was dominated by anti-immigration rhetoric from the Vote Leave supporters, and this has been blamed on a rise in politically motivated violence and anti-immigrant hate crime. Just over a week before the vote, Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed at her constituency in Yorkshire by a man with links to far-right movements. As negotiations to ensure a smooth departure from the EU continues, there have been several mass protests by pro-European voters who strongly reject the referendum’s results.

Boris Johnson became the UK Prime Minister after Theresa May resigned in May 2019. May stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party after she failed to secure enough support to pass her deal to exit the EU. Although the EU agreed on another agreement with Boris Johnson in October 2019, the deal failed to acquire parliament approval, forcing a general election to be called on 12 December. Consequently, the Brexit deadline was pushed to the 31 January 2020. In the general elections, the Conservatives achieved a major victory, paving the way for the prime minister to pass his Brexit deal in the House of Commons. In the vote, the Conservatives achieved a crushing majority after the Labour party saw its poorest results in decades. The Scottish National Party (SNP) garnered strong support, further promoting its aspirations of holding a second independence referendum.

In Northern Ireland, uncertainty has been caused by the possibility of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK ahead of the stalled Brexit negotiations with the EU. The issue adds to the current political stalemate in Northern Ireland since talks of a power-sharing agreement between the governing parties, Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), collapsed in 2017.

In March 2018, the Mi5's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) downgraded to 'moderate' – the second-lowest – the level of Northern Ireland-related terrorism in mainland Britain. The current threat level was previously raised in 2016 over claims of increasing dissident republican activity. However, the latest Northern Ireland-related attack in Britain happened in November 2001, when the Real Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a car bomb in Birmingham. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the threat level remains 'severe'. For many years, dissident republicans have been behind a number of attacks against the Northern Irish security forces. In March 2019, the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee has reignited the debate on dissident-related violence in Northern Ireland. McKee was killed while covering violent riots in Londonderry, which broke out after police raids in the city’s Creggan neighbourhood. McKee was shot while standing near a police vehicle and succumbed to her wounds after being taken to the city’s hospital.

Separately, the threat level for international terrorism in the UK is currently 'substantial', which means that an attack is likely. The current UK terrorism threat level was set in November 2019. It was downgraded from 'severe' to 'substantial' for the first time since 2014 when a general increase in terror attacks happened across Europe. In May 2017, the threat level was briefly raised to 'critical' following a suicide attack in Manchester, where 22 people were killed when a bomber targeted concert-goers at Manchester Arena. A month later, seven people were killed in another terror attack in central London. Three armed individuals drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing dozens of people in the nearby Borough Market. In September 2017, a bomb attack occurred on a London Underground District Line train at Parsons Green. The blast injured at least one person, while dozens of others were wounded in the ensuing panic as the station was evacuated. These incidents happened months after five people were killed in a terror incident in London, where a knife-wielding attacker ploughed into pedestrians with an SUV on Westminster Bridge. Among the victims was a police officer, who was stabbed just outside the Houses of Parliament.

Levels of crime in the UK are relatively low. Despite a surge in knife-crime reported in early-2018 and in the first months of 2019 across some London boroughs, most areas across the capital remain unaffected. Most recorded crimes in the country have been falling over the last decade, despite major cuts to police forces, which have been under increasing pressure to stretch their budgets in light of adversities such as the recent terrorist attacks in the capital and the Grenfell Tower fire. Petty street crimes, such as pick-pocketing and bag-snatching, usually occur in major cities and areas popular with tourists, such as central London. Visitors should undertake standard safety precautions.

The UK is among a number of European countries which has been badly hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. As of early June 2020, around 281,700 cases have been reported over 39,900 people have died in the UK as a result of the outbreak, which originated from China. The UK introduced a three-week lockdown in response to the outbreak, implementing strict stay at home measures to be enforced by the police. The government confirmed a three-week extension on the lockdown in mid-April. The Prince of Wales, PM Boris Johnson, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock are the most prominent figures in the UK who tested positive for the virus. While the Health Secretary and Prince Charles both recovered from home, the PM was hospitalised for further testing and was in intensive care for several days before recovering. Globally, over 6.7 million cases have been reported, including around 394,000 deaths.

Alerts for United Kingdom

Coronavirus deaths in the UK hit 40,000

Coronavirus deaths in the UK have officially surpassed 40,000 after 357 new coronavirus fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours. According to the government, 40,261 people have died in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. The UK has one of the highest death rates in the world. The overall number of deaths is the second-highest, just behind the US. Official data on coronavirus deaths in the UK is usually provided by the Department of Health, although other official governments statistics agencies estimate that the coronavirus deaths could be as high as 50,000.

Use of face coverings to become mandatory on public transport

People using public transport across England will be required to wear face coverings from 15 June. During the daily cabinet briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the decision will coincide with the data that non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen in the UK. The measure will be enforced on ferries, buses, trains, aircraft and on the underground. Although the move is expected to initially be introduced in England, the governments in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland may soon follow suit. 

Home secretary confirms quarantine plans for international arrivals

Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed quarantine plans for almost all international arrivals in the UK. Patel told the House of Commons that international passengers will be requested to fill in a form telling the Home Office where they are staying and isolating. Fines of up to £1,000 could be imposed on those that violate the rule. People will be requested to self-isolate for 14 days. Airlines and the tourism industry have criticised the decision as it may prevent travellers from heading abroad during the summer. The quarantine rules will be only imposed in England, while the governments in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will implement their own policies.

Black Lives Matter protest to be held in London

Thousands of people are expected to gather to take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in central London. The demonstration is scheduled to take place at 13:00 local time on Wednesday in Hyde Park. The protest is being staged in solidarity with those standing against police brutality against black people in America, where the recent death of George Floyd whilst in police custody has sparked a widespread protest movement. 

Easyjet plans to relaunch hundreds of routes by August

The low-cost carrier EasyJet has announced plans to resume operations to hundreds of destinations. The Telegraph reported that the company will restart half of its routes by July, and increase the offer in the following month. Several airlines have already laid out plans to resume flights to some European destinations ahead of the summer holidays. However, ther has been criticism of the government from the industry over plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on people returning to the UK. The quarantine plans are set to start on 8 June. Despite airlines planning to resume operations, UK travellers will still be subject to government travel advice.

Coronavirus death toll in the UK nears 40,000

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has neared 40,000 after more than 300 fatalities were confirmed. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, a further 324 deaths were confirmed in the latest report.1,613 people tested positive in the last 24 hours. In total, the coronavirus virus death toll in the UK currently sits at 39,369. Coronavirus cases in the UK continue to increase as the government ended some lockdown restrictions. From Monday, groups of up to six people are allowed to meet outdoors. People are still not allowed to sleep at someone else's home, while indoor gatherings are limited to two people from different households.

UK covid-19 death toll surpasses 39,000

The UK's death toll for covid-19 has surpassed 39,000 - reaching a total of 39,045 as of Monday 01 June. The rise in the death toll came after 111 new virus-related deaths were confirmed on Monday afternoon. An additional 1,570 new cases were also reported, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported across the UK to 276,332. The UK has the fifth highest total after the US, Brazil, Russia, and Spain, but the second highest death toll worldwide.

Cyber crime surge reported amid lockdown

A surge in cyber crime has been reported in the UK amidst the coronavirus lockdown. According to reports, there has been a noticeable increase in illegal online activity by organised criminal gangs and fraudsters, with more than 600,000 reports of suspected scams made to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) over a five week period during lockdown. NCSC Chief Executive Ciaran Martin suggested that scammers and cyber criminals were taking advantage of the pandemic by exploiting the public's concern over the virus, with many of the online scams reported to the NCSC involving fake covid-19-related products.

Boris Johnson announces easing of coronavirus restrictions in the UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the further easing of coronavirus restrictions in the UK. In the daily government press briefing, Johnson said that from Monday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to gather in outdoor spaces while maintaining social distancing rules. Schools will also reopen to some year groups. Meanwhile, some non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen. Johnson claimed that all five tests set by the government to further relax the restrictions have already been met. The government said that the rate of infection is currently set between 0.7 and 0.9. In the last 24 hours, 377 people have died of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the death toll to nearly 38,000.

Easyjet to face mass job cuts amid financial downturn

Easyjet has announced mass layoffs as the airline faces major financial loses caused by the fall in tourism. Reports revealed that the company plans to cut up to 30 percent of its entire workforce. The airline fears that demand levels similar to those of the pre-pandemic period would only return in 2023. Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We are planning to reduce the size of our fleet and to optimize the network and our bases." Like Easyjet, other airlines in Europe have also announced mass job cuts while they renegotiate rescue plans with lenders and governments.

A further 412 coronavirus-related deaths confirmed in the UK

The Department of Health has confirmed that a further 412 coronavirus-related deaths were confirmed in the UK. With the number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the UK total death toll has already reached more than 37,000. Confirmed cases of coronavirus have surpassed 117,000. The government has recently announced that a track and trace system will be introduced in England from Thursday. A trial of the system has already been rolled out on the Isle of Wight.

Dozens detained in France and Belgium for links to Essex lorry deaths

The French authorities have confirmed that 26 people have been arrested in France and Belgium in connection to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants near London. The incident happened back in October last year, when a refrigerated lorry transporting migrants was found abandoned at an industrial estate in Essex. The arrests were made in a joint investigation involving Eurojust and EUROPOL.

Local lockdowns to be used to suppress covid-19 flare-ups

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has stated that local lockdowns will be introduced as a measure to tackle regional outbreaks of coronavirus in England. The restrictions would be used in areas with "flare-ups" and will be part of the test, track, and trace system. A timeframe for the new measure has not yet been given. It's understood the Joint Biosecurity Centre will monitor changes in infection rates at a local level using testing, environmental, and workplace data and advise chief medical officers accordingly. Areas identified as having a high rate of infection will likely see schools, businesses, and workplaces close. A similar idea has been executed in France, where recently reopened schools have been subject to closure again if new coronavirus cases emerge in the community. Overall, 265,227 cases of coronavirus have been reported across the UK, including 37,048 deaths.

Covid-19 death toll rises by 134

The UK-wide death toll for covid-19 has risen to 37,048, after an additional 134 new virus-related deaths were registered over the past 24 hours. The latest figures have been released by the Department of Health and Social Care as of Tuesday afternoon. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases recorded has also gone up to 265,227, following a daily increase of 4,043. Currently, the UK has the fifth highest total number of virus cases worldwide, and the second highest death toll.

Junior minister quits over Dominic Cummings' lockdown actions

Junior minister Douglas Ross has announced his resignation today over a controversial lockdown trip made by the PM's Chief Adviser Dominic Cummings. According to preliminary reports, Ross resigned on Tuesday, stating that Cummings' view on lockdown guidance was not shared by the majority. Cummings' has come under fire in recent days after it was revealed he made a 260-mile journey from his London home to his parents' estate in County Durham during the peak of the coronavirus lockdown in March. Many have claimed the trip went directly against his own government's advice. Despite calls for Cummings' resignation, PM Boris Johnson has come out in support of his Chief Adviser, saying he believed he acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity".

UK arrivals to be subject to 14-day quarantine

People arriving in the UK will be forced to enter a 14-day quarantine as the government announced plans to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the measures will be introduced from 8 June, adding that anyone who violates quarantine orders could face steep fines. Exceptions will include travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It is still unclear when the so-called 'air bridges' will be introduced. Airlines and airport operators slammed the decision as they claim that the quarantine would continue to affect air travel to and from the UK. People arriving in the country will be required to fill in a form with details about where they will stay during the quarantine.

UK coronavirus death toll increases to 36,042

The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths reported in the UK has gone up to 36,042 as of Thursday 21 May. The increase to the death toll comes after an additional 338 new covid-19 deaths were registered over the past 24 hours. The overall number of confirmed cases has also risen to 250,908, following a daily increase of 2,615. Some 128,340 coronavirus tests were also carried out on Wednesday - it's estimated that somewhere around 3,090,566 tests have been carried out in the UK since the outbreak began.

Scotland to lift lockdown restrictions next week

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are likely to be lifted from next week, according to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The restrictions look set to be relaxed slightly from 28 May, with the first phase expected to include allowing people to meet with others from another household outside. The four-phase plan aims to restart society whilst still prioritising the suppression of covid-19. Garden centres and recycling facilities will be allowed to open and some outdoor sporting activities, such as golf and tennis, will also be allowed again, along with outdoor work including forestry and agriculture. Social distancing rules will still apply and schools will not be reopening until the new school year begins on 11 August.

Peterborough hospital on lockdown following reports of violence

Peterborough City Hospital has reportedly been placed on lockdown following reports of violence in the city on Thursday morning. A Cambridgeshire police spokesperson has confirmed that a police presence has been dispatched to the hospital in connection to an incident which occurred on Welland Road at 10:30 local time. Unconfirmed reports on social media suggest the hospital may have now reopened.  

Anti-malarial drug trials launched in covid-19 effort

Trials on whether two anti-malarial drugs could be used to help prevent covid-19 infection have been launched in the UK. The trials are taking place in Oxford and Brighton. Meanwhile, the NHS Confederation has warned that the UK is running out of time to finalise a track and trace strategy which would help avoid a potential second surge in cases. The UK has recorded a total of 248,293 confirmed covid-19 cases, including 35,704 deaths. Globally, over five million cases have been detected and almost 330,000 have died. On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that it had recorded its largest daily increase in global cases, with 106,000 reported over the last 24 hours.

UK records 363 new coronavirus deaths

The UK government has confirmed that 363 coronavirus deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. According to official data, the number of cases has neared 249,000. In the government press briefing, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden sais that the number of people in hospital with coronavirus has fallen bellow 10,000. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already announced that the government will launch a contact tracing system in England from early June. 

Fatal shooting reported in north London

0A fatal shooting incident has been reported in north London. A person was allegedly shot dead during an incident on Monday evening at around 20:20 local time in the Wiltshire Gardens area, near Finsbury Park in the borough of Haringey. According to reports, the incident is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity. No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made thus far as investigations continue.

Coronavirus deaths in the UK hit 35,000

Coronavirus deaths in the UK have surpassed 35,000 after 545 fatalities were confirmed on Tuesday. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK has reached 35,341 while the number of cases is almost 250,000 after more than 2,400 new cases were confirmed. Despite some daily variation, on average the number of deaths in the UK is decreasing.

EasyJet hit by cyber attack

The budget airline, easyJet, has reportedly been hit by a cyber attack. According to reports from Bloomberg, the airline was targeted in a highly sophisticated attack, during which it's believed hackers obtained access to the email addresses and travel details of around nine million easyJet customers, including the credit card details of 2,208 passengers. The airline says it has since blocked the unauthorized access and has apologised to customers for the breach. The airline has already contacted those whose payment details were compromised, and the rest of all customers affected will be contacted over the next few days. The Information Commissioner’s Office, the data regulator, reportedly advised easyJet to contact everyone affected due to an increased risk of phishing fraud, especially amid the current coronavirus lockdown.

Lowest daily coronavirus death toll recorded in two months

The UK has recorded its lowest daily death toll increase in two months with just 170 new virus-related deaths registered over the weekend. The daily increase is the lowest recorded since 24 March - the day after the national lockdown was introduced. Spain and Italy have also recorded their lowest daily death tolls since March, with 87 reported in Spain and 145 reported in Italy on Sunday. The figures are a good indication that the three countries - among the worst-affected in the world - are past the peak of the outbreak. Overall, the UK has recorded close to 243,700 coronavirus cases and almost 34,700 deaths.

PHE approves coronavirus antibody test

Public Health England (PHE) has approved a coronavirus antibody test developed by the Swiss-based Roche. The company said that if someone had been infected, it gave the correct result 100 percent of the time. Health Minister Edward Argar said that the initial phase of distribution of the test will be to health care workers and social carers. It is still unclear when tests will start. The same test has already been approved in the EU and the US. Currently, the government is using the so-called 'swab tests' which assess if a person currently has the virus, whereas the new test will diagnose if the person has had the virus in the past.

UK coronavirus figures increase by 428 deaths

The UK-wide coronavirus figures have gone up following the latest daily increase. The Department of Health and Social Care released the latest totals on Thursday, showing an increase of 428 in the death toll, while an additional 3,446 new cases of infection have also been recorded. The death toll now stands at 33,614 and the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 233,151. The UK currently has the second highest global death toll and the fourth highest total number of cases after the US, Spain and Russia.

Scotland's covid-19 death toll surpasses 2,000

The death toll for coronavirus in Scotland has now passed the 2,000-mark after 34 newly confirmed virus-related fatalities were registered over the last 24 hours - bringing the total number of deaths in Scotland to 2,007. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday during her daily briefing that some 14,117 people have tested positive for the virus overall, up by 188 from 13,929 the day before. At least 71 patients remain in intensive care.

Fatal stabbing reported in London

A fatal stabbing incident has been reported in London, leaving at least one person dead. According to reports, the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at around 17:30 local time on Great Dover Street in the Southwark area. The police were called to the scene to respond to reports of males fighting and found the a 19-year-old male victim with fatal stabbed wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Three other males and a female have been arrested in connection with the incident.

UK coronavirus death toll increases by 494

The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen to 33,186 after an additional 494 new fatal virus-related cases were registered over the past 24 hours across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The latest figures also show that the total number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK has risen to 229,705 following an increase of 3,242.

Supreme Court overturns Gerry Adams' convictions

The UK Supreme Court has overturned two convictions of Gerry Adams, the former leader of Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein. Adams was convicted twice back in 1975 for attempting to escape the Maze prison in Belfast. The court ruled that Adams was unlawfully detained as part of the British counter-insurgency campaign during the Troubles. The court said that Adams' detention order was signed by a lower-level minister and not by a minister part of the secretary of state at the time. The ruling adds that it "further follows that he was wrongfully convicted of the offences of attempting to escape from lawful custody and his convictions for those offences must be quashed.” Although often being associated with the Irish Revolutionary Army (IRA), Adams never claimed to be a member of the group. He led Sinn Fein in 1983 and stood down from the party two years ago.

UK coronavirus death toll reaches 32,692

Coronavirus deaths in the UK have reached 32,692 after 627 new fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours. According to the health ministry 3,403 new cases were confirmed nationwide. Recent data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) claims that the number of deaths in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland could be as high as 40,000. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out a 60-page document on easing some restrictions in the UK. The government has also set out plans to introduce a quarantine on people entering the country, although passengers from the British Isles, France and Ireland will be exempt.

Railway staff dies of coronavirus after being spat at whilst working

A 47-year-old rail worker who was spat at whilst working at London's Victoria Station has died after contracting the coronavirus. The Guardian reported that Belly Mujinga was working in March when a member of the public deliberately coughed and spat at her and another worker. The member of the public reportedly claimed to have the coronavirus and both rail workers fell ill with the virus just days later. According to the TSSA union, Mujinga already had an underlying respiratory condition and succumbed to the coronavirus in early-April. Some workers' unions have raised concerns over the health and safety of frontline and key workers. The British Transport Police has launched an investigation into Mujinga's death.

UK covid-19 death toll rises to 32,065

The UK's coronavirus death toll has now risen to 32,065 after an additional 210 virus-related deaths were confirmed in the past 24 hours. Some 3,877 new cases of infection have also been confirmed, taking the national total to 223,060. The latest figures were released by the Department of Health and Social Care on Monday afternoon. The government has carried out 100,490 tests over the past 24 hours - the first time the 100,000 testing target has been hit since 01 May. Earlier this month, PM Boris Johnson set a new testing target of 200,000 per day by the end of May.

PM unveils conditional plan to ease lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled a conditional plan to gradually ease coronavirus lockdown measures in England. The cautious easing of some restrictions is due to get underway this week, but only if outbreak data continues to support the implementation of the three-stage plan. The first phase will be introduced on Wednesday, with those who can't work from home, including those in manufacturing and construction, actively encouraged to get back to work, but avoid public transport. Unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise will be allowed and two people from different households will also be allowed to meet outside, staying two metres apart. A second phase could be brought in as early as 01 June, which would see a phased reopening of shops and primary schools. A third step could see some hospitality businesses and public places reopen. A 50-page guidance document is due to be published by the government and Johnson is set to give a statement to Parliament later today with more information on the new Covid-19 alert system, among other things. Meanwhile, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have chosen to continue to advise people to stay at home. The UK has reported an overall total of 219,183 confirmed covid-19 cases and almost 32,000 deaths.

Government to consider easing some lockdown restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that the government is set to consider easing some coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England from Monday. While the lockdown is largely expected to stay in place, restrictions may be lifted on low risk activities, including outdoor exercise, and potentially some moderate risk activities - such as non-essential shops re-opening, or allowing occasional gatherings with others from outside their households, with social distancing measures observed. It's unlikely the government's advice to work from home will be lifted, and schools are also expected to remain closed for the time being, along with all entertainment venues, such as pubs, cafes, hotels, cinemas, and leisure centres. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland retain the power to diverge from what Westminster decides and could lift restrictions at a different rate. Johnson is due to review the lockdown with his cabinet later today and will address the nation on Sunday to outline plans for the next stage of lockdown. As of Thursday morning, the UK has reported a total of 201,101 confirmed coronavirus cases and 30,076 deaths.

Heathrow to trial new health checks

Heathrow Airport is expected to trial new health checks for screening passengers - most notably a temperature-check system for people departing for countries where this type of check is a requirement. The airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye called for a common international standard to be agreed for health screening at airports, which would more quickly enable the airport to increase operations safely and as quick as possible - otherwise further front-line airport staff could be made redundant, with a third of management roles already cut. 

'Three-stage plan' to ease lockdown drafted

The UK government has reportedly drawn up a 'three-stage plan' to easing the coronavirus lockdown. The government is due to review lockdown measures by Thursday and is widely expected to announce some form of continuation or extension of the lockdown whilst also laying out a plan for an exit strategy for when the rate of infection falls to a sufficient degree. PM Boris Johnson has been vocal in expressing his concern of triggering a second spike in cases by lifting lockdown measures prematurely. According to reports, the first proposed phase of easing the lockdown would see small shops reopening as well as outdoor workplaces. The second phase could include large shopping centres reopening and encouraging more people to return to work. Entertainment venues such as pubs, hotels, cafes, and leisure centres would almost certainly be among the last to re-open. So far, the UK has recorded 194,990 coronavirus cases and 29,427 deaths - now the highest death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world after the US.

UK coronavirus death toll becomes the highest in Europe

The UK coronavirus death toll has become the highest in Europe after 693 people died of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK has surpassed Italy and Spain in the number of coronavirus deaths. The UK has recorded 29,427 deaths and over 194,000 cases. The number of deaths in the UK continues to increase ahead of the expiry of the current lockdown on Thursday. The UK government has set a target to carry out 100,000 tests a day, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that 89,000 people were tested on Monday.

Fatal stabbing reported in Maidstone

A fatal stabbing incident has been reported in Maidstone. The police were allegedly called out to respond to reports of a disturbance at a residential property on Cambridge Crescent on Monday evening. Upon arrival at the scene, the police made two arrests, while a third person was confirmed dead. The two men who were arrested at the scene are believed to have known the male victim. A murder investigation has been launched and remains ongoing.

UK coronavirus death toll reaches 28,734

UK coronavirus deaths have reached 28,734 after 288 deaths were confirmed on Monday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the actual number of deaths could be lower due to delays on previous tests. In the daily government press briefing, Hancock announced the launch of the tracing app in the Isle of Wight, where all residents will be required to download it. The government is laying out plans to exit the current lockdown, which will expire on Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of five tests for easing the lockdown, which includes analysing the capacity of care for seriously ill coronavirus patients; a consistent fall in the number of deaths; the decrease of the rate of infection, known as the 'R' value; operational challenges and the availability of PPE; and finally, guarantees that relaxed measures will not lead to a second peak.

International Trade Minister resigns over intimidation row

Conservative MP Conor Burns, has resigned as Minister of State for International Trade amidst a scandal regarding an apparent attempt to intimidate a member of the public. According to reports, Burns threatened to use parliamentary privilege to coerce a member of the public into doing as he wished with regards to a debt dispute involving Burns' father. It's further alleged that Burns continued to make veiled threats and misleadingly implied he had the support of the House authorities whilst a committee investigation into his conduct was ongoing. The Committee on Standards said he had broken Commons rules and recommended he be suspended from Parliament for seven days. No 10 stated he will replaced as trade minister "in due course". Burns also serves as the Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West and is expected to continue to do so.

Thirteen arrested for violating lockdown in Liverpool

At least 13 arrests have been made and a further 11 people were also issued with fines by the police for violating lockdown measures in Liverpool. A group of about a dozen or so were apparently detained during the early hours of Sunday morning on suspicion of burglary at a property in Duke Street, where a party was being held. Another group of people were also apprehended by police separately whilst travelling 20 miles from Greater Manchester to a party in Wavertree. Two others were also stopped in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, after allegedly driving 17 miles from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to buy a kebab. The driver also had no insurance.

UK's coronavirus death toll now third highest worldwide

The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen to become the world's third highest amidst the global pandemic. Some 765 new fatalities were registered yesterday, along with 4,076 cases - taking the country's respective totals up to 26,097 and 165,221. The UK's death toll surpassed those of Spain and France yesterday after community deaths in England were included in the UK-wide death toll for the first time.

Scotland's coronavirus death toll passes 2,200

The death toll for the coronavirus in Scotland has surpassed 2,200 following the confirmation of an additional 656 virus-related deaths - putting Scotland's death toll at 2,272. The increase takes into account deaths recorded in the week to 26 April and includes all cases where covid-19 has been listed on a death certificate as a potential cause - unlike daily increases, which only include laboratory tested cases. 

Coronavirus death toll rises to 21,678

The UK-wide coronavirus death toll has risen to 21,678 as of 17:00 local time on Tuesday 28 April. The latest daily increase saw the the UK's death toll go up by 586, while the total number of people infected with the virus has gone up by 3,996 to 161,145 confirmed cases. While the death toll daily increase has gone up from the day before, the overall trend for the UK continues to seen a decline, with the country experiencing a peak around 10 April.

Seventeen new covid-19 deaths in Wales, 546 in England

Seventeen new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Wales over the last 24 hours, taking the death toll there up to 813. Meanwhile, NHS England announced that 546 new coronavirus deaths have also been recorded in England, bringing the total number of confirmed covid-19 deaths in hospitals in England to 19,295. UK-wide figures will be released later today.

Coronavirus deaths in the UK reach 21,000

Coronavirus-related deaths in the UK have reached 21,092 after 360 new fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that more than 157,000 cases have already been confirmed in the UK. Most of those deaths were confirmed in England - London, North East and Yorkshire, and the Midlands. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just recently returned to Downing Street after recovering from Covid-19. He said that the country is currently moving through the peak of infections and deaths. He added that people should remain vigilant and adhere to social distancing guidelines to avoid a second wave of infections.

Two children killed in stabbing incident in Ilford, East London

Police have responded to a violent stabbing incident in East London. BBC reported that a toddler and a three-year-old boy were stabbed to death in Ilford. Police headed to the scene on Sunday afternoon, where a 40-year-old man also sustained stab wounds. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are. Ilford is located in the Redbridge Borough, where six fatal stabbings happened so far this year - since the start of the year, 21 incidents were reported in London.

UK coronavirus death toll up by 684

The UK-wide coronavirus death toll has now risen to 19,506 after some 684 new deaths were registered on Friday. The latest increase puts the country's death toll closer to the 20,000-mark - which is expected to be surpassed over the coming weekend. An additional 5,386 people have tested positive for covid-19, taking the national total at 143,464. The UK government recently launched a website allowing key workers and their households to book a test if they or a family member had symptoms; however, huge demand caused the website to close just hours after launching. Some 20,000 applications were made, including 15,000 tests booked at drive-through sites and 5,000 home testing kits. The website will reopen when new slots are available, with the capacity for home testing kits set to increase by 18,000 every day next week.

Coronavirus deaths rise by 616

The UK's death toll for coronavirus now sits at 18,738 after 616 new deaths were confirmed on Thursday. The daily increase is down from yesterday's rise of 759 deaths and the overall trend from UK figures indicate a gradual decline since a peak of 980 deaths on 10 April. An additional 4,583 new cases of infection have also been reported, taking the national total to 138,078 - the sixth highest in the world.

Scotland records 58 new covid-19 deaths

At least 58 new covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Scotland - taking the national death toll there up to 1,120. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the daily increase today and expressed her condolences to the families of coronavirus victims. UK-wide coronavirus figures will be released later today.

UK covid-19 death toll rises by 763

The UK-wide death toll for covid-19 has risen by 763 - taking the total to 18,100. An additional 4,451 people have also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total cases to 133,495. In England, the death toll rose by 665 to 16,272, while in Scotland the figure rose by 77 to 1,062. In Wales, an additional 15 new deaths has taken the death toll there to 624. Today's figures for Northern Ireland have yet to be released.

Suspected gunman detained in Chatham, Kent

Police have detained a gunman after an incident at a block of apartments in Chatham, Kent. Reuters reported that armed police officers and a search helicopter rushed to the scene at Dock Head Road on Wednesday morning after an armed man on his 30s was seen brandishing an alleged weapon at the building's top floor. According to the police, four fake firearms were recovered at the scene. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are.

England's coronavirus death toll rises by 778

The coronavirus death toll in England has risen by 778 over the last 24 hours - taking the total number of hospital deaths recorded in England to 15,607. Meanwhile, Scotland's death toll has risen by 70 to 985 and Wales' has risen by 25 to 609. These figures do not include deaths which occur in the community or in care homes, with the updated UK-wide figures due to be released later today. As of Monday, almost 125,000 coronavirus cases and over 16,500 deaths have been recorded. Globally, more than 2.5 million people have caught the virus and over 171,000 have died.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 14,576

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has now risen to 14,576 confirmed fatalities. The rise comes following a daily increase of 847 new covid-19 deaths, which were all confirmed over the last 24 hours. Overall, 108,692 people have tested positive for the virus across the UK. Meanwhile, the UK government has hit out at claims from the opposition that plans for ending the current lockdown are "in limbo", instead asserting that five exit strategy criteria have been identified, which will need to be met before the government will consider lifting or relaxing social distancing measures.

London Mayor calls for compulsory use of face masks

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the British government to impose measures that make it compulsory to wear face masks on public transport. Khan told the BBC: “In those circumstances where it is not possible for us to keep our social distance, think of public transport usage, think of when you’re in a shop, we should be using non-medical facial coverings like bandanas, like scarves, like reusable masks." The British government has extended lockdown measures for another three weeks. So far, more than 13,700 people have died of coronavirus in the UK.

UK coronavirus lockdown extended for another three weeks

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that the coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK will be extended for another three weeks. Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has said that the current measures are being enforced under the guidance of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) - a panel comprised of scientific researchers from several fields of expertise that provide advice to the government. The social distancing measures come as the UK has not yet reported a manageable decrease in the number of cases. So far, 103,093 have tested positive for the virus, including more than 13,000 deaths.

UK coronavirus deaths rise by 861

The UK-wide coronavirus death toll has now risen by 861 confirmed fatalities, taking the national death toll to 13,729 - the fifth highest death toll in the world after the US, Italy, Spain, and France. The Department of Health and Social Care released the latest figures on Thursday afternoon, stating that 103,093 have tested positive for the virus so far. The majority of cases and deaths across the UK have been reported from England, where the death toll stands at 12,396. Elsewhere in the UK, 779 people have died from covid-19 in Scotland, 495 in Wales, and 158 in Northern Ireland.

Thirty-two new covid-19 deaths reported in Wales

Thirty-two new covid-19 deaths have been reported in Wales, taking the death toll there to 495. The latest figures have been confirmed by Public Health Wales and were released on Thursday. Updated UK-wide figures are expected to be released later today, when it's likely the total number of cases will increase past the 100,000-mark. As of Wednesday afternoon, at least some 98,476 cases had been confirmed, including 12,868 deaths. 

Eighty more coronavirus deaths confirmed in Scotland

Eighty more coronavirus deaths have been confirmed in Scotland, where the death toll has now risen to 779. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the latest daily increase on Thursday during a 'virtual' First Minister's Questions. Sturgeon stated that despite the increase, figures showed the lockdown measures were working, with Scottish health authorities noting that a slow down in the rate of increase was a sign the lockdown is having a positive impact.

Three-week lockdown extension to be announced

A three-week extension of the coronavirus lockdown is set to be announced later today, with government ministers expected to approve the measure in a emergency Cobra committee and cabinet meetings led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Opposition party, Labour, support an extension but have called for the government to lay out an exit strategy. The government's position had, up until now, been that it was too early to make any changes to the lockdown. The UK's chief medical adviser, Professor Chris Whitty, stated that the country was probably close to approaching the peak of its epidemic; however, high fatality figures are expected to continue for a "short while" longer. Whitty also warned that there could also be a "bounce" in numbers soon, due to delays in reporting deaths over the Easter weekend. The UK has recorded at least 98,476 cases and 12,868 deaths.

Northern Ireland extends coronavirus restrictions for three weeks

Coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland will be extended until at least 5 May. First Minister Arlene Foster announced the decision on Wednesday. Similar measures have already been announced in neighbouring Ireland, while the current lockdown could also be extended elsewhere in Britain. Foster said: “We have decided restrictions will remain in place for another three weeks and we will review that coming up to that time". There have been nearly 2,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in Northern Ireland, including 134 deaths - the UK has reported nearly 13,000 deaths in total.

UK and EU agree on dates to negotiate post-Brexit agreement

The UK government and the European Union have agreed on three meetings to negotiate a post-Brexit deal. A joint statement has confirmed that the meetings will last for one week each. The first will take place next week on 20 April. Two others will follow on 11 May and 1 June. The UK left the EU on 31 January; however, negotiations are delayed due to the global coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus death toll rises by 761 as global cases hit 2 million

The number of coronavirus deaths in the UK has risen to 12,868 after a further 761 new fatalities were confirmed over the last 24 hours. The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK currently stands at 98,476. In England, the death toll rose by 651 to 11,656, while in Scotland a total of 962 people have died. Sixty new deaths took the Welsh total to 463, and six more deaths were also reported in Northern Ireland, brining the death toll there to 140. Meanwhile, global cases have reached two million, while 128,000 have died.

Border Force officer dies from coronavirus

A UK Border Force officer has reportedly passed away after contracting the coronavirus. The officer worked at Heathrow London Airport and is reported to have died last week after falling ill with the virus. In response to the death, there have been calls for all officers to be equipped with protective personal equipment (PPE) - which has been in increasingly short supply amidst the pandemic. So far, at least 93,873 confirmed cases have been reported in the UK, including 12,107 deaths. Globally, more than two million people have caught the virus and almost 130,000 have died.

UK coronavirus lockdown could be extended until 7 May

The UK coronavirus lockdown is expected to be extended for at least three weeks as the number of deaths continues to increase. The Times has reported that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab - who is currently deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson - is set to announce the measure on Thursday. With the announcement, the current lockdown measures will be enforced until 7 May. According to Public Health England (PHE), as of 14 April, more than 93,000 cases have been confirmed in the UK, including more than 12,000 deaths - a large majority of them are confirmed in England.

Covid-19 death toll surpasses 12,000

The UK's coronavirus death toll has passed 12,000 following an increase of 778 on yesterday's figures. The total number of people who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus now stands at around 93,873. Meanwhile, at least 20 phone masts have been targeted across the UK in suspected arson attacks over Easter weekend. It's suspected the attacks may have been fuelled by conspiracy theories falsely claiming the 5G network has either caused or accelerated the spread of the virus through radiation. Similar incidents have also been reported in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Australia.

Covid-19 death toll up by 717

The death toll for covid-19 in the UK is up by 717 as of Monday, raising the death toll to 11,329, while the total number of infections currently sits at around 88,621 - making the UK the latest country to overtake China, where the virus first emerged. At least 13 care home residents in County Durham are understood to have died after showing signs of the virus, while a six-month-old baby is also being treated for virus symptoms in hospital. The UK is now in its fourth week of lockdown following an extension, and foreign secretary Dominic Raab stated that there are currently no plans to make changes to restriction measures this week, following speculation stricter measures could be brought in.

English coronavirus death toll up by 765

The coronavirus death toll in England has reportedly increased by 765 as of Thursday. It's understood that at least 140 occurred within the last 24 hours, while 568 occurred over the last week or so, while 57 were deaths from last month - the cause of which had not yet been confirmed until yesterday. The UK-wide daily figures have yet to be released, but currently more than 7,000 deaths and over 60,000 confirmed cases have been reported.

Covid-19 death tolls rise in Scotland and Wales

The coronavirus death tolls in Scotland and Wales have both risen following daily updates. In Scotland, 81 new fatalities have been reported - taking the total number of deaths in the country to 447. The total number of infections in Scotland has also risen to 4,957 following 392 new cases. In Wales, at least 41 new deaths have been confirmed, bringing the death toll there to 286. 

UK records highest coronavirus daily death toll increase

Yesterday the UK reported it's highest daily increase to the national coronavirus death toll after a total of 938 new fatalities were confirmed, taking the death toll to 7.097. Despite the concerning increase in deaths, the daily number of new cases of infection is not increasingly in as drastic a manner, giving hope that lockdown measures may be working. Government ministers are yet to decide on extending the UK 's lockdown, but a minimum of a two-week extension is widely expected, with Wales having already confirmed an extension there. PM Boris Johnson has spent a fifth day in hospital with coronavirus, where he remains in intensive care but is understood to be improving. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is due to chair an emergency Cobra meeting in Johnson's sted, while the public have been urged to resist the temptation of warmer weather and to stay at home over the coming Easter weekend.

England's coronavirus death toll rises by 828

England's coronavirus death toll has risen again following a daily increase of 828 fatalities - taking the total number of confirmed covid-19 deaths in hospitals in England to 6,483. Meanwhile, 33 new deaths have been reported in Wales, bringing the death toll there to 245 and five new deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland, raising their death toll to 78. At least 70 new fatalities have also been reported in Scotland - the highest daily rise there so far. Official UK-wide figures have yet to be calculated and released and the Department of Health.

Coronavirus lockdown to be extended in Wales

The lockdown measures which have been imposed across the UK are reportedly due to be extended in Wales. The three-week lockdown came into effect in England, Scotland, and Wales last month and is due to end on 14 April; however, recent reports indicate that the Welsh government has decided to take steps to extend the lockdown amid a continued increase in cases and deaths reported. Welsh housing minister stated on Wednesday that they "are definitely extending the lockdown - it will not be raised next Tuesday". London Mayor Sadiq Khan also implied lockdown measures could be extended in England, or at least London, where he said they are "nowhere near lifting the lockdown". So far, the UK has reported at least 55,242 coronavirus cases and 6,159 deaths.

Over 750 new coronavirus deaths confirmed

More than 750 new covid-19 deaths have been reported across the UK in the last 24 hours, including 74 new deaths in Scotland, 19 in Wales, and three in Northern Ireland. Overall, the death toll for the UK now stands at around 5,655, while more than 51,000 cases of infection have been reported.

Seventy-four new coronavirus deaths confirmed

At least 74 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland - taking the total death toll there up to 296. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the latest daily increase during a press conference on Tuesday. According to Sturgeon, the slightly higher than usual figure from the last 24 hours is in part down to underestimations from over the weekend, due to the National Records for Scotland no operating seven days a week. Across the UK, more than 51,600 people have contracted the virus and over 5,600 have died.

Prime Minister in intensive care due to coronavirus symptoms

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Official reports confirm that he was admitted at St Thomas Hospital in London on Monday evening. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has taken charge of cabinet duties and will now lead the coronavirus response until the prime minister's return. Raab temporarily replaces Boris Johnson as he is the next in line due to his role as the first secretary of state. Raab will now have the challenging task of slowing down the coronavirus spread, which has already killed more than 5,000 people.

Coronavirus death toll rises

The coronavirus death toll has risen again after 439 new deaths were reported yesterday, along with 3,802 new cases of infection. The death toll now stands at 5,373, while at least 51,608 people have been infected with the virus, although this figure could be much higher as many mild cases are thought to have gone unreported. The Office for National Statistics recently released new figures for March, which have been altered to include deaths outside of hospitals.

PM Boris Johnson hospitalised for coronavirus tests, death toll rises

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalised for tests after testing positive for Covid-19 10 days ago. The measure is said to have been a "precautionary step" following advice from the PM's doctor. The news comes as the latest figures show that around 47,806 people have tested positive for the virus and at least 4,934 people have died. Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, was forced to resign yesterday following a scandal revolving around two recent trips she had made to her second home, going against government advice. The Queen also delivered a rare address to the nation on Sunday, in which she thanked people for following government guidelines to stay at home.

Almost 700 new coronavirus deaths reported

Almost 700 new coronavirus deaths have been reported in the UK. As of Friday afternoon, an additional 684 fatalities have brought the death toll to 3,605, while the number of confirmed cases of infection now stands at 38,168. An estimated 173,784 people have reportedly been tested for the virus so far. The Queen has suspended her royal duties and is to address the nation in a televised broadcast on Sunday. The address will be the fourth of her 68-year reign, excluding her annual Christmas Day message.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 2,921

The total number of people who have died from coronavirus in the UK has now risen to 2,921, following a daily increase of 569 new deaths since yesterday. Overall, some 163,194 people have been tested for the virus, with about 33,718 testing positive so far. The UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to outline how the government aims to significantly increase testing capacity.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 2,352

The coronavirus death toll has now reached 2,352 across the UK after another 563 deaths were recorded over the last 24 hours. The latest figure is the biggest jump in deaths seen in the UK in a single 24-hour period so far. As of Wednesday morning, some 152,979 people have been tested for the virus in the UK, with at least 29,474 people testing positive for the virus - an increase of 4,324 from yesterday. Recent reports indicate that UK hospital doctors have warned they may have to limit their work over safety fears - with a lack of personal protective equipment being of particular concern.

BA to suspend its London Gatwick schedule

British Airways (BA) has announced that all flights departing from London Gatwick (LGW) will be suspended. The decision comes due to a fall in demand after several countries across Europe launched enhanced restrictions on international flights. BA is still operating flights from London Heathrow (LHR). The announcement comes a day after Easyjet announced that its entire fleet would be grounded. Both airlines are currently included on a list of airlines that will take part in a major government-backed repatriation of UK nationals, which is estimated to cost up to £75bn.

Almost 400 new coronavirus deaths reported across UK

Almost 400 new coronavirus deaths have been reported across the UK in the last 24 hours. Some 393 new fatalities have been confirmed - the biggest daily jump so far in the death toll, which now stands at 1,801. The daily figure includes 367 new deaths in England, 13 in Scotland, seven in Wales, and six in Northern Island.

Coronavirus deaths in Scotland reach 60

The number of coronavirus deaths reported in Scotland has now reached 60 after 13 new deaths were confirmed on Tuesday. An additional 430 new cases of infection have also been recorded, bringing the total number of cases in Scotlanf to 1,993. The figure is the highest daily ncrease in Scotland thus far; however, 108 of the latest cases were from a lab which had been unable to submit data over the weekend.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 1,408

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen to 22,141 after 2,619 new cases of infection were reported yesterday. The death toll in the UK has also risen to 1,408, following an increase of 180 over the last 24 hours. During a press briefing yesterday, UK health officials said the nationwide stay at home advice has been "making a difference". Meanwhile, British Airways has announced that it is suspending all flights from London Gatwick Airport.

Coronavirus figures rise over the weekend

The number of coronavirus cases has risen over the weekend to 19,522 confirmed cases of infection. On Sunday, 209 new deaths were also recorded, taking the national death toll in the UK up to 1,228. The highest daily increase in the death toll so far was reported on Saturday, when 260 new fatalities were confirmed. The UK's deputy chief medical officer recently warned that it could be six motnhs befpre the country "returns to normal". The UK currently remains in a three-week lockdown.

Coronavirus deaths rise to 759

Coronavirus deaths have now risen to 759 following the biggest daily jump in fatality figrues seen in the UK so far. The number increased from 578 to 759 after 181 new deaths were confirmed on Friday. Some 2,921 new cases have also been confirmed - taking the national total number of infections to 14,579. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both come down with the virus.

UK health secretary tests positive for coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has tested positive for coronavirus. Moments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also confirmed to have contracted the virus, Hancock said that he is suffering from mild symptoms. He added that he is currently working from home and self-isolating. Reports from the BBC also suggest that Brexit negotiator David Frost may also have developed suspected symptoms. 

Prime Minister tests positive for coronavirus

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus. Johnson is understood to have developed mild symptoms over the last 24 hours, inlcuding a temperature and a cough. He will now self-isolate in No 10 but will "continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus". According to reports, Johnson was tested at No 10 by NHS staff. There are currently more than 11,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, and at least 578 people have died.

Over 2,000 new coronavirus cases and 115 new deaths reported

More than 2,000 new daily cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UK in the last 24 hours, along with at least 115 new deaths. The latest figures were released on Thursday evening and showed that 2,129 new cases of infection had been recorded - the highest daily increase in the UK so far. The new daily fatalities also marked the first time more than 100 new deaths have been confirmed within a day. Among those is a 76-year-old doctor, Dr Habib Zaidi, who died whilst being treated for suspected coronavirus symptoms in intensive care at Southend Hospital.

Royal Navy shadows seven Russian warships around UK waters

The Royal Navy has said that they have shadowed seven Russian warships after intense levels of activity in the English Channel and the North Sea. In a statement, the military said that they recorded an unusual level of activity from those vessels. It added that NATO allies have assisted in the large-scale operation. The navy said that the Russian fleet contained three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, two Ropucha-class landing ships and two Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 463

The death toll for the coronavirus has risen to at least 462 confirmed fatalities after 41 new cases were reported yesterday. The daily rise is less than half the increase from the day before. The number of infections has also risen, by about 1,452 - taking the national tally up from 8,077 to 9,529. Overall, around 97,000 people have been tested for the virus.

All commercial flights to be suspended at London City Airport

All commercial and private flights to and from London City Airport (LCY) are set to be suspended. In a statement, LCY said that the decision was based on the latest government's coronavirus advice. The measure will start to be implemented on Wednesday evening, 25 March, and is expected to last until the end of April. LCY becomes the first airport in London to suspend operations due to coronavirus outbreak. Although some airlines have cancelled most flights to London Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, all of those airports remain open for business.

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

Prince Charles has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus and is said to be displaying mild symptoms "but otherwise remains in good health". The prince is 71-years-old, putting him in a risk group, although he has no known underlying health conditions. The Duchess of Cornwall, 72, has also been tested but does not have the virus. Charles and Camilla are now self-isolating at Balmoral, where the prince is understood to have been working at home for the last few days. Due to the high number of engagements carried out by the prince over recent weeks, it's as of yet unclear from whom Charles caught the virus. Prince Charles is first in the line of succession to the throne.

UK may release some prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

The UK government is reportedly considering releasing some prisoners in England and Wales amid the coronavirus outbreak in a bid to ease pressures caused by the pandemic. The virus poses an "acute" risk in prisons, many of which are overcrowded and thousands of prison staff currently off work due to either sickness or self-isolation. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said that releasing some inmates in a controlled manner could help alleviate pressures. Inmates would be let out on a temporary licence, where prisoners are released for short periods following strict risk assessments. Other countries which are considering, or have already taken, similar measures include Australia, Ethiopia, and Iran. In other countries - such as Italy and Colombia, prisons have been hit by violent riots as inmates protest containment measures.

Parliament to vote on closure amid coronavirus outbreak

The UK parliament is expected to vote on whether or not to close as of Wednesday night amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has already killed at least 422 people across the UK, and infected some 8,077 others. MPs will apparently vote on whether to close Parliament later today, with the plan to return on 21 April. The closure would come into effect after emergency laws to deal with the outbreak have been passed and granted royal assent.

UK coronavirus death toll increases to 422

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has increased to 422 after more than 87 people were confirmed dead in the last 24 hours. The latest report published on Tuesday afternoon comes as measures for a nationwide lockdown came into force. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised speech to the nation that the new restrictions will be implemented for at least three weeks. According to the government, over 8,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK.

PM Johnson announces lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced strict new measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The new measures, which have been imposed with immediate effect, order people to remain at home except for shopping for food and medicine, daily exercise and travelling to work which is deemed to be of critical importance. All shops selling non-essential goods have been shut and police have been given powers to enforce the new restrictions. "Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won't be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses," he said. On Monday the death toll in the UK reached 335.

Eight more coronavirus deaths reported

Eight more coronavirus deaths have been confirmed in the UK, raising the national death toll to at least 289 fatalities as of Monday afternoon. The total number of infected cases has also risen by 154 to 5,837. The Department of Health and Social Care are expected to release more up-to-date figures later this afternoon, meaning the death toll could rise further still. Over the weekend, the government introduced stricter measures in response to the outbreak, including advising those most at risk from the virus to stay home for 12 weeks. 

Girl stabbed to death in a park in Bolton

A seven-year-old girl has been stabbed to death in a park in Bolton. According to the police, the victim sustained serious injuries and succumbed to her wounds after being taken to the hospital. The incident happened on Sunday in Queen's Park, which is located near the city centre. Police have confirmed that a 30-year-old woman was arrested at the scene. The motive behind the incident is still unclear. Initial reports suggest that the woman was not known by the girl's family.

Boris Johnson announces further coronavirus measures

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced further measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the UK. As part of his daily press briefings on the pandemic, Boris Johnson told reporters on Friday that all pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, gyms and some other facilities will be immediately ordered to shut. The announcement came as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a huge economic package for workers, including the payment of up to 80 percent of salaries for people of PAYE. There is still some further clarification to be announced towards other economic measures, especially towards the self-employed. More than 5,000 cases of the coronavirus have been so far confirmed in the UK, including 233 deaths.

Third Welsh coronavirus death and first arrest reported

A third coronavirus death has been reported in Wales, while the UK's first arrest related to the outbreak has also been reported. The recent fatality in Wales is understood to have been a 71-year-old patient with underlying health conditions. There are 170 confirmed cases in Wales, where schools are due to close today with the rest of the UK. Elsewhere, a man has been arrested for allegedly failing to self-isolate after arriving on the Isle of Man. Emergency legislation was recently passed requiring all new arrivals to quarantine for 14 days regardless of symptoms; however, the 26-year-old man refused to do so, resulting in his arrest and a potential fine of up to £10,000 or three months in prison.

Coronavirus death toll rises as more measures enforced

The death toll for the coronavirus in the UK has risen to 144 confirmed fatalities as of Thursday evening. Some 3,269 cases have been diagnosed in the UK; however, the actual figure is thought to be much higher due to those with mild symptoms not being tested. Among some of the latest measures to be brought in to combat the spread of the virus include: more than 65,000 recently retired doctors and nurses being asked to return to the NHS; government pledges to ensure all hospitals have enough protective gear and ventilators; a list of key workers whose children will still be able to attend school following the nationwide closure; an employment and wage subsidy package to protect jobs; a gradual reduction in train services from Monday; the suspension of Catholic and C of E church services.

Two paramilitary-style attacks reported in Northern Ireland

Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said that two paramilitary-style attacks have taken place in Derry and Ballymena. According to reports, the first attack happened on Wednesday in the Magowan Park in Derry's Creggan area. On the same day, another victim was targeted by five masked men on Casement Street in Ballymena, County Antrim. DS Peter Crothers said: “This was a vicious and brutal assault, which we are treating as a paramilitary-style attack at this time."

England coronavirus death toll rises to 128

The death toll in England for the coronavirus has risen to at least 128 confirmed fatalities after 29 new fatalities were recorded within the last 24 hours. All of the deceased are understood to have been aged between 47 and 96 years old and had underlying health conditions. Official figures for the wider UK are due to be announced later this afternoon; however, three new deaths have already been confirmed in Scotland and one death was reported in Northern Ireland earlier today.

Northern Ireland's first coronavirus death confirmed

The first fatal coronavirus case has been reported in Northern Ireland. The patient is understood to have been an elderly person who was being treated in a hospital in the greater Belfast area. According to reports, the patient is confirmed to have had an underlying health condition. Overall, the UK has now recorded at least 108 confirmed deaths - after three more deaths were also confirmed in Scotland.

French and UK coronavirus death tolls increase

Both the French and the UK's death tolls for the coronavirus went up within the last 24 hours. While 89 new deaths were confirmed in France, 34 new deaths were also confirmed in the UK - raising the respective totals to 264 and 104. A total of 2,626 cases of infection have been reported across the UK, amid speculation that the capital city of London could go on lockdown after PM Boris Johnson said he would "rule nothing out" in response to a potential shutdown. Some 40 London Underground stations have been closed amid the pandemic and school closures are due to come into effect from Friday.

Forty London Underground stations close over coronavirus

Forty London Underground stations are to be closed as the capital city attempts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The partial shutdown was announced on Thursday morning and will apply to various stations along the Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Jubille, Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. Transport for London (TfL) has advised people to check their website for full details and live updates. There will also be no night tube service and bus services will also be reduced.

Coronavirus deaths in the UK surpass 100

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has surpassed 100 after the government confirmed 33 new deaths in the past 24 hours. So far, 104 deaths have been confirmed for links to the coronavirus in the UK, while the number of cases continues to increase. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered all schools to shut down indefinitely in a fresh move to limit the spread of the disease through social contact. The measure has already been ordered in Wales and Scotland.

UK coronavirus figures increase by almost 700

The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the UK has risen by almost 700 over the last 24 hours. Cases rose from 1,950 to 2,626 on Wednesday, while some 53,595 people have been tested for the virus. Among the latest to be diagnosed with the virus is a prisoner at HMP Manchester. Thirteen other inmates and four members of prison staff have been put into isolation as a precaution. The death toll will be updated later today but currently stands at 71 confirmed fatalities. 

Scottish and Welsh schools to close

All schools in Scotland and Wales are due to close amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the UK. The measures were announced on Wednesday. In Wales, schools will be closed from Friday, effectively bringing forward the Easter holidays break which had been due to start on 06 April. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that Schools in Scotland will close at the end of the week. The UK's Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to make a statement later today and is expected to announce similar measures for the English education system.

Manchester Arena bomber's brother found guilty

The Old Bailey has found Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Machester Arena bomber, guilty of 22 counts of murder. Abedi was detained back in 2017 in Libya just a day after the terrorist attack. The incident happened during a concert in May, where nearly 1,000 people were also injured. Abedi was accused of being one of the masterminds behind the plot. According to prosecutors, Abedi and his brother, Salman, spent months planning the attack. Both of them lived in Fallowfield, south of Manchester. Sentencing is set to start later this year, while a public inquiry will be opened in June.

More than 400 new coronavirus cases reported

More than 400 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the UK, raising the total to almost 2,000 confirmed cases of infection. As of Tuesday afternoon, 1,950 people have tested positive after 407 new cases were diagnosed in the last 24 hours - the biggest daily increase so far. The death toll currently stands at 56, although this is likely to increase as the latest confirmed number of deaths will be announced later today. The testing figures come as the Church of England suspends public worship in Britain.

British nationals to avoid non-essential travel abroad

British nationals have been advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad as the country continues to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. The travel restriction will remain in place for 30 days but may be extended subject to review. The measure is among some of the more extreme taken by the British authorities in recent days and is the first time the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against foreign travel anywhere in the world. British nationals currently abroad are not required to immediately return to the UK, except those in hard-hit countries. Advice could however change and commercial flights face the increasing risk of last-minute cancellations.

UK extends social distancing measures

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to avoid visiting bars, pubs and restaurants as the UK extends social distancing measures. The PM also called on people to work from home wherever possible and cancel all non-essential travel. People at high-risk from the coronavirus, including the over 70s and pregnant women, are advised to limit contact as much as possible. There have been more than 1,500 confirmed cases in the UK, while the death toll has risen to 53.

UK records 171 new coronavirus cases

The total number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK has risen to 1,543 after 171 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday. The death toll currently stands at 35 confirmed fatalities. Some 44,105 people have been tested for the virus overall; however, the government is not testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms, meaning many possible cases are not being diagnosed.

Protests against government coronavirus response

Protesters have gathered outside Downing Street in London to protest against the government response strategy to the coronavirus outbreak. The demonstrators are part of a group called Pause the System and wore face masks and protective suits as they called for the government to step up measures against the coronavirus.

Second British MP tests positive for coronavirus

A second British MP has tested positive for the coronavirus. Kate Osborne, Labour MP for Jarrow, confirmed her diagnosis on Monday, stating that she would continue to self-isolate until she has fully recovered. MP Nadine Dorries was the first British politician to test positive for the virus last week. A number of other MPs are also understood to have gone into precautionary self-isolation.

Coronavirus cases surpass 1,300

Over the weekend, the number of coronavirus cases reported in the UK has risen to 1,391, while 35 people have died. All the deceased patients are understood to have been over the age of 60 or to have been suffering from serious underlying health conditions. On Monday morning, the UK government announced it would give daily TV briefings to keep the public informed and updated. 

Coronavirus cases rise to 798

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to at least 798 after 208 new cases were diagnosed within the last 24 hours - marking the largest jump in cases in a single day thus far. The death toll currently stands at 10. The majority of cases have been reported in the London area and in the South East and South West regions.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 10

The death toll for the coronavirus in the UK has risen to 10 fatalities, after two more deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. An additional 140 new cases were also diagnosed, taking the national total number of infections to 596 - including 491 in England, 60 in Scotland, 20 in Northern Ireland, and 25 in Wales. The latest deaths are understood to have been an 89-year-old at Charing Cross Hospital in London and a woman in her 60s at Queen's Hospital in Romford - both had underlying health conditions. A total of 29,764 people have been tested for the virus in the UK so far. The UK government is expected to focus efforts on delaying the spread, rather than containing it, while Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, recently announced measures to ban mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

Four teenagers injured in multiple stabbings in east London

Four teenagers have been injured in a stabbing spree in east London. BBC reported that the incident happened on Wednesday evening in Walthamstow. In a communique, the Met Police confirmed that none of those taken to the hospital sustained life-threatening injuries. In 2019, teenage stabbings in London have reached the highest numbers since 2008.

Coronavirus cases increase to 456

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has risen from 373 to 456 after 83 new cases were confirmed - marking the biggest rise in a single day. The death toll currently stands at six. The Department of Health released the latest figures on Wednesday afternoon. So far, 27,020 people have been tested for the virus in the UK. NHS England has now announced plans to expand the number of people it can test in a day from 1,500 to 10,000, while confirmation of positive test results will be sped up with most receiving them within 24 hours. 

Fatal stabbing in Ilford nightclub

A fatal stabbing has occurred in a nightclub in Ilford, London. The deceased has been identified as a 24-year-old male who died after being attacked by an armed male inside a club on Ilford High Road. According to reports, the victim was treated for stab wounds by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and died several hours later. The police have detained the suspect, who is expected to face charges.

UK health minister confirmed as coronavirus case

A UK health minister has been confirmed to be among those diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK. Nadine Dorries is thought to have come down with the virus sometime within the last week but was only recently identified as a coronavirus patient. The 62-year-old stated in a Tweet that she hoped she was over the worst of it now but expressed concern for her 84-year-old mother who has been staying with her and began to display symptoms yesterday. Some 383 cases have been confirmed in the Uk, along with six deaths.

Sixth fatal coranvirus case reported

A sixth death from coronavirus has been reported in the UK. The patient is understood to have been a man in his early 80s who had underlying health conditions and was being treated at Watford General Hospital in Hertfordshire after testing positive for Covid-19. The latest fatality comes as figures rise from 319 to 373 confirmed cases of infection in the UK.

Fourth person in UK dies from coronavirus

A fourth person has reportedly died after contracting the coronavirus in the UK. The patient, aged in their seventies, was being treated at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital and had underlying health conditions. Currently, the UK has 319 confirmed cases of the virus - a rise of 46 since Sunday morning. The fourth coronavirus death comes as the UK government states it will remain in the "containment" stage of its response to the global outbreak following an emergency Cobra meeting, with measures to delay the spread of the virus, such as "social distancing", not being introduced yet, although the virus is expected to continue to spread in a significant way.

Coronavirus total rises to 319, three dead

As of Monday morning, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has risen from 278 to 319. Three people have died after being treated for the virus in hospitals in Reading, Milton Keynes, and Manchester - all three patients were over the age of 60 and had underlying health conditions. So far, 24,641 people have been tested for the virus across the UK.

Five new coronavirus cases in Scotland

Five new coronavirus cases have been reported in Scotland - raising the national total for Scotland to 23 confirmed cases and no deaths, while three deaths have been reported in England. The latest figures indicate 319 cases have been confirmed across the UK as of Monday morning. Following the UK Government's Cobra meeting and a meeting of the Scottish Government's Resilience Committee, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there is an "increasing inevitability" of an outbreak across the UK.

Teenager stabbed to death in south London

A 17-year-old boy has died after being stabbed in an incident in south London. The stabbing occurred on a London bus near Whitehorse Lane in South Norwood on Sunday evening at around 20:30 local time. According to reports, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics 40 minutes later. Local roads were briefly subject to road closures but have since been re-opened. An investigation has been launched, although no arrests have been made thus far.

Police kill knifeman in central London

A knifeman has been shot dead by armed police in central London. According to reports, the incident occurred in Westminster on Sunday evening at around 23:35 local time, when police apprehended a man "acting suspiciously". The suspect apparently pulled out two knives after being challenged by police officers, prompting them to respond with a taser and a firearm. The man was pronounced dead and no members of the public of police officers were injured in the incident, which is not being treated as terror-related.

Southampton hospital staff member tests positive for coronavirus

A member of staff at University Hospital Southampton has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. The patient is understood to be a healthcare professional who recently worked a nightshift in the surgical high dependency unit on Friday 06 March. They have now been placed in isolation at home and all patients and other staff members who came into contact with them have been informed and will also be isolated. The hospital also stated that the high dependency unit has since been closed to new admissions, while all other services continue to operate as normal.

Coronavirus cases reach 163

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has now reached 163, including 147 cases in England, 11 in Scotland, three in Northern Ireland, and two in Wales. The increase comes after 48 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours - the biggest jump seen in the UK in one day so far. More than 20,000 people have been tested for the virus and the country's first death linked to the outbreak was reported in Berkshire yesterday. The majority of the cases in England have been reported in London (29), the South East (24), the South West (22), and the North West (21).

BA staff test positive for coronavirus

Two staff members of airline British Airways (BA) have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. According to recent reports, BA have released a statement confirming that Public Health England had tested two staff members for the virus and both were diagnosed and have since been isolated and are recovering at home. Both staff members were based at Heathrow Airport as baggage handlers.

First coronavirus death reported

The first coronavirus patient has died in the UK. The deceased is understood to have been a patient in their 70s who suffered underlying health conditions, for which they had been in and out of hospital. The death was confirmed on Thursday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. The woman had not been abroad recently and is thought to have contracted the virus locally, although this is still under investigation. In total, the UK has at least 115 confirmed cases of the virus.

Coronavirus figures rise to 115

The total number of people who have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus in the UK has risen from 90 to 115. The Department of Health and Social Care released the latest figures on Thursday afternoon, adding that around 18,083 people have so far been tested for the virus in the UK, with 17,968 tests coming back negative. Details regarding the locations of confirmed coronavirus cases within the UK will be released tomorrow.

Three more coronavirus cases reported in Scotland

Three more coronavirus cases have been reported in Scotland, raising the national total to six, and the UK's total number of infections to 90. The patients are believed to be from the Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, and Grampian areas. All are said to be in good condition, are clinically well and receiving care in isolation.

Coronavirus cases jump to 85

The number of coronavirus cases reported in the UK has jumped to 85 after 32 new cases have been confirmed. The latest rise in figures comes shortly after England's chief medical officer stated that the UK was likely to see a 'significant' rise in cases over the next six weeks, including possible deaths. Of the latest cases, at least 29 have been linked to recent travel abroad, while three are understood to have contracted the virus locally. Investigations and contact tracing are underway.

Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in Scotland

Two new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Scotland, raising Scotland's total to three confirmed cases and the total number of infections in the UK to 53. Both cases were identified in the Tayside area of Airdrie; however, it could not yet be confirmed is the latest two cases were linked to the first coronavirus case in Scotland, which was also diagnosed in Tayside earlier this week.

Coronavirus cases rise to 51

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Uk has risen to 51 as of Tuesday morning. At least one of the recently diagnosed cases has been connected to Hilbre High School in Wirral, where it's believed a parent visited the school on Monday before being formally diagnosed. The school has closed as a precaution. The increase in cases comes after UK PM Boris Johnson announced the government's response to the outbreak - currently in its first stage of containment. Should the virus become widespread, non-urgent hospital care could be delayed to focus treatments, while recently retired medical personnel may be called back to work. Other possible measures include school closures, working from home, and reducing large-scale gatherings.

Coronavirus cases rise to 40

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to 40 as of Monday 02 March. The four latest cases have all been linked to recent travel to Italy, which has seen the largest outbreak in Europe with almost 1,700 cases. The patients are from Hertfordshire, Devon, and Kent. Health officials are currently working to trace their contacts. Following an emergency Cobra meeting today, PM Boris Johnson stated that "We have agreed a plan so that if and when it starts to spread, as I'm afraid it looks likely it will, we are in a position to take the steps necessary to... contain the spread of the disease as far as awe can, and to protect the most vulnerable".

London school closes over coronavirus case

A secondary school in south-west London has closed for the week after a teacher tested positive for the coronavirus. Wimbledon College boys' school suspended classes after the teacher was diagnosed with the virus following their return from Italy. The teacher is understood not to have been in contact with pupils since the beginning of half term, on the morning of 25 February - before they travelled to Italy. The closure has been implemented as a precautionary measure due to other members of staff being classed as close contacts of the patient, requiring them to self-isolate for 14 days. The school will re-open on 10 March.

Scotland reports first coronavirus case

Scotland has reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus after a patient tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend. The patient is understood to be a resident of the Tayside area and had recently travelled back from northern Italy. While the case is Scotland's first, there have now been 36 confirmed cases overall in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to chair a Cobra meeting later today to discuss the issue. A healthcare worker in Hertfordshire has also recently tested positive for the virus.

Three new coronavirus confirmed in the UK

Three new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK, raising the national total to 19. One case has been reported in Wales, while the other two were diagnosed in England. According to reports, the Welsh patient is from the Swansea area and is believed to have been infected in northern Italy before travelling to the UK. Both patients in England are thought to have contracted the virus whilst in Iran and are now being treated at a specialist centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

Two new coronavirus cases confirmed

Two new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK. The patients are being treated at specialist NHS infection centres in Liverpool and London. According to reports, both cases have been linked to recent travel to Italy and Tenerife. Officials have warned that further cases are likely to emerge; however, the government has assured the public that the UK is prepared for all eventualities. No deaths have been reported in the UK thus far.

Chevron sends London workers home after suspected coronavirus case

US-based oil giant Chevron has sent more than 300 workers home after an employee showed some symptoms compatible with the coronavirus. As a precaution, the company ordered its workers at London's Canary Wharf home as tests on the suspected case are being carried out. According to the Financial Times, the employee had just returned from a country that has recorded a coronavirus outbreak. In total, 13 cases have been confirmed in the UK.

Thirteen coronavirus cases confirmed overall

Four recent coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK in recent days, raising the total number of people infected in the UK to 13. As of Tuesday 25 February, at least 6,795 people have been tested for the virus in the UK, of which 6,782 results have come back negative and 13 have been positive. The latest cases are all passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise liner, docked in Yokohama, Japan.

IS supporter admits to London bomb plot

A supporter of the Islamic State (IS) has reportedly admitted to plotting a bomb attack on St Paul's Cathedral in London. According to preliminary reports from the BBC, Safiyya Sahikh (born Michelle Ramsden), of Hayes, west London, planned to blow herself up in a suicide bomb attack. She was arrested in October 2019 and has admitted to preparing an act of terrorism by asking an undercover officer to supply bombs.

Man stabbed at a mosque in central London

A man has been stabbed at a mosque in London moments before the afternoon prayers. Sky News reported that the victim was taken to hospital after he was stabbed at the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park. A man has been detained at the scene, while it remains unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are.

Two killed in West Midlands stabbing

At least two people have been killed in a recent stabbing incident in the West Midlands. According to recent reports, the incident occurred at a residential property in Brierley Hill during the early hours of Thursday morning at around 03:30 local time. The police have responded to the scene on Pensnett Road, where two were found dead. The police officers also found the property was being used to farm cannabis plants illegally - potentially linking the deaths to drug criminals. A murder investigation is underway.

Delays reported due to blocked runway at Heathrow airport

Delays to flight operations have been reported due to a blocked runway at Londow Heathrow Airport. Reports on Wednesday morning indicate that aircraft blocking the runway have had an impact on departures, forcing the airport to temporarily suspend all take-offs until the issue is resolved. Unconfirmed reports sugegst the issue is on runway 27R. While no official comment has been issued by the airport regarding the incident, they have responded to travellers on Twitter, advising them to contact their airlines for the latest information regarding the status of flights.

Several towns evacuated due to rising water levels in Shropshire

Evacuation orders have been issued to several towns in Shropshire located along the River Severn due to risks of flash flooding. BBC reported that several areas in Ironbridge have been flooded due to rising water levels. Hundreds of flood warnings remain in place in the aftermath of Storm Dennis. In total, six severe flooding warnings remain in place in areas located around the Lugg, Severn and Wye rivers. Intense rainfall is forecast to persist for the next few days. For further information, people have been advised to follow alerts and recommendations from the Met Office and the Environment Agency.

Some flights cancelled due to IT glitch at London Heathrow

Some flights to and from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) could be affected due to a previous technical glitch reported on Sunday. Although LHR has already announced that the issue has been resolved, dozens of flights were cancelled on Monday morning. In a statement, LHR said that the "technical issue has now been resolved and Heathrow’s systems are returning to normal". It added that their "teams will continue to monitor our systems and be on hand to provide assistance to passengers as we work to resume our regular operations". Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines. British Airways has said that most of their flights affected on Monday are on their UK and European routes.

Flood warnings remain following Storm Dennis

Flood warnings remain widespread across parts of England and Wales in the aftermath of Storm Dennis, which brought strong winds and heavy rain to much of the UK over the weekend. More than 300 flood warnings are still in place, including five severe warnings in England - meaning danger to life. Major incidents have been declared in south Wales and parts of England and significant widespread travel disruption has been reported. According to reports, the government has activated an emergency funding scheme for areas affected by the flooding, which include parts of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire.

Passenger held at London Heathrow due to suspected coronavirus case

A passenger has been held at London Heathrow Airport due to suspicion of being infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. The passenger was on board a United Airlines flight which departed from San Francisco. According to reports, the passenger was isolated at the back of the plane, while all other remaining passengers were allowed to disembark. In a statement, a United Airlines representative said: "Our team at London Heathrow Airport is providing assistance related to United flight 901 (San Francisco-London Heathrow) today, following reports of an individual becoming unwell on board. The safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we continue to work closely with local authorities." So far, nine cases have been confirmed in the UK.

Climate change protesters gather in Exeter

Climate change protesters have reportedly gathered for a demonstration in Exeter, Devon. Participants have congregated outside the County Hall on Topsham Road and along a number of major roads in the city centre, with the intention of blocking traffic. Some disruption should be expected on Topsham Road and throughout the surrounding area.

Weather alerts issued as Storm Dennis approaches the UK

Weather alerts have been issued across Britain and Northern Ireland as Storm Dennis is set to batter the country over the weekend. According to the Met Office, heavy rainfall and strong winds will affect most parts of the country, with the exception of some regions in north-eastern Scotland. Ambert alerts were issued to central Wales, northern England and some areas in Devon and Cornwall. Severe travel disruption may affect train services, roads and some flights. Power outages could also be reported in some regions, while large waves are expected to hit coastal areas. The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings to several locations across the country, especially in some counties across the Midlands. People are advised to follow Met Office updates.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders major cabinet reshuffle

Several ministers have been sacked after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a major reshuffle of his cabinet. Among those dismissed is the Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, who leaves office just weeks after successfully brokering talks to restore the government in Belfast. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Housing Minister Esther McVey and Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers were also sacked. Meanwhile, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has announced his resignation, along with Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. Other ministries, including transport and universities, also faced changes. Most of those being replaced were appointed to their posts last July when Boris Johnson replaced Thresa May as PM. Several junior ministers and under-secretaries are expected to be promoted to new positions within the cabinet. This is the most significant cabinet reshuffle since the Conservative victory in the last general election.

Ninth coronavirus case confirmed

A ninth case of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, has been confirmed in the UK. The patient is understood to be a woman who flew into London Heathrow Airport several days ago from China. She has since been transferred to Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, while officials work on tracing those who may have been in recent contact with the patient. According to reports, England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the patient contracted the virus in China and sources said the woman developed symptoms after landing, called NHS 111 and later tested positive.

Stabbing incident reported in Manchester

Two people have been wounded in a recent stabbing incident in the northern English city of Manchester. The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday on Russell Street in the Moss Side area, where an armed suspect allegedly attacked two others with a bladed weapon, leaving both injured. The police responded to the incident and have since made an arrest with the suspected perpetrator still in custody while inevstigations continue. The motive behind the attack has eyt to be determined.

Four tourists rescued after attempt to climb Ben Nevis

Four tourists have been rescued while attempting to climb Ben Nevis. Rescuers of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team (LMRT) managed to locate the men after they were caught out in a powerful blizzard. Reports indicate that they were not prepared nor equipped to climb the mountain at this time of the year. BBC reported that the men were visiting Scotland from abroad. LMRT reiterated that climbing Ben Nevis during the winter is extremely dangerous.

Man convicted of plotting terror attack against tourist sites in London

A 28-year-old man has been convicted of plotting attacks at London tourist sites. A jury at the Woolwich Crown Court in London has found Mohiussunnath Chowdhury guilty of terror offences. Chowdhury is accused of planning to attack several tourist sites and events in the capital. He was arrested in July after he confessed his plans to undercover police officers. Chowdhury had previously been charged with terror-related offences back in 2017.

Police arrest four men for involvement in Lyra McKee's murder

Police have detained four people accused of involved in the murder of journalist Lyra McKee. Reuters reported that the suspects - three of them in their 20s and a 52-year-old man - were arrested under the Terrorism Act in Londonderry. McKee was killed in a shooting last April during a riot in Londonderry. Members of the New IRA claimed responsibility for the attack. Her death has reignited the debate on dissident-related violence in Northern Ireland.

Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon reiterates calls for independence referendum

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated calls to launch an independence referendum. In a statement, she said: “We should agree a process between ourselves and the UK government for a referendum in line with the clear mandate given by the people of Scotland. We are taking in Scotland the steps required to ensure that a referendum can be held that is legal and legitimate so the result can be accepted and agreed both at home and internationally." Calls for independence intensified after the Scottish National Party (SNP) achieved strong results in the general elections held in December. Scotland's independence aspirations will continue a key subject on the UK political agenda after Brexit - in 2014, 55 percent of Scottish voters chose to remain in the EU.

Storm Ciara leaves one dead in Hampshire

A 58-year-old man has been confirmed dead on Monday morning after a tree fell on his car in Hampshire during Storm Ciara over the weekend. According to reports, the man had been driving along the A33 (Basingstoke Road) from Winchester to Micheldever when the accident occurred on Sunday afternoon. Although the worst of the storm has passed, yellow weather warnings for snow, ice, and wind remain in place for much of the UK.

Four more coronavirus cases confirmed in UK

Four more coronavirus cases have apparently been confirmed in the UK, raising the total number of cases to eight. It's understood the four latest patients had all been in contact with a previously confirmed UK case, and that the virus was passed on in France. They have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy's and St Thomas' and the Royal Free hospitals in London. One of the four cases has been identified as a staff member at a County Oak medical centre in Brighton, forcing the practice to temporarily close. The newest cases come as new measures are brought in to strengthen quarantine regulations. The measures were introduced in response to a passenger who was on the first UK evacuation flight from Wuhan - now being held in quarantine on the Wirral - threatened to abscond before the 14-day isolation period was up. The second and last evacuation flight from Wuhan arrived in Britain on Sunday, with 200 British and foreign nationals transferred to a Milton Keynes conference centre for 14 days of quarantine.

Storm Ciara causes disruption across UK

Storm Ciara has caused widespread travel disruption across the UK after battering much of England, Scotland, and Wales over the weekend. The storm brought sever gales of up to 97mph and heavy rain which triggered flash floods in parts, impacting road transport and rail services, while power to more than 20,000 homes was cut off. More than 200 flood warnings remain in place across the country, along with yellow weather warnings for snow, ice, and wind. According to reports, some parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland could face up to 20cm of snow and potential blizzards.

Coronavirus deemed imminent public health threat

The UK government has declared coronavirus a "serious and imminent threat" to public health. The declaration came on friday morning, as new powers to fight the spread of the disease were also announced. At least four confirmed cases have been reported in the UK so far, while over 900 people have died globally - mostly in China, where the outbreak started. More than 40,000 cases have been reported worldwide. 

PSNI investigate explosive device found on HGV in Northern Ireland

Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) are currently investigating the discovery of a bomb attached to a lorry in County Armagh. In a statement, the PSNI confirmed that police officers were first notified last week of a bomb-laden vehicle in the docks of Belfast. Reports initially indicated that the lorry was among those that were set to cross the Irish Sea towards Scotland. PSNI said that they had failed to locate the device that day. After investigations, the vehicle was intercepted days later in the Silverwood Industrial Estate in Lurgan. Authorities accused dissident republicans of planting the device.

Violent riot breaks out in Belfast

A violent riot has reportedl broken out in Belfast, Northern Ireland, leaving at least one person injured. According to reports, the person was injured during an assault which took place amidst a riot in Victoria Parade on Wednesday evening. It's claimed that a large group of between 50 to 100 rioters then clashed with police officers after they tried to intervene to attend to the casualty, who had allegedly been set upon by three men. The cause behing the disorder remains unclear and the police have issued an appeal for information.

Third coronavirus case confirmed in UK

A third person has been diagnosed with the novel Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nVoC) in the UK. According to the BBC, the Department of Health has confirmed the case, stating that the patient is thought to have contracted the virus abroad, rather than locally. "The patient is being transferred to a specialist NHS centre, and we are using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus", said chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty. Unconfirmed reports suggest the patient was diagnosed in the southern coastal town of Brighton and is being transferred to an infectious diseases unit in a London hospital. Two other patients are still being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Scottish finance secretary resigns over teenage messaging scandal

Scotland's Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has resigned after being accused of messaging a teenage boy. A report published in The Scottish Sun accused Mackay of exchanging hundreds of messages with a 16-year-old on social media. It happened over a period of six months. The allegations emerged just a day before he was set to deliver the Scottish budget. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accepted his resignation and said that his behaviour “failed to meet the standards required”. Mackay said: “I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry. I apologize unreservedly to the individual involved and his family."

Twelve protesers arrested outside BP HQ in London

The London Metropolitan Police have reportedly detained at least 12 protesters in London. The protesters had gathered outside the headquarters of British Petroleum (BP) in St Jame's Square, forcing the HQ office to close following a demonstration which involved Greenpeace activists delivering 500 solar panels with a total area of over 800 square metres to the office during the early hours of Wednesday morning, although police prevented them from installing the panels. All six entrances to the site were also blocked by protesters who had chained themselves to dirty oil barrels, with around 50 activists obstructing the road outside the building. According to reports, the protest came on new BP CEO Bernard Looney's first day on the job. Protestors are demanding that BP ends its commitments to fossil fuel developments and instead switches to 100 percent renewable energy.

Several areas cordoned off over WWII ordnance discovery in Soho, London

Several streets in central London have been cordoned off after reports of the discovery of a World War Two ordnance. Soho Police have confirmed that police officers headed to the scene at 13:42 local time on Monday after a suspected WWII explosive was found at a building site near Dean Street. Police confirmed that several areas around Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue, Lexington Street and Poland Street were isolated. Evacuations in those areas are also expected to be ordered, while major disruption is likely to affect road travel and public transports throughout the evening. People have been advised to avoid the area.

Measures on terror offences to be strengthened in aftermath of London attack

Interior Minister Priti Patel has announced that the government is laying out plans to toughen security measures on terror offences. Patel told Reuters that “those measures will build upon the actions we have already put in place. It is right that these individuals are kept behind bars". The announcement comes after a terror-related stabbing incident in South London, where a 20-year-old man injured two people. The suspect has been identified as Sudesh Amman, who was just recently released from prison. He was first detained back in 2018 for the possession and dissemination of terrorist propaganda.

Man shot by police after stabbing attack in London

A man has been shot police after several people were stabbed in a 'terror-related incident' in London. The attack took place on Streatham High Road on Sunday afternoon. The emergency services are responding and police are advising people to avoid the area.

First coronavirus cases confirmed in UK

The first two confirmed cases of the novel Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in the UK. Both patients are members of the same family and are said to be receiving specialist NHS care in Newcastle. The patients can't be identified but it's believed they had been staying at a hotel in Yorkshire. Health officials are said to be working quickly to identify any contacts the patients had to prevent further spread. The cases have come as 83 British nationals and 27 foreign nationals are being flown to the UK from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus originated. The flight is due to land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at 13:30 local time on Friday 31 January. So far, 213 people have been killed and almost 10,000 cases of the virus have been reported.

EU lawmakers overwhelmingly approve Brexit deal

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have approved the Brexit deal. With 621 votes in favour and 49 against, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement, which will pave the way for the UK departure on Friday, was approved. After that, a transitional period will be implemented until the end of the year. During this time, the EU and the UK will engage in negotiations in an attempt to reach a trade agreement. EU leaders had already signed the agreement last week. It was also approved by the Queen and has already passed in a vote held in the Conservative-controlled House of Commons.

Two injured in three-vehicle crash near Poole

Two people have been injured following a three-vehicle crash near the coastal town of Poole in Dorset, England. The accident occurred during the early hours of Thursday morning at around 03:20 local time along the A35 Upton Bypass, where a bus collided with an ambulance and a police car. Both emergency vehicles were apparently stationary at the time of the crash. The incident has forced a closure of the major road, with westbound traffic diverted at the A350 junction via the A31 Roundhouse Roundabout and the A31 west to Bere Regis. The cause behind the crash remains under investigation.

Wuhan evacuation flight 'unable to take off'

A flight which was due to evacuate some 200 British nationals has been unable to take off as planned from Wuhan city, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, it's understood the relevant permissions needed from Chinese officials failed to come through in time for the flight's scheduled departure. The UK FCO stated that it is "working urgently" to organise a flight to the UK "as soon as possible". The evacuation had been expected to land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Thursday morning, where passengers would then have been transferred to an NHS facility for health screening before being put in "supported isolation" for 14 days with "all necessary medical attention".

Evacuees from Wuhan to be quarantined

Hundreds of British citizens who are due to be evacuated from Wuhan in China and flown back to the UK will be quarantined for two weeks. Up to 300 British evacuees are expected to be flown back tomorrow, with the destination airport not yet confirmed, although preliminary reports suggest the plane from Wuhan could come into Stansted Airport in London. Passengers will be subject to health screening before boarding the flight, with the possibility of being quarantined on the Chinese end if they are showing symptoms.

BA suspends flights to and from mainland China

British Airways (BA) has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China amidst the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. The airline's announcement comes after the UK FCO advised against all but essential travel to the country, where the virus has killed at least 132 as of Wednesday 29 January. The UK government is currently arranging to evacuate up to 300 Britons from Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak, and the surrounding Hubei province - much of which has been subjected to travel lockdowns as the Chinese authorities effectively try to quarantine some 11m people. BA operates daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Heathrow and announced the suspension with immediate effect until 31 January while it assesses the situation. 

Teenager killed in stabbing incident in London

A 16-year-old has been killed in a fresh stabbing incident in London. According to the British Transport Police (BTS), the victim was attacked on the footbridge at East Croydon station. The Guardian reported that the attack happened after the victim crossed through Ruskin Square. The police are still investigating the incident. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that security measures around East Croydon station have been reinforced.

Man injured in north London shooting

A man has reportedly been left injured following a shooting incident in north London. According to recent reports, the incident occurred over the weekend in the Wood Green area of Haringey, where the victim was apparently attacked by an unidentified assailant who was armed with a firearm. The incident occurred on Saturday evening at around 18:50 local time on High Road. The man was shot in the leg and has since been treated in hospital.

Counter-terrorism police arrest suspect in Bradford

A 38-year-old male suspect has reportedly been detained by counter-terrorism police in Bradford. The suspect was apprehended during a planned police operation near the intersection of Sutton Avenue and Swain House Road. A cordon has been established and will remain in place as police continue to attend the scene. The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of 'explosive offences' and has been taken to the police station for further questioning. Nearby residents have been asked to temporarily evacuate homes as a precaution while investigations continue.

EU leaders sign Brexit agreement

The European Parliament (EP) is set to vote on the Brexit agreement after EU leaders signed it on Friday. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the head of the European Council Charles Michel signed the Withdrawal Agreement that will consolidate the UK departure from the EU. The bill has already been approved by the Queen and has also passed in the House of Commons. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will sign the agreement on Friday, while the EP vote is scheduled for Wednesday. The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 January. After that, a transition period will be implemented until 31 December 2020 - which could be extended - as multiple negotiations on various sectors, especially trade, will take place between the EU and the UK.

Fourteen tested for Wuhan coronavirus

At least 14 people have been tested for the new strain of coronavirus in the UK. According to reports, five people have tested negative, while nine others are still waiting for results. Public Health England have confirmed that five people were tested in Scotland, where an incident response team has been established to deal with the health threat. Four of those five have been given the all clear, along with one person in Wales. Further details regarding where people are being tested have not been given yet, although it's believed one person has been treated for symptoms associated with the coronavirus in Belfast. All 14 patients had recently been in Wuhan - the Chinese city where the virus first broke out - within the last 14 days.

Patients in Scotland tested for coronavirus

Four patients in Scotland are said to be undergoing testing after showing possible symptoms of the new strain of coronavirus which has spread from Wuhan, China. The virus (aka 2019-nVoC) has killed at least 17 people so far and more than 600 cases have been reported - mostly from the Hubei province in China, of which Wuhan is the capital. All four patients had respiratory symptoms and had been in Wuhan within the last 14 days. Three of the patients are being treated in Edinburgh and the fourth is being treated in Glasgow. The spread of the virus is expected to increase as more people travel globally for Chinese New Year.

Heathrow Airport to install coronavirus precautionary measures

Heathrow Airport are due to install precautionary measures for in response to the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus in China. All flights arriving into Heathrow from any region of China which has been affected by the outbreak will be directed to a separate arrival area. There are three direct flights a week between Heathrow and Wuhan, where the disease first spread, and the measure aims to prevent the virus from reaching the UK. Public Health England have raised the threat level from 'very low' to 'low' following news of a case confirmed in the US, while the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to declare an international public health emergency over the virus - as it did with Ebola and swine flu. So far, 17 people have died from the disease and hundreds more have been infected. Although most cases have been reported from Wuhan, the disease has spread to several other Asian countries, as well as the US.

Building fire triggers evacuations in Bath

A fire which has broken out in a block of flats has triggered evacuations in the city of Bath, Somerset. According to reports, firefighters were dispatched to Phoenix House in the Lansdown area and residents were evacuated from their properties late on Tuesday night at around 23:00 local time after a fire broke out in the building's basement. No casualties have been reported and the fire has since been extinguished, although the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Man killed in violent attack

A 33-year-old man has been killed following a violent attack which occurred earlier this week in the town of Blackwood in south Wales. The victim has been identified as local resident Shane Jones, who was taken to hospital on Tuesday with serious injuries after being attacked at around 22:00 local time at a property on Apollo Way. Jones later died from his injuries and the police launched a murder investigation, in which a suspect has since been detained. The suspect is thought to be a 32-year-old male, also from the local area. The motive behind the killing remains unclear as investigations continue.

Extinction Rebellion protesters block Shell HQ in Aberdeen

Extinction Rebellion climate change activists have blocked the entrances to Shell's headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland. Protesters reportedly arrived at the HQ on Altens Farm Road at around 06:30 local time on Thursday morning and set up camp outside the premises. The stunt comes as part of a two-week campaign by Extinction Rebellion, targeting the fossil fuel industry. A statement from Shell insisted it was addressing its emissions and working to help customers reduce theirs. The protest at Shell HQ is expected to be followed by a small-scale march through Aberdeen city centre, starting at around 13:00 from the central train station before heading towards Union Street and the harbour. Some disruption should be anticipated in these areas.

Boris Johnson refuses to grant powers to new Scottish independence referendum

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected to transfer powers to stage a second Scottish independence referendum. Johnson said on social media that: "Today I have written to Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish people voted decisively to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect". He claimed that "another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade (...)". Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's request came after the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured strong results in the last general election held in December. Scotland faced its first independence referendum in 2014. It was rejected by 55 percent of the voters. After the letter was published on Tuesday, Sturgeon said: "While today’s response is not surprising – indeed we anticipated it – it will not stand".

Yellow weather warning issued for Northern Ireland for Storm Brendan

A yellow weather warning has been issued for Northern Ireland by the Met Office for Storm Brendan. According to reports, the storm has hit the west coast of Ireland and is expected to bring "several hours of very dangerous weather". The yellow warning will be in place from 10:00 local time to midnight, with the storm due to make landfall early afternoon. Gusts of up to 75mph are expected along exposed coastal areas and higher ground. Travel disruption is likely and large storm surges may also be experienced along north-western coastal areas.

Sinn Fein agrees deal to restore NI government

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald has said in a press conference that her party has agreed to support a deal to restore the Northern Irish government. The agreement achieved on Friday was backed by both the Irish and British governments and would end three years of political deadlock. The deal was agreed after nine months of negotiations. The government collapsed in 2017 after Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness resigned over a scandal surrounding the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Since then, the government has been led by civil servants. Strike action, mainly involving the health sector, became common during this period.

UK secretary of state for NI publishes draft deal to restore government

A draft deal aimed at restoring the government in Northern Ireland has been published on Thursday. UK Secretary of State for NI, Julian Smith, told RTE: "I think we have a document, which hopefully for all of them, will make them think carefully about coming back in". Smith was joined in a press conference by Republic of Ireland's Deputy PM Simon Coveney. Reports indicate that Smith has requested the Robin Newton, the speaker of the NI Assembly, to convene party leaders on Friday to restore the government. Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) suggested that the party could accept the deal, while Mary Lou McDonald of the Sinn Fein said that they will still assess it. Among the main points in the deal are the Irish Language Act and the so-called petition of concern. Northern Ireland's power-sharing government collapsed three years ago after the Sinn Fein pulled out of the executive.

Counter-terrorism police takes over assault case against prison officers in Cambridgeshire

The police counter-terrorism unit has taken over the investigation into a serious assault at the HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire. BBC reported that one of the two inmates involved in the incident has been jailed for terror offences. The Met Police has said that although handing over the investigations to counter-terrorism officers was considered appropriate, "we must stress that at this early stage of the investigation we are keeping an open mind with regards to any motives and enquiries to establish the full circumstances of the incident are ongoing." More than 400 prisoners are currently jailed at HMP Whitemoor.

Bus crash causes disruption near Heathrow

Travel disruption has been reported near Heathrow Airport after a bus crash occurred on a major road. The accident occurred on Wednesday morning, just inside the M25 at the intersection of the Colnbrook By-Pass and Stanwell Moor Road where a bus collided with a car. The accident has led to the closures of roads north-west of the airport, resulting in heavy traffic throughout the surrounding area. One man was injured in the crash and is said to be in a serious condition. The police have urged travellers to avoid the area and allow extra time for their journey.

Police cordon off area after chemical leak in West Thurrock, Essex

Police have set up an exclusion zone after a chemical leak in West Thurrock, Essex. BBC reported that a 100-metre exclusion zone was established after a leak at the International Chemical Group Limited facility on Stoneness Avenue. The incident happened on Monday afternoon, but the emergency services remained at the scene until Tuesday. Reports indicate that more than a dozen firefighters were taken to hospital for precautionary treatment. Latest reports from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service concluded that after an air quality assessment "there is no risk to public health". Emergency services will remain at the scene until later in the week to monitor any developments. Schools and other business will reopen as normal on Wednesday.

Teenager sentenced for plotting terrorist attack in Durham

A 17-year-old has been sentenced for plotting a terrorist attack in Durham. Reports show that the unnamed teenager was planning the attack between October 2017 and March 2018. He was detained in March 2019. Judge David Stockdale QC of the Manchester Crown Court said: "These are offences of the utmost seriousness." The teenager was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after a six-week trial, which highlighted his allegiance to neo-Nazi ideology. He was also convicted for disseminating terror propaganda and other terror-related charges. Judge Stockdale confirmed that the teenager suffered "from an autistic spectrum disorder". He becomes the youngster person to be convicted of planning a terror attack in the UK.

Currency-exchange giant Travelex confirmed to be the target of cyber attack

Currency-exchange giant Travelex has confirmed that the company has been the target of a cyber attack. Travelex was targeted on New Years' Eve by a suspected virus that forced the company to shut down their websites and networks. Since then, operations at Travelex offices have been handled manually. BBC reported that a ransomware gang named Sodinokibi - aka REvil - is behind the attack. They demanded that the company pay $6m after they got hold of customers' data, including credit cards information, dates of birth and social security numbers. Hackers told the BBC: "In the case of payment, we will delete and will not use that base and restore them the entire network. The deadline for doubling the payment is two days. Then another seven days and the sale of the entire base." Reports indicate that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has not been notified of the suspect data breach.

Man killed in Newhaven stabbing

A man has been killed in an alleged stabbing incident in Newhaven. A murder investigation has been launched after police were called to respond to reports of a man being stabbed at a property on Elphick Road late on Monday night. Despite efforts by paramedics, the man passed away at the scene. A 16-year-old boy has apparently been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently being held in police custody ass investigations get underway. The road has been closed until further notice.

Seven Extinction Rebellion activists arrested in Dundee harbour

The police have arrested seven Extinction Rebellion activists at Dundee harbour, where they took part in an 'extended occupation' of a drilling rig. Three female protesters from Extinction Rebellion Scotland had reportedly climbed onto Valaris's Ensco 122 from the River Tay on Monday, climbing halfway up one of the rig's legs in an attempt to prevent it from leaving. The women came down five hours later due to adverse weather. The three woman were detained, along with four men who were also involved in the protest stunt. Extinction Rebellion Scotland said that the act was part of a series of "solidarity actions" due to take place over the next 10 days.

Man found dead in Carrickfergus

Police have launched murder investigations after the body of a man was discovered in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. According to reports, a man aged in his forties was found dead in the Woodburn area of Carrickfergus on Saturday night. Preliminary reports suggest the cause of death remains undetermined thus far, with a post-mortem examination due to take place. A police cordon was established around a block of six flats in the Woodburn estate on Sunday.

Travelex shuts down websites after suspected virus

Websites of the currency exchange giant Travelex have been taken off air due to a suspected software virus. Sky News reported that the attack was first identified on Wednesday and that systems were immediately shut down. Investigations are still ongoing. There have been no initial reports indicating that either staff or customers' data have been breached. Travelex has said that operations at their branches have been affected, forcing staff to manually carry out their duties.

Man killed in Sheffield stabbing

An 18-year-old man has reportedly been killed in a stabbing incident in Sheffield. The teen was found with stab wounds during the early hours of Wednesday morning but died later in hospital. It's believed the incident occurred on St Aidans Road in the Norfolk Park area of the city, where it's been reported that a fight broke out. Two 18-year-old men and a 20-year-old man have been arrested in connection with the incident and currently remain in police custody. A police presence remains in the area.

Stabbing incident reported in Hackney

A stabbing incident has been reported in Hackney, London, leaving at least two people injured. The incident reportedly occurred during the early hours of Sunday morning on 29 December at around 2:15 local time. The stabbing took place on Shoreditch High Street. According to local reports, the police have launched an investigation and have already made three arrests on connection with the case. The motive behind the incident remains undetermined, while the police have issued an appeal for video footage of the attack.

MPs support Boris Johnson's plans to leave the EU

MPs have supported Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plans to leave the EU by 31 January. In a vote held in the House of Commons on Friday afternoon, 358 MPs supported the bill and 234 voted against it. The EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill went to the vote days after the Conservatives secured a massive 80-seat majority in the general election. The new bill will also dictate that no extension on the transition period will be allowed beyond the end of 2020. Parliament is expected to further analyse the bill in January before the current Brexit deadline.

Murder suspect detained in Reading

A murder suspect has been arrested by the police in Reading. An investigation was launched after a woman, in her sixties, was found dead at a property on Jubilee Road on Monday evening. According to reports, a 78-year-old man has been detained on suspicion of manslaughter and has since been released on bail, awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination - due to be carried out on Friday.

Nurses in Northern Ireland launch strike over pay dispute

More than 15,000 nurses across Northern Ireland have launched a strike over a long-standing pay dispute. Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unison have taken part in the strike , which also came about due to patient safety issues. BBC reported that this is the first strike in more than 100 years carried out by the RCN. Initially, the strike is expected to last for 12 hours, while some other health professionals may continue striking for at least 24 hours. Some medical appointments in Northern Ireland have been cancelled, but emergency wards would remain open as normal. Compared with elsewhere in the UK, Northern Irelands has shown significantly poor results towards the performance of the National Health Service (NHS), especially regarding A&E.

Brexit bill to rule out transition period extension

A new clause is due to be added to the government's Brexit bill, which would rule out any extension to the transition period beyond the end of next year. The post-Brexit transition period is due to conclude in December 2020 and can currently be extended by mutual agreement for up to two years; however, an amended Withdrawal Agreement Bill would rule out any extension, which critics say increases the likelihood of leaving the EU without a trade deal. MPs are set to vote on PM Boris Johnson's Brexit deal on Friday.

MPs to vote on Brexit bill on Friday

MPs are expected to vote on PM Boris Johnson's Brexit bill on Friday. The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 31 January 2020 with or without a deal, but the vote on Friday would mean the process could start in Parliament before Christmas, giving the government just over a month to agree a Brexit deal. Johnson's Conservative party recently won the general election with an 80-seat majority, taking seats in areas traditionally held by Labour. Ahead of the vote on Friday, Johnson is expected to carry out a mini cabinet reshuffle, as he fills posts made vacant by those who stood down going into the general election. The Queen will formally open Parliament on Thursday when she sets out the government's legislative programme.

Teenager killed in Bristol stabbing

A 17-year-old boy has been killed in a stabbing incident in Bristol over the weekend. The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon just before 13:30 local time on Mansfield Street in Bedminster, Bristol. The victim was reportedly stabbed in the chest and later died in hospital. The police have launched a murder investigation and a 14-year-old boy has apparently been arrested in connection with the incident and remains in police custody.

Deadly knife attack reported in Dagenham, East London

A deadly knife attack has been reported over the weekend in Dagenham, East London. The attack apparently occurred at a residential property on Marlborough Road on Saturday evening at around 22:00 local time. One male victim has been confirmed dead, having succumbed to his injuries at the scene, despite attempts by paramedics to resuscitate him. A woman was also seriously injured during the incident. Local reports indicate a 59-year-old male suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident on suspicion of murder.

Conservatives achieve massive victory in general election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has won a massive victory in the UK's general election. Preliminary results show that the Conservatives have secured a majority of nearly 80 seats, while the Labour opposition suffered its worse defeat since 1935. Conservatives managed to secure support in traditional Labour strongholds, winning 47 seats from Labour when compared with the previous 2017 election. In total, Labour lost 59 seats, while the Liberal Democrats of Jo Swinson also had a poor showing. Swinson lost her seat to the Scottish National Party (SNP) by 149 votes. Meanwhile, the SNP secured strong results with 48 seats, potentially strengthening First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's leverage for a future independence referendum. Former coalition partner, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won eight seats, two less than previously. With the consolidation of the Conservatives in the House of Commons, Boris Johson has already committed to taking the UK out of the EU by the end of January.

Several injured as bus fails to clear railway bridge in Swansea

At least eight people have been injured after a double-decker bus crashed into a bridge in Swansea. According to the South Wales Police, one person has sustained life-threatening injuries. The incident happened on Thursday morning in the northern area of the city. The First Cymru bus was operating a service between Swansea University Singleton Campus and Swansea Bay University Campus. The Guardian reported that a 63-year-old man has been detained at the scene. The accident happened when the bus failed to clear a railway bridge on Neath Road. Trains in the region were suspended but resumed operations a short time later. However, National Rail has said that cancellations and delays may still affect some services throughout the day. 

EU chief negotiator features in leaked recordings over Brexit timeframe

Leaked recordings featuring EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier show that Brexit could not be concluded until at least 2021. In a recording obtained by The Independent, Barnier is heard saying during a private meeting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's timeframe to conclude Brexit is unrealistic. The recording reads: "With regards to this agreement, we will not get everything done in 11 months. We will do all we can – we won’t do it all." The leaked recording is published just a day before the UK general election, where the Conservative Party battles to secure a majority to push for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

Voters head to the polls in highly contested general election

Voters across the UK will head to the polls on Thursday to cast their ballots in a highly contested general election. In the second vote to be held since the EU referendum, the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Boris Johnson will attempt to secure a majority in the House of Commons in order to push through his Brexit deal. Some polls suggest that the Conservatives could secure a slim majority. However, preliminary polls also show that the Labourt Party could make significant gains despite losing some seats compared with the previous 2017 election. Meanwhile, Jo Swindon's Liberal Democrats, whose main platform is to scrap Brexit, could see a surge in support in some areas. While the Scottish National Party (SNP) campaigns to dethrone the Conservative government in Westminster, it also pushes for a second independence referendum. Similar to elsewhere in the UK, Brexit has dominated the political agenda in Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will face a fierce battle with the Sinn Fein in some constituencies, namely North Belfast.

Liverpool Airport closed after plane comes off runway

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) is currently closed after a plane came off the runway on Wednesday morning. Officials said that no injuries were reported during the incident. LPL spokesman said: “We can confirm there was an incident at around 6 am this morning when a private jet with three crew and one passenger onboard came off the runway after landing". Delays and cancellations are expected to affect flights scheduled for Wednesday, while some flights are being diverted to Manchester. People are advised to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates.

Extinction Rebellion protest to take place at Heathrow

An Extinction Rebellion protest is scheduled to be held at Heathrow Airport on Sunday 08 December. The demonstration has been organised to protest the issue of climate change - something the airport has faced increasing criticism over from environmental activist groups in recent years. The Metropolitan Police expect the protest to be somewhat disruptive and have imposed pre-event conditions ahead of Sunday. There may also be some disruption to flight services.

Two found dead in Scottish cottage

Two people have been found dead in a cottage in Scotland. According to reports, the bodies were discovered on Thursday afternoon in one of the Mergie Holiday Cottages in the Rickarton area of Stonehaven. Police investigations have been launched and remain ongoing. Their cause of death remains undetermined thus far.

Man killed in Glasgow incident

A 42-year-old man has reportedly been killed in Glasgow following a violent incident. The man was apparently attacked on Lochend Road in the Easterhouse area on Tuesday afternoon. According to police reports, the man was found with serious injuries at the scene and was transferred by ambulance to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he died. A 43-year-old male suspect has been arrested in connection with his death as investigations remain ongoing.

Woman injured in Exeter stabbing

A woman, aged in her twenties, has been injured in a stabbing incident in the city of Exeter in south-west England. The victim was reportedly found seriously injured at a property on Pennsylvania Road on Sunday evening. She was taken to hospital where she was treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries. The police have launched an investigation and have detained 22-year-old Conrad Karol Kurp on charges of attempted murder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Rabbi injured in anti-Semitic attack in London

A rabbi has reportedly been injured after being attacked in London. According to reports, the assault occurred over the weekend near Amhurst Park, Stamford Hill. The rabbi had been visiting London from Israel to attend a wedding and was apparently left "bleeding and dazed" after two young men shouting anti-Semitic abuse attacked him. It's claimed the suspects punched the rabbi and threw him to the ground in an unprovoked attack, whilst shouting racial profanities, before passers by intervened. The police have confirmed that officers were dispatched to respond to an incident in the area and that investigations are underway to apprehend those responsible.

Child killed in hit-and-run outside Essex school

A 12-year-old boy has been killed in a hit-and-run incident outside a secondary school in Essex. The accident occurred on Monday afternoon, at around 15:20 local time, near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex. At least five other people were also injured in the incident. The police have launched an investigation and have issued an appeal for information regarding the suspected vehicle. The driver reportedly sped away from the scene in the vehicle, which has been described as a silver Ford, which is likely to be dented following the incident.

Boy killed in hit-and-run outside school, Essex

A 12-year-old boy has been killed and five others wounded outside a secondary school in Essex. Police said the accident happened near the Debden Park High School in Loughton on Monday afternoon. A manhunt is underway to track down the assailant, while Helen Gascoyne, the school’s head, said the community is “devastated” by the death of one of its students.

Two confirmed dead following London Bridge attack

Two members of the public have been declared dead following a stabbing incident at London Bridge in central London. According to reports, the attacker was shot dead by police at the scene. The Met Police have declared it as a terrorist incident, although the motive behind the attack remains unclear as investigations get underway. Several others have also been injured. Police cordons remain in place throughout the surrounding area. 

Police responding to incident near London Bridge

The police are reportedly responding to a security incident near London Bridge in central London. The Metropolitan Police released a statement on Twitter on Friday afternoon, confirming police presence in the area as they respond to a stabbing incident which they described as "terror-related". Several people are thought to have been injured, while at least one male suspect has been shot dead by armed police officers. A police cordon remains in place around the bridge.

Man arrested on murder charges in Cambridge

A man has apparently been arrested on suspicion of murder in Cambridge. According to reports, police detained a 36-year-old male on Thursday in connection with a murder case. The investigation was launched after the emergency services were called out to respond to a violent incident at a property on Coleridge Road on Wednesday afternoon. A woman aged in her fifties was found severely injured and was treated by paramedics at the scene but died on the way to hospital. The arrest was made the following day and the suspect remains in police custody as investigations continue. The motive behind the murder remains unclear.

Two charged with kidnapping in south London

Two men have been arrested after a man was abducted in south London. Benjamin Oliveira, 36, and Aubin Wadman, 22, were charged with kidnap and possession of an imitation firearm. The victim was seized and forced into a van in Keston Road in the early hours of Monday morning. He called his wife during the attack, who then alerted the police.

Machete brawl breaks out outside cinema in Birmingham

A machete brawl has broken out outside a cinema in Birmingham over the weekend, prompting the cinema to pull a gang-themed film which has been linked to the violence. Fighting reportedly broke out on Saturday outside the Star City multiplex, where the police were called to reports of youths armed with machetes. At least seven police officers were injured in the brawl while five teenagers, including a 13-year-old girl, were arrested. Vue cinemas has now banned the film, Blue Story, from its 91 outlets across the UK and Ireland in response to the incident, while Showcase cinemas have also dropped the film.

BA flights could be affected due to technical glitch

British Airways flights could face severe delays after an overnight technical issue. BA has said that operations are expected to run as scheduled, but a knock-on effect could affect flights later on the day. The company added that passengers scheduled to fly on Thursday, 21 November, should check for flight status updates before heading to the airport. 

Man killed in Bournemouth stabbing

A 20-year-old man has been killed after being stabbed to death in Bournemouth. The stabbing reportedly occurred over the weekend on St Swithun's Road, just outside Bournemouth Pizza Co. The police were called to the scene on Saturday night at around 22:10 local time and the victim, Kai Archer, was taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. An 18-year-old male, Jamie Higgs, has been charged with murder, while a 17-year-old was also detained on suspicion of affray, but has since been released. Higgs is thought to have known Archer, although the precise motive behind the incident remains unclear.

Fatal stabbing reported in east London

A fatal stabbing incident has been reported in east London. The incident allegedly happened overnight in Ilford, where the police were called to respond to a suspected stabbing around 22:20 local time on Tuesday evening. Local reports indicate the stabbing took place outside the Owen Waters House residential building on Fullwell Avenue, where a 19-year-old man was fatally stabbed amid an altercation. The victim was given first aid by police and paramedics but died at the scene. The police are investigating whether or not the stabbing was linked to a fire at some nearby garages at about the same time. No arrests have been made so far.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams file Supreme Court appeal over 1970s conviction

The former leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, has filed another attempt to overturn two criminal convictions dating back to the 1970s. In a new case filed at the UK Supreme Court, Adams claimed that his detention at the Long Kesh Internment Camp, also known as 'The Maze', was unlawful. His lawyers claim that Adams was the target of an illegal interim custody order that was not signed by Willie Whitelaw, the Northern Irish secretary of state at the time. Adams attempted to escape on two occasions. Last year, he lost the case in the Court of Appeal in Belfast. Justices are expected to release the ruling at a later date.

Man killed in Birmingham stabbing

A man in his twenties has been killed following a stabbing incident in Birmingham, West Midlands. According to reports, the man died after being attacked by a suspect armed with a knife on Lozells Street on Sunday afternoon. Paramdeics found the victim seriously injured at the scene of the crime; however, he passed away before arriving at hospital. The police have launched a murder investigation and have arrested a 27-year-old male suspect in connection with the killing. It's believed the suspect is thought to have been known to the victim, although the motive behind the stabbing still remains unclear.

Elderly woman dies in house fire

An 80-year-old woman has reportedly died in a house fire in Flintshire, north Wales. The fire broke out at a property in Prince William Gardens in Mancot over the weekend and was eventually extinguished by two crews from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which responded to an alert issued directly to them from a monitoring system installed at the property. According to reports, the woman was taken to hospital having suffered burns, where she succumbed to her injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

US President Trump to attend NATO summit in London

US President Donald Trump is set to visit the UK ahead of the general election. President Trump will head to London to attend the NATO summit scheduled to occur between 2 and 4 December. BBC reported that he is also expected to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace. The NATO summit will take place after French President Emmanuel Macron made controversial comments over the future of the military alliance. President Trump's visit to the UK also comes after he made public remarks on Prime Minister Boris Johson's Brexit deal with the EU and criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Hong Kong official targeted by protesters in London

A Hong Kong official has reportedly been targeted by protesters in London. Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng was apparently injured after being assaulted by protesters on Thursda at Bury Palace, near the British Museum in Holborn, central London. It's believed the altercation was inspired by the ongoing pro-democracy anti-government protest movement in Hong Kong, which had seen the territory become engulfed by violent unrest for the last six months. The London police are investigating the incident, although no arrests have been made so far.

UK will not nominate EU commissioner until after election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK is not nominating a candidate for the EU Commission. A UK official told The Guardian that: “We have written to the EU to confirm that pre-election guidance states the UK should not normally make nominations for international appointments during this period". Germany's Ursula von der Leyen was recently elected as the new EU commissioner but her term is yet to start due to delays in nominations from several countries, including Romania, Hungary and France. The EU Commission is comprised of representatives of all 26 EU members. The UK is holding its general election on 12 December, weeks ahead of the current deadline to departure the EU.

Suspect IS militant detained at LHR after being deported by Turkey

A man suspected of links to the Islamic State (IS) has been detained at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Reports indicate that the arrest was made after the Turkish government told UK authorities that they were deporting a British national linked with alleged involvement with the group in Syria. The detention of the unnamed suspect at LHR comes as Turkey has started the process of deporting foreign jihadists back to their respective countries.

Weather warnings issued in England and Wales

Various weather warnings for snow and rain have been issued across parts of England and Wales. Yellow rain warnings remain in effect across parts of the west midlands and south Wales, as well as across most of Nothinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. The Met Office has warned of heavy rainfall heightening the risk of flooding in some areas, while further rainfall in Doncaster is expected to further worsen flood conditions there, after heavy bouts of rain caused significant damage and disruption in Fishlake earlier this week, forcing hundreds to leave their homes.

Labour party targeted in large-scale cyberattack

The Labour party has suffered a large-scale cyberattack which targeted several of its online platforms. In a statement, a Labour spokeswoman said: “We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyber-attack on Labour digital platforms. We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems. The integrity of all our platforms was maintained and we are confident that no data breach occurred". Reports indicate that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has already been notified of the incident. The Guardian reported that the party was possibly the target of a DDoS attack. The failed breach happens as major political parties across the UK officially launch their campaigns ahead of the general election in mid-December.

UK police identifiy all victims found dead inside lorry in Essex

UK police have identified all of the victims found dead inside a lorry in Essex, south-eastern England. After initial reports claiming that the victims were Chinese nationals, further investigations concluded that all of them were in fact from Vietnam. Among the victims are 10 teenagers, while the oldest victim was aged 44. AP reported that most of the victims came from the northern Vietnamese province of Nghe. Police have also confirmed that among the victims were 31 men and eight women. A 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland has been charged with manslaughter and human trafficking conspiracy. Additional to the lorry driver, several people have been detained in the UK and Vietnam. Since the incident was reported last month, news outlets have widely reported the discovery of migrants on the back of lorries. The latest one was reported on Thursday, where 15 people were found on the back of a lorry in Wiltshire.

Police investigate fatal stabbing in west London

Police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a teenager in west London. The Guardian reported that the incident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Hillingdon Civic Centre in Uxbridge. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds. Another teenager was detained for his suspected involvement in the incident. Knife crime in London and across Britain has been on the rise in recent years. Between June 2018 and June 2019, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) recorded more than 44,000 knife offences in England and Wales.

Fatality confirmed amidst East Midlands floods

A fatality has been reported in the East Midlands in a flood-related incident. Heavy rainfall hit the area overnight, leading to flash floods across parts of the East Midlands region. Reports indicate that one person has been confirmed dead after they were swept away by floodwaters in the Darley Dale area of Rowsley. The adverse wet weather also had a significant impact on travel, causing severe train delays in Doncaster, while various areas were also evacuated.

Amber rain warning issued for parts of northern England

An amber rain warning has been issued for parts of northern England by the Met Office. The warning is in effect from 07:00 local time on Thursday 07 November, until 03:00 Friday 08 November, applying to parts of Great Manchester, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire. Areas located between Manchester, Sheffield, and Wakefield are expected to face a high risk of heavy rain causing flooding and general disruption, with possible power cuts. Yellow rain warnings have also been issued to large parts of the north-east, as well as parts of north Wales.

Train services at London Paddington severely affected after customer incident

Severe disruption is currently being reported on train services between London Paddington and Slough after a person was hit by a train on Wednesday afternoon. According to the National Rail, disruption between both stations and Heathrow Express services are expected to persist until at least 19:00 on Wednesday. GWR services from London Paddington to Reading, Cardiff, Swansea, Penzance, Bristol, Didcot, Oxford and Cheltenham are being severely affected. Transports for London Rail has confirmed that the customer incident happened at Hayes and Harlington. No further detail has been released.

Campaigning officially kicks off ahead of December's general election

Campaigning has officially kicked off on Wednesday ahead of the general election scheduled for 12 December. After political parties across the UK laid out their agendas, the five-week campaign has started after parliament was dissolved. The Conservative Party aims to push forward Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal to leave the EU in order to focus on other priorities. Labour's Jeremy Corbyn has pledged for major change while pushing for affordable housing among other social policies. Jo Swindon's Liberal Democrats have united in a pro-remain platform to stop Brexit from happening. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party has threatened to fight for every seat in the UK unless Boris Johnson scraps his previous deal to leave the EU.

Riot police tackle disorder in Leeds

Riot police were reportedly dispatched to parts of Leeds to tackle disorder on Bonfire Night. According to reports, police in riot gear were sent out to respond to groups of young people apparently throwing fireworks and setting bins on fire. A helicopter was also deployed in response to violence on Harehills Road, while high visibility police patrols continued into the night. West Yorkshire Police said that people had been hurling fireworks amongst other missiles, and that police vehicles were also damaged in the chaos. A number of arrests have been made, with police investigations ongoing. Several roads had to be closed while the police worked to contain the groups. No casualties have been reported.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle elected new Speaker

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been elected as the new Speaker of the House of Commons, replacing the longstanding John Bercow, who stepped down this week following a decade in the role. Hoyle, a Labour MP, had been serving as deputy Speaker and won the final round of voting against Chris Bryant on Monday. The Speaker's role is to keep order during Commons debates and call MPs to speak. Speakers are required to be politically impartial and Hoyle promised to be a "neutral" Speaker, meaning he will have to resign from the Labour Party to carry out his role.

UK terrorism threat level downgraded to 'substantial'

The Home Office has said that the UK terrorism threat level has been downgraded from 'severe' to 'substantial'. Home Secretary Priti Patel has said in a statement that the threat level is under constant review and that an attack could still occur with little-to-no warning. The level has been downgraded after the security forces claimed that significant improvements had been made following a series of high-profile terror attacks in the UK in recent years, including the Manchester Arena bombing. This is the first time the threat level has been reduced to substantial since 2014. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the terror threat level remains 'severe'.

Red flood warnings issued in South West England

Red flood warnings have been issued across parts of the South West region of England, where the Rivern Severn is thought to be at a high risk of bursting its banks. Dangerously high river levels were recorded on Friday, prompting flood alerts to be issued to various places situated along the Severn throughout Gloucestershire. The flood warnings apply to Abbots Court, Deerhurst; Apperley and The Leigh; Chaceley and Haw Bridge; and Severn Ham, Tewkesbury. 

MPs vote in favour of 12 December election

MPs have voted in favour of a general election, backing PM Boris Johnson's call for an election on 12 December. The vote was won in the House of Commons by a margin of 438 votes to 20 on Tuesday, but the bill still needs to be approved in the House of Lords before it can become law. If the Lords approve the bill, it could become law by the end of this week, which would mean a five-week campaign up to polling day. The PM hopes the election will give him a fresh mandate for his Brexit deal and break the current parliamentary deadlock.

Labour to back early general election

Labour have announced their intentions to back an early general election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated on Tuesday morning that his party could support an early election now that his condition of taking a no-deal Brexit off the table had been met through the extension granted by the EU. It was not explicitly stated that Labour would back PM Boris Johnson's bill in Parliament later, which proposes 12 December as the preferred election date by the government. Both the SNP and the Lib Dems are calling for an earlier election, on 09 December, in hopes to prevent Johnson from pushing through his Brexit plan before then. It's possible the PM may compromise with an election for the 10 December to get opposition parties on board.

EU agrees to Brexit extension

The EU has agreed to a Brexit extension of 31 January 2020. The President of the European Council Dondald Tusk stated that the bloc would allow for a so-called 'flextension', which means the UK can still leave the EU before the new deadline if a deal is approved by Parliament before then. News of the Brexit extension comes as MPs prepare to vote on PM Boris Johnson's proposal for an early general election on 12 December. The Lib Dems and the SNP have both expressed support for an election on 09 December, while Labour's position remains less clear.

EU discusses Brexit extension as MPs consider election

EU leaders are set to discuss how long of an extension to grant the UK, while MPs are mulling over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for an early election. It's understood that the majority of EU members favour a three-month delay, with the option to end the extension earlier is a deal is ratified; however, France has been arguing for a shorter extension. Johnson has said he will give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal, but only if they back a general election for 12 December. The PM needs the support of two-thirds of MPs to push an election through - the odds of which are uncertain with Labour not committing to how it plans to vote.

Boris Johnson calls for general election on 12 December

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out plans to hold a general election in mid-December. In a letter sent to the Labour opposition leader, Jeremy Corbin, the prime minister has said that if the EU agrees to offer a Brexit delay to the 31 January "then it is clear that there must be an election". He added that "in these circumstances, the Commons will vote next week on whether to hold an election to be held on 12 December". Boris Johnson said that if this is the case, parliament would be dissolved on 6 November. The letter comes two days after the House of Commons approved the Withdrawal Agreement Bill but rejected the government's timetable.

Police confirm that victims found inside lorry were Chinese nationals

Police have confirmed that all 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex were Chinese nationals. In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in London said: “We read with a heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex, England. We are in close contact with the British police to seek clarification and confirmation of the relevant reports.” Police are currently investigating the incident. The driver of the vehicle, a 25-year-old Northern Irish man, has been detained and still being questioned by the police. Preliminary reports suggest that the trailer arrived at Purfleet from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Several injured in stabbing spree in Manchester

Several people have been injured after a man armed with a knife engaged in a stabbing spree in Manchester. According to the police, officers were deployed to a McDonald's on Rochdale Road in Harpuhey on Wednesday afternoon. Greater Manchester Police has said that "a teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of section 18 assault and has been taken into custody for questioning. This is not being linked to terrorism. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Severe travel disruption reported due to incident along M20 in Kent

Severe travel disruption is currently being reported along the M20 in Kent after a suspicious incident involving a lorry. According to Kent County Council Highways, slow-moving traffic is currently being reported between Junction 8 and 9, Londonbound. Extreme delays are being reported, while caution is advised. BBC has reported that several people have been found alive on the back of a lorry. No further details have been released. The incident comes on the same day that 39 bodies were found on the back of lorry in Essex. A 25-year-old Northern Irish man was detained, while investigations are still ongoing.

Dozens found dead in lorry container in Essex

Dozens of people have been found dead in a lorry container in Essex. The discovery was reportedly made at Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue, Grays. The police were allegedly called to the scene by the ambulance service in the early hours of Wednesday morning. According to reports, a 25-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland has been arrested and faces charges of murder as an investigation gets underway. Preliminary findings indicate the bodies are thought to belong to 38 adults and one teenager. The lorry is thought to have travelled to the UK from Bulgaria through Holyhead over the weekend. The nationalities or countries of origin of the deceased are yet to be confirmed, but it seems likely the incident is connected to human trafficking.

PM to push for election if EU further delays Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to push for another general election if the EU proposed a further delay to Brexit, extending the 31 October deadline to January. The PM was forced to pause his Brexit bill yesterday after MPs rejected his plan to get it signed off in just three days, with opposition members insisting it wasn't enough time to debate the bill adequately. After failing to secure backing for his deal, the PM was forced by law to send a letter to the block to ask for a three-month extension. EU leaders will now consider whether or not to grant another delay and how long such a delay should be. If the EU choose not to extend the looming deadline, a no-deal Brexit could be a real possibility.

MPs reject government's Brexit timetable

Members of Parliament have rejected the government's proposals to debate the Brexit bill over the course of three days.  MPs earlier voted by a majority of 30 to approve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill but they rejected the timetable by a majority of 14. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was disappointed at the delay and said the country "now faced further uncertainty". He said the government would "pause" until the EU had "stated their intentions." In response, a European Commission spokesperson says: “The EU Commission takes note of tonight’s result and expects the UK government to inform us about the next steps. The EU Council president is consulting leaders on the UK’s request for an extension until 31 January 2020.”

Same-sex marriage and abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland

Same-sex marriage and abortion have been decriminalised in Northern Ireland. In July, members of parliament in Westminister supported an amendment that would allow marriage and abortion reforms in Northern Ireland unless a new government was formed until 21 October. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) attempted to recall Stormont in a bid to block the bill, but it failed after lawmakers walked out of the chamber. DUP leader Arlene Foster lamented their actions. With the new legislation, same-sex couples would be allowed to marry from February 2020, while the charges on current abortion cases would be dropped. Earlier this month, the High Court in Belfast ruled that the Northern Irish abortion laws violated the UK rights commitments.

Two teens killed in Milton Keynes stabbing

Two teenagers have allegedly been killed in a recent stabbing incident near the town of Milton Keynes. The two victims - both aged 17 - were reportedly stabbed to death at a house party on Saturday at a residential property in the Archford Croft area of Emerson Valley, located in the southern outskirts of Milton Keynes. According to reports, one of the boys died at the scene while the other died in hospital. Another 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man were also hurt in the incident. Those involved in the violence are all likely to have known each other. No arrests have been made thus far as Thames Valley Police continue to investigate the double murder.

Hundreds detained in week-long operation against county lines gangs

Police have made more than 700 arrests across the UK during a massive week-long operation against county lines gangs. The Guardian reported that nearly 170 weapons were seized and that more than 600 vulnerable adults and children were protected. In total, over £300k worth of drugs were seized, while the operation targeted 49 of the so-called 'deal lines' from the almost 2,000 that are operational across the UK. According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), more than 650 addresses were searched. The NCA describes county lines as "a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs".

People's Vote campaign calls for major protest in London

A campaign group has called on their supporters to take to the streets to protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal. The People's Vote campaign has called on people to head to London on Saturday to join a major demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament. As well as the march in London, more than a dozen protests are scheduled across Britain. Demonstrators are expected to gather at Park Lane at 12:00 and march towards Parliament Square. The protest coincides with a wave of demonstrations launched by the environmentalist Extinction Rebellion across the country.

New Brexit deal agreed between UK and EU

A new Brexit deal has allegedly been agreed between the UK and the EU. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement this morning shortly before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. According to reports, Johnson tweeted: "We've got a great new deal that takes back control." The deal will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments, with coalition partner the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) casting doubt on whether it will support the new deal or not. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described the new deal as a "fair and balanced agreement".

Northern Ireland's DUP rejects PM's Brexit deal

Prime Minister Boris Johson has failed to secure the support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for his revised Brexit deal. PM Johnson is heading to the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday to meet European leaders and attempt to sign the revised agreement. DUP's Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds have said in a joint statement that "as things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues (...)." They added: "We will continue to work with the government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom." One of the biggest concerns regards the role of the Northern Irish Stormont Assembly in approving Brexit legislation after the transition period. This latest blow to the government's revised Brexit deal comes two weeks before the latest UK deadline to departure the EU.

Extinction Rebellion activists clash with London commuters

Clashes have been reported at London train stations between Extinction Rebellion activists and commuters. The activists had stationed themselves on the roofs of trains, causing severe disruption for morning commuters at Stratford, Canning Town, and Shadwell. In one incident, commuters dragged a climate change protester from the roof of a London Underground train and attacked him. Video footage of the incident shows dozens of angry commuters surrounding the activist on the floor, punching and kicking him until security personnel intervene. The Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway were partially suspended earlier with minor delays still reported. According to reports, four protesters have been arrested by the British Transport Police, which issued a statement advising activists against targeting the London Underground network: "this is dangerous, not only for protesters but for commuters".

Man injured in Leamington Spa stabbing

A man in his twenties has been injured after he was attacked with a bladed weapon in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands. According to local reports, the man was stabbed in the leg and chest by at least two suspects shortly after midnight during the early hours of Sunday morning. The incident occurred on Ranelagh Terrace in the Old Town area, where the police were called out to reports of 'disorder' on the street. Two male suspects - 26-year-old and 25-year-old - have been detained on suspicion of assault following the incident.

Counter-terrorism police take over Manchester stabbing investigations

The Counter-Terrorism Police North West has taken over investigations into the stabbing incidents at a shopping centre in Manchester. Greater Manchester Police ACC Russ Jackson said that a man has been detained "on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism". UK media has identified the suspect as a 41-year-old local resident. The man was detained after confronting two unarmed police officers in Exchange Court. The motives behind the incident are still unclear. Reports indicate that at least four people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The incident happened on Friday morning at the Arndale Shopping Centre.

Police evacuate Arndale mall in Manchester after reported stabbings

Police have evacuated the Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester after reports of stabbings. The incident happened on Friday morning. According to the police, multiple people have been injured. People have been advised to avoid the area, while no further details have been released. BBC reported that a suspect has been arrested after being tasered. Metrolink trams at Exchange Square have been temporarily suspended.

Teenager stabbed to death outside Stratford mall

A 15-year-old has been stabbed to death after being attacked outside the Stratford Shopping Centre in east London. According to the Met Police, officers were deployed to the scene on Thursday afternoon. Reports suggest that the victim was targeted just after alighting from a bus. Another 15-year-old was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. In another incident in south London, an 18-year-old succumbed to his wounds after being stabbed on Brandon Estate. Investigations into the motives behind both incidents are still ongoing. London and some other major cities across the UK have suffered an increasing number of violent attacks involving teenagers. It is estimated that more than 100 people have been killed as a result of violent crime in London so far this year.

Man injured in knife incident outside Milton Keynes school

A man has allegedly been injured in a knife-related incident outside a primary school in Milton Keynes. According to local reports, the man was assaulted and threatened by a suspect armed with a bladed weapon outside Great Linford Primary School on St Leger Drive, in the village of Great Linford, just north of Milton Keynes town. The police have launched an investigation; however, the motive behind the incident still remains unclear and no arrests have been made thus far.

Two men killed in Morecambe fire, Lancashire

Two men have died following a fire at a working men's club in Morecambe, Lancashire. The fire reportedly broke out in the Gordon Working Men's CLub on Springfield Street on Thursday at around 14:45 local time. According to reports from the BBC, the men were rescued from the burning building, but died later in hospital. It remains unclear what may have caused the fire to break out as investigations get underway.

Protesters storm London City Airport's terminal building

Hundreds of protesters linked to the Extinction Rebellion group have stormed the London City Airport (LCY) in an attempt to disrupt operations. In a statement, LCY has said: "We are aware of Extinction Rebellion’s threat of protest at London City Airport from Thursday 10th October and are working with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety and security of our passengers, as well as minimising any disruption to journeys. If you are booked to travel, please check the status of your flight with your airline up until, and on, your day of travel. Please note the airport will open at 05:00 [local time] on Thursday-Saturday". Several people were detained when demonstrators occupied parts of the terminal building. Meanwhile, protests continue to be reported in central London.

Woman found dead in house in Pontypridd, Wales

Awoman has reportedly been found dead in her home in Pontypridd, Wales. The victim has been identified as 38-year-old Sarah Hassall, whose body was found by the police after they were called to respond to an incident at a property on Llys Graig Y Wion road in Pontypridd on Sunday morning. Following investigations, a 37-year-old male suspect, Brian Manship has been arrested and charged with murder. Manship was from Pontypridd and is due to appear in court on Wednesday. The motive behind the murder has not been disclosed.

Several detained in largest-ever anti-drugs operation in the UK

Over a dozen people have been detained in one of the largest-ever anti-drugs operations in the UK. According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), police raids happened on Tuesday across London, Manchester, St Heles, Bolton, Leeds, Dewsbury, Warrington and Stockport. The Guardian reported that the operation comes after an 18-month-long investigation into a trafficking group that smuggled drugs from the Netherlands. The case dates back to 2018 when the police seized over two and a half tonnes of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, cannabis and hashish. NCA's Jayne Lloyd said: “We suspect these men were involved in an industrial-scale operation – the biggest ever uncovered in the UK – bringing in tonnes of deadly drugs that were distributed to crime groups throughout the country". Earlier this years, six people were detained in the Netherlands as part of the same investigation.

Extinction Rebellion activists block parts of central London

Parts of central London have reportedly been blocked off by Extinction Rebellion protesters, with recent reports indicating that demonstrations in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square have led to both areas being severely blocked off. BBC London Travel Alerts published a tweet on Tuesday afternoon advising travellers of no access to Trafalgar Square on all approaches, while Parliament Square, Millbank, and Whitehall have also been shut. Diversions for bus routes have been established.

Extinction Rebellion activists to shut down London City Airport

Extinction Rebellion activists have reportedly planned to force London City Airport to shut down later this week by staging a mass protest there. Like the anti-government movement in Hong Kong, the Extinction Rebellion protesters allegedly plan to immobilise airport operations on Thursday 10 October as part of the wider global climate change protest movement. Protesters are expected to start a march from Westminster at 07:30 local time, where they will make their way towards the airport on Hartmann Road.

Rory Stewart quits Conservative Party to launch London mayoral bid

A former contender in the Conservative Party's leadership contest, Rory Stewart, has said that he will run as an independent in the 2020 London elections. He said that he is leaving the party and standing down from his post as an MP for Penrith and the Border as he prepares to launch his mayoral bid. Stewart said in a video released on social media: “This is a city that is now in real danger, danger from Brexit, from technological change, but I think above all from what has happened in British politics, to the kind of extremism that is taking over our country." Stewart came in fifth place in the party's contest to replace Theresa May as prime minister. He has been known as an avid critic of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister to request prorogation ahead of Queen's Speech

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to request that parliament be suspended from Tuesday until the Queen's Speech later this month. This is the second attempt to prorogue the parliament after PM Johnson's first try faced legal challenges and was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. The suspension comes as the government intends to prepare to present its upcoming legislative programme, which is expected to mainly focus on the NHS, education, security, environmental policies and infrastructure. In a statement, Downing Street said that the prorogation is intended to be "for the shortest time possible to enable all the necessary logistical preparations for a State Opening to be undertaken". The Queen's Speech is scheduled for 14 October, days before the EU Summit.

Government announce new proposals in fresh attempt to reach a Brexit deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced in parliament his new proposals in a revamped approach to reach a Brexit deal. Among the main topics addressed was a replacement for the Irish backstop. The new plan is aimed at allowing Northern Ireland to remain in the European single market despite leaving the customs union. It would also give powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly to vote on continuing applying EU law to some products, leading to the creation of an all-island regulatory zone for agriculture. PM Johnson and members of his cabinet have already reiterated on multiple occasions that they will not seek a further extension beyond the 31 October Brexit deadline. Although Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar praised the effort, he said that the new deal does "not fully meet the agreed objectives of the backstop". Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has supported the plan.

High Court in Belfast rules that NI's abortion law violates UK Rights commitments

Belfast's High Court has ruled that Northern Ireland's abortion law violates the UK human rights commitments. The case was initially raised in 2013 after a woman was refused the right to end her pregnancy. Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan said: “In my view her personal testimony is compelling". She added that 29-year-old Sarah Ewart "has had to modify her behaviour in that she could not have medical treatment in Northern Ireland due to the risk of criminal prosecution. She may be actively affected in the future. In my view, her personal testimony is not disputed.” Northern Ireland has one of the strictest abortion laws in the world. Currently, abortion cases are only legal in specific cases. Most recently, the abortion debate in Northern Ireland has inspired a number of protests.

Met Office currently monitoring developments on Hurricane Lorenzo

The Met Office is currently monitoring developments on Hurricane Lorenzo which currently sits near the Azores. Met Office Chief Meteorologist Dan Suri said: “There has been considerable uncertainty over the potential track of Lorenzo after it passes the Azores. However, we are now increasingly confident the remnants of Lorenzo will move towards the UK, bringing a spell of wet and very windy weather to western parts on Thursday and Friday". The most affected areas could be Northern Ireland, western Scotland, Wales and south-western England. According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Lorenzo could approach Britain as a tropical storm before weakening into a tropical depression. People have been advised to closely monitor Met Office updates.

Flood warnings issued across UK

Flood warnings have been issued across parts of the UK as heavy rain hits. Some regions are expected to see as much as two weeks of rain within an hour according to the Met Office. Parts of south-west Scotland, Wales and southern England are at a high risk of power cuts, road closures, and general travel disruption. Severe heavy rainfall on the Isle of Man has prompted the local authorities to declare a major incident, with police advising residents not to travel on roads. Approximately 70 flood warning and 181 flood alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency across England, while warnings of possible coastal surges have also been issued in Cornwall. Eight flood warnings have been issued in Wales and one warning has been issued in Scotland, for Loch Ryan. A yellow weather warning is in effect across most of central and southern England until 20:00 local time tonight.

Man detained outside Houses of Parliament

A man has been arrested by the police outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London. According to reports, the man had doused himself in petrol and was carrying a lighter with the apparent intention of setting himself on fire outside parliament. The suspect was apprehended by armed police who were on patrol near the Old Carriage Gates entrance to parliament. The man was allegedly sprayed down with a fire extinguisher before being detained under the Mental Health Act, as it's understood the protest was not politically motivated, but may have been linked to a parking ticket.

MPs return to parliament

MPs and peers are due to return to parliament after the Supreme Court ruled the PM's prorogation of parliament unlawful yesterday. PM Boris Johnson now faces calls to resign from opposition groups, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating at a part conference yesterday that Johnson had "acted illegally when he tried to shut down opposition" and "this unelected prime minister should now resign". Johnson has expressed that he "profoundly disagreed" with the court's ruling but that he would respect it. As MPs return to the Commons, no Prime Ministers' Questions will be held, but ministers will be allowed to bring urgent matters to the attention of parliament. The government is also expected to outline its approach to the ruling in the Commons later.

Man stabbed to death at Underground station in west London

A man has been stabbed at a London Underground station in Hillingdon, west London. British Transport Police (BTP) said that officers rushed to the scene to attend a serious assault on Tuesday afternoon. Operations at Hillingdon have been severely disrupted. A BTP spokesman confirmed that the victim succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. BTP Detective Supt Gary Richardson said: “While we are at the early stages of our investigation, we believe a group of young men were involved in an altercation on the platform before one of the men received a fatal stab wound".

Supreme Court rules that PM's parliament prorogation was unlawful

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks was unlawful. Supreme Court President Lady Hale said: "The effect on the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme. The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification." The verdict was reached by 11 justices who unanimously voted against the move. Common Speaker John Bercow said that parliament should reconvene as soon as possible. PM Johnson intended to suspend parliament until the Queen's Speech, just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October.

Teenager stabbed to death at skate park in Slough, Berkshire

A 15-year-old boy has been killed in a stabbing at a park in Slough, Berkshire. Thames Valley Police (TVP) said that officers headed to Salt Hill Park on Saturday afternoon after reports that a teenager was attacked. TVP has confirmed that the victim was a local resident and died after sustaining wounds to the chest. Police said that three teenagers were detained. In 2019, official reports from the Home Office show that in England and Wales knife crime has reached one of the highest rates in the last decade.

Supreme Court to rule on parliament suspension

The Supreme Court is due to rule on the suspension of parliament on Tuesday. The court's ruling on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament will be announced at 10:30 BST tomorrow. Critics of the PM's move to prorogue parliament have claimed Johnson devised the suspension as a means to block opposition to his Brexit policy - thereby suppressing the representative democracy of British government. Parliament is currently due to return on 14 October, with the UK scheduled to leave the EU on 31 October.

Two police officers hit by car in Sussex

Two police officers and a civilian bystander have been injured after they were hit by a car in Sussex. According to the BBC, a man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two Sussex police officers were run over whilst carrying out a routine drugs check at the side of the A259 in Littlehampton. The incident occurred at around 01:05 BST on Monday morning. It's alleged the officers and a man they were with were hit at speed by a Mercedes-Benz, which was being driven by a 20-year-old male suspect, who has been arrested. The police are also trying to track down two others suspects in connection with the incident. "This is being investigated as a deliberate attack on two police officers in the course of carrying out their duties", said Assistant Chief Constable Julia Chapman. The injuries of both police officers and the man they were with, while serious, are not believed to be life threatening.

Manchester Airport train station evacuated

Manchester Airport train station has been evacuated amid reports of a suspicious package. The police are responding to the scene, where it's been confirmed that an area around the station has been evacuated as the police established a cordon. A selection of bus and Metrolink services have been affected by the incident. Latest reports indicate a person has been arrested in connection with the incident. 

Travel firm Thomas Cook collapses

The travel firm Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute talks to save the firm were unsuccessful. The 178-year-old company entered compulsory liquidation early on Monday morning, sparking a major repatriation (codenamed Operation Matterhorn) for more than 150,000 UK holidaymakers. Thomas Cook employed 22,000 people worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK. Further information for people affected by the collapse can be found via the Civil Aviation Authority.

Two teens injured in London stabbings

Two teenagers have reportedly been injured in two separate stabbing incidents in London. According to reports, the incidents both occurred within the last 48 hours in the Mitcham and Plumstead areas. It's claimed that the first victim - a 17-year-old boy - was attacked by an unknown assailant with a knife near a cemetery on Wednesday afternoon on Wilson Avenue in Mitcham, South London. A second victim - a 16-year-old boy - was also attacked in a stabbing the following day around the same time near Plumstead Manor Secondary School on Griffin Road in Plumstead, South East London. The police have launched investigations into both incidents, which are not thought to be related. No arrests have been made thus far.

Two killed in Middlesborough steelworks blast

Two fatalities have been confirmed following a number of explosions at a steelworks in Middlesborough. The blasts reportedly occurred at a former SSI steelworks in the South Bank area in the eastern suburbs of Middlesborough. Police officials confirmed the two deaths of two men on Thursday, stating that both men's families had been informed. The emergency services attended the scene, describing the series of explosions at the former coke ovens as a 'major incident', with nearby businesses evacuated as they responded to the scene. It remains unclear precisely what caused the explosions as investigations are launched.

Extinction Rebellion protesters block road to oil refinery in Pembroke

Extinction Rebellion protesters have allegedly gathered in Pembroke to protest against outside of the biggest oil refineries in Europe. According to reports, a group of 10 protesters blocked three entrances to the refinery by setting up road blocks outside the Valero site in Pembroke Dock. It's believed the group intend to stay positioned there indefinitely. A Valero spokesperson stated that the company was still operating as normal despite the disturbance. The protest has so far remained peaceful although it has caused some significant disruption to local traffic. A police presence remains at the scene and no arrests have been made.

Pilots call off BA strike

British Airways pilots have called off a strike planned for next week. The Balpa union said the two-day action last week, which forced the airline to cancel most of its flights, had done enough to display its member's frustration. The union said it wanted a period of reflection to prevent the situation from escalating further and causing irreparable damage to BA's brand. BA had offered pilots an 11.5 percent pay rise over three years in July but Balpa rejected the proposal.

Businessman kidnapped and beaten in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

A businessman was reportedly kidnapped and beaten on Tuesday in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. According to reports, the victim has been identified as 50-year-old Kevin Lunney, a well-known businessmen and CEO of Quinn Industrial Holdings - a company which has been targeted in a number of attacks within the last year. The victim was reportedly ambushed whilst on his way home from work in the Derrylin area of Fermanagh at around 18:40 local time on Tuesday evening. He was taken across the border to the Republic of Ireland, where he was found injured on the roadside 22 miles away in County Cavan several hours later that same evening. Dunney was badly beaten with a broken leg among other severe injuries. An investigation into the incident has been launched and remains ongoing.

Climate change protest to be held in London

A climate change protest is due to be held in central London on Friday 20 September. The protest has been organised by the UK Student Climate Network as part of activist Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future global youth strike movement. The rally will kick off from 11:00 local time in the Millbank area and has been authorised to last until at least 15:00, although participants have been encouraged to continue supporting students with their demonstrations beyond  this time. Some disruption around the area should be expected. Dozens of other towns and cities across the UK are also expected to hold similar protests, while more than 150 countries are also thought to be taking part in the strike.

Man dies after being stabbed in north London

An unidentified man has died after being stabbed in north London. According to the police, the victim succumbed to his wound after being assaulted on Thursday evening in Camden High Street. The Guardian reported that a second man with a stab wound was found nearby the same location. The area was temporarily cordoned off as investigations are ongoing. This is the second stabbing incident in Camden to be reported in less than a month.

Scottish court overturns previous ruling on lawful parliament prorogation

Scottish appeals judges have ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's parliament prorogation is unlawful. A panel at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has overturned a previous ruling that the parliament suspension was a political matter rather than a judicial one. The legal battle started when a group of MPs submitted a complaint accusing the prime minister of abuse of power ahead of the Brexit deadline. "The Inner House of the Court of Session has ruled that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen that the United Kingdom Parliament should be prorogued from a day between 9 and 12 September until 14 October was unlawful because it had the purpose of stymying Parliament". A definite decision on the matter will be made next week at the UK Supreme Court.

London Heathrow plans to remain operational ahead of 'drone protest'

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has said that the airport will remain open and fully operational ahead of a planned 'drone demonstration' scheduled on Friday. In a statement, LHR said: “In order to ensure that our operation remains open and safe, we are working closely with a number of stakeholders (...) to ensure that the UK’s hub airport does not close. We have in place dynamic risk assessment programs which are carried out by airfield and security experts and at no time will safety be compromised." From Friday onward, a group known as the 'Heathrow Pause' is expected to launch a protest to disrupt operations. The group is opposed to plans for a runway expansion at the airport and are also protesting over an alleged lack of action towards climate change. In April, a number of planes were forced to be diverted and operations were temporarily halted after multiple drone sightings were reported at London Gatwick Airport (LGW).

PM's second attempt to trigger early election fails

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has failed in his second attempt to force a general election, after MPs voted against calling a snap election in October. Johnson needed at least two-thirds of all 650 MPs to vote in favour to secure an election, but failed to secure the support of even half of parliament with only 293 MPs voting for the PM's motion for an early election. Opposition MPs refused to back calls for an election, insisting that a law blocking a no-deal Brexit must be implemented first. The defeat came shortly before parliament was officially suspended for five weeks, with some MPs protesting the prorogation with signs saying "silenced" while shouting: "shame on you".

Police officers targeted during search operation in Londonderry

Police Service of Nothern Ireland (PSNI) officers have been targeted with petrol bombs during a search operation in Creggan, Londonderry. More than a dozen houses in Creggan Heights were evacuated on Monday evening when tensions escalated in the area. PSNI officers were taking part in an operation linked to a mortar bomb found days earlier in Strabane, County Tyrone. Reports indicate that the search operation targeted militants of the New IRA.

Commons Speaker John Bercow to stand down by 31 October

Commons Speaker John Bercow has said that he will stand down as the house speaker by the Brexit deadline on 31 October. In a speech at the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, Bercow said that he would resign earlier if snap general elections were agreed in a parliament vote on Monday. His announcement comes just before parliament is suspended later in the day. Bercow has been a member of parliament for Buckingham since 1997, with the last 10 serving as the Commons Speaker. Members of the Conservative Party have long accused him of lacking impartiality regarding Brexit.

Parliament to be prorogued on Monday evening

Downing Street has confirmed that parliament will be prorogued on Monday evening. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously announced plans to suspend parliament back in August when the Queen approved his request.  A series of legal challenges to avoid the parliament's suspension have already been rejected in court, with the latest one being ruled on Friday by the High Court in London. Parliament is expected to resume activities on 14 October, the date set for the Queen's Speech - typically given by new governments to lay out their future plans. It will happen just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October. The announcement came as MPs are expected to hold a second vote in the House of Commons on whether to push for an early general election. 

Hundreds of BA flights cancelled due to scheduled strike action

More than 1,700 British Airways flights have been cancelled on Monday and Tuesday due to scheduled strike action. Most flights scheduled for 09 and 10 September are expected to be cancelled after BA and the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) failed to reach an agreement on pilots' salary increases. BA confirmed that flights on the company's City Flyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected. Another strike action is scheduled for 27 September. BA passengers with a flight scheduled for those days have been advised to check frequently asked questions on BA's website or contact its customer services.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd resigns

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has resigned after accusing the government of failing to engage in negotiations to reach a deal with the EU. Rudd said in a statement that: "I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government's main objective." She added: "The Government is expending a lot of energy to prepare for 'no deal' but I have not seen the same level of intensity go into our talks with the European Union, who have asked us to present alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop". Rudd also criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to expel 21 MPs that rebelled against a bill aimed at avoiding a no-deal Brexit. Her resignation comes days before the House of Commons is set to hold a second vote to hold an early general election.

Man injured in sectarian violence, Belfast

A man has reportedly been injured following a violent incident in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The incident has has been attributed to sectarian violence and it's alleged the man was injured during a clash on Crumlin Road, where reports indicate a scuffle broke out between the man and a number of unknown assailants. It's believed the incident was motivated by the fact that the victim's father was a representative for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). No arrests have been made as police investigate the assault.

Two men arrested for kidnap and murder plan

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of planning to kidnap and murder a female relative. Mohammad Patman, 54, and Darya Khan Safi, 49, both originally from Afghanistan, were detained by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers at their respective homes in Coventry and London on Wednesday. The pair were allegedly wanted by the Slovakian authorities for conspiring to murder a 25-year-old woman, currently living in Austria and working in Slovakia. Both men are being held on European Arrest Warrants and will face extradition to Slovakia.

MPs to vote again on early election motion

MPs will vote again on an early election motion next week after the Commons rejected PM Boris Johnson's plan for a snap election on 15 October in a vote on Wednesday. The issue has seen the PMs brother, Jo Johnson, announce his resignation as Tory MP and minister due to conflicts being family and national interests. The Labour party leadership has reiterated that while the opposition wants an election, taking a no-deal Brexit off the table has to be a priority and the party will not back the PMs call for an election unless no-deal is stopped. The next vote on an early election will be held on Monday 09 September, just before parliament is due to be prorogued from next week until 14 October.

Teenager killed in east London stabbing

A  murder investigation has been launched after a teenage boy was stabbed to death in east London. The victim was allegedly knifed during a fight on Tuesday evening near Byford Close, Stratford. The boy reportedly died at the scene despite attempts by paramedics to save him. No arrests have been made thus far as investigations continue.

Joint operation leads to massive heroin bust in Felixstowe, Suffolk

A joint operation has led to the seizure of nearly 1.3 tonnes of heroin hidden inside a container ship in Felixstowe, Suffolk. BBC reported that agents of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Border Force took several hours to unload the drugs, which were concealed inside bathrobes and towels. The seizure happened in late-August. Reports indicate that after the seizure, authorities tracked the container to its final destination, the Belgian port of Antwerp. The cargo was later transported to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where four people were detained after intercepting it. This is the second large-scale heroin seizure at Felixstowe in August. Earlier in the month, around 400kg of drugs were seized in similar circumstances.

PM loses vote on no-deal Brexit in parliament

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost a key vote on stopping a no-deal Brexit in the House of Commons. Johnson lost the vote after a number of Tory MPs rebelled, including Conservative MP Philip Lee who defected to the Liberal Democrats during yesterday's parliament session. The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the Brexit agenda, allowing MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit to bring a bill requested another extension to the Brexit deadline, currently 31 October. Earlier this week, the PM threatened to call for a general election if he is forced to request an extension to the deadline from the EU. The battle in the Commons over Brexit is expected to escalate as MPs vote on the Brexit delay bill. If it passes, the vote on whether to hold an election will follow. Johnson has tabled a motion in parliament seeking approval for an early general election; however, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the bill taking no-deal off the table needs to be passed before Labour will support a call for an election. Unless two thirds of MPs back a general election it cannot be called, which looks unlikely given Labour's opposition.

PM threatens election amidst no-deal Brexit row

PM Boris Johnson has threatened to call a general election on 14 October if MPs win a vote to stop a no-deal Brexit. The row over Brexit had led to a showdown in parliament as MPs aim to take control of the agenda. Ex-chancellor and Tory rebel Philip Hammond stated he believed there was enough parliamentary support for the bill to delay the UK's withdrawal date from the EU; however, the PM released a statement on Tuesday warning he would push for an election before the 31 October Brexit deadline if the government lost the vote on the bill. If the bill is passed in parliament, it would force the PM to ask the EU for Brexit to be delayed until 31 January 2020, unless MPs approved a new deal or voted in favour of a no-deal Brexit by 19 October. Johnson said he was opposed to an election but believed progress with the EU would be 'impossible' if MPs won. Critics claim Johnson's tactic is to use a general election before 31 October to gain a mandate for no deal.

Judge rejects legal bid to block parliament suspension

Judge Lord Doherty has rejected a legal bid to temporarily block the suspension of parliament called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. MPs submitted a petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh in an attempt to block the prorogation of parliament until the Queen's Speech on 14 October. A full hearing is set for 06 September. PM Johnson has asked the Queen to suspend parliament following the parliament break in mid-September. The move has been widely criticised by the opposition, which continues to push for legislation to block a no-deal Brexit ahead of the 31 October deadline.

Ruth Davidson quits as Scottish Tory leader

Ruth Davidson has quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives. According to reports, Davidson announced her resignation on Thursday, stating that she had decided to stand down as leader due to recent political and personal changes. Having been in the job for eight years, Davidson said her personal priorities had changed after having a baby last year. Davidson has also been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, particularly over his approach to Brexit, prompting some speculation that her resignation was triggered by the PM's controversial decision to prorogue parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline. Having been in the job for eight years, Davidson said her personal priorities had changed after having a baby last year. Davidson will continue as the MSP for Edinburgh Central.

Activists to use drones to disrupt Heathrow operations

Activists are allegedly planning to use drones to disrupt flight operations at London Heathrow Airport. Climate activist group, Heathrow Pause, has stated its intentions to fly drones within the restricted zone of Heathrow on 13 September. Drones will not be flown directly in flight paths; however, the drone activity with nevertheless seriously impact flight operations. The group is opposed to plans for a runway expansion at the airport and an alleged lack of action towards climate change.

Queen approves suspension of parliament

The Queen has approved the suspension of parliament, as requested by PM Boris Johnson's government. The prorogation of parliament has been arranged to allow the new government to prepare for a Queen's Speech - typically given by new government's to lay out their future plans. However, the timing of the prorogue has been heavily criticised as 'unconstitutional' and 'undemocratic' due to the fact it restricts the time MPs will have to push a vote through parliament to prevent a no-deal Brexit before the 31 October deadline. Critics have claimed the move was politically motivated and designed by the PM to prevent MPs from voting to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Government to ask Queen to suspend parliament

The government is expected to ask the Queen to suspend parliament shortly after MPs return to work following the parliament break. It's been reported by the BBC that PM Boris Johnson plans to hold a Queen's Speech on 14 October to lay out the government's future plans; however, the suspension would mean MPs are unlikely to have time to pass laws which could stop Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal on the 31 October. If the Queen signs off on shutting down parliament on 10 September - known as prorogation - it's possible that MPs could vote in the House of Commons to veto the suspension, which would cause controversy, as it effectively prevents MPs from playing their part in the democratic process of parliament. It's usual for a new government to hold a Queen's Speech; however, many are arguing that the timing of the speech is a strategic move designed to prevent MPs from stopping a no-deal Brexit, thereby undermining parliamentary democracy.

British Airways pilots to launch strikes in September

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has announced that British Airways pilots will launch strikes in September. After failed negotiations between the syndicate and the airline, pilots are expected to strike on 09, 10 and 27 September. BALPA said: "BA did not accept any of these packages, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA’s most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots". BA has said that schedule changes are likely and that flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair will not be affected. The airline confirmed that most flights scheduled for strike days may not operate. For further information, BA passengers are advised to directly contact the airline.

Fire breaks out at tower block in Notting Hill, London

Dozens of firefighters have been deployed in Notting Hill after a fire broke out on a balcony on the twelfth floor of a tower block. London Fire Brigade (LFB) said that eight fire engines headed to Darfield Way on Friday afternoon after reports of smoke. Darfield Way is situated near the Grenfell Tower. People have been advised to avoid the area.

Kings Cross station to be closed during August Bank Holiday weekend

London's Kings Cross station will be closed between Saturday and Sunday due to maintenance works. Rail companies London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Great Northern are among those that advised passengers to avoid travelling over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Operations are expected to be normalised on Tuesday morning. LNER said that services between Scotland and northern England to Peterborough will be severely affected. Meanwhile, train services from King's Cross to Peterborough will not operate. Trains to and from Moorgate are also expected to face disruption. An influx of passengers is expected across major train stations and main routes between Friday afternoon and Monday evening.

Man injured in suspected knife attack in London

A large section of Trafalgar Square in London has been cordoned off after a man was injured in a knife attack. Preliminary reports suggest that the victim has not sustained life-threatening injuries. Met Police said that "this is not being treated as terrorism and initial inquiries indicate that the victim and suspect maybe known to each other". As of March 2019, England and Wales reported record levels of knife offences. According to the Home Office, most incidents have been related to assault and robbery. Latest data show that London recorded most knife offences comparing with other regions in Wales and England.

Ryanair pilots launch strike over pay dispute

UK-based Ryanair pilots have launched a 48-hour strike on Wednesday. Earlier this month, pilots have voted in favour to launch two strikes due to a lack of progress on negotiations. Ryanair claimed that operations on Thursday have not been affected, but some delays and changes to flight schedules may occur. It kicks off after a British court rejected the airline's request to block the strike. Another 48-hour strike is still expected to take place on 02 September. For further information, passengers are recommended to contact Ryanair and check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Man shot dead in County Down, Northern Ireland

A man has been killed in a shooting incident in County Down, Northern Ireland. According to reports, Malcolm McKeown was shot dead near the Emo Oil petrol station on Main Street in Waringstown village shortly after 21:00 BST on Monday evening. McKeown was known by the police for being a criminal and was also known to have loyalist paramilitary connections. It's believed the shooting was a targeted attack, most likely motivated by a feud with a criminal drug gang. The police have found no links to recent dissident republican activity.

UK officials to slash attendance to EU meetings

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay has confirmed that UK officials will stop attending most EU meetings from September. Ahead of the Brexit deadline on 31 October, Barclay claimed that the move comes to focus on the UK's departure from the EU. He added that some meetings that have "a significant national interest in the outcome of discussions, such as on security” will be at the top of the agenda. He claimed that "an incredible amount of time and effort goes into EU meetings, with attendance just the tip of the iceberg. Our diligent, world-class officials also spend many hours preparing for them whether in reading the necessary papers or working on briefings." The announcement came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the Irish border backstop plan. Boris Johnson has had a much more energetic approach to Brexit compared with his predecessor, Theresa May. In a statement released on Monday, the Home Office said that "freedom of movement as it currently stands will end (...) when the UK leaves the EU."

Left-wing journalist targeted outside pub in London

A 35-year-old journalist known for his left-wing political views has been attacked outside a pub in Islington, London. Owen Jones claimed that four men threw him on the ground and attacked him "in a blatant premeditated assault". The Met Police confirmed to the Huffington Post UK that the attack was perpetrated by up to four males and that no hospital treatment was required. The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, said: “We deplore the outrageous attack on Owen Jones that took place late last night. Violent assaults on journalists or activists have no place in a democratic society.”

UK loses measles-free certificate over outbreaks

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has withdrawn the UK's measles-free certificate after several outbreaks were reported in the country. Reports indicate that more than 230 cases of measles were confirmed in the UK in the first quarter of 2019. Health authorities have previously raised concerns over parents' resistance to vaccinating their children and sending them to school without the second measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) dose. A vast majority of measles cases are imported from Europe and confined in some communities that are historically averse to vaccination. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered urgent action to prevent the disease from further spreading. The UK loses its certificate three years after eradicating the disease. Measles outbreaks are not exclusive to the UK. Other countries, including France, Italy and the US have also reported a significant increase in measles cases. Measles is a highly contagious disease and preventable by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. Symptoms include high fever, coughing and red eyes.

Explosive device blows up near Newtownbutler, Northern Ireland

An explosive device went off during a police operation near Newtownbutler, Northern Ireland. Police reports confirmed that officers headed to Wattle Bridge to attend reports of a fake explosive device. The device was found on Sunday evening and exploded on the next morning. No injuries were reported. Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "Although this device was intended to kill police and army personnel the fact that it was placed on a main road the result could well have been devastating for anyone in the immediate vicinity." Authorities are investigating the circumstances behind the incident. Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew condemned the incident as has the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster.

Islamic State recruiter stripped of British citizenship

The British government has revoked the citizenship of Jack Letts, aka 'Jihadi Jack', who joined the Islamic State (IS) group back in 2014. Letts was detained in 2017 after attempting to flee towards Turkey. He was known as a recruiter for the IS in Syria. No comments were made by the British government or Home Office on the case. The decision generated some diplomatic spat with Canada - Letts is also a Canadian citizen. A statement from the Canadian public safety ministry added: "Canada is disappointed that the United Kingdom has taken this unilateral action to off-load their responsibilities." Earlier this year, a British court convicted Letts's parents for funding terrorism. John and Salley Lane are accused of sending £223 to Jihadi Jack.

Police officer killed in Berkshire

A murder investigation has been launched by Thames Valley Police after a police officer was killed whilst on duty in Berkshire last night. The incident occurred at approximately 23:30 local time at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill on Bath Road, near Sulhamstead, between Reading and Newbury. According to reports, PC Andrew Harper from the Roads Policing Proactive Unit based at Abingdon Police Station, was attending a reported burglary when he was killed. At least 10 people have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in police custody while a scene watch remains in place at the scene of the incident. Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill remain closed, while Bath Road has since been re-opened.

Gibraltar to release Iranian tanker

The government of Gibraltar has announced that the Iranian supertanker, the Grace 1, is to be released after being seized last month. The Grace 1 is carrying Iranian oil and was intercepted by the Royal Marines on 04 July after the government of Gibraltar suggested it was en route to Syria, sparking a diplomatic standoff with Iran. The US had submitted a last-minute request for the continued detention the Grace 1, which was considered in a court hearing in Gibraltar today. It had been implued by Gibraltar's attorney general that there was no further order for the vessels detention. It's hoped that releasing the Grace 1 could lead to the release of the Stena Impero - a British-flagged vessel seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf.

Man detained over suspected stabbing outside the Home Office, London

A man has been detained for suspected involvement in a stabbing outside the Home Office in London. According to the Met Police, officers were deployed to the scene after reports of a suspected stabbing outside the building on Marsham Street, Westminster. Police said that there is no indication that the incident is terror-related. No further information about the suspect's identity nor the number of victims has been initially provided.

Petrol bombs thrown at city walls amid violence in Londonderry

Between 30 to 40 people have taken part in the third consecutive night of disorder and violence in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It's been reported that more than 20 petrol bombs were thrown at the city's historic walls from the Bogside area on Monday night. A strong police presence was deployed to the area, with riot police on standby. While some of those participating in the violence were said to be "extremely young teenagers", the police have stated that they believe older people are orchestrating the violence and are using the youths to attacks police and symbolic sites around the city walls. In total, 24 petrol bombs were thrown, while police officers were also attacked with bricks and bottles. It's believed the violence has been inspired by separatism, as it has coincided with the city marking 50 years since the Battle of Bogside, which saw British troops deployed to Northern Ireland. The police are yet to make any arrests and it's feared the violence will continue for a fourth consecutive night.

Teenager stabbed to death in Camden, north-west London

A 16-year-old has died after being stabbed in north-west London. According to the Met Police, the incident happened on Monday evening at Muster Square in Camden. Authorities are still investigating the incident. Knife crime has become a major issue in some boroughs of London. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to recruit additional police officers and to expand police stop-and-search powers to tackle knife crime. So far this year, it is estimated that over 100 people have died as a result of knife crime across the UK. In late-July, a parliamentary report claimed that youth violence has become a "national emergency".

Yellow thunderstorm warning issued in the Midlands

A yellow thunderstorm warning has been issued for most of the Midlands in England for tomorrow. The Met Office has advised that from 14:00 onward on Wednesday 14 August, there will be a high risk of thunder and lightning storms affecting the East and West Midlands until 22:00. Heavy showers and thunderstorms should be expected and could cause flooding and transport disruption in some areas. There is also a chance that power cuts could occur. Other reports have warned of strong 'tornado-like' winds affecting parts of the country overnight on Tuesday.

Massive power cut reported across the UK

Homes and transport networks across the UK have been affected after a major power outage affected most parts of the country on Friday afternoon. BBC reported that among the regions affected are the South East, Midlands, South West, North East and Wales. National Rail has announced that a large number of train services are currently being affected. UK Power Networks said: "We're aware of a power cut affecting a large area of London and South East. We believe this is due to a failure to National Grid's network, which is affecting our customers". Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) confirmed that "the issue is now resolved and the system has returned to normal. Anyone continuing to experience a local issue should contact their local Distribution Network Operator for assistance." Disruption to train services and other transport networks are expected to persist throughout the evening.

Weather warnings in place for most of UK

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for most of the UK. A yellow rain warning has been issued all-day Friday for Northern Ireland, Wales, most of Scotland (barring the north-western coastline), and most of England (barring East and West Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Kent). A yellow wind warning is also in effect from 15:00 to 23:59 local time on Friday, applying to Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, coastal parts of Dorset, and most of the Welsh coastline. Another yellow wind warning has been issued all-day Saturday for most of England and Wales, while a yellow thunderstorm warning will also be in effect from 00:00 to 06:00 on Saturday for Northern Ireland, most of Scotland, and parts of northern England. Another yellow thunderstorm warning has also been issued to the same areas for the same times on Sunday.

Major disruption reported at London Euston

Major disruption is currently being reported at London Euston station due to a signalling system failure. National Rail said on Thursday afternoon that although all lines have reopened, disruption is expected to extend throughout the evening. Virgin Trains are also among the services affected.

British train companies to remain part of Interrail scheme

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has said that UK-based train companies will remain part of the Interrail scheme. Robert Nisbet, an RDG director, said: "Following the strong reaction to news of our departure we and Eurail, the company which runs Interrail, renewed talks". Nisbet added that an agreement was reached and that RDG "will be remaining part of both the Interrail and Eurail passes". RDG's decision to leave the programme generated strong criticism from some UK politicians and on social media. Interrail is a pass that gives unlimited train travel across 31 countries to European nationals.

UK-based Ryanair pilots vote in favour of strike

UK-based Ryanair pilots have voted in favour to launch a strike over a pay and benefits dispute. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has said that pilots voted in favour to set two 48-hour strikes on 22 August and 02 September. BALPA said that the move comes after no progress was made in the negotiations. Similar to previous strikes, industrial action may be postponed or cancelled. Travellers are advised to directly contact the airline for further flight status updates. Earlier this month, in a separate case, British Airways pilots also voted in favour of strike action, but no dates have been set.

Some BA flights may still be affected after IT system glitch

Some British Airways flights from London Gatwick (LGW) and Heathrow (LHR) may still be affected after an IT system failure on Wednesday. BA said on Thursday: "We plan to operate our normal schedule today, however there may be some knock-on disruption". Passengers are advised to check for flight status information directly with BA before heading to the airport. Thousands were left stranded on Wednesday after more than 100 flights were cancelled.

Police officer injured after machete attack in Leyton, London

A police officer has been severely injured after a machete attack in Leyton, east London. BBC reported that the officer was stabbed in the head and body after he ordered a van to stop for inspection. Reports indicate that the van had no insurance. North East Command Unit's Inspector Julia James said: "What began as a routine vehicle stop has transformed very quickly and unexpectedly into an unprovoked attack with a weapon." Dozens of police officers were deployed to the scene moments later. The unidentified suspect was detained shortly after the incident. The incident is not believed to be terror-related.

BA flights at London Gatwick affected due to IT system failure

BA flights from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) are facing delays on Wednesday morning due to an IT system failure. BA has said that the check-in operations and flight departures are being affected. Severe delays and cancellations are likely. Travellers have been recommended to check for flight status updates before heading to LGW and to allow extra time at the airport. BA said that flights from London Heathrow (LHR) and City (LCY) may also be affected.

Strike action at London Heathrow postponed

A strike scheduled for Tuesday at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has been postponed. LHR has confirmed that after negotiations with Unite Union, the strike was postponed to an undisclosed date. LHR said that two strikes on 23 and 24 August are still scheduled to go ahead. Although calls for industrial action were postponed, some disruption may still affect flights. Passengers are advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Water reservoir reaches dangerous levels in Todmorden

A number of homes have been preventatively evacuated in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, after the reservoir has reached dangerous levels. The water volume in the Lumbutts Reservoir has increased significantly following recent heavy rainfall across parts of northern England. According to reports, fire crews from Halifax and Todmorden are at the scene, pumping water out of the reservoir on Lumbutts Road to relief pressure on the dam. At least six homes have been evacuated and the road has been closed while Calderdale Council has advised people to avoid the area. The incident comes after 1,500 homes were evacuated in the Derbyshire town of Whaley Bridge after heavy rainfall caused severe damage to the dam amidst floods.

Planned strike at London Heathrow postponed

A strike scheduled for Monday 05 August, at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has been postponed. LHR said that talks with Unite Union are still ongoing and that workers may still strike on Tuesday. Passengers are recommended to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Residents evacuated amid Derbyshire dam incident

Approximately 1,500 residents have been evacuated from their homes amid an emergency situation at Whaley Bridge dam in Derbyshire. Emergency crews have launched critical response operations to save the damaged reservoir after part of the dam wall collapsed on Thursday afternoon. The police warned local residents in Whaley Bridge that there was a high risk of the dam completely collapsing and flooding the village. Water is being pumped out of the 300-million-gallon reservoir, while an RAF Chinook is dropping 400 tonnes of aggregate to shore up the dam and divert water, to relief some of the pressure on the wall and allow repairs to begin. Water built up in the reservoir following severe heavy rainfall in the north of England over the last few days. Improved weather conditions have meant that water levels have reduced by 20cm; however, it's still expected to take three to four days to reduce the reservoir to a safe level - assuming it doesn't rain again.

Conservative party loses Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

The Conservatives have suffered a major defeat in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, where Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds defeated incumbent Tory Chris Davies. The by-election was called after Davies was charged for making false expenses claims. Dodds garnered just over 43 percent of the votes, while Davies secured only 39 percent. With the Conservatives losing an important seat in the House of Commons, they now hold a majority of one. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to rely on the full support of his own party and backing from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to pass legislation.

Thousands evacuated due to dam collapse risk in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire

More than 6,500 residents in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, have been told to evacuate due to a dam at risk of collapse. BBC reported that heavy rainfall overnight on Wednesday triggered severe damage to the structure of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam. A severe flood warning was issued on Thursday afternoon due to the potential overflowing of the River Goyt. The Environment Agency said that they are currently working with local authorities to ensure community safety. Derbyshire Police announced that: "Residents who have been at work, or away from the area, are strongly advised to stay away following advice from the Environment Agency who have indicated that the incident currently poses a significant threat to life". People in the area have been advised to follow updates from reliable sources, including social media reports from the Environment Agency, Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Court rejects British Airways' calls to block pilots strike action

Judges of the Court of Appeal have overwhelmingly rejected an attempt by British Airways (BA) to block pilots' plans to launch strike action. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said that earlier this month, 93 percent of BA pilots voted in favour of strike action. In a statement, BA said: “While no strike dates have yet been issued by BALPA, and they are required to give us 14 days’ notice of any intention to call strike action, we ask our customers to review their contact details by visiting, or by contacting their travel agent. We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans". The main dispute is related to pay, where pilots demand compensation over the company's profit recovery.

Heavy downpours trigger flash flooding across North Yorkshire

Heavy downpours have triggered widespread flooding across several areas in North Yorkshire. Severe travel disruption has been reported in some areas north of the Yorkshire Dales after flash floods damaged several roads leading to local villages. Train services in the region have been also disrupted, especially between Carlisle and Skipton. Northern Rail said that limited services are operating between Hazel Grove and Buxton. According to the Met Office, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are forecast to continue in the area and spread towards Newcastle, Manchester and Hull. The Environmental Agency has issued flood warnings to the villages of Reeth and Grinton, while the areas around Skelton, Winston and Leaming may also be affected.

BP-flagged tankers to avoid Strait of Hormuz

All BP-flagged oil tankers are to avoid the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran. According to Reuters, the CFO of British Petroleum (BP), Brian Gilvary, announced that all BP-flagged tankers will be avoiding the strait due to the ongoing risk to shipping in the region. BP has instead chosen to use chartered tankers to transport oil through the strait, and has been doing so since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels in the strait, when three Iranian vessels tried to block the path of a BP-operated tanker, but withdrew after warnings from a British warship. Tensions spiked this month when Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the strait, just two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, which was suspected of violating EU sanctions on Syria.

Thousands march in Caernarfon for Welsh independence

Thousands of people have marched through the town of Caernarfon in North Wales to rally for Welsh independence over the weekend. Approximately 8,000 people are said to have participated in the rally in the town's Castle Square on Saturday according to the organisers, while the police also confirmed that at least 5,000 marched through the town as part of the rally. The protest remained peaceful, although some travel disruption through the town centre was reported.

Homes evacuated after police recover grenades and chemicals in Lowestoft, Suffolk

Dozens of homes have been evacuated after two grenades and chemicals were recovered in Lowestoft, Suffolk. A police operation launched on Sunday led to the temporary isolation of the area around Normanhurst Close after an army bomb disposal team was deployed. Suffolk Police said: “On arrival at the premises, police conducted a search of the property and recovered a quantity of unidentified chemicals and two military grenades inside the premises.”

Several UK-France Eurostar services affected due to power failure

Several Eurostar services between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord were cancelled on Friday due to an overhead power issue. Reuters reported that an electrical failure at Paris Garde du Nord led services to be cancelled. Eurostar has urged passengers to avoid travelling through its network unless essential. SNCF services in some areas across France are also being affected. Although services are expected to be gradually resumed, severe delays are expected to affect Eurostar services throughout the day. Travellers are advised to follow updates from Eurostar for further information.

Planned strike action at London Heathrow postponed

A strike action planned to take place on 26 and 27 July at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has been postponed. LHR has announced that passengers may be affected in August due to a series of scheduled strikes. They include a 48-hour strike from 05 August and 23 August. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines. LHR is currently negotiating with Unite Union in order to avoid disruption during the summer peak season.

London airports face flight disruption due to adverse weather in Europe

Flights from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) have been either cancelled or are facing severe delays due to adverse weather across Europe. Eurocontrol has said that adverse weather is currently impacting operations in north-eastern Spain, parts of Croatia and Hungary. Several airports in Greece are also experiencing flight delays. Gatwick Airport (LGW) and London City (LCY) may also face some disruption. Travellers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Police search for three missing swimmers on Thames River

Police are searching for three people that have been reported missing in several stretches along the Thames River. Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Teddington station said that responder was called for two incidents on Tuesday evening in Kingston and Richmond. In another case, a 22-year-old was swimming with friends when he went missing on the Shadwell Basin in east London. The Independent reported that a body was found near the area. 

Yellow warning issued for thunderstorms across England and Scotland

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for thunderstorms across large parts of England and Scotland. The warning will come into effect from 15:00 local time on Thursday 25 July, lasting until 04:00 the following morning. Thunderstorms have been triggered across much of the UK due to hot weather brought on by a heatwave. Heavy rain is expected to accompany the thunderstorms, heightening the risk of sudden flooding on roads and railway lines, meaning travel delays could be likely. Power cuts are also possible due to lightning strikes, with a small chance of properties being damaged as well. The yellow warning applies to South East England, most of the Midlands, all of northern England, and much of southern Scotland. Perth, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Hull, Norwich, Birmingham, Oxford, London, Canterbury, and Brighton are among some of the areas affected.

Two injured in south London stabbing

Two people have been injured following  stabbing incident which was reported in south London. Both incidents occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the Mitcham area, where the police responded to two men with knife wounds. According to reports, a 26-year-old man was found with severe stab wounds in Rock Close and has been rushed to hospital where he is said to be in a critical condition. The other victim was also attacked in the Mitcham area around the same time. No arrests have been made thus far, with the police currently treating the incidents as connected.

British Airways pilots agree on strike action over pay dispute

British Airways pilots have voted in favour of strike action amid a long-standing pay dispute. British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) said that industrial action has been approved with 93 percent of the votes - BALPA claims to represent 90 percent of all BA pilots. The strike action has been decided after months of deliberation. The decision will still face an injunction attempt in court on Wednesday, while BALPA continues to negotiate an agreement. It is still unknown the exact date of a potential strike. However, in the event of pilots going forward with it, the strike may significantly affect the peak summer season.

Boris Johnson to be Britain's next PM

Conservative MP and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been announced as the winner of the Tory leadership election, meaning he will replace Theresa May as Britain's next Prime Minister. The results were announced in a televised conference on Tuesady shortly after midday. Johnson managed to secure 92,153 votes, compared to Jeremy Hunt's 46,656. Almost 160,000 Conservative Party members were eligible to vote, with a turnout of 87.4 percent recorded. Officially, Johnson will not become PM until Wednesday; however, a number of senior politicians have already said they won't serve under him as PM, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Education Minister Anne Milton, and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart - who also contested the leadership during the early stages of the election.

Three injured in Hackney shooting

Three people have been injured following a shooting incident in the east London borough of Hackney. According to reports, the police were called to respond to an incident on Monday night on Kingsland Road at approximately 22:30 local time. It's believed the incident occurred outside a local grocery shop, where at least three men were involved in the altercation. The three men reportedly took themselves to a hospital, where at least one victim is allegedly being treated for a gunshot wound to the stomach. It remains unclear what motivated the shooting and no arrests have been made thus far, although unconfirmed reports claim a masked gunman opened fire on the three men in a drive-by shooting.

Results of conservative party leadership race to be announced

The result of the conservative party leadership race is scheduled to be announced at 12:00 local time. Members of the conservative party voted on Monday to either elect Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt to be the new conservative leader and, subsequently, the new UK prime minister. Theresa May is expected to step down on Tuesday, while the new prime minister will be sworn in on Wednesday. Ahead of the vote, several ministers have threatened to resign if Johnson wins the race - they include Philip Hammond and David Gauke. FCO Minister Sir Alan Duncan already announced his resignation on Monday. The new PM will face immediate challenges, including the long-standing Brexit negotiations, which deadline expires on 31 October. The current crisis with Iran - triggered when a British-flagged oil tanker was seized on the Strait of Hormuz - will also top the agenda.

Huge fire breaks out at east London shopping centre

A huge fire has broken out at a shopping centre in Walthamstow in east London. According to the BBC, more than 10 firefighters, with 25 fire engines, have responded to the blaze at The Mall shopping centre on Selborne Road on Monday. Although the fire is said to be under control now, the area remains cordoned off and firefighting crews will remain at the scene. The cause of the fire remains unclear as investigations go forward. It's been reported that one woman had been taken to hospital. Some travel disruption has been caused by the fire, with local bus services re-routed temporarily.

Heatwave forecast for UK

Parts of the UK are forecast to be hit by a heatwave this week, with temperatures expected to reach as high as 35 degrees Celsius in some areas. The Met Office has forecast a potentially record breaking hot spell throughout much of England, Scotland, and Wales this week, with heatwave threshold expected to be met in wide parts of central and eastern England. A pulse of warm air from the continent will bring warmer temperatures from the south east on Monday afternoon, setting temperatures soaring to highs of 34 degrees on Tuesday and 35 degrees on Wednesday, with Thursday expected to peak at 37 degrees. The heatwave will break overnight on Friday, when temperatures are predicted to drop.

Scores injured in car collision on club meeting in Stevenage

At least 17 people have been injured after two cars crashed in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Police reports confirmed that the collision happened on Thursday evening on the A602. The Guardian reported that the crash happened during a car meeting. At least a dozen bystanders have been taken to hospital. Some of them were in serious conditions. A member of the Cruise Herts Club said on social media: "After what happened tonight me and Dean have decided we will not be having anymore Cruise Herts meets". Hertfordshire Police said that investigations into the crash are still ongoing.

UK-based Ryanair pilots considering to launch strike

UK-based Ryanair pilots are expected to launch a strike from mid-August due to a current salary and benefits dispute. British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has said that a vote will take place next week to decide if the strike action will go ahead. BALPA said that the move comes after Ryanair has failed to address a number of demands, including pensions, allowances and maternity benefits. BALPA Secretary General Brian Strutton said: "Our Ryanair representatives have been trying to tackle some of the many issues that result from years of non-recognition of unions within Ryanair."

Two injured in Leicester machete attack

Two people have reportedly been injured after being stabbed in a machete attack in Leicester. The attack took place on Monday evening in the Tinseltown restaurant - an American-style diner - on Upper Brown Street off Newarke Street in the city centre. The pair were allegedly attacked by three unidentified assailants who managed to flee the scene following the attack. The police have responded to the scene and have established a cordon around the area. It remains unclear if the victims knew their attackers and whether the incident was a targeted attack or not.

EU commission candidate open to extending Brexit deadline

Ursula von der Leyen, who was nominated to replace Jean Claude Juncker as the EU commission president, has said that she is open to extending the deadline for Brexit negotiations. The Independent reported that Von der Leyen said that she would "support a further extension if good reasons are provided”. She added: “The withdrawal agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom is the best and only possible deal for an orderly withdrawal.” Von der Leyen, the German defence minister, is set to face a vote in the EU parliament on Tuesday to be confirmed as the new EU commission chief. If approved, she takes office on 01 November, a day after the new Brexit deadline. Meanwhile, the Conservative party is still to decide who will replace Prime Minister Theresa May. Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt are currently battling to secure support ahead of the final vote scheduled for next week.

Eco activists stage protests in major UK cities

Environmental activists are staging demonstrations across several cities across the UK. The BBC reported that several roads in central areas of major cities are blocked since Monday morning. Protests led by a group known as Extinction Rebellion are reportedly taking place in Cardiff, Leeds, Bristol, London and Glasgow. The group said that a number of other demonstrations are also scheduled for the next few weeks. They are calling for immediate government action on climate change. Disruption is expected to affect road travel in some cities. Extinction Rebellion was behind a previous demonstration last April which brought London to a standstill.

Passenger services staff to launch series of strikes at London airports

Passenger services staff working for Easyjet are set to launch a series of strikes over several days in July and August. Unite Union said in a statement that in total, 43 agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services will take part in 17 days of strike action at London's Stansted Airport (STN). Dates will include 25 to 29 July; 02 to 05 August; 09 to 12 August; 16 to 19 August; and 23 to 27 August. The strike action come amid a pay dispute. Unite has also announced another series of strikes which may affect operations at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR). A number of 48-hour strikes - also fuelled by a pay dispute - which will include passenger service staff, security guards and engineers are scheduled to be launched on 26, 05 and 23 August. 

Fire breaks out at Warner Bros Studios near Watford

A fire has broke out at the Warner Bros Studios near Watford. Firefighters rushed to the scene on Wednesday evening after the police blocked some roads around the venue located in Leavesden. BBC reported that as of Thursday morning firefighters were still at the scene to battle the blaze. According to Variety, the fire broke out at a sound stage located in a closed set. No injuries have been reported, while there is no report over any operational disruption.

Iranian vessels attempt to intercept UK tanker

Three Iranian boats have attempted to intercept a British oil tanker near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. They were repelled by HMS Montrose, a Royal Navy frigate which was escorting the British Heritage tanker. No shots were fired during the incident, while the UK Ministry of Defence said the Iranian's actions were "contrary to international law." Officials in Tehran have previously threatened to seize British tankers after one of its vessels was detained in Gibraltar for transporting oil to Syria in breach of international sanctions.

Flights at London Gatwick suspended due to ATC issue

Flights at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) have been suspended due to air traffic control issue. LGW has announced on Wednesday afternoon that: "Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights remain suspended. We are working with Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), our provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible". Travellers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to LGW.

UK ambassador to the US resigns amid leaked emails row

British Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, has resigned from his post after emails were leaked to the media. In a series of documents leaked to the Daily Mail, Ambassador Darroch criticised US President Donald Trump and described fierce internal dispute within the White House. The leaks heightened diplomatic tensions between the UK and US, with President Trump saying that the White House "will no longer deal with him". Sir Simon McDonald, the UK Permanent Under-Secretary at the FCO, accepted his resignation and said: "The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and whole of the public service have stood with you: you were the target of a malicious leak; you were simply doing your job". Sir Darroch's resignation came after Conservative leader candidate Boris Johnson was accused of not fully supporting him. Johnson was criticised by his Conservative peers, including the FCO minister, Sir Alan Duncan, who claimed Johnson had thrown Sir Darroch "under the bus to serve his own personal interests". He added: "His disregard for Sir Kim Darroch and his refusal to back him was in my view pretty contemptible, but also not in the interests of the country he’s trying to lead.”

ICO announces intentions to fine Marriott International for data breach

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has announced intentions to fine Marriott International more than £99m for last year's data breach. In a statement, the ICO said that after extensive investigation, the fines would be imposed for violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Out of nearly 340 million guests affected, the ICO estimates that nearly 10 percent of them were citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) - around seven million of those affected are believed to be UK residents. The breach emerged in September when hackers attempted access to its Starwood guest reservation database. Marriott said that "learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorised access to the Starwood network since 2014". Marriott acquired Starwood hotels group in 2016. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “The GDPR makes it clear that organisations must be accountable for the personal data they hold. This can include carrying out proper due diligence when making a corporate acquisition, and putting in place proper accountability measures to assess not only what personal data has been acquired, but also how it is protected". The statement came just a day after the ICO announced a record-breaking fine against British Airways. The company was hit with a 183-million-pound fine for last September's data breach.

Engineering train derailment causes disruption at London Victoria

Severe disruption has been reported on services running to and from London Victoria due to a train derailment. Gatwick Express services are expected to be impacted until the end of Tuesday after an engineering train derailed in London. Southern services are also expected to be affected. BBC reported that the derailed train is currently blocking several platforms at London Victoria. Network Rail has told passengers to avoid London Victoria and use London Blackfriars or London Bridge instead. National Rail said that replacement buses to Sutton, Epom and Horsham are available. Travellers heading to London Gatwick Airport should find alternative routes and may use their pre-purchased tickets in other services, including Thameslink, Southeastern and GWR.

Yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in northern Britain

Yellow weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office for parts of northern Britain over the next few days. A yellow thunderstorm warning will come into effect along the eastern coast of Scotland from midday local time on Wednesday, and will remain in effect until 21:00 Wednesday evening, affecting Aberdeen, Dundee, and Perth. Another warning has been issued to parts of Scotland and northern England for the following day, lasting from midday to 21:00 on Thursday. Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Carlisle, Newcastle, Leeds, Hull, and parts of Sheffield are expected to be affected. Heavy showers are forecast, meaning there's a potential risk of flooding in low-lying areas. Driving conditions are likely to be affected and disruption to train services is also possible,

British Airways slapped with massive fine for last year's data breach

British Airways (BA) has been slapped with a 183-million-pound fine for last year's data breach. In a decision released by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), BA is accused of failing to protect data of nearly 500,000 customers. BA security systems were hit in a massive data breach last year where hundreds of thousands of transactions were affected. An investigation "has found that a variety of information was compromised by poor security arrangements at the company, including login, payment card, and travel booking details as well name and address information". The breach is believed to have started in June but was just disclosed in early-September. The £183.39m fine comes under the guidelines of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The value is much higher than the previous record, where Facebook was hit with a £500k fine for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. IAG CEO Willie Walsh said: "We intend to take all appropriate steps to defend the airline's position vigorously, including making any necessary appeals".

Three-year investigation dismantles massive modern slavery ring

Eight people have been sentenced as part of a three-year investigation that dismantled a major modern slavery ring in the UK. The trial was held back in March but reports on the case were only released on Friday due to court secrecy. According to court documents, the criminals led a massive international network that lured vulnerable people in Poland to bring them to the UK. It is estimated that more than 400 people were exploited during a five-year period. Reports suggest that their victims would work for little money and live in appalling conditions while having their documents and state benefits withheld. The Guardian reported that smuggled people would be placed in several addresses across West Bromwich, Walsall, Sandwell and Smethwick. Birmingham Crown Court Judge Mary Stacey said that the scheme ran between 2012 and 2017. They were sentenced to spend up to 11 years in prison.

Swedish national arrested at Gatwick Airport on terror charges

A 40-year-old Swedish woman has reportedly been detained by the police at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of terror-related offences. The suspect was arrested upon landing in the UK on a flight from Italy on Thursday afternoon. According to reports, the woman is suspected of being an Islamist extremist and was stopped by Counter Terrorism Police under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, before being arrested under Section 41 of the same act, on "suspicion of commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism". The woman currently remains in police custody as enquiries continue.

UK government clashes with China over Hong Kong protests

The UK government has clashed with the Chinese government over the issue of ongoing protests in Hong Kong. China has warned the UK not to interfere in Chinese domestic affairs; however, the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong highlight that the proposed extradition bill threatens Hong Kong's semi-autonomy from Beijing and could violate the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration treaty which agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997 and guaranteed Hong Kong's relative economic autonomy and personal freedoms not permitted on the mainland until 2047. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned violence from protesters but also warned the Chinese government against repressing the protests, stating there could be "serious consequences" over its treatment of protesters in Hong Kong. Hunt also condemned protesters who stormed a government building and covered a Hong Kong emblem with a British colonial flag, saying Hong Kong had actually enjoyed less freedom under British rule, when it was denied elections and the right to protest.

Rail workers killed after being hit by a train near Margam, Wales

Two rail workers have been killed after being hit by a train near Margam Wales. BBC reported that a passenger train heading from Swansea to London Paddington hit the victims on Wednesday morning. Network Rail route director for Wales, Bill Kelly, said: "We are fully cooperating with the British Transport Police and Rail Accident Investigation Branch". Network Rail said that major disruption is currently being reported between Bridgend and Port Talbot, while a number of cancellations may affect services later on the day. Transport for Wales has said that lines will be closed until at least 14:00 and that bus services will replace some parts of the journey to and from affected areas.

Body of stowaway falls from plane landing at Heathrow

On Sunday afternoon, the authorities have reported that the body of a stowaway fell into a garden in Clapham, London, as a Kenya Airways flight prepared to land at Heathrow Airport.  According to reports, the man may have been hiding in the plane's landing gear compartment, as an investigation found a bag containing clothing and food in the rear landing gear.  An investigation is under way.  The trip from Nairobi to Heathrow takes almost nine hours. 

Fresh wave of strikes likely at Glasgow Airport

Workers at Glasgow Airport have announced a fresh wave of strike action after talks with airport management failed on Sunday.  Flight delays and cancellations are likely, and passengers are advised to contact their airline prior to leaving for the airport.

Pregnant woman killed in weekend of London stabbings

On Saturday, a woman who was eight months pregnant was stabbed to death at a residential address in Croydon, South London.  Her baby was delivered by paramedics at the scene and immediately taken to hospital where the child remains in critical condition.  It is understood that a 37-year-old man has been arrested.  Elsewhere in London a man was beaten to death on Saturday, and another man was found in Newham on Sunday in the early hours, and declared dead at the scene.  In south-east London, an 18-year-old man staggered into hospital after a fight, but died of his injuries.  

One killed and one injured in Essex knife attack

A murder investigation has been launched after a 27-year-old man died and another was hospitalised with a broken jaw, following a brawl in Maldon, Essex.  According to reports, the incident took place at around 21:00 local time when a group of men attacked the two victims.  Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Disruptions reported at Stansted due to emergency landing

On 27 June, flight operations at Stansted Airport are disrupted due to a security incident.  An Air India Boeing en route to New York was diverted to the facility at around 10:15 local time following a bomb threat, and the aircraft was escorted there by two RAF Typhoon fighters.  The aircraft has been isolated at a remote stand and is under investigation.  The runway is clear, but some delays in operations are to be expected.  

Bacterial infection kills 12 in Essex

At least 12 people have died in Essex after contracting a deadly bacterial infection, and health officials have admitted that the outbreak is not contained.  Figures show that there have been 32 cases of Group A strepococcus disease this year, and the 12 victims are believed to be elderly people in care homes, or having carers visit them.  A NHS spokesperson in the area said that extra infection control measures had been put in place, and that the risk of contracting the disease is very low for most people, with a high success rate of treatment with antibiotics.  Most of those who have died had chronic wounds that they were being treated for.  Strep A bacteria are common and live on people's skin or in their throats without causing any illness, but can case life-threatening problems if the infection gets into the lungs, blood or muscles through open wounds, ulcers or cuts.  Symptoms of the infection are a high fever, severe muscle aches and redness around an open wound.  

Aberdeen Airport to be affected by strikes on 27 and 28 June

According to the Unite Union, staff at Aberdeen Airport have rejected the latest pay offer from management, and are now expected to strike on 27 and 28 June.  As well as the dispute over pay, AGS Airports Limited, who run Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports, said that they are to close the pension scheme in contravention of an agreement reached in 2016 which said that they would keep it open for existing members.  Unite has also expressed concern over security following media revelations published last weekend, highlighting breaches due to contingency staff brought in during previous strike action.

Overnight access to Stansted Airport restricted

Authorities at London Stansted Airport (STN) have issued an advisory that overnight access to the facility is restricted for operational reasons.  Passengers are advised not to arrive before their scheduled check in time, which is normally two hours before departure, due to the restricted facilities.

Teen injured in Chester stabbing

A teenager has reportedly been injured in a stabbing incident in Chester. According to reports, a 14-year-old boy was attacked after school on Thursday afternoon by an armed suspect outside The Ship Inn near the Old Dee Bridge in Handbridge, Chester. The victim has been taken to hospital with serious injuries whilst the police launch an investigation into the incident. A 15-year-old has reportedly been arrested in connection with the attack.

Strike action triggers severe disruption on SWR services

Severe disruption has been reported on South Western Railway (SWR) services due to a five-day strike launched on Tuesday. RMT Union has announced that the strike will last until Saturday, 22 June. According to SWR, most disruption will affect the routes serving Southampton Central, Salisbury, Yeovil and Bristol Temple Meads. Meanwhile, reduced services will impact most of the network, including Reading, London Waterloo, Weymouth, Portsmouth, Woking, Basingstoke, Wimbledon and Exeter. SWR is currently engaged in a long-standing dispute with RMT.

Eco activists to launch protest in Lewisham, London

Eco-activist group Extinction Rebellion is set to launch a demonstration across south-eastern London on Friday morning. Media reports revealed that activists are expected to block major roads in Lewisham to protest air quality. According to the group, travel along the A205 South Circular in Catford, A21 at Lewisham Station and A2 in Deptford may face disruption between 07:30 and 09:00. Last April, thousands of protesters brought London to a standstill. The group has already planned a number of demonstration in the next few months, which will include London Heathrow Airport.

Home secretary signs Assange's extradition order to the US

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the extradition order for Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange to the US. Javid told BBC Radio 4 that: "There is an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow". Assange faces 18 different counts in the US, including some under the US Espionage Act. He is currently serving a 50-week sentence in the UK for skipping bail. He was detained during a dramatic police raid on the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he spent nearly seven years. Assange is the founder of the Wikileaks, which was responsible for leaking thousands of confidential military, diplomatic and political documents.

Boris Johnson tops first Tory leadership ballot

Former Mayor of London and backbencher MP Boris Johnson has topped the first Tory leadership ballot with 114 votes. Jeremy Hunt came second with 43 and Michael Gove came third with 37 votes. Three candidates have been eliminated, having failed to secure the minimum eight votes required to go through to the next round: Mark Harper, Esther McVey, and Andrea Leadsom. The remaining seven candidates will progress to the second round of voting next week, with the two most popular MPs to be put to Conservative party members in a final vote later this month. The new party leader will be announced in the week of 22 July.

Heavy rainfall causes travel disruption across England

Travel disruption has been reported across England after heavy rainfall caused flooding in some areas on Monday. Road travel was heavily disrupted due to flooding and downed trees, while rail services were also affected across most parts of the South East. Weather warnings are currently in place parts of north-east and eastern England, where heavy rainfall is forecast to batter Nottingham, Peterborough, Hull and Newcastle. Warnings will remain in place until at least Thursday.

Lightning kills hiker in Scotland

A hiker has died after she was struck by lightning whilst trekking up a mountain in Highland, Scotland. The 55-year-old woman had been hiking up Na Gruagaichean mountain near Glencoe with a group of seven hikers when stormy weather set in on Saturday, hitting two members of the group, with the other surviving the hit with injuries. Both casualties were airlifted to hospital in Fort William; however, it was later confirmed that one had died from her injuries. Na Gruagaichean is in the Mamore Range near Kinlochleven, approximately five miles south of Britain's highest peak, Ben Nevis.

Exchange student taken to hospital after assault in Canterbury

A 17-year-old exchange student has been severely beaten in Canterbury. Police have arrested a group of six people in connection to the attack, which happened on Thursday evening in the city centre. Authorities are currently investigating the circumstances behind the incident. The victim lives in Germany with his parents, who are set to have their visas expedited to visit him at the hospital - the victim and his family are of Lebanese descent.

Three dead amid listeriosis outbreak in England

Public Health England (PHE) is currently investigating the deaths of three people who were hospitalised for contracting listeriosis, or listeria. Several national and local government agencies are investigating the outbreak, which affected six patients across England. The case is linked to pre-packed sandwiches, which have already been removed from the shelves and are no longer being produced. PHE confirmed that no cases were reported in Wales and Scotland. Listeria is a rare infection that may become very serious if spread to the blood stream or brain. It is mainly contracted after consuming contaminated food, especially dairy products and unpasteurised milk.

Police investigate assault on gay couple on London bus

Scotland Yard is investigating an assault on a gay couple who were on a night bus in London. The BBC have reported that the attack happened last week on a bus in West Hampstead. The bus was heading to Candem Town. According to reports, both female victims were harassed by a group of young men, who beat the women up after they refused to kiss. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned the incident, while the police are appealing for witnesses. Met Police data shows that more than 2,300 homophobic hate crimes were reported in London in 2018.

Strike action may affect operations at Glasgow Airport

Operations are expected to be impacted at Glasgow Airport. Workers' unions have launched a strike on Friday. The airport has announced that contingency measures were already launched to ensure a minimal impact on operations. Further strikes are planned for 10 and 14 June. Workers are striking over their pension scheme, where negotiations are taking place in January. Travellers are advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

New IRA claims responsibility for golf club car bomb in Belfast

The New IRA has claimed responsibility for an explosive device placed under a police officer's car in east Belfast. In a statement released to the Irish News, the group claimed to be responsible for placing the device under a PSNI officer at the Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast. The golf club is located close to a PSNI HQ. The incident happened last Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported. A cross-border investigation has been launched as one of the vehicles believed to be involved in the incident had a Dublin licence plate. This is the first incident involving the New IRA since the death of journalist Lyra McKee.

Prime Minister May steps down as leader of the Conservative Party

Prime Minister Theresa May has officially stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party. May will continue serving as the country's PM until a new leader of the party is chosen. A first vote is scheduled to take place next Thursday, while the entire Tory leadership contest may last until at least 22 July. May is stepping down after she repeatedly failed to pass her EU withdrawal deal through parliament. In recent months, internal grievances over Brexit have divided the party. Nearly a dozen candidates are running for the Tory leadership, including Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey.

Man with knives arrested in Gatwick terminal

An armed suspect has reportedly been arrested in a terminal at Gatwick Airport. Passengers were allegedly evacuated from the airport's south terminal baggage reclaim area around 02:00 on Monday morning after security received reports of a man armed with knives in the terminal. According to reports, the man was carrying two knives and was arrested by the police shortly after the evacuation. Airport operations have since returned to normal.

Mass protest planned during US President Trump's state visit to the UK

A mass protest is due to take place in London during the US President Donald Trump's three day state visit to the UK. The demonstration is scheduled to start at Trafalgar Square on Tuesday morning. Some other low-scale protests are also expected outside the US Embassy in London and Buckingham Palace. Security measures will be reinforced across London, while traffic restrictions are also likely, especially around St James's Park and Green Park.

Eco activists plan protests that may cause flight disruption at London Heathrow

Eco-activist group Extinction Rebellion is reportedly planning to launch several protests that may disruption operations at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). BBC reported that the group is pressuring the government to revoke expansion plans of LHR, which is set to build another runway. Protests are expected to take place in June, but most of them may occur in July. The exact dates were not announced. Delays and cancellations may be caused as the group threatened to use drones to disrupt flight operations. In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets of London to demand better environmental policies. More than 1,000 demonstrators were detained.

Man killed in Battersea attack

A man has died have been attacked by a group of suspected muggers in Battersea, London. The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon in a car park off Battersea Park Road. According to preliminary reports, the victim was on his motorbike when he was assaulted by suspects, who were allegedly trying to steal his motorbike. One suspect has been arrested and remains in police custody while search operations for the remaining suspects remain ongoing.

PM to resign next month

PM Theresa May has announced her intention to resign next month. The announcement will trigger a leadership contest to decide a new PM. May will quit as Conservative party leader on 07 June, stating that despite her regrets over failing to deliver Brexit, a new PM was in the best interests of the country. May will remain PM while a leadership contest takes place, due to begin the week after she officially steps down from the role.

Tube train evacuated on London Underground

A tube train has been evacuated between Bond Street and Baker Street on the London Underground after smoke was detected in one of the carriages. At least four people have been injured, while around 59 were evacuated just before 06:00 local time on Thursday morning. Firefighters responded to the incident, which is said to have been caused by a mechanical failure. Services have returned to normal after some disruption along the Jubilee line.

PM offers MPs referendum vote if they back Brexit deal

British PM Theresa May has offered MPs a vote on whether or not to hold a second referendum if they back her EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill. May told MPs they have "one last chance" to deliver Brexit as she lays out what she described as a new withdrawal deal. If her latest attempt to get her deal passed by government fails for the fourth time, the PM has warned MPs a negotiated exit could no longer be an option. The UK is due to vote in EU elections on Thursday.

Cross-party Brexit talks collapse

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that cross-party talks on Brexit are being ceased after six weeks of discussions. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Theresa May, Corbyn said that the talks "have gone as far as they can". The move comes just a day after the PM released a timetable for her potential resignation after the upcoming Brexit vote on 03 June. Corbyn said: "As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded." The PM will put her EU withdrawal deal to the House of Commons again, where a number of Conservative MPs continue to break party lines. The Conservatives have also failed to secure the support of their Northern Irish coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Prime Minister May's Brexti deal to face a new vote on 03 June

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that her withdrawal agreement will face another vote in the House of Commons on 03 June. After failing multiple times to get it approved by the Commons, the PM's Brexit deal is expected to face another defeat. Labour and the LibDems will join forces with the Scottish National Party (SNP), while the Conservatives' Northern Irish coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is also expected to vote against it. DUP's Nigel Dodds said: “Unless she can demonstrate something new that addresses the problem of the backstop then it is highly likely her deal will go down to defeat once again." The Labour party has previously called for a new referendum to be attached to the deal. The same position was adopted by LibDem's Vince Cable: “If the government were to put forward its deal tomorrow, however modified by the Labour party, we’ve made very clear we would support it, providing it is subject to a confirmatory referendum, so we are not in any sense blocking progress". This is the fourth vote on May's deal to be held in the House of Commons.

Gun fired outside London mosque

A gun was fired outside a mosque in Ilford, London on Thursday evening during Ramadan prayers. According to reports, a masked armed man entered the Seven Kings Masjid mosque on High Rd in Ilford late on Thursday, where he proceeded to cause a scene. Worshippers allegedly led him outside, where a gunshot was heard. The police responded to the scene, where it has since been confirmed that the man fired a blank, and that no one was harmed in the incident. The police further stated that the incident was not being treated as terror-related, as it's was thought to have stemmed from an earlier incident in a nearby street.

Teenager injured in Woverhampton shooting

A teenage boy has been wounded following a shooting incident in Wolverhampton. According to recent reports, the 16-year-old is said to be in a serious condition and is receiving medical attention. The police have detained at least three suspects in connection with the case. The motive remains unclear as investigations continue.

Evacuations enforced in Manchester due to suspicious packages

Police in Greater Manchester have evacuated Oldham library due to a suspicious package.  In addition, a cordon has been put in place around Manchester city centre with police saying that they believe the incidents to be linked.  Roads have been closed and shops evacuated, while office workers have been told to stay indoors.  According to reports, a 26-year-old man has been detained but no further details have been given. 

Tories and Labour suffer Brexit backlash in local elections

Both the Conservatives and Labour suffered a backlash of the public's anger over the Brexit deadlock, with many smaller parties and independents winning seats in local council elections.  Local elections give voters the opportunity to choose the decision-makers affecting their communities, but the results suggest that the two major parties are being punished for their handling of the Brexit deadlock. European elections are to be held on 23 May when the Brexit Party and Change UK will also compete for votes.

Defence secretary sacked over NSC's meeting Huawei leak

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been sacked over his alleged responsibility for the infamous Huawei leak. Williamson was removed from office after refusing to resign after the Daily Telegraph reported on a potential partnership between the Chinese-giant telecom and the UK government to build the country's 5G network. The leak concerns information discussed during a high-level National Security Council (NSC) meeting. Williamson denied any wrongdoing and confirmed that he is not responsible for the alleged leaking of information. Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a statement saying that: "It is therefore with great sadness that I have concluded that I can no longer have full confidence in you as secretary of state for defence and a minister in my cabinet and asked you to leave Her Majesty's government".

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange sentenced for violating bail

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to almost a year in prison for breach of bail. Assange was detained in mid-April after being removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was refuged since 2012. Assange also faces another hearing on Thursday concerning his potential extradition to the US. Just after his release, the US Department of Justice released his indictment., charging him with "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion". It regards the release of thousands of classified military documents stored in servers of the US Department of Defence. Assange was removed in a police raid on the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno revoked his asylum status.

Taxi driver strike reported at Luton Airport

Taxi drivers have reportedly gone on strike at London Luton Airport. The strike coincides with International Workers Day (aka Labour Day) on the first of May. According to reports, taxi drivers have gone on strike to protest average hourly pay rates, and to call for wage increases. There is likely to be some localised disruption around Luton Airport pick-up and drop-off zones due to the strike.

Guns cache seized in arrest of Latvian national

More than a dozen guns were seized when a Latvian national was arrested in King's Lynn, Norfolk on Friday.  The 44-year-old man has been charged with possession of weapons with intent to supply.  A police spokesman declined to comment on the operation, but said that the weapons would most likely have been used to "commit violent acts".  

Scottish independence bid boosted by Brexit

A YouGov poll has shown that support for Scottish independence has risen to its' highest point in the past four years, driven by voters who wish to stay in the European Union.  As the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) meets for a two-day conference, they have confirmed that they are preparing for a fresh independence push, probably in 2021, following defeat in the referendum in 2014.  Since then, the UK has voted to leave the European Union, with Scotland voting to stay, together with Northern Ireland.  

New IRA sees Brexit as an opportunity

The Sunday Times has reported that militant Irish nationalist group The New IRA sees Brexit as a new opportunity to further its' campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland.  The comments come after the killing of a 29-year-old reporter Lyra McKee who was shot dead by a member of the group during a riot in Londonderry where police were being attacked.  The murder has raised fears that militant groups are exploiting the political vacuum in the province, amid tensions around the issue of Brexit and a hard border.  The New IRA was formed in 2012, uniting several militant nationalist groups intent on violence, and has been involved in several attacks, including the separate killings of two prison officers.  

Flights diverted due to drone sighting at Gatwick

On Sunday, three flights were diverted after the possible sighting of a drone at Gatwick Airport.  A spokesperson said that the initial report had come from an Aer Lingus pilot, and that an investigation was underway.  The three flights landed at Gatwick around 90 minutes after their scheduled arrival time, although the airport remained operational throughout the incident.  A suspected drone sighting closed the airport for 33 hours in December, causing disruption to around 140,000 passengers.  Both Gatwick and Heathrow are investing heavily in systems to prevent future drone incidents. 

Power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland expected to resume after local elections

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Ireland's Leo Varadkar have said in a joint statement that power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland are set to be resumed soon. Further details are expected to be announced later on Friday. Negotiations are expected to kick-off from early-May, just after the local elections in Northern Ireland. The power-sharing talks between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) collapsed in January 2017. The announcement comes coincidentally after the death of journalist Kyra McKee, who died in violent rioting in Londonderry. The PM has denied that the two incidents are connected. Negotiations are expected to involve major political parties in Northern Ireland as well as the Irish and UK government. Among the main grievances between the Sinn Fein and the DUP are issues concerning same-sex marriage and the Irish language.

Kings Cross and Euston stations evacuated over fire alerts

Both Kings Cross St Pancras and Euston stations in London have reportedly been evacuated over fire alerts on Friday afternoon. Reports indicate both stations were evacuated by the police around 14:00 local time. The British Transport Police have released a statement, indicating the fire alerts were issued after a faulty underground train passed through both stations on the Victoria Line. Disruptions should be expected throughout the afternoon.

Calls for probe into leak about Huawei involvement in 5G network

Calls have been made for Theresa May to launch an enquiry into how secret discussions by Cabinet members about Chinese telecom company Huawei's potential role in the UK's 5G network, were leaked to the press.  According to reports, the government is ready to allow Huawei to provide "non-core" technology for improvements to the country's mobile network, despite concerns about national security. The US has effectively banned the giant telecoms firm from its' own infrastructure amid concerns that it is linked to the Chinese government, with New Zealand and Australia following suit.  Any Cabinet member found to have leaked information and therefore the ministerial code, would be forced to resign and face the possibility of a criminal investigation under the Official Secrets Act. Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said in the Commons that no decision had yet been made on the matter, and said that findings from the ongoing government review would be released "in the proper way".  

Environmental protestors disrupt services in London financial district

Extinction Rebellion protestors have climbed on top of a DLR train at Canary Wharf station in East London to disrupt public transport in the area.  The group, who have recently brought parts of central London to a standstill for days to highlight a climate-change emergency, said they were targeting the financial district.   Other members of the group glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange building.  

New IRA admits responsibility for journalist's death in Londonderry riots

The New IRA has reportedly admitted to being responsible for the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead after violent rioting broke out during a police raid in Londonderry. In a statement published by The Irish News, the group has said: “In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces. The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.” The group accused the police of inciting the riots, which broke out overnight on Thursday when police officers served warrants in Creggan. McKee was shot while standing near a police van alongside other journalists. PSNI said that a 57-year-old woman was arrested under the Terrorism Act.

Journalist shot dead after violent riots break out in Londonderry

A 29-year-old journalist has been killed after a shooting broke out during a police operation in Londonderry. Lyra McKee was killed when violent rioting erupted on Thursday evening when police officers were serving several weapons search warrants in Creggan. She was standing near a police vehicle with other journalists when she was shot. Two teenagers have been arrested. PSNI said that both suspects were detained under the anti-terrorism law. It is believed that they are linked to dissident members of the New IRA, which has been responsible for several incidents in recent months. Police raids happened ahead of the Easter holidays. PSNI said that dozens of petrol bombs were fired at police officers when the riots broke out. Both the Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) condemned the riots.

Heathrow and Luton Airport to be affected by strikes

Ground staff, including baggage handlers and check-in staff, are set to strike at Heathrow and Luton Airport from Friday 26 April to Friday 3 May.  Delays and congestion are to be expected, and passengers are advised to allow extra time for airport processing before their flight.

Significant disruption reported on London tube services

London tube services are reporting significant disruption on Thursday, due to multiple signal system faultls.  The Circle, Hammersmith and City, District and Metropolitan lines as well as trains to Heathrow Airport are affected.  Replacement bus services are in place, but passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journeys, and there may be lingering disruptions for the remainder of the day.  

Three injured in cargo ship explosion near Cornwall

According to reports, three people have been injured in an explosion on a cargo ship off the coast of Cornwall.  Those injured are believed to be Chinese nationals, and have been taken by helicopter to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, and were later transferred to specialist burns units.  The ship, Great Aspiration, is believed to sail under the flag of Hong Kong, and has been taken to Mount's Bay where the damage can be assessed.  The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed. 

Actor shot dead in Edinburgh

On 17 April, an actor who starred in the Trainspotting 2 film, was shot dead in Edinburgh.  According to preliminary reports, the incident happened at around 20:00 local time when a disturbance broke out in Chester Street in the city's West End.  Forty-two year old Bradley Welsh was found in the street with gunshot wounds to the head, and died at the scene.  Police are appealing for witnesses.

Public wi-fi shut down to thwart environmental protests

Police shut down the public wi-fi on the underground on Wednesday in a bid to stop climate change activists organizing further protests to disrupt the underground network.  The Extinction Rebellion group have already protested in Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge and Marble Arch, causing disruption to over 50 bus routes in the capital.  Around 290 people have been arrested in the last 48 hours.  The group has apologized to commuters but claim an emergency and that "we are at a critical moment in our humanity's history".  Mayor Sadiq Khan said that while he appreciated the passion of the protesters about climate change, he was concerned about their plans to disrupt the Underground, particularly at a time when he was trying to encourage people to use public transport.  Scotland Yard said that around 500,000 people had been affected by the protest.  Extinction Rebellion is calling for an ecological emergency to be declared, and say that direct action is needed to force governments to act urgently on climate change. 

Three boys arrested in school arson attack

A number of children were evacuated from a school in Chippenham on Tuesday, when a fire spread from nearby foliage to school buildings.  The children were taking part in a holiday camp at Ivy Lane Primary School, and all were evacuated safely, with no injuries reported.  The initial blaze was thought to have been started by a group of teenagers, and three boys were later arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Police later reported that the damage caused to the roof of the building was substantial, and it was fortunate that nobody was hurt during the incident.  

Glasgow Airport strike suspended

On 15 April, a proposed strike at Glasgow Airport planned for Tuesday 16 April, was suspended.  Although no agreement had been reached between the parties over the salary dispute, airport officials said that significant progress had been acheived.  If negotiations fail, further industrial action and disruption is possible. 

Number of arrests at climate change protests rises

Scotland Yard has confirmed that 113 people have now been arrested in connection with the climate change protests organized by environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion, which brought London to a standstill on Monday.  Further demonstrations are expected on Monday, and later in the week throughout the country.

Shell headquarters attacked by environmentalists

Several people have been arrested when the Shell headquarters in London were vandalised during an environmentalist protest in the city by the Extinction Rebellion group against fossil fuels.  The building was vandalised with graffiti and some of the glass doors and windows were smashed when the demonstrations turned violent.  A major police deployment has been reported in the area.

Ukrainian ambassador's car rammed in London

A man who rammed his car repeatedly into the Ukrainian ambassador's parked car outside the embassy in London, has been sectioned under the mental health act.  The incident happened at 10:00 local time on Sunday outside the embassy building in Holland Park.  Police opened fire, and tasered the driver before arresting him on suspicion of attempted murder.  He was subsequently detained under the mental health act, and authorities said that the incident was not terror-related.

Environmental group stage protests in London

Protests are to be staged around London on Monday 15 April by environmental group Extinction Rebellion.  Traffic is expected to be blocked at Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Waterloo Bridge, and further demonstrations are expected in the coming days.  A heightened security presence is to be expected throughout the city, together with significant traffic disruptions.  

One dead and 22 injured in Isle of Wight bus crash

A double-decker bus collided with two cars in Newport on the Isle of Wight on Sunday afternoon, leaving one woman dead and 22 people injured.  Three air ambulances and more then 15 emergency staff were deployed at the scene, with detectives investigating the cause of the incident and the road closed for several hours.  According to preliminary reports, a car pulled out in front of the bus, forcing it into the path of another car and killing the driver, who was in her 60s.  The bus driver was also believed to be seriously injured.  Extra staff were called in to nearby St Mary's Hospital to cope with the influx of patients.  

Brexit Party established in UK

Former-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has established the new Brexit Party in response to the recent extension on the UK's departure from the EU. Speaking to press in Coventry on Friday, Farage said he wants a "democratic revolution" in UK politics and plans to field MEP candidates for the European elections in May. "I said if I did come back into the political fray it would be no more Mr Nice Guy and I mean it", said Farage. UKIP has criticised the Brexit Party as a mere catalyst for Farage, with critics noting very little-to-no substantial policy difference to UKIP.

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange detained at Ecuadorian embassy in London

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been detained at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange has been refuged at the embassy for nearly seven years since he was accused of sexual harassment in Sweden. Ecuador President Lenin Moreno has said in an official statement that: "In a sovereign decision Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols". He further said that the latest incident that Assange was involved in the leaking of Vatican documents in January. President Moreno also accused Assange of meddling in other countries' domestic affairs. Since being elected, President Moreno has vowed to solve the situation involving the Australian whistleblower. Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador's former president, Rafael Correa, who is now currently exiled in Belgium. According to the Met Police, Assange "has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible". UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has praised the move and thanked President Moreno and the Ecuadorian government for their cooperation with the FCO.

EU grants Brexit delay until 31 October

The EU has granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit after PM Theresa May requested a second extension on the deadline. The decision followed five hours of talks in Brussels. The PM had asked for an extension until 30 June, in a bid to avoid the UK leaving the EU without a deal on Friday 12 April. Having wanted a shorter delay than the Halloween date given by EU leaders, the PM maintains that the UK will still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible, although the UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 01 June without a deal. European Council president Donald Tusk advised British politicians not to waste the six-month extension. The further delay to Brexit could threaten the PM's position as leader of the Conservative party, with government MPs warning a leadership contest could be called after Easter.

Cumbria shipyard evacuated amid bomb reports

A shipyard in Cumbria has reportedly been evacuated amid reports of a bomb. The Devonshire Dock Complex in Barrow-in-Furness was evacuated as a precaution following a bomb warning on Wednesday. The shipyard builds and maintains the UK's nuclear submarines. According to Reuters, unconfirmed reports have suggested the evacuation was triggered over warnings of a bomb on an Astute-class nuclear attack submarine.

Suspicious packages trigger evacuation at shopping centre in Milton Keynes

A store at a shopping centre in Milton Keynes has been evacuated after two suspicious packages were found on Monday morning. Thames Valley Police has Tweeted that CentreMK's John Lewis store is currently being evacuated as a precaution, while a cordon is also being set up. Road closures are currently in place and people have been advised to avoid the area. TVP has informed that the packages have been checked and declared safe.

Flood alert issued in Herefordshire

A flood alert has been issued for parts of Herefordshire following heavy rainfall. The Environment Agency has warned of the potential flooding of property, roads, and farmland in low-lying areas along the River Lugg after heavy rain and snow raised river levels. Low-lying areas to the east of Hereford city and south of Leominster have been identified as high-risk, with roads between Stoke Prior and Mordiford subject to possible road closures. Bodenham, Lugwardine, and Hampton Bishop are also likely to be affected.

UK asks EU for further Brexit extension

UK PM Theresa May has written to the EU's European Council President Donald Tusk to ask for a further extension to Brexit. The first extension delayed Brexit from 29 March to 12 April as the PM struggled to get a deal passed by parliament. The new extension requests asks for Brexit to be delayed further still, until 30 June, due to the fact that no withdrawal deal has been approved by MPs yet, despite weeks of talks and several rounds of votes on a variety of options, with none winning a clear majority of support in the House of Commons. If the EU were to accept May's request, it would mean the UK may have to field candidates for European Parliamentary elections on 23 May, although the PM has stated she hopes MPs will agree a withdrawal deal before then. The second extension request comes ahead of a EU leaders summit next Wednesday.

Dozens of Flybe services cancelled due to operational reasons

Dozens of Flybe flights were cancelled on Wednesday due to operational reasons. Most flights affected are domestic flights within the UK. Operations were mainly affected in Belfast, Birmingham, Southampton, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Newcastle. CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener has said that up to 95 percent of scheduled Flybe flights will operate as normal. Passengers flying with Flybe have been recommended to directly contact the airline for further information.

Police respond to another stabbing in north London

A man in his thirties has been stabbed in the same north London area where four others were injured over the weekend. According to the Met Police, the latest incident was reported in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Edmonton. The attack happened on Fairfield Road. Police are still investigating a potential link between the incidents. The Met Police has said that a man was arrested in Edmonton Green. Detective Superintendent Luke Marks said: "While at this stage the incident has not yet been formally linked, the location and manner of this attack will be of concern to the public. Our advice continues that the public remain vigilant, and to contact police regarding anyone acting suspiciously. You will see additional uniformed patrols in the Edmonton area; if you have any concerns, please speak with my officers immediately.”

Four stabbed in a series of knife attacks in north London

At least four people have been stabbed in a suspected wave of attacks reported in north London. Incidents were reported on Saturday evening and in the early hours of Sunday morning across Edmonton. According to the Metropolitan Police, it is believed that the incidents were random. Two suspects have already been detained, while the police investigate potential links to mental health issues. Two victims were severely injured. Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Smillie told the BBC that:  "Police are treating the incidents as potentially linked. The four victims are all from different backgrounds and appear to have been selected at random due to them being alone and vulnerable". According to the Home Office, London has reported the most knife-related incidents in England and Wales in 2018 - since 2014, the number of offences involving a knife or sharp instrument has increased in England and Wales. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said that the police have  now been given more extensive stop and search powers in an attempt to tackle knife crime.

House of Commons reject PM May's Brexit deal

MPs have rejected for the third time Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit agreement. In a vote held on Friday afternoon, her deal received 286 votes in favour and 344 votes against. A new date for a default UK departure for the EU has been set for 12 April - if the deal was approved, the EU agreed to delay Brexit until 22 May. The vote happened on 29 March, the initial date set to the UK leave the EU. Some protests are expected to take place around the Houses of Parliament in London. In response to the vote, European Commission President Donald Tusk said: "In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April." The vote happened two days after MPs rejected eight alternative Brexit options. Another round of indicative votes is set to take place in parliament on Monday.

Suspected gunman detained at St Paul's Cathedral, London

Areas around the St Paul's Cathedral in London have been cordoned off after a suspected gunman was arrested. According to the BBC, police officers rushed to the scene on Friday afternoon after an armed man pointed a fire weapon at a security guard. Reports suggest that the suspect pulled the trigger but fired no bullets. City of London Police has said that "there is no indication this incident is terror-related". 

NCSC report highlights long-term security risk of Huawei

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, has released a report criticising Chinese telecoms giant, Huawei, as a long-term security risk. The report comes as the UK government decides whether or not to allow the Chinese company to launch next generation 5G networks in the country. The NCSC stated it could provide "only limited assurance that the long-term security risks can be managed in the Huawei equipment currently deployed in the UK". The company's reputation has been damaged in recent years after they were accused of spying on behalf of the Chinese government, carrying out industrial and political espionage.

Severe disruption reported on Eurostar services to London

Severe disruption has been reported on Eurostar trains from Paris's Gare du Nord station to London St Pancras. Over the next few days, several services from the station to London St Pancras have been cancelled. French customs officers have been staging industrial action which has been affecting the Eurostar services since earlier this month. Disruption is expected to last until at least Wednesday 03 April. Eurostar has advised travellers to "not travel during this period unless necessary". French customs officers are staging a number of strikes ahead of the UK's departure from the EU. Trade unionists demand wage increases and better working conditions on behalf of French customs officials ahead of Brexit. For further information, travellers are advised to directly contact Eurostar.

One wounded in London stabbing

A person has been wounded in a stabbing incident in London. An 18-year-old male was reportedly injured in a knife attack on Tuesday afternoon. According to local reports, the incident occurred near Thyme Close in the Blackheath area. The police have launched an investigation, although no suspect or potential motive have been identified thus far.

Disruption as large fire breaks out in Southampton

Travel disruption has been caused around the city centre of Southampton after a large fire broke out in a building in the Harrison's Cut area near St Mary's football stadium. The blaze has forced emergency response teams to close the A33 Kingsway and St Mary's Street as more than 50 firefighters tackle the fire. It's been reported that the fire broke out in a timber-framed building which was under construction at the time. No casualties have been reported while it remains unclear what may have caused the fire in the first place.

Three ministers quit over Brexit

Three junior government ministers from the Conservative party have quit their positions over an ongoing row in parliament over how the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Thirty Conservative MPs rebelled against PM Theresa May in the vote yesterday, including Richard Harrington, Alistair Burt, and Steve Brine - who all resigned from their posts. The government was defeated by 27 votes as the Commons voted in favour of the cross-party amendment, which will allow MPs to put forward motions for the Brexit plan. The vote came about after MPs rejected May's deal and refused to vote on any substantially similar proposal. According to the BBC, MPs will no be able to vote on a number of options on Wednesday - likely to include a 'softer Brexit'. "The votes could led to an outcome that is un-negotiable with the EU", warned the PM on Monday.

Police respond to armed suspect in Croydon

The police have responded to reports of an armed suspect threatening people in Croydon, south London. The suspect allegedly rang the police claiming to have a gun and threatening to kill people near Lower Addiscombe Road on Tuesday morning. Reports indicate the police attempted to approach the man sat in his car at the road's junction with Pagehurst Road; however, a stand off began when the suspect indicated he has a gun. The police have closed surrounding roads and are attempting to resolve the situation peacefully.

Eurostar disruption continues

Severe disruption has continued to affect the high-speed train service between London St Pancras in England and Gare du Nord in Paris, France. The travel disruption has entered its third week as trade unionists demand wage increases and better working conditions on behalf of French customs officials ahead of Brexit. Delays of up to five hours have been reported at the French customs checks, with Eurostar officials advising passengers to avoid the service between London and Paris, seeking alternative means of transport where possible.

One killed in Fulham stabbing

A person has been confirmed dead following a stabbing incident in Fulham, London. The incident occurred in the early hours of Friday morning on Gowan Avenue, where a 29-year-old man was reportedly stabbed to death during a street-fight. Although the police responded to the scene, the suspects managed to escape and no arrests have been made thus far as investigations go forward.

Three teenagers crushed to death in Cookstown, Northern Ireland

Three teenagers have been crushed to death during a St Patrick's Day event in Cookstown of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. A 17-year-old female and two males, aged 16 and 17, were confirmed dead after a large crowd rushed the entrance of a St Patrick's Day party at the Greenvale Hotel. As of yet it remains unclear precisely what triggered the incident; however, Northern Irish police have stated that they are investigating unconfirmed reports of a commotion near the front of the queue, as well as reports of fighting which allegedly broke out after the incident occurred.

MPs overwhelmingly reject Prime Minister's Brexit deal

Prime Minister Theresa May's revamped Brexit deal has been overwhelmingly rejected in a vote on the House of Commons. For a second time, Prime Minister May's deal was rejected. 391 MPs voted against, while 242 voted in favour. The margin of defeat (149) is lower than in the first vote, which was rejected by 230 votes. In total, 75 Conservatives rebelled against the deal, while three Labour MPs voted in favour. The deal was also unanimously rejected by the government coalition partner, Northern Ireland's DUP. The PM headed to Strasbourg to meet with EU officials in a last-minute pledge to change the Irish backstop, one of the main issues in the negotiations. MPs are set to vote on Wednesday on either to accept a no-deal scenario. If the vote fails, another vote will be held on Thursday on either to extend Article 50.

Two killed in avalanche on Ben Nevis, Lochaber

Police Scotland is currently leading search efforts after several climbers were feared caught in an avalanche on Ben Nevis, Scotland. Several local police forces are coordinating efforts to locate the victims. The avalanche reportedly happened before 11:50 local time on Tuesday. Police later said that two climbers were killed. Ben Nevis is located in Lochaber. The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has issued a high alert for the risk of avalanche in the region. Alerts are also in place in Torridon, Creag Meagaidh, Northern and Southern Cairngorms, and Glencoe.

Police investigate IRA over suspicious parcels in London and Glasgow

Police in Scotland and England are reportedly investigating the potential involvement of the Irish Revolutionary Army (IRA) with the explosive devices recovered in London and Glasgow last week. BBC reported that detectives investigating the case said that a claim of responsibility was issued from a group claimed to be linked to the IRA. At least four suspicious parcels were sent to addresses in London and Glasgow. Authorities confirmed that some of them contained Irish stamps and are believed to be linked. The police said that they are following all lines of investigation.

Storm Gareth to bring adverse weather to most parts of the UK

Adverse weather conditions are forecast to batter most parts of the UK until Friday as Storm Gareth approaches the country. The Met Office has issued several weather alerts to Northern Irelands, Wales, Scotland and northern England, where strong winds reaching up to 100kmp/h are expected. Some localised floods have been reported in some areas, while travel disruption may occur until the end of the week. Rail services may face delays and flight disruption in some airports are possible. Gareth is the third named storm this year. It comes a week after Storm Freya lashed England and western Europe. For further information, people are advised to follow updates from the Met Office.

PM May to travel to Strasbourg in final push for her Brexit deal

Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly heading to Strasbourg, France, in the last push for her Brexit deal. Although her trip has not been officially confirmed, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that she is heading to the European Parliament to "try to finalise an agreement". Theresa May's deal is set to face a so-called 'meaningful vote' in the House of Commons on Tuesday. If the vote is rejected, two other votes may follow later in the week. One of the issues of debate continues to be the Irish backstop, which the government seeks to make significant changes to secure the support of the cabinet and some hardline Brexiteers - changes which are facing resistance from the EU. In the last vote held in January, Prime Minister May's deal suffered a massive defeat. The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March. 

Eurostar services face disruption due to French officers' strike

Eurostar services between the UK and France are currently facing severe disruption due to an ongoing strike action called by French customs officers. Eurostar has informed that three services were cancelled on Monday morning, while disruption is expected to last until Tuesday. Services from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord and Lille are among those impacted. Meanwhile, Eurotunnel has informed that their services are running on time. For nearly a week, customs officers in France are staging walk-offs ahead of the UK departure from the EU. Workers are calling for better working conditions and higher salaries.

Suspicious package recovered at Glasgow University, Scotland

A suspicious package has been destroyed after being recovered from a building at Glasgow University. Police Scotland said that they are working closely with officers to assess if the package is linked to other three explosive devices recovered across three major transport hubs in London. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson told the BBC that: "The package sent to the university was not opened and no-one was injured. A controlled explosion of the device was carried out this afternoon by EOD. There are similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow to those in London. Therefore, we are now treating it as being linked to the three packages being investigated by the Met in London and both investigations are being run in tandem". Some buildings at the university were evacuated but no casualties were reported. Authorities are still investigating the potential motive behind the suspicious packages and said that they are following all lines of investigation.

Scotland and Wales vote against Brexit

Both the Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly held simultaneous votes on Brexit yesterday, with the results of both votes representing clear opposition to the UK government's Brexit deal. The votes signify the widespread deep division amongst British politicians over the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The votes are unlikely to have any real impact on the Brexit deal as it stands, but are more of a symbolic gesture at this stage.

Passengers treated for sickness on board flight to London

Two passengers on a chartered flight from Barbados have been quarantined after a falling ill on board. A Virgin Atlantic flight landed on Wednesday morning at London Gatwick Airport after an eight-hour flight from Bridgetown. BBC reported that 30 people were examined and treated. According to reports, the passengers were returning to the UK after a cruise in the Caribbean. MSC Cruises said: "What we do know is that on MSC Preziosa, no cases of acute gastroenteritis have been reported in the past 14 days." A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said that: "There is no reason to believe this is anything other than an isolated incident".

London police respond to suspicious packages at three major transport hubs

London police have been called to respond to suspicious packages at three major transport hubs serving the capital city. Heathrow Airport was the first to report an incident on Tuesday morning, prompting police to investigate a suspicious package at a building near the airport boundary, evacuating staff members briefly before confirming the situation had been made safe. Just hours later, the police were called upon to respond to two more suspicious packages, one at London City Airport, and another at Waterloo train station. Evacuations have been carried out under precautionary measures; however, flight operations and train services remain unaffected at both City airport and Waterloo. According to reports, a specialist team has been dispatched to Waterloo, where a small cordon remains in place.

Brexit talks to be held in Brussels

Brexit talks are due to be held in Brussels, where the UK's Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, is expected to hold talks with the EU. It's believed the talks will focus on negotiations surrounding the backstop plan, as Barclay aims to secure guarantees to avoid border security checks between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Met Office warns of severe weather

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for Sunday for central and southern parts of the UK.  Storm Freya will bring very strong winds and intense rainfall, with warnings of potential power cuts and damage to buildings and trees.  Britain has enjoyed the warmest February day on record this week with temperatures reported in excess of 20 degrees centigrade. 

MP suspended over remarks about anti-Semitism

Labour MP Chris Williamson has been suspended from the Party after he made remarks about their handling of anti-Semitism.  According to reports he suggested that Labour had been "too apologetic" over the issue.  He has said that there is no evidence to support his suspension.  Mr Williamson, who is the MP for Derby North, faces an investigation that could see him kicked out of the Labour Party, and although he initially issued an apology, he now says that he will fight to clear his name.  

Agriculture Minister resigns over Brexit delay

George Eustice, the Agriculture Minister, resigned on Thursday in protest over the possibility of a delayed Brexit.  Mr Eustice said that he wished to be "free to participate in the critical debate in the weeks ahead".  

Huge wildfire breaks out in West Yorkshire

A large wildfire has broken out in West Yorkshire, where fire crews have been tackling the blaze since Tuesday evening. According to the BBC, the fire broke out around 19:30 GMT on Tuesday and has spread quickly due to dry conditions to cover approximately 1.5 sq km of land near Marsden. It remains unclear what caused the fire, which has come as Britain experiences unusually warm weather for February, with records broken for the warmest winter day on Monday and then again on Tuesday as temperatures surpassed 20 degrees Celsius - temperatures more typical of early June and the beginning of summer.

Teenager killed in Birmingham stabbing

A 17-year-old boy has died after he was stabbed to death in Birmingham on Monday afternoon. According to the BBC, the victim was found by the police with serious injuries on Norwood Road in Bordesley Green. The incident is said to be the third fatal stabbing of a teen in Birmingham within the last two weeks. A police investigation has been launched, although no arrests have been made thus far.

PM offers MPs a vote on delaying Brexit

British Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May has offered MPs a vote on delaying Brexit or ruling out a no-deal, if they reject her deal next month. According to the BBC, May's statement comes amid the threat of further revolt by Remain-supporting Tory MPs. A 'meaningful' vote on her withdrawal agreement was already promised by 12 March; however, if MPs reject her deal, they will be asked to vote on ruling out a no-deal Brexit on 13 March. If that fails, then MPs will be asked to vote again the following day on extending the two-year negotiation process as laid out by Article 50, to delay the UK's departure from the EU. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused May of trying to draw out the Brexit process. The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 29 March, with no withdrawal deal agreed yet.

Baggage handlers to strike at Luton Airport

Baggage handlers at Luton Airport (LTN) are to stage a week-long strike from 06:00 local time on Sunday 3 March.  Flight delays and disruption to baggage services are to be expected.  Travellers are advised to confirm the status of their flights before leaving for the airport.

Dozens evacuated in Accrington care home fire

On Sunday 24 February over 100 people had to be evacuated from a care home after fire broke out.  The incident happened at the Springhill Care Home in Accrington at around 09:30 local time.  No injuries were reported, but several people had to be treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.  The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Flight operations at Southampton Airport disrupted

On Monday 25 February, flight operations at Southampton Airport (SOU) are disrupted due to an aircraft suffering a tyre blowout on landing.  Staff are working to clear the runway, but flights are suffering delays which may continue for the rest of the morning.

Significant delays reported at London airports

All London airports are reported delays because of poor visibility due to fog.  London City Airport (LCY) also reported problems with air traffic control staffing issues.  Passengers should check with their airline before leaving for the airport.

Boy shot at London tube station

A 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital on Thursday following reports that he had been stabbed during an argument with other youths at Barking tube station.  On arrival at hospital, medical staff discovered a bullet in his abdomen.  Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which took place at around 23:30 local time on board a Hammersmith and City train.  

Several injured after holiday park ceiling collapse

Around 18 people suffered minor injuries when a ceiling collapsed at Brean Sands Holiday Park in Somerset.  Fire services reported that the incident happened at around 18:20 local time.  According to reports around 100 people were in the family clubhouse when around 40 metres of structural ducting and ceiling panels fell onto tables below, leaving electrics exposed.  The emergency services used airbags to remove rubble and ensure no-one was trapped, after which the scene was made safe.  The incident happened during half-term holidays when the park, which is operated by Pontins, was full to capacity. 

Cumbrian coastline warned of flooding risk

Two major weather warnings have been issued for heavy downpours today, with residents in Cumbria from Gretna to Silloth told to take care near the shoreline due to tidal surges.  A further 26 flood alerts have been issued for the River Avon, Mersey Estuary and coastlines in Somerset, North Devon and Cornwall.  

Drone exclusion zone around airports to be increased

With effect from 13 March, a drone exclusion zone of 5 km is to be imposed around Britain's airports, an increase from the existing limit of 1km.  Police will also gain new stop-and-search powers to help clamp down on violations like the incident that closed London Gatwick for 36 hours in December, causing disruption for more than 120,000 people.  Recklessly endangering an aircraft can lead to a five-year prison term, with intentional acts of violence attracting a life sentence.

Vodafone launches 5G services at Manchester Airport

Vodafone has launched 5G internet at Manchester Airport (MAN) Terminal One as part of their UK-wide trial in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.  The 5G network will enable fast speeds and quick response times even in busy locations.

No-stopping zones enforced at Leeds Bradford Airport

On 20 February, the authorities have imposed no-stopping zones on the approach to Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).  The "Red Route Clearway" zones on Whitehouse Lane, Victoria Avenue, Warren House Lane and Harrogate Road are intended to reduce congestion and improve security against terrorist attacks.  Vehicles are forbidden to stop in the area for any reason.

Armed man arrested in Leicester Square

A man was arrested in Leicester Square in the capital on Tuesday morning, after members of the public alerted police that he was carrying a gun.  Police officers tackled the man to the ground and detained him at around 09:45 local time.  They later confirmed that the firearm was a "realistic imitation", and that the incident was not terror-related.  

Spanish warship challenges UK ships in Gibraltan waters

On 18 February, Spanish warship "Tornado" ordered two commercial vehicles to leave British waters on the eastern side of Gibraltar where they were anchored.  When challenged by the British Navy, the warship moved away.  Tensions often erupt over territorial waters around Gibraltar, and have heightened with the approach of Brexit.  

Eleven arrested in connectionf with fatal stabbing in London

Eleven people have been arrested, after a man who had been stabbed ran into the lobby of a hotel near Euston Station on Monday night and collapsed.  He died at the scene later.  The suspects were taken into custody at separate police stations for further investigation.  The police are appealing for witnesses.

Suspicious package under investigation in Euston Road

Police are dealing with a suspicious package on the Euston Road on Tuesday morning, including the evacuation of several buildings in the vicinity.  The incident is affecting the area around the junction of Euston Road with Chalton Street.

Honda to close Swindon factory

Japanese car manufacturer Honda have confirmed that they will close their Swindon plant in 2021, with the loss of 3,500 jobs.  The company said that the decision has been made because of global changes in the car industry and their plan to launch more electric cars which will be manufactured in Japan.  The EU recently struck a deal with Japan to lower tariffs on car exports to zero which means there is little incentive to base manufacturing inside the EU.  

Seven Labour MPs form independent group

Seven Labour MPs have held a press conference to announce that they have resigned from the Party over issues of anti-semitism and the leadership, and will sit as an independent group in parliament.  Amongst the seven is Chuka Umunna who said they had "taken the first step" and urged other MPs, including members of other parties to join them "in building a new politics".  Mr Corbyn responded that he is "disappointed" that the seven felt unable to continue working with him, and the party that had "inspired millions".  

FlyBMI airline goes into administration

Hundreds of FlyBMI passengers have been left stranded at various destinations across Europe as the airline went into administration at the weekend and cancelled all flights.  The company said that the decision was taken due to increased fuel prices and uncertainty over Brexit.  Passengers are advised to book alternative flights to return home and contact travel agents and credit card companies for refunds.  The company has a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

Brother of IS fighters killed in Brighton

A 22-year-old man has died after a collision between at least two cars in Brighton and then being stabbed multiple times.  A 26-year-old man has been arrested after handing himself in.  The victim is the brother of two teenagers who were killed fighting for ISIS in Syria.  The incident happened at around 21:30 and an area of Elm Grove was cordoned off while an investigation was undertaken.  Police have appealed for witnesses.  

Reports of Labour Party split over Brexit

On 18 February, the media have reported on a possible split amongst Labour Party officials over Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and accusations of anti-semitism.  Any defections would be the biggest disruption to the Party since the 1980s when four senior figures left to form the Social Democrat Party (SDP).  John McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, has warned that the move could cause a decade of Tory rule, with the risk that it would split the Labour vote within constituencies.  

Students to march for climate change

Thousands of students are expected to march throughout the UK on Friday, protesting about climate change and demanding the government take more proactive action.  Students are due to walk out of lessons for three hours from 11:00 local time.  Similar demonstrations have taken place in Belgium, Sweden and Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.  

Theresa May suffers fresh Brexit defeat

UK lawmakers voted against the government motion to reaffirm support for the Prime Minister's plan to seek changes to her Brexit deal on Thursday.  Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said that government "cannot keep ignoring Parliament...without a coherent plan".  

Southern airport operations disrupted by fog

The Met Office has warned of heavy fog across the whole of southern England on Friday morning, and all London airports are suffering delays and disruption up until 11am.

British teenager who joined IS asks to return to UK

A British teenager who left to join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria has reportedly fled the regime and asked to return to the UK. Shamima Begum, now 19, left the UK when she was 15-year-old, flying from Heathrow to Turkey with two school friends to cross into Syria and join IS ranks. All three girls were soon married off, although one was allegedly killed in a Russian airstrike, while the fate of the third girl remains unclear. Begum stated that she has no regrets, and that seeing severed heads didn't faze her, but wanted to return to the UK because she was nine-months pregnant. Both of her first two children had died in Syria - one from malnutrition. Currently, Begum is one of 39,000 in a refugee camp in northern Syria. According to the BBC, Begum is seen by the British government as an IS supporter, meaning it's possible the government may assist her return to the UK if she gets to a country with a recognised government; however, Begum will undoubtedly be subject to investigation and may face time in prison for supporting a terrorist group.

Three elderly men found dead in Exeter

A murder investigation has been launched after three elderly men were found dead in Exeter. According to the BBC, the body of an 80-year-old man was found on Bonhay Road on Monday, while 84-year-old twins Dick and Roger Carter were found dead at a property on Cowick Lane on Tuesday. The deaths have been linked by police, who are questioning a 27-year-old man in connection with both incidents - which reportedly shared a number of common factors, including the level of violence used. Cordons and road closures remain in place at both properties and local residents have been advised to check-in on elderly members of the community following the shocking murders.

Strike action announced for South Western Railway

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has announced strike action for 22 February, 9 March and 16 March on South Western Railways. The industrial action is part of an on-going dispute regarding the role of guards on trains.  Disruption and cancellations are to be expected and passengers are advised to allow extra time for journeys or find alternative routes.

Flood alert issued for York

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for the River Ouse in York as a result of persistent rainfall.  They advise the public to monitor the situation through news channels and social media and avoid low-lying footpaths in the area.

Security company warns of airline e-ticketing weaknesses

Security company Wandera has warned that airlines are using unencrypted links for their e-ticketing systems, that leave them vulnerable to hackers.  They say that this could enable third parties to view, and potentially change, a users flight booking details as well as accessing boarding passes.  The company said it had shared it's concerns with government security agencies and recommended that airlines adopt encryption throughout the boarding process.  

Substantial rise in stabbing injuries reported

The National Health Service (NHS) has released figures which show a substantial rise in injuries to young people by knives or sharp objects.  According to their figures a total of 1,012 people aged between 10 and 19 were admitted to hospital with stabbing-type injuries last year, which is a 54 percent increase over the same period five years earlier.  A total of 103 people under 24 years of age were killed by sharp objects in the year ending March 2018, up from just 58 in 2012/13.  

Two killed in London police pursuit

A man and a woman have been killed after their car collided with a coach on the A40 in Acton, West London during a police pursuit.  A third occupant of the vehicle has been hospitalised.  According to preliminary reports, the vehicle was being chased by police in connection with an aggravated burglary.  The road has been reopened, but delays and disruption are likely for the remainder of the day as an investigation is undertaken.  

Man arrested in search for Hull missing student

A man has been arrested as part of the search for missing student Libby Squire in Hull.  The 21-year-old girl had been on a night out last Thursday and was dropped off outside her home by a taxi, but was last seen on a bench nearby in a distressed state.  The suspect is a Polish national who lives with his wife and children a short distance away from where Libby was last seen, and has apparently told police that he stopped to help the girl because she was crying.  

Storm Eric to hit Northern Ireland and the north of England

A yellow warning for rain has been issued for Northern Ireland and the north of England on Friday, with the possibility of power cuts and flooding.  Fallen trees are a possibility, and bridges and ferry routes are likely to be closed due to high winds.  Several flood alerts are in place across the south west and central England despite the fact that these areas are not directly in the path of the storm.  

M1 northbound closed following serious accident

The northbound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 20 and 21 was closed on Thursday following a serious collision between four heavy goods vehicles.  The incident happened at 03:45 local time in Lutterworth, Leicstershire.  One person has been hospitalised with life-threatening injuries.  Police have urged motorists to find alternative routes as delays are likely to continue throughout the day.  

Met Office warns of gale force winds

The Meteorological Office has warned of gale force winds on Thursday, with blustery weather lasting into the weekend.  The bridge at the Dartford Crossing has been closed as a precaution, and more than 100 homes in Cornwall suffered power cuts as trees fell onto power lines.  The Severn Bridge is also suffering closures due to adverse conditions.  In Scotland, there is likely to be heavy and persistent rain, with as much as 60 mm forecast for higher ground.

Eight injured in Batley explosion

An explosion at a residential block of flats in Batley, West Yorkshire, left windows smashed and eight people injured on Wednesday evening.  The incident happened at around 18:50, and police, ambulance and the bomb squad were deployed although the cause was thought to be a gas leak.  Neighbouring properties were evacuated and roads closed as a precaution.  

PM meets Northern Ireland politicians over Brexit

On Wednesday, Theresa May is holding talks with Northern Ireland's five main political parties in an attempt to reassure them that she can secure a Brexit deal that avoids customer checkpoints on the Irish border.  Mrs May is due to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday to discuss changes to her Brexit deal, although the EU has said that it is not prepared to renegotiate  the withdrawal agreement.  

Two arrested after fatal stabbing in Battersea

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was fatally stabbed in Battersea on Tuesday evening.  The 19-year-old victim was declared dead at the scene.  Despite the arrests, police have appealed for witnesses to the incident, which happened in a residential street at around 20:30.

Four children killed in Stafford house fire

Four children died in a house fire in Stafford overnight, while their parents and another child were hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. The blaze apparently broke out at around 02:30 local time in the end of terrace house in the Highfields area, and fire crews battled to contain the fire which had caused the roof to collapse.  An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

Yellow warnings continue for snow and ice in Scotland

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for snow and ice for Scotland on Monday.  Significant disruption to road and rail transport are likely.  Individuals in the area are advised to monitor local weather reports and avoid any unnecessary travel.  The rest of the UK is experiencing milder temperatures.  

Football player's plane found in English Channel

A spokeswoman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on 4 February that the small plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot, had been found.  Mr Sala was travelling from Nantes in France to his new club Cardiff City on 21 January when the Piper Malibu light aircraft vanished from the radar around 20 kilometres north of Guernsey.  Suspected debris from the plane had been found on a Normandy beach on Wednesday, and a private recovery company hired by the footballer's family said that the wreck was spotted on Sunday.  Over 300,000 euros had been raised by contributors to a crowd-funding page for the family to continue the search, after authorities had called it off.  

EU agrees to visa-free travel after Brexit

EU leaders have agreed that UK citizens will be able to travel within Europe without a visa for 90 days in every 180 day period, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.  The UK has agreed the same arrangements for EU travellers to the UK.  The visa waiver is designed for business and travel but does not allow individuals to work.  

Snow and ice cause travel chaos

The UK has experienced the coldest night since 2012, with temperatures in some areas falling to -15.4 centigrade. The Met Office has warned drivers to take care on the roads, as hundreds of people in the south-west became trapped in their cars on Thursday night. There are also warnings of flight cancellations and delays at all UK airports. Thousands of schools have been closed for the day, and local authorities have cancelled services including rubbish collections, while Ambulance Services have warned pedestrians to take care on roads and pavements, particularly those which have not been gritted. 

Met Office issues severe weather warning for the South West

The Met Office has issued a "danger to life" warning for some parts of the UK as temperatures hit the lowest level for seven years.  The amber warning has been issued for the South West, and comes with warnings of risk to life and property, travel delays and road and rail disruptions due to heavy snow.  The less severe yellow warning has been issued for the remainder of the UK with snow, ice, fog and strong winds forecast.  Temperatures in Braemar, Scotland, dipped to -14.4 centigrade on Thursday morning.

MPs' break cancelled over Brexit

The usual February break from Parliamentary affairs has been cancelled amid fears about how prepared Britain is for Brexit in March.  Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said that she was "sorry for the inconvenience", but that "our constituents will expect that the house is able to continue to make progress at this important time".  Seven important pieces of law need to pass in parliament before 29 March.  

Delays reported on M25 near Gatwick

On 31 January, a serious road traffic accident on the M25 has led to serious delays near Gatwick Airport.  Severe congestion is building up at Junctions 10 and 11.   There are no reports of any casualties, but motorists have been advised to allow extra time for their journeys. 

Theresa May mandated to return to Brussels

An amendment to the Brexit deal backed by Theresa May's government has passed Parliament, giving her a mandate to return to Brussels to negotiate changes to the Irish backstop agreement.  The amendment, which was suggested by backbencher Sir Graham Brady, seeks to replace the Irish backstop with "alternative arrangements".  A non-binding motion was also passed that made it clear that the House of Commons will not countenance a no-deal Brexit and although it cannot legally prevent such an event, it acts as a symbolic move. However, a spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk said that "the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation".  On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs May will meet with Jeremy Corbyn to discuss Brexit, and she will also have a telephone conversation with Mr Tusk in the evening to discuss the latest developments.

Three charged with security guard stabbing on New Year's Eve

Three men have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a doorman at a private party in London on New Year's Eve.  Tudor Simionov was killed as he tried to prevent people gatecrashing the private event at the Park Lane property.  Two of his colleagues and two other people were also stabbed, but have recovered from their injuries.  One suspect handed himself in to police, while the other two were detained in police raids at London premises.  One of the suspects sustained injuries during the arrest.  Two further men are being sought in connection with the incident, and are considered by police to be "dangerous individuals". 

Good Samaritan stabbed in Bromley knife attack

A woman had to be hospitalised after she was stabbed while trying to save a man from a knife attack on Tuesday afternoon.  The incident happened at around 16:40 local time when she saw a man being attacked, and tried to intervene.  Both the attacker and the intended victim fled the scene and have not been traced.  The woman's injuries are non life-threatening.

Flights operations suspended at Manchester Airport due to snow

The runways at Manchester Airport have been closed due to overnight snow.  Flight operations are suspended until at least 10:30 local time, with flight delays and possible cancellations for the remainder of the day.  Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline before leaving for the airport.  

MPs to vote on Brexit amendments

On Tuesday afternoon, speaker John Bercow will announce which possible amendments to Theresa May's Brexit deal are to be debated, with voting taking place in the Commons from 19:00 local time.  MPs have been tabling proposed changes to her deal since she lost the vote on her original deal earlier in the month.  The proposals include ruling out leaving the EU with no deal, or delaying Brexit from its' scheduled date of 29 March.  

Road accident affects road travel to Bristol Airport

A serious accident on the A38 on Tuesday morning is affecting road travel to Bristol Airport.  According to preliminary reports, the incident occurred at the Rooks Bridge intersection, causing the road to be closed, although no injuries have been reported.  Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes or allow extra time for their journey.

Inclement weather warning issued for most of the country

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow for England, including London, eastern, south-eastern and East Midlands, for Tuesday 29 January until Wednesday 30 January.  Some snow is also expected for Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern Wales.  Transport disruptions are to be expected including air, road and rail traffic.  

Stockpiling reported in preparation for no-deal Brexit

According to reports, Britain has spent around £23 million stockpiling food, fuel and ammunition at military bases around the world in case of a no-deal Brexit.  The government plan, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, is intended to reduce disruption and affects military bases in Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falklands.  

Environmentalists take over Brighton shopping centre

Around 80 environmental protesters took over the Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton on Saturday to highlight the problem of climate change.  The group, called Extinction Rebellion Brighton, included a choir, who sang their anthem, called "this is an emergency".  They said that humans are facing an unprecedented global emergency and warned of severe consequences, such as floods, wildfires, extreme weather and crop failure if goverments failed to act.  

Shooting reported in Merseyside

A shooting incident has been reported in Merseyside, where the police are responding to the scene in Bootle. Local reports indicate the incident unfolded overnight at a residential property on Litherland road, where a cordon has since been established. Gunshots were allegedly heard inside the house and a vehicle outside the property has also been damaged. No casualties have been reported thus far.

Police investigate security incident in Londonderry

A residential area in Londonderry has been evacuated as the police investigate a security incident. PSNI has informed on Monday afternoon that several residences around the Circular Road area were evacuated after three masked men hijacked a vehicle during the morning. The Independent reported that this is the second security alert reported in Londonderry on Monday. Earlier, a Royal Mail van was also hijacked and abandoned. The alert comes hours after a car bomb exploded outside a courthouse in the city. Four suspects with alleged links to the New IRA have been arrested for suspicious links to the blast.

Four arrested over Londonderry bomb attack

Four arrests have been made in connection to a bomb attack which was carried out in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry over the weekend. The blast occurred on Saturday, when a pizza delivery van was reportedly hijacked, fitted with a crude bomb, and abandoned outside the courthouse on Bishop Street. A warning which was called into the Samaritans and passed on to the police enabled security personnel to evacuate the immediate area in the minutes before the bomb detonated, meaning no casualties were inflicted. According to the BBC, the police suspect the attack was carried out by the new IRA.

One killed in Doncaster pub shooting

At least one fatality has been confirmed following a shooting incident at a pub in Doncaster. The South Yorkshire Police responded to reports of a shooting at the Maple Tree pub on the Woodfield Plantation estate in Balby on Thursday night. According to local reports, it's thought the victim, 21-year-old Tom Bell, was killed in a targeted drive-by shooting, although investigations remain ongoing.

House of Commons overwhelmingly rejects Brexit deal

MPs have rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal. In a vote held at the House of Commons on Tuesday, her deal to leave the EU received 202 votes in favour and 432 votes against. Nearly 140 members of the Conservative party broke party lines and chose to vote with the Labour opposition. Members of the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and  Plaid Cymru also rejected the deal. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also voted against the deal; however, DUP's leader Arlene Foster said that she would support the government in the upcoming no-confidence vote on Wednesday.

MPs to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May Brexit deal

Members of Parliament are set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May deal to leave the EU. PM May is currently running against the clock to convince her party and coalition partners of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to back her deal, which is scheduled to be voted on in the House of Commons at 19:00 local time. Dozens of conservatives are expected to break party lines and join the opposition in the vote. Alternatively, she urged MPs to back her agreement over the potential risk of a no-deal Brexit or even the possibility of remaining in the EU. Major concerns regard the so-called Northern Irish backstop, a special arrangement aimed at keeping open borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - this is at risk as the UK is planning to leave the customs union and the single market. In the event her deal is rejected, she may face increasing political pressure to resign, face a no-confidence vote or be forced to call for general elections - however, she will have three days to come up with a 'plan B' if her deal is initially rejected. The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March.

Top Tory ministers contradict each other over Brexit

Defence Secretary Gavin Wilkinson said on Friday that Britain would "succeed regardless" of how the UK leaves the EU, but in contrast, Business Secretary Greg Clark said that leaving without a deal would cause "incalculable damage" to British industry.  MPs continue to debate the issue in the House of Commons ahead of a vote on Tuesday.  Theresa May has warned that the only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is to back her deal, while some of her party think Britain should just "walk away", and revert to trading with Europe on World Trade Organization rules.  Opponents of the no-deal scenario argue that the consequences would be severe, including disruption to supplies of food and medicine and chaos at ports and airports.  

Ex-MI6 chief says Brexit threatens national security

Ex-MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove was warned that Theresa May's Brexit deal "cuts across the fundamentals of ... our national security policy".   He cites NATO, the close military relationship with the US and the Five Eyes intelligence network in a letter to the government.  

M56 closed due to death on carriageway

On the evening of 10 January, the M56 motorway was closed at Wythenshawe due to a fatal incident.  According to reports, a woman died after falling from a bridge on to the carriageway.  The closure spanned three junctions westbound, affecting traffic from Manchester and Stockport towards Manchester Airport and Cheshire.  

Corbyn to repeat demands for a general election

Jeremy Corbyn is to repeat his demand for Theresa May to call a general election, saying that if the government is unable to pass its' most important legislation, there is no alternative.  The Prime Minister postponed a pre-Christmas vote on her Brexit deal in expectation of defeat, and there is so far no sign of a significant shift in attitudes amongst MPs despite government efforts.  

M6 closed due to police incident

The M6 was closed in both directions on Wednesday evening, as police stopped a lorry carrying 27 suspected migrants.  The driver was arrested, and the road remained closed for around three hours, affecting hundreds of motorists.  The incident happened at around 17:45 local time, and a number of the suspected migrants fled and were later detained by police.  The 27 individuals were medically assessed and transferred to immigration officials, and the motorway was reopened at around 21:30.

PM loses Brexit vote in Commons

PM Theresa May has lost a key Brexit vote in the House of Commons. The BBC has reported that the government lost the vote by 11 votes after a group of rebel Tory MPs sided with the opposition, leading to a 308 to 297 result. The defeat will mean May has three days to present a 'Plan B' if her EU withdrawal deal is rejected by parliament next week. The PM is said to have arranged new proposals for Northern Ireland which she hopes will persuade enough MPs to support the deal; however, Labour has reportedly threatened to file a no-confidence motion in the government if her deal is voted down.

Boy stabbed to death after vehicle collision

A 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Waltham Forest yesterday following a road accident at around 18:30 on Monday.  According to reports, the boy had been riding a moped which was in collision with a car, when three men got out of the vehicle before stabbing the victim and then driving off.  He was pronounced dead at the scene half an hour later. 

May suffers fresh Commons defeat over Brexit

Theresa May suffered a fresh defeat in the Commons on Tuesday, as MPs passed a motion to make it harder for ministers to force through a no-deal Brexit.  The amendment, which prevents ministers from introducing new tax rises in the case of a no-deal scenario unless MPs have specifically voted in favour of leaving the UK without an agreement, was passed by 303 votes to 296.  More than a dozen Conservatives voted with the opposition parties in the run-up to next week's vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal, which is widely expected to be defeated.  

M42 closed following pedestrian death

On 9 January, the M42 northbound has been closed between Junction 10 at Tamworth and Junction 11 at Appleby Magna, after a pedestrian was hit and killed on the carriageway.  The incident happened at around 03:00 local time.  Southbound carriageways were also affected as police erected privacy screens.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Heathrow resumes flights after drone sighting

On 8 January, flights were temporarily disrupted at Heathrow Airport as a "precautionary measure" due to sightings of a drone in the vicinity.  Flights from the west London airport resumed about an hour after the incident was declared at 17:45 local time.   A Heathrow spokesperson said that they were working with Air Traffic Control and the Metropolitan Police to resolve the issue, and apologized to any passengers who were affected by the disruption.  The incident comes less than a month after three days of chaos at Gatwick Airport following multiple sightings of a drone, and one day after the government announced increased police measures when investigating drone-related incidents.  

Fifty MPs demand police action over protests outside parliament

Police are considering whether any crimes have been committed, after Tory MP Anna Soubry was heckled as a "Nazi and a liar" during a TV interview outside parliament yesterday, before being surrounded as she returned to the building.  At least 55 MPs have written to Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, warning of "serious concerns about public order and the security situation".  A string of MPs and journalists have been harangued by protesters during recent weeks, including Sky News' political editor Faisal Islam who was racially abused.   

Man appears in court accused of murder on train

A 35-year-old man has appeared in court accused of murdering a man on a train last week.  Darren Shane Pencille repeatedly stabbed Lee Pomeroy, who was on the train with his teenage son, and the 51-year-old was pronounced dead in the carriage at Horsley station on Friday.  A manhunt followed, and Pencille was arrested on Saturday, together with a female who is accused of helping the killer leave the scene and change his appearance to avoid detection.  The pair will appear in court by video link at the crown court in February.

New legislation proposed for illegal drone use

On 7 January, the Transport Secretary said that police would be given new powers to tackle illegal drone use.  Chris Grayling said that new legislation will give police the power to search premises with a warrant, and seize drones including electronic data, where a serious offence has been committed.  The move comes following major disruption at Gatwick Airport in December following numerous sightings of a drone.

Lorry park exercise held in Kent

An exercise was held in Kent on Monday to test plans for border disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  A convoy of 89 lorries took part in a simulation at a disused airport near Ramsgate in Kent, on a 20-mile route to the port of Dover.  The Road Haulage Association said that the process should have begun months ago and was "too little too late".  A spokesman from Kent County Council said that the simulation was intended to see how long lorries would take to get from the area to the various points, and that the number of participants was irrelevant.  Around 10,000 lorries visit the Channel port every day.  

Parliament set to vote on Brexit deal on 15 January

The House of Commons is set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on 15 January. Government sources told the BBC that the vote is scheduled to take place next Tuesday. The Brexit debate is set to resume on Wednesday. The vote was supposed to occur back in December, but it was suspended ahead of the parliamentary recess. The opposition claims that such came as the government did not have enough support to back the PM's deal. PM Theresa May reiterated that the UK is leaving the EU on 29 March regardless of the results of the parliamentary vote.

UK airports to get anti-drone technology

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are to get invest millions of pounds on anti-drone technology.  The announcement comes following disruption at the Sussex facility before Christmas when around 1,000 flights were disrupted over a period of three days due to drone activity.  The military was brought in by the government and the Ministry of Defence said that personnel from the Royal Air Force were also deployed.  Recreational drones must remain in the sight of the operator at all times, must not fly within 50 metres of people, vehicles and buildings, no higher than 122 metres and not within one kilometre of an airport perimeter.  

Navy and RAF to patrol English Channel amid migrant crisis

The Home Secretary has announced that the Navy and RAF will be brought in to patrol the Channel to assist with the migrant crisis, as at least 139 people have been caught attempting to reach Britain by boat. Sajid Javid has attracted criticism after questioning whether those arriving were "genuine" asylum seekers and suggested they should try to claim refuge in France instead.  There have been no further migrant arrivals since the New Year, but this may be due to poorer sea conditions.  

Northern Rail announce strikes every weekend in January

Northern Rail have announced that the RMT Union will take strike action every Saturday in January in a dispute over driver-only trains.  Services are likely to run only until 17:00 on each of the strike days.  David Brown, Managing Director at Northern said that more than 50 percent of all rail journeys in the UK are made on driver-only trains and that a second person responsible for customer service, safety, ticketing and information would be on board, and asked the RMT Union to suspend damaging strike action.  The mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham has criticised the rail operator for their handling of the strike action which has taken place over the last 12 months.

Three dead in Lincolnshire house fire

Three people died in a house fire in Lincolnshire on New Year's Day, with police launching a murder investigation as a result of their enquiries.  Police suspect that the person who started the blaze was one of those who died.  The incident took place in the village of Kirton, and despite the emergency services arriving within 10 minutes, the property was completely engulfed in flames.  Two people were taken to hospital but discharged.  Officers said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the blaze.  

Two injured in workshop explosion

On 2 January, two people were injured in an explosion at a vehicle repair workshop in Hampshire.  The incident took place at 16:00 in Denmead near Waterlooville.  Eight fire engines and over 50 firefighters were deployed to the scene which was eventually extinguished at 18:00.  Two men were taken to hospital with minor burns.

Minibus overturns in Scottish borders

One person has been killed and 23 injured when a minibus overturned between Carfraemill and Gordon on Saturday.  The incident happened at around 10:50 and no other vehicles were involved.  The crash was declared a major incident, with those injured being taken to Borders General Hospital, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.  The A6089 road was reopened at 21:00 and an investigation was underway to establish the cause of the accident.

Migrants intercepted by Border Forces off Kent coast

On 27 December nine migrants including three children, were intercepted in a small boat off the coast of Kent. Helicopters and rescue boats were patrolling the English Channel following a spate of attempted crossings during calm waters.  Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said that the number of recent incidents was "deeply concerning", and that attempting to cross the Channel in this manner was "extremely dangerous".  While no official figures are available, reports suggest that around 180 people attempted to cross the Channel in November.  Christmas Day saw migrants picked up in five different locations, with more incidents reported on Boxing Day.  The majority of the migrants have presented themselves as Iranian.   

Police testing anti-drone bazookas at Heathrow

The Metropolitan Police are testing anti-drone bazookas at Heathrow Airport (LHR).  According to reports, the devices fire a mortar-like projectile which releases a net to snare a flying drone at a range of 130 yards.  The move comes following the presence of a drone at Gatwick Airport in December which closed the facility, affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers.  

Manchester train station stabbing treated as terrorist incident

The stabbing at a train station in Manchester last night is being treated as a suspected terrorist incident. Three people including a police officer were stabbed during the attack at Manchester Victoria at around 20:50. A man has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder.

London Gatwick suspends operations over new reports of drone sightings

Flights to and from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) are currently suspended after new reports of a drone sighting. Operations were gradually returning to normal during the morning and afternoon after the airport was closed since Wednesday evening. However, on Friday evening, new reports of a drone sighting near the airport's runway reemerged. Travellers are recommended to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to LGW.

Flights to and from London Gatwick resume after runway closure

Flight to and from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) have resumed after drone sightings forced LGW to preventatively close its runway on Wednesday evening. LGW has informed that several flights are scheduled for arrival and departure on Friday, but some restrictions are still being applied. Travellers are still advised to contact their respective airlines for flight status updates. Some cancellations and delays may still occur throughout the day.

Flights to and from London Gatwick remain suspended after drone sighting

Flights to and from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) remain suspended on Thursday morning after drones were spotted flying over the runway. LGW has advised travellers to check for updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport. Traffic has been suspended since Wednesday evening, forcing several flights to be diverted while investigations are still ongoing. Further information is available on the LGW Twitter page.

Flight disruptions reported at London Gatwick

Flight disruptions are currently being reported at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) after reports of two drones flying over the airfield. LGW has informed on Wednesday evening that all flights were temporarily suspended while the issue is investigated. Reports suggest that some flights are being diverted to other airports. Travellers are advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Three stabbed at doctor's surgery in east London

Three people were stabbed near a doctor's surgery in Tower Hamlets on Wednesday.  The incident happened at around 11:00 local time, and a man was detained at the scene.  Police have said that the attack was not terror-related.

Planning for no-deal Brexit accelerated

Theresa May's government is to identify policies that will be shelved to free up resources for a no-deal Brexit scenario.  With 100 days to go until Brexit on 29 March 2019, businesses are being advised to start their own contingency plans, but business groups have criticised politicians for focusing on in-fighting instead of preparing for exit from the bloc.  The European Commission is publishing legislation to ensure continuity in eight key sectors on a temporary basis.  These cover data protection, plant and animal health, customs, climate policy, financial products and the rights of British citizens living elsewhere in the European Union.    

Strikes to hit London Underground lines

Rail, Maritime and Transport union members who work for Transport for London (TfL) are planning a 24-hour strike on the Waterloo &City Lines and the Central line for Friday 21 December.  The industrial action will start at 20:00, and extra bus services will be available. Travellers are advised to leave extra time for their journeys, as other lines are expected to be busier than usual.

Russian Embassy website hacked

On 17 December, the Russian Embassy in London reported that its' website was hacked, allegedly from the UK.  Reports indicate that the breach involved publications about UK involvement in Ukrainian affairs among other items.  

Flood and rain warnings across whole of the UK

The Met Office has warned that two week's rain is likely to fall today in parts of the UK, amid warnings of flooding.   South Wales, south-west England and southern parts of the country will be worst affected.  A wind warning was also in place for some parts of western Wales, northern England.  

Delays on Glasgow motorway due to flooding

On 18 December, delays were reported on the M8 motorway in Scotland, due to flooding.  According to reports, one lane has been completely closed.  Travel to Glasgow Airport (GLA) may be affected and travellers are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.  Met Office forecasters have predicted further severe weather across the UK, with heavy rain and gales.

South-west rail services disrupted due to severe weather

Disruption has been reported to rail services in Devon and Cornwall due to severe weather, with heavy rain and strong winds battering the area.  

Lorries tip over on Scottish ferry

Emergency services are on the scene in Wigtownshire, Scotland, after an incident on the ferry between Larne and Cairnryan port at around 07:30 on Tuesday.  According to preliminary reports, several articulated lorries had tipped over on the top deck, and another on a lower deck due to extreme weather conditions.  No-one is believed to be injured, but ambulances, fire engines and police are at the scene.  

Brexit vote to take place in January

Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed the vote on her Brexit deal until the week of 14 January.  She has rejected suggestions that there should be a second referendum, saying this would be "a betrayal of the British people". 

Russian cargo ship runs aground off Cornwall

A Russian cargo ship has run aground near a beach in Cornwall in the early hours of Tuesday morning as the area was pounded by strong winds, heavy rain and large waves.  The 16,000 tonne Kuzma Minin is stranded off Gyllyngvase Beach near Falmouth, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has launched a rescue mission.  According to local sources, they plan to refloat the ship at high tide later today.  There are 18 crew on board, and no cargo.  The Kuzma Minim is owned by the Murmansk Shipping Company and has apparently been held in the Netherlands for the last seven months due to alleged debts. Forecasters have issued yellow weather warnings for Cornwall and nearby areas in southern England and South Wales.   

Norovirus outbreak reported in Cornwall

UK health officials have confirmed that over 140 cases of norovirus have been reported in Cornwall in the south-west of England.  Norovirus is highly contagious and is spread by contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces.  Symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, which can lead to dehydration, particularly in the elderly and the very young.  There is no medication to treat the virus.  A health warning has been issued, together with the advice to wash hands regularly, particularly before eating or preparing food, washing fruit and vegetables prior to consumption, and cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces touched by an affected person.  

Rail disruption between Glasgow and Aberdeen

On Monday 17 December, a fault with a signalling system has caused disruption to rail services between Glasgow Queen Street and Aberdeen.  Trains expected to travel from Inverness to Aberdeen will terminate at Perth with a bus replacement service available for the remainder of the journey.  

Armed police storm plane at London Stansted Airport

A Ryanair flight was forced to return to London Stansted on Thursday, when a fight started between two passengers.  Armed police boarded the plane on arrival and detained one person for public order offences.  Passengers completed their journey to Lisbon on an alternative aircraft after a short delay.

Anti-terror raid conducted in Newcastle

Specially trained police officers and members of the SAS co-operated in an anti-terror raid in Newcastle earlier this week.  A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.  Residents of the quiet residential area were evacuated in the raid which was apparently prompted by an MI5 investigation into a "lone wolf" attack.  According to preliminary reports, no explosives were found at the property, but the suspect remains in detention.  

Theresa May survives no-confidence vote

Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no-confidence on Wednesday evening by 200 votes to 117, and will remain as the Tory leader.  The result means that she is immune from another challenge for a year, but she has already confirmed that she will not fight the next election.  Mrs May now resumes her Brexit negotiations with the EU, leaving for Brussels on Thursday morning.  

Thirteen football fans jailed for violent disorder

Thirteen football fans from Aston Villa and Cardiff City have been found guilty of violent disorder and will serve between nine months and three years in jail.  Nine of the accused have also been banned from all UK football grounds for six years. Three further defendants have been convicted but have yet to be sentenced.  The sentence comes after a violent brawl outside a Cardiff pub which was captured on CCTV, and where fans threw bottles and fought violently in the street following a game between the two clubs in August 2017.  

Theresa May to fight leadership challenge

Theresa May said on Wednesday that she will fight the challenge to her leadership, and warned that any change would delay or imperil Brexit.  With less than four months until the UK is due to leave the European Union, she said that a new leader could not be in place by the 21 January deadline, so her party risked handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs.  A ballot of Conservative party members will take place at 18:00 on Wednesday, with an announcement of the result expected to be announced shortly after 20:00 local time.  

SNP calls Labour Party to launch no-confidence motion against PM Theresa May

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to launch a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Theresa May. The request was announced by SNP's Commons leader Ian Blackford, who was backed by the Liberal Democrats' Vince Cable. The Green Party's Caroline Lucas and the Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts also backed the request. The move comes after the PM postponed the vote on the Brexit deal.

Parliament on lockdown amid security incident

The Houses of Parliament have reportedly been placed on lockdown following a security incident at the main carriage gates. Preliminary reports indicate a male suspect was tasered by the police and has since been detained. The nature of the threat has not been confirmed and it remains unclear if the suspect was armed. According to the BBC, a man is being held by armed officers in an incident which the police have said is not terror-related.

Virgin Atlantic pilots to strike

Virgin Atlantic pilots who are members of the Professional Pilots' Union (PPU) have announced that they will strike for several days over the forthcoming festive period.  The dates affected will be Saturday 22 December to Tuesday 25 December, and Sunday 30 December to Wednesday 2 January, as well as Friday 4 January to Monday 7 January.  Virgin Atlantic has said that it does not anticipate disruptions to services, as only one-third of their pilots are members of the union, but delays and cancellations are possible.  Passengers are advised to consult their airline before travelling to airports.

Pro-Brexit rally takes place in London

On 9 December, thousands of pro-Brexit supporters marched from the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane to Parliament Street.  The protest was organized by UKIP and was labelled the "Brexit Betrayal" rally. 

Court suggests that Britain could cancel Brexit

An advocate general of the European Court of Justice has said that the UK could unilaterally cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50, and would not need the agreement of the 27 EU member states..  The statement comes in response to a request from a cross-party group of Scottish politicians but is only a legal opinion and not binding.

Man shot dead outside West Belfast school

Two men have been arrested after a man was shot dead while waiting in his car to collect his son from a school in West Belfast.  CCTV footage shows a man in a high visibility vest approaching the luxury car, removing a gun from a bag he was carrying, and shooting the victim in the head, killing him instantly.  Police said that in total, the weapon was fired eight times, and they believe the incident may be linked to a feud between two crime families.  The school has been closed, and pupils and witnesses have been offered counselling and support.  

O2 mobile data services down

O2 mobile phone users were unable to use data services on Thursday following a technical fault, which they were investigating with "high priority".  Tens of millions of users are affected, including customers of Sky Mobiles, Tesco Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GiffGaff, which use O2 infrastructure.  The company has apologised for the inconvenience, and has blamed a software fault.

Government to release Brexit legal advice after Commons defeat

Prime Minister Theresa May has been ordered to publish the Brexit legal advice after opposition MPs passed a historic motion in the House of Commons. The government has been held in contempt after failing to release the document. Most opposition parties supported the motion, including May's coalition partner, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The vote was approved with 311 votes in favour and 293 against. Tuesday's vote came just a day after a partial version the Brexit legal advice document was released to MPs. The withdrawal agreement with the EU will be voted at the House of Commons on 11 December.

Man gunned down near school in Belfast

A man has been shot dead when a gunman opened fire at his vehicle in Belfast. The Guardian reported that a man identified as Jim Donegan was waiting for his child inside his vehicle when he was targeted on Tuesday afternoon. The incident happened near the St Mary's Grammar School in West Belfast. According to the police, Donegan was approached by a man wearing a jacket with the word 'Security' written on it. The Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said that investigations have been launched, while it remains unclear what the circumstances behind the attack are. The suspected shooter is still at large.

Rees-Mogg demands full legal advice about Brexit deal

Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused the Government of an abuse of constitutional law in not publishing the legal advice received about the Brexit plan which will go to the vote in one week.  The Tory Backbencher encouraged Mrs May to publish the information, or be considered in contempt of the House of Commons.  The incident came to a head on Monday after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox published a "reasoned position statement" rather than the full legal advice he gave the Cabinet.  

UK in favour of tightening Russian sanctions

According to Theresa May in a speech in the Commons, Great Britain is in favour of tightening sanctions on Russia following the attack on the Ukrainian navy in the Kerch Strait.  She called on Moscow to release the ships and the sailors who have been detained, and to facilitate the de-escalation of the situation in the region.  

DUP threaten to abandon support for Theresa May

The DUP have threatened to abandon support for Mrs May in a confidence vote over fears of a hard border for Northern Ireland, if she fails to get her Brexit deal through parliament next week.  The move would leave the Prime Minster without a Commons majority.  Labour has said that it would table a no-confidence vote if MPs vote down her proposals on Brexit on 11 December.  Labour's policy has long been to push for a general election if no Brexit deal can be reached.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn agree to live TV debate

Downing Street confirmed on Thursday that Theresa May will participate in a live TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday 9 December at 20:00 local time.  Mrs May has embarked on a publicity campaign which will last two weeks as she tries to win support for her Brexit deal that has been backed by EU leaders.

Fresh alerts issued for severe weather

The Met Office has issued "Danger to Life" warnings for Thursday, particularly for south-west Scotland and south-west England.  Up to 35mm of rain could affect parts of Scotland today, and widespread strong winds will make "nasty driving conditions" nationwide.  Storm Diana which has come in from the Azores, has prompted the Met Office to issue the warnings, with hundreds of flights serving London airports also cancelled or delayed amid thick fog.  

Major incident declared at Southampton Hospital

Southampton's University Hospital declared a major incident on Wednesday morning, after a fire that caused a major power cut.  A spokesperson issued a statement saying that all staff and patients were safe, but that all non-urgent activity was cancelled.  The technical problem was later resolved but restrictions remain in place for appointments and visiting.  

Uber to be fined $1.17 million for 2016 data breach

On 27 November, British and Dutch authorities jointly fined ride-hailing company Uber the equivalent of $1.17 million for the 2016 cyber attack that exposed the personal information of around 57 million customers and drivers.  Britain's Information Commissioner's Office siad that the hack was entirely avoidable, and the fine was for the violation of data protection laws, and for taking inadequate security measures to prevent an attack.  Uber have said that they have made a number of technical improvements to their security "both in the immediate wake of the incident, and in the years since".

Severe weather warnings issued for Wednesday

On Wednesday 28 November due to Storm Diana a yellow weather warning has been issued for heavy downpours and strong winds.  The worst of the weather will hit the north and west of the country, with the most exposed westerly places along the coast from Cornwall to the Shetland islands most affected, but flood warnings have also been issued for the north-east.   Northern Ireland will see heavy rain between 09:00 and 12:00 local time.  Ferry sailings from Portsmouth to the Channel Islands have been cancelled, and Cork Airport expected several flights to be cancelled.   Storm Diana, named by the Portuguese weather service, will be the fourth major storm system to hit the UK this autumn.  

Major delays reported at London airports

Arrivals at all London airports are being regulated on Tuesday morning, due to reduced visibility.  Very high delays are reported at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), with delays expected to continue for the rest of the day.  London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and London City Airport (LCY) are similarly affected.  Passengers are advised to contact their airlines for updates.

EU leaders agree Theresa May's Brexit deal

The summit in Brussels on Sunday lasted only one hour before the 27 EU leaders gave their blessing to the agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the bloc and future relations.  Theresa May said that the deal "delivered for the British people" and urged both Leave and Remain voters to unite behind it to enable an "orderly withdrawal".  The UK Parliament is to vote on the deal on 12 December, but the outcome is not guaranteed with many Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and DUP MPs and many from Mrs May's own party set to vote against it.  Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President said that if the UK rejected the deal and expected improved terms, they would be "disappointed".  If MPs reject the deal, the outcome could include leaving with no deal, attempting to renegotiate or a general election.

Support staff at Gatwick Airport launch 48 hour strike

On Monday at 05:00 local time, around 250 support staff at Gatwick Airport launched a 48 hour strike to call for a pay rise.  The move by the Unite Union comes as part of an ongoing dispute, and further action will take place on 21 December, affecting Christmas travel.  The workers, who are employed by firm Wilson James, claim that they earn less than workers who operate luggage trolleys at the airport, and suggest that their pay is less than the voluntary UK living wage of £8.75 per hour outside London.  Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling to the airport and check their insurance in the event of flight cancellations.

Environmental protesters block York centre

Protesters from the Extinction Rebellion environmental group blocked Ouse Bridge in York on Friday, as part of a peaceful protest intended to demonstrate the need for more action on climate change.  The demonstration comes as similar protests blocked bridges in London causing widespread disruption.  

Spain demands written agreement over Gibraltar

The Spanish government has demanded a written promise from the UK on Gibraltar before the Sunday summit of EU leaders.  They are insisting that the future of the peninsula must be settled through direct talks between Spain and the UK, and not as part of a wider agreement.

GCHQ warns of cyber threats on Black Friday

The UK's cyber-security defence agency has warned that "Black Friday" sales could be targetted for cyber-crime.  The agency, which is part of GCHQ, has been involved in tackling more than 550 significant cyber-incidents this year and has eliminated almost 140,000 "phishing" websites set up by fraudsters.  Chief Executive Ciaran Martin said that the threat was "serious and sustained", and could include theft from retailers and attacks on the financial networks on which they depend.

Demonstrations outside Amazon premises on Black Friday

Protesters are demonstrating outside Amazon properties in the UK today against poor working conditions.  The move comes on one of the busiest days of the year for the on-line retailer, with Black Friday sales expected to break all records.  The protests have been organized by the GMB Union nationwide, and similar action is being taken in Germany, Spain and Poland.  Amazon said that their pay and conditions were above average with more than 25,000 people employed in the country.

Mystery substance washes up on Bridlington beaches

The public have been advised to take extra care when walking on beaches in Bridlington in East Yorkshire, while the authorities investigate a mystery substance that has washed up on beaches at Bridlington between Danes Dyke and Fraisthorpe.  

UKIP nominate far-right activist as adviser

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has nominated far-right activist Tommy Robinson as an adviser. Robinson is the founder of the English Defence League, which has been at the centre of violent anti-immigration protests. Robinson was appointed UKIP's adviser by party leader Gerard Batten, who chose to follow a strict anti-Islam rhetoric. It is claimed that Robinson will mainly advise Batten on grooming gangs and prisons. Since the Brexit referendum, the party has lost significant influence over a leadership crisis after its former chief, Nigel Farage, stepped down. 

Environmental protests cause traffic disruption in London

Environmental group Extinction Rebellion have been holding a number of protests in the capital since 21 November, and these are likely to continue until Saturday 24 November.  Demonstrators gather at Parliament Square at 07:00 each day and march through the city, often blocking traffic hubs such as Lambeth Bridge, Tower Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge.  Transport for London have reported that the gatherings have impacted services on public transportation and residents and visitors should allow extra time for journeys.

May schedules extra Brexit talks this weekend

Theresa May is to return to Brussels on Saturday in an attempt to complete a deal in time for Sunday's summit of European leaders.  London and Brussels have already agreed the draft terms of the UK's exit from the EU in March 2019 in the form of a 585-page document which covers citizens' rights, financial issues and the Irish border.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that she will not attend the summit unless agreement on future co-operataion has been agreed in advance.  Meanwhile Spain is insisting on changes to the text that concern Gibraltar, and while they cannot specifically veto the deal, it could be problematic for other EU countries to press ahead without the support of Spain.  

Glasgow Children's Hospital in bacteria scare

The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow is to impose water restrictions following a bacteria scare.  The hospital will be without running water on consecutive Thursdays, starting today, for four hours while deep cleaning takes place during the night in order to minimise any disruption.  NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said there are no safety concerns and the operation is being taken as a precautionary measure.  

Seventeen rescued in Manchester modern slavery raids

Seventeen people were rescued following dawn raids in Greater Manchester on Wednesday in a police anti-slavery operation.  Five addresses, including a takeaway were searched and two people were arrested under the Modern Slavery Act.  According to preliminary reports, police had received a tip-off in June about people being trafficked to work in the UK in unacceptable conditions.  Police are appealing for witnessses to any incidents of modern slavery.  Those rescued are being interviewed by Greater Manchester Police, and assisted y the Red Cross.

Huge fire reported at Orpington bus depot

A huge fire has broken out at Orpington bus depot in  south east London in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Around 60 firefighters were deployed to tackle the blaze for more than three hours.  Around 30 vehicles were moved to safety, but according to preliminary reports seven buses were completely destroyed and a further four badly damaged.  The incident happened at around 04:00 local time, and no injuries were reported.  The cause of the fire is not known. 

Spanish PM to reject Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said that Spain will reject the Brexit deal if there is no clarification on the status of Gibraltar.  Mr Sanchez said that the relevant article in the draft agreement is "ambiguous", and demanded the future right to discuss the status of the peninsula bilaterally with the UK.  He said a few weeks ago that he "had no significant concerns over Gibraltar", but now says that one specific article has been added last week to the draft agreement which had not been seen by Spanish negotiators.  Spain ceded Gibralter under a 1713 treaty and has tried several times to regain control over it, although a 1967 referendum saw 99.6 percent of residents vote to remain British, leading to the border being closed until 1985 when Spain joined the EU.  A proposal for joint sovereignty was also rejected by Gibraltarians in 2002.  Gibralter has its' own tax system with a corporate tax rate of 10 percent, attracting financial services and online gaming companies who make up 40 percent of the economy.  

Spanish PM to vote against Brexit deal over Gibraltar article

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said on Tuesday that he will vote against the Brexit agreement if no changes are made regarding Gibraltar. PM Sanchez said during a conference in Madrid that: “As of today, if there are no changes with respect to Gibraltar, Spain will vote no to the agreement on Brexit". Prime Minister Theresa May has recently confirmed that the Brexit deal was already reached on its entirety. Sanchez reiterated claims that the issue is not being clearly addressed. Such regards Article 184 of the deal, which will define the future UK-EU relationship. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borel said: “We want the interpretation to be clear in that text that the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU will not apply to Gibraltar”.

Customers' data exposed in Vision Direct data breach

More than 16,000 customers of the contact lens retailed Vision Direct may have been affected in a data breach. Vision Direct has said in a statement that: "Between 12.11am GMT 3rd November 2018 and 12.52pm GMT 8th November, the personal and financial details of some of our customers ordering or updating their information on was compromised." Reports suggest that the data was stolen via a fake Google Analytics script. Data affected include "full name, billing address, email address, password, telephone number and payment card information, including card number, expiry date and CVV". Vision Direct has advised customers to contact their respective banks and follow their advice.

May says withdrawal deal is agreed in full

Theresa May has told business leaders that her withdrawal deal from the EU has been "agreed in full".  Some Tory MPs continue to seek late changes to the deal, and there has been widespread criticism of the draft 585 page agreement, which is due to be signed off at a summit this weekend.  Two cabinet ministers resigned over the proposed deal, and speculation continues over whether the number of MPs submitting letters of no-confidence in her will reach the number required to trigger a vote on her leadership of the Conservative Party.  Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator has called on all parties to "remain calm and focus on the future agreement". 

Four stabbed in North London knife attack

Four men in their twenties were stabbed in a knife attack in London at 18:00 local time on Sunday evening.  The incident, which took place in Edmonton in North London, followed a drive-by shooting which took place exactly 24 hours before in the same area, when three men who were travelling in a minicab were hospitalized for gunshot wounds.  Police have said that they believe the two incidents are related.  On Monday, one man had been arrested in connection with the incidents. 

Woman injured in London machete attack

On the evening of 16 November, a woman was injured in a random machete attack in South London.  The incident took place at around 19:18 local time on Rathmore Road, Charlton, in the capital, and the victim was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.  Police have launched an investigation.

Major disruption at Waterloo station

On Monday morning, major disruption has been reported at Waterloo station due to engineering works that have over-run.  There are no South Western Railway (SWR) services between Surbiton and Waterloo, and delays and cancellations are expected for the rest of the day.

Anti-racism march to be held in London

On Saturday 17 November, the Stand Up to Racism group are set to march in London.  Participants will meet at Portland Place at 12:00 local time and march on to Whitehall.  Travel disruption and heightened security in the area is to be expected.

Rees-Mogg submits letter of no-confidence in Prime Minister

Member of Parliament Jacob Rees-Mogg has handed in a letter calling for a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.  Although he denied that he was seeking to put himself forward as leader, he said that Mrs May's Brexit deal was "worse than anticipated, and fails to meet the promises given to the nation".  The move comes amid a spate of resignation from the cabinet in the last 48 hours, and if sufficient Tory MPs support the move, Mrs May could be forced to quit as party leader.

Brexit Secretary resigns over draft deal

Brexit Secretary Dominica Raab has resigned over the draft deal presented to the cabinet yesterday. Raab stated that he could not support the deal with a clear conscious due to the inclusion of the so-called 'backstop' plan, which would see Northern Ireland remain in the EU's customs union for a period after the UK leaves the EU. According to the BBC, Raab believes the arrangement could threaten the integrity of the UK. Several other government ministers have followed suit, sparking concerns Prime Minister Theresa May might face a no-confidence vote. Although the draft deal managed to get passed by the cabinet, it's become evident that a significant portion of Tory ministers strongly oppose the provisional withdrawal agreement.

Brexit deal reportedly agreed on 'technical level'

Cabinet ministers are set to take part in an emergency meeting to discuss a preliminary draft Brexit agreement which was reportedly reached between the UK and the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May have the task of convincing sceptical cabinet members to pursue the deal, which has been reached on a technical level. Among the main challenges is the Irish border issue. Such has generated rising concerns from the Northern Irish coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). If approved, EU member states are set to launch an emergency summit to discuss further arrangements, while the bill will be passed to the House of Commons for discussion.

Asylum not offered to Asia Bibi

The UK government has reportedly decided not to offer asylum to Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, who was recently acquitted amid a blasphemy case which sparked nationwide protests in Pakistan. According to reports, it was feared that granting Bibi asylum in the UK could stir up civil unrest and negatively impact relations with Pakistan - putting British embassies at risk. The UK government has not issued an official statement on whether or not Bibi has been offered asylum, although unconfirmed reports suggest she has accepted an offer of asylum from an alternative Western country.

Jo Johnson resigns as transport minister over Brexit

Transport Minister Jo Johnson has resigned over Brexit. Johnson said in a statement: "Given that the reality of Brexit has turned out to be so far from what was once promised, the democratic thing to do is to give the public the final say". He is an MP for Orpington and also the Minister for London. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that he is confident that the Brexit deal will be reached within three weeks. On the other side, former Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on MPs to vote against Prime Minister Theresa May's deal in order to negotiate for a better outcome. 

Lord Mayor's Show triggers road closures in the City of London

Most roads across the City of London will be closed throughout Saturday due to Lord Mayor's Show. Organisers said that road closures in the City will last from 07:00 local time. Buses will also have their routes diverted. Large crowds are expected to attend the event, that will kick off on 11:00. The parade will take place between Mansion House and the Royal Courts of Justice. Roads in Westminster are also expected to be closed due to Remembrance Day events.

Potential disruptions may impact flights at London Heathrow

Potential flight disruptions may impact London Heathrow Airport (LHR) after a runway lightning issue was reported on Wednesday morning. Although both runways have now been reopened, travellers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to LHR.

London Underground workers launch strike action

London Underground workers on the Central Line and Waterloo&City Line launched a 24-hour strike on Wednesday. The strike went ahead after workers' unions failed to reach an agreement on staffing and working conditions. Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that another strike on the Piccadilly Line was called off. Severe disruptions are being reported on both lines due to extremely limited services. Normal operations are set to resume on Thursday. Travellers are advised to follow TfL alerts and anticipate larger crowds than usual across alternative routes.

Border Force find 21 immigrants in foreign lorry

UK Border Force personnel at Newhaven port have found 21 illegal immigrants in a refrigerated lorry which was entering the UK from France. Among the immigrants were 15 children, who have been transferred to social services, and six adults - two of whom have already been deported from the UK while the other four remain in immigration detention centres while their cases are considered. According to the BBC, all 21 immigrants were identified as Vietnamese nationals. The driver of the lorry was a 29-year-old Romanian man, who has been charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK.

Teenager killed in London stabbing

A 16-year-old teenage boy has reportedly been killed following a stabbing incident in Brixton, south London. The Metropolitan Police have confirmed the attack occurred at an estate in Greenleaf Close in Tulse Hill on Monday night. According to the BBC, the teenager was waiting to be picked up by his parents when the attack took place. Local witnesses have reported seeing a large black vehicle - thought to have been an Audi - driving away from the scene. No suspects have been identified and the motive behind the murder remains unclear as investigations continue.

Two injured in ongoing incident in London

Armed police are on the scene at the Sony Headquarters in west London on Friday, where preliminary reports indicate that two people have been injured in a knife attack.  The building was evacuated as a precaution and one individual has been arrested.  Officials say that the incident is not terror-related.

Million mask march to take place in London

Online activist group Anonymous have called for three major marches in London, Washington and the Vatican, and associated demonstrations worldwide, beginning on 5 November.  Participants in London will gather at Harrods and the Palace of Westminster at 09:00 local time, and in Washington at the US Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the headquarters of the FBI from 09:00, also local time.  The group has also called for people to gather and "Occupy the Vatican" on 5 November, where the demonstration will begin at 15:00 local time in St Peter's Square.The Anonymous group are known as an online anti-establishment activist organization who have made cyber-attacks against government agencies, corporations and religious groups.  They host demonstrations annually on 5 November to commemorate the Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes intended to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605.  Heightened security measures and disruption to transport is to be expected in all locations.

Fifteen-year-old boy stabbed to death in Lewisham

A 15-year-old boy was found in a Lewisham street on Thursday night with several stab wounds.  He was rushed to hospital, but died from his injuries.  Officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command were at the scene to establish the circumstances of the incident and the road was sealed off.  No arrests have been made.  

Huge fire breaks out in Mayfair

A huge fire has broken out at a building next to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Mayfair, London.  Six fire engines from Soho, Lambeth and Chelsea and over 40 firefighters are at the scene.  Preliminary reports suggest that the blaze may have started in the extraction system of a restaurant in the basement of the building.

Arron Banks to be investigated over Brexit campaign

The National Crime Agency is to investigate Arron Banks and his campaign to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.  The Electoral Commission has referrred the matter to police on suspicion that Mr Banks was not the true source of some of the loans to the campaign, and that some of the money may have come from "inpermissible sources".  Mr Banks, who is said to be one of the biggest political donors in UK history, has denied any wrongdoing, or any suggestion that Russian funds may have been involved.  Under UK law, loans and donations can only come from permissible sources, excluding overseas or foreign funding to avoid overseas donors influencing British laws and elections. 

Pharmaceutical company to be charged over infant deaths

ITH Pharma Limited, a north London company, is to be charged over the deaths and illnesses of babies at a number of UK hospitals four years ago.  They will face criminal prosecution over the supply of contaminated foodstuffs for premature babies, after three babies died and 20 needed treatment in 2014.  The company will appear in court in December on seven counts of "supplying a medical product not of the nature of quality specified in the prescription".  The company has been further criticized for failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure patients were not infected by contaminants.  ITH Pharma has said that it will vigorously defend the case. 

Medicinal cannabis legal on prescription

With effect from 1 November, patients in the UK can be prescribed medicinal cannabis if it is agreed by a specialist doctor.  The move comes after a summer of campaigning by parents of children with severe epilepsy who have been helped by the drug, which was previously illegal in the UK.  The NHS England guidelines do restrict the use to people who have exhausted all other treatment options, but the benefits have been seen in patients with childhood epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and firbromyalgia.  Prescriptions can only be issued at consultant level, so GPs will not be able to prescribe cannabis-based products.   The Home Secretary has said that the change in the law is "to help patients with exceptional clinical needs, but is in no way a first step to the legislation of cannabis for recreational use".  

Child wounded in Manchester hit-and-run

Two teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, have been arrested after a hit-and-run in Leigh, Greater Manchester - leaving three-year-old Leo Durrington in critical condition. The 16-year-old - believed to have been driving the vehicle - was arrested on Tuesday evening on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to report a collision and failing to stop following a collision. The 15-year-old suspect was arrested in accompaniment. Sergeant Lee Westhead, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said regarding Leo's health: “Leo is still in a critical condition in hospital, and my thoughts are with him and his family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Book of remembrance opens at Leicester Football Club

A book of remembrance has been opened for fans to pay tribute to Leicester Football Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who has been confirmed as one of five people who died in a helicopter crash on Saturday.  Leicester City Hall will also be lit up in blue in his honour.  The Thai businessman was killed in the accident together with two pilots and two employees, as he left the stadium on Saturday after a game.  Thousands of floral tributes have been left outside the King Power Stadium in the city.  

Blackfriars march disrupts traffic in London

On 30 October, a march in the Blackfriars Bridge area of London is causing disruption to transport services.  The demonstration by trade unions to call for improved working conditions in the foster care sector, is part of an ongoing protest called #PrecariousDemo.  

Increase in foot and mouth disease in Liverpool

Medical expert have warned parents in Liverpool to be extra vigilant after a spate of foot and mouth disease in the city.  The illness is most common in children under 10, but can also affect adults.  It is caused by a virus and the symptoms include a temperature, sore throat, red spots on the tongue and a rash on the hands and feet.  The treatment is to maintain hydration and to use paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort, and to wash hands regularly to avoid spreading it to others.  The virus is infectious a few days before symptoms appear, and is passed on through coughing, sneezing and touch. 

Helicopter crashes outside King Power stadium, Leicester

A helicopter carrying the owner of Leicester City Football Club crashed outside the club's stadium on Saturday night. Police confirmed that Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was onboard the helicopter, which came down moments after taking off from the pitch of the King Power Stadium after Leicester played West Ham in the Premier League. Reuters have reported that four other people were onboard alongside Srivaddhanaprabha but this has not been officially confirmed.

Brighton hospitals trust declares tuberculosis outbreak

A tuberculosis outbreak has been declared by the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals trust. The situation is being treated as a serious incident, with the trust running numerous hospitals in Brighton and Haywards Heath. According to the BBC, 321 patients and 745 staff members who may have been in contact with the disease have been contacted, while nearly 400 people have been screened with no active cases identified at the moment. The disease is typically transmitted through prolonged contact with someone who is already infected. Symptoms include severe coughing, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, and fever.

Near-crash reported at London Heathrow

On 23 October, two aircraft had a near-crash while coming in to land at London Heathrow.  According to preliminary reports, a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur was preparing to land when air traffic controllers told the pilots that the runway was still occupied by a Virgin Atlantic flight from Shanghai.  Both planes were able to make safe landings.  The crews, who are believed to have followed all the necessary Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), will be required to file a report to the UK AirProx Board which is the body responsible for the assessment of air proximity incidents with the intention of enhancing air safety.  

Additional 185,000 customers affected in BA's cyber attack

British Airways (BA) has announced that after careful investigations alongside cyber criminal experts and the National Crime Agency (NCA), it has been concluded that an additional 185,000 customers may have been affected in last September's cyber attack. Among them, are 77,000 customer who may have had their name, billing address, and payment card details compromised. BA said that: "The potentially impacted customers were those only making reward bookings between April 21 and July 28, 2018, and who used a payment card". BA said that affected customers would be contacted by 26 October at 17:00 GMT at the latest. In early-September, thousands of BA costumers were affected in a massive data breach.

Kings Cross station evacuated

On 24 October, Kings' Cross station in London was evacuated as a precautionary measure because of a fire alert in the East bound tunnel of the Piccadilly line.  At around 18:00 local time, scores of emergency vehicles were deployed to the scene, and around 5,000 passengers were ushered out of the transport hub.  The station was reopened at around 18:30.

Thousands strike in Glasgow for equal pay

Thousands of women council workers in Glasgow have staged a 48-hour strike from 23 to 25 October to protest at local government's slow response to gender-based pay discrimination.  Hundreds of primary schools, nurseries and care homes were closed as well as cleaning and catering services.  The battle over equal pay has been ongoing since 2016, and although Glasgow City Council have agreed to change the system that favours male roles and pay the women what they are due, the bill will run into millions of pounds.  They say that payment will commence in the next financial year.

Commuters advised not to travel to London Waterloo

A signalling failure between Woking and Surbiton on the South Western Railways (SWR) main line into London, has caused extensive delays on 24 October.  Network Rail has said that engineers are at the scene, but there would be disruption until at least 12:00 local time.  Passengers are advised to seek alternative routes.  SWR services were already affected by the second day of a five-day strike over the role of guards on trains.

French police dismantle Calais migrant camp

French police started a further operation to dismantle makeshift migrant camps at Calais on 23 October.  Around 1,800 people were removed in a bid to prevent people from congregating in the area and attempting illegal crossings into Britain.  The Regional Prefect's office said that the operation was intended to assist vulnerable families and stamp out people trafficking.  Migrants are to be rehoused in shelters in the surrounding regions.

Protests held outside Old Bailey in support of Tommy Robinson

On 23 October, a major police presence is in place as protests are launched outside the Old Bailey in central London in support of far-right English Defence League (EDL) founder, Tommy Robinson.  Robinson was jailed in May for allegedly violating reporting restrictions on a trial at Leeds Crown Court.  He published a facebook video about the case, and the defendants, who have now been jailed for more than 220 years, applied for the jury to be discharged as a result of his behaviour.  This move would have caused the trial to be reheard and cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, but the judge rejected the application. Robinson is today attending a re-hearing over his alleged contempt of court.  Counter-protests are expected and the public are advised to avoid the area.  

Teenager stabbed to death in Greenwich

Police were called to a Greenwich street on Monday evening where a teenager had been stabbed.  The incident happened at around 21:25, and the 18-year-old boy died at the scene.  No arrests have been made and a manhunt is under way, with police appealing for witnesses.

Half a million march to demand a final say on Brexit

More than half a million people joined a march in London to demand a second referendum on the terms of Britain's departure from the EU.  It is the second biggest demonstration this century, behind the 2003 protest against the Iraq War.  Theresa May has already ruled out a second referendum, while she continues to negotiate with Brussels, but is also facing rebellion from her own party over the terms of any deal with the EU.  

Ferry collides with yachts in Cowes harbour

A Red Star ferry that was trying to berth in Cowes Harbour in heavy fog, collided with at least two yachts before grounding.  The Isle of Wight Coastguard received an emergency call on Sunday morning, but the search operation was hindered by poor visibility.  The ferry was refloated with the assistance of tugs and berthed in East Cowes, where passengers and vehicles were able to disembark.  No injuries have been reported.

Theresa May rejects EU proposal on Irish border

On Monday, Theresa May is due to tell parliament that the majority of the Brexit deal is in place, but that she has again rejected the EU proposal for the land border with Northern Ireland.  Apparently 95 percent of the Withdrawal Agreement is in place, but it cannot be signed off until the two sides reach agreement on the Northern Irish backstop, which is an insurance policy to ensure that there will be no return to a hard border if a trading relationship is not agreed in time. 

Woman killed in Harrow gas explosion

On 20 October, a woman was killed and two others were injured in an explosion at a residence in Harrow.  Over 40 people were evacuated from surrounding properties as firefighters battled the resulting blaze.  The fire was finally brought under control at around 03:30 local time.  Investigations are under way, but the cause of the blast is thought to be a gas leak.  

Manchester train services to airport suspended

On Monday morning, all train services between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport (MAN) have been suspended due to a signalling problem.  Tickets are being accepted on Metrolink, and travellers are being advised to leave extra time for their journey.

Thousands to take part in anti-Brexit protest in London

Thousands of people are expected to take to streets of London in a massive anti-Brexit march on Saturday. Campaigners claim that more than 100,000 people are expected to take part in the protest, which is the biggest one to take place since the EU referendum. Members of Parliament and key political figures are set to take part in the demonstration. The march will kick off at 12:00 local time. According to organisers, the march will start on Park Lane and head towards Parliament Square - through Piccadilly, Pall Mall and Whitehall - where protesters are expected to arrive at 14:00.

Man beaten to death in Battersea, London

A 46-year-old man has been beaten to death outside his home in Battersea in south London. According to the BBC, the incident occurred on Charlotte Despard Avenue on Wednesday, when father-of-two Ian Tomlin reportedly approached a group of suspected drug dealers - although this has not been confirmed. Tomlin was allegedly stabbed multiple times in the neck and head,along with suffering various other injuries. Recent reports indicate two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the case.

Two Deutsche Bank traders convicted of fraud

On 17 October, two former Deutsche Bank traders were convicted of fraud in a New York court.  They were involved in the manipulation of the LIBOR  global benchmark interest rate.  The bank has already been forced to pay a fine of $775 million in 2015 for its' role in the scandal worth billions of dollars.  The pair, one British and based in London, and one American national face 30 years in jail, although it is understood that their lawyers intend to appeal the sentence.  The LIBOR is is a global rate of interest that banks expect to pay if they borrow from each other, and is used to value trillions of dollars of global financial transactions annually.  The US Justice Department has charged 12 individuals and pursued massive payouts from several banks amid the six-year scandal.

Preacher Anjem Choudary released from prison

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has been freed from Belmarsh prison, after serving half of his sentence.  The cleric was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2016 for inviting support for Islamic State.   Choudary's early release has received criticism from the general public, amid complaints that the security operation needed to track him will cost around £2 million a year.  The system of serving half of a prison sentence and the remainder on licence applies to prisoners who are given sentences of over two years and was introduced by Parliament and is not something that judges or magistrates can control.

Emergency incident as car collides with chemical tanker

On 17 October, a car collided with a chemical tanker in Grimsby in Yorkshire, which triggered a major response from emergency services.  Two fire engines, two fire brigade staff cars, police and an ambulance attended the scene, although the tanker, which was marked as a carrier for flamable and toxic liquid, was empty.  According to preliminary reports, the tanker was illegally parked when the car rounded a corner and struck it, causing concerns because of the type of contents usually carried by the vehicle.

Hospital protesters appeal to Mayor

NHS campaigners who are protesting in Bolton, have appealed to Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham for support.  The group are comprised of cleaners, porters and caterers and are asking for a pay rise.  They are employed by iFM Bolton, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and are on a separate contractual basis to the rest of the staff at Royal Bolton Hospital, meaning they owe less than NHS staff doing the same jobs.  A spokesman for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said the Mr Burnham would respond in due course.

Cobalt Airlines suspends operations

On 17 October, Cypriot carrier Cobalt Airlines said that all its' flight operations were suspended after it failed to reach a deal with a potential investor.  The airline, which commenced operations in 2016, flew to 23 destinations and, within the UK, operated flights from Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester.  Cypriot Transport Minister, Vasiliki Anastasiadou said that the state would assist all those stranded in Cyprus or overseas.  The news comes after Danish budget carrier Primera Air collapsed earlier this month, and UK regional airline Flybe warned of mounting losses due to weak consumer demand and higher fuel prices.

May announces Brexit transition period could be extended

Theresa May has announced that the Brexit transition period could be extended by several months, mainly to ensure no hard border in Northern Ireland.  The UK is due to leave the bloc in March 2019 and the current plan is for the transition period to end in 2020.  The announcement comes as a summit of EU leaders failed to make progress in reaching an agreement, with Mrs May urging them to give ground to end the Brexit deadlock.  She said that she does not expect the additional transition period to be used, and hoped that a future relationship would be in place by the original date of December 2020.  Parliament would need to agree any extension and Mrs May may face a rebellion if she tries to implement it.

Theresa May to address the EU27

The Prime Minister heads to Brussels today to address the EU27 ahead of their pre-summit dinner, but UK officials are playing down the prospect of any breakthrough in Brexit talks.  The Irish border in particular remains a stumbling block in negotiations, with suggestions of a two-tier "backstop", which is a safety net setting out proposals for customs arrangements if a permanent deal is not reached by March 2019 when the UK leaves the bloc.  If a deal is not completed until December or January, there will be very little time to ratify any agreement in the domestic parliaments across the EU, including the House of Commons.

Paddington station closed due to electrical damage

On Wednesday 17 October, Paddington Station in London was closed after a Hitachi train had caused damage to electrical wires during a test.  The problem was sufficiently serious to affect all operations in and out of the London hub, inclluding the Heathrow Express and Great Western Railway services to the capital.  Network Rail said that they expect the disruption to lasts all day, but engineers were working to fix the damaged lines, and hope to have at least two of the four lines working by midday.  Great Western Railway said that most services will be starting and terminating at Reading, and passengers are allowed to use their tickets to travel from Reading to Waterloo, but that severe overcrowding is to be expected.  Passengers are advised to check the Network Rail website before travelling.

Three killed after car drives wrong way on M40

Three people were killed on Monday afternoon when a car towing a caravan drove the wrong way along the M40 motorway in south Oxfordshire, crashing into two cars.  Those killed were the driver and passenger of the car towing the caravan and 34-year-old man.  The incident happened at about 16:00 local time and the motorway was shut for several hours with traffic queued back for 14 miles

Serious delays reported on M25

A serious traffic accident on the M25 late on Monday night has caused the closure of the M25 in an anti-clockwise direction at junction 28, where the motorway joins A12 and the M11.  The incident, which involved a lorry and two cars, caused huge tailbacks, with some vehicles trapped on the motorway until 05:00. Highways England said that the carriageway would remain closed through the morning rush-hour on Tuesday, causing further problems.

Low visibility affects all London airports

On 16 October, Eurocontrol reported that airports across London are being affected by low visibility.  Severe delays have been reported at London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), London Luton (LTN) and London City Airport (LCY).  The impact on flights is expected to last until early afternoon.

Delays reported on Eurostar service

On Monday 15 October delays and cancellations were reported on Eurostar trains, due to a freight service which has broken down in the Tunnel.  On 14 October there were delays to the service due to a signalling fault at Paris Gare du Nord.  

Welsh clean-up begins amid fresh flood alerts

Fresh flood alerts have been issued across parts of the UK on Monday with rain expected across the south and parts of central England.  Meanwhile, Wales begins a clean-up operation after the worst floods in the country in 30 years.  In Carmarthen, a 21-year-old man was killed when he was washed away in a freak landslide on Saturday while getting off a bus, while a 32-year-old man died in the swollen Penarth marina in Cardiff.  The rivers Towy and Teifi in West Wales burst their banks on Sunday, sending torrents of water rushing into towns and villages.  

Brexit Secretary meets Barnier for last minute talks

On 14 October, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab met Michel Barnier in Brussels for last-minute negotiations. Later this week, a European Council meeting will take place, and several big issues such as the Northern Ireland border issue remain unresolved, prompting the face-to-face talks.

DLR disruption affects travel to London City Airport

A signal failure has caused severe disruption to DLR train services on Monday morning, including the route to London City Airport (LCY).  Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey, and that tickets are being accepted on London Underground and local buses.

Multiple crashes on M25 cause severe delays

On Monday 15 October, several traffic accidents have caused severe delays on the M25 in Kent.  Queues of up to 12 miles in length have been reported on the clockwise carriageway, as well as heavy congestion at the Dartford Crossing.

Rail services to Manchester Airport disrupted

On 12 October, rail services through Manchester Oxford Road towards Manchester Airport (MAN) were disrupted because of a signalling fault at Deansgate.  Passengers are advised to seek alternative routes to the airport, including the Metrolink, and to allow extra time for their journey.

WannaCry cyber attack cost NHS £100 million

The Department of Health has revealed that the global WannaCry cyber attack which took place in May 2017 cost the National Health Service (NHS) almost £100 million.  The attack disrupted computer operations at up to 80 trusts and affected around 8 percent of the country's GP practices.  The losses relate to lost output and IT costs to restore data and systems.  The NHS has been criticized for being "unprepared",  and almost 19,000 appointments were cancelled.  The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said that it has agreed £150 million investment in cyber security within the next three years.

Protests outside museum hosting Saudi embassy event

On 11 October, activists gathered outside the Natural History Museum in London as a Saudi embassy reception was held there.  The protests centre around the sudden disappearance and possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul.  Global pressure on Saudi Arabia has grown in the days since Mr Khashoggi's disappearance, with Turkish sources alleging that the journalist was killed by a 15-man squad sent from Saudi Arabia.  

Rail disruption reported during morning rush hour

On Friday 12 October, Brixton station was evacuated at around 07:35 local time, due to a "small track fire".  There was also disruption on the Victoria and Jubilee lines in separate fire alerts, while London Overground was part suspended between Surrey Quays and New Cross because of a signal failure at Whitechapel.  

Disruption at Bristol Airport likely due to adverse weather

A weather warning has been issued for Bristol Airport (BRS) due to the approach of Storm Callum on 12 October.  Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling.

Disruption at Belfast International Airport likely

An adverse weather warning may affect Belfast International Airport (BFS) as Storm Callum approaches the UK on 12 October.  Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling.

Rush hour rail chaos due to separate incidents

Thousands of commuters were evacuated from Chiswick Park and Earl's Court stations in two separate incidents on Thursday morning.  At Chiswick Park, a man jumped in front of a train and pronounced dead at the scene, while at Earl's Court, a man was seen running on the tracks.  Staff were able to turn off the power before he touched the live rails, but an air ambulance was called to treat him.  Passengers took to social media to complain that their evacuation had been hampered by people taking photos.  

Adverse weather warnings for Oban, Argyll and Bute

The Meteorological Office has forecasted further heavy rain and strong winds for Friday and Saturday, after the Oban, Argyll and Bute areas already suffered disruption due to flash flooding earlier in the week.  The yellow warning warns of danger to life from flying objects and debris.  Road, rail and air traffic is likely to be disrupted, and people are being advised to avoid coastal areas due to the risk of high waves.  

Barnier says a Brexit deal is within reach

On Wednesday, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that a Brexit deal with the UK is "within reach", and could be achieved by 17 October.

Yellow weather warnings for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Yellow weather warnings have been issued on for Wales, Northern Ireland and western Scotland from 12 to 14 October as Storm Callum approaches.  The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds, and residents and visitors are warned of possible travel disruptions.

Spider infestation forces further school closures

A total of seven London schools have now been closed as authorities battle to control an infestation of false-widow spiders.  Four primary schools and three secondary schools are affected and may be closed for up to a month as buildings are fumigated.  False widow spiders are the most dangerous spider species in the UK, and their bites can be painful and even fatal in rare cases.

Second Novichok suspect identified as military doctor

UK-based investigative website Bellingcat said this week that it has identified the second suspect in the Salisbury Novichok poisoning as a military intelligence officer and doctor.  They also allege that the man was presented with a prestigious award by Vladimir Putin himself in 2014.  London's Metropolitan Police said that they had enough evidence to charge the two suspects who are now believed to be Dr Alexander Mischkin and Mr Anatoliy Chepiga, with attempted murder.  The two were captured on CCTV in the Salisbury area on the day of the poisoning, having travelled to the UK under false passports.  Last Thursday, four GRU officers were exposed for trying and failing to hack into the Chemical Weapons laboratory in the Netherlands which was investigating the Salisbury poisonings.  Vladimir Putin has denied any involvement in the incident, saying the two men involved were in the UK as "tourists".  

Marylebone station closed after incident

Marylebone station was evacuated on at 06:50 on Wednesday morning, after a passenger fell onto the tracks on the Bakerloo tube line there.  Unconfirmed reports suggest that the man was trying to reach his jacket which had fallen onto the line.  The station was reopened after emergency services had left the scene.

Government prevents return of IS militants

The government has refused to allow seven individuals who fought for Islamic State to return to the UK.  After being captured, they are being held on the Turkey-Syria border by a Free Syrian Army group and the Syrian Democratic Forces.  Five of the militants have British citizenship, while the other two have had their citizenship revoked.

Uber drivers striking in London, Birmingham and Nottingham

On 9 October, Uber drivers are to strike in London, Birmingham and Nottingham from 13:00 local time.  The drivers, who are members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will protest at Uber offices to call for an increase in fares and a reduction in commissions paid to the company. 

Signal failure causes delay on multiple tube lines

A signal failure at Edgware Road has caused delays on the District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines on Tuesday morning.  In addition a fire alert at Kenton has caused disruption on the Bakerloo line.  Passengers have been advised that tickets can be used on London buses as an alternative route.

Heathrow Airport fined for data leak

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has fined Heathrow Airport £120,000 over an incident where a member of the public found a data stick containing sensitive data, and handed it to a national newspaper.  The USB stick was neither encrypted, nor password protected.  The data leak, which happened in October 2017, included information about the Queen's travel plans, personal information of 10 people, and details of 500 security staff.  The subsequent investigation found that only 2 percent of the Airport's 6,500 workforce had been trained in data protection.  Heathrow's own investigation revealed that the data had been compiled by an employee involved in security training, and lost during the commute to work.  

Three police officers injured in Islington brawl

On Sunday night, three police officers received knife wounds after a brawl at a house in Islington, London.  The emergency services were called at around 22:45 local time with reports of a fight at a house in Liverpool Road.  The officers were met with hostility, and in the course of making three arrests, three police officers were stabbed.  London Mayor Sadiq Khan has blamed government cut-backs for the rise in knife crime in the capital.  

Police officer deliberately mown down in Leicester

Police in Leicster were called to an altercation in the city in the early hours of Friday.  Four men were arrested over the initial incident, but an officer carrying out enquiries was deliberately mown down by a car, which then left the scene.  The victim was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.  Preliminary reports suggest that the two incidents may be related, and police are seeking the driver of the vehicle.

Four London schools closed due to spider infestation

Four schools in Newham, east London have been closed because of an infestation of false-widow spiders.  The two primary and two secondary schools will be closed for at least a week and possibly up to a month, causing problems for working parents in the area.  Newham council said that the closures were essential to treat the problem "before eggs start hatching".  False widow spiders are the UK's most poisonous spiders and are named because they are similar in appearance to the killer black widow spider.  Their bite can be very painful, and could be fatal to the young or vulnerable.

Two men arrested in Belfast dissident investigation

Two men were arrested in Belfast on Thursday on suspicion of violent dissident republican activity.  A number of residences in the north and west of Belfast were undertaken, and the men were detained under the terrorism act.  

Two dead after chemical incident at Norfolk chicken factory

Two sub-contractors working for a pest-control company have died after a "chemical incident" at a Norfolk chicken factory on 4 October.  Emergency crews were called to the site of Banham Poultry in Attleborough shortly after 01:00 local time, where the men were found.  Fire crews in protective clothing attended the scene, together with police and representatives of the Health and Safety Executive.  The site has been cordoned off as an investigation begins.  The incident comes just hours after it was revealed that the factory is to close with the loss of 1,000 jobs unless a buyer can be found.  The factory processes 650,000 chickens a week.  

South Western Rail and tube strikes on 5 October

On Friday 5 October, the RMT union train guards are striking for 48 hours, which will affect South Western Railway (SRW) services, including those to Waterloo.  On the same day, Aslef union drivers are also striking, affecting the Central and Waterloo & City tube lines.  The industrial action has been condemned by the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses, London First and the London Chamber of Commerce for the disruption they will cause to commuters.  The strikes follow four days of disruption on the Piccadilly line last week. 

Protest in Glasgow city centre over soldier suicides

A number of ex-armed forces personnel and families protested on 5 October outside the Army recruitment office in Glasgow city centre, to protest about the high level of suicide in soliders.  Scotland has been hit with an epidemic of soldier suicides with six in August alone.  Veterans Minister Graeme Dey has admitted that more needs to be done to help soldiers and ex-soldiers with mental health problems, many of whom suffer from PTSD.

Delays at London airports due to low visibility

Eurocontrol are reporting significant delays to flight operations at all London airports due to low visibility.  Passengers are advised that travel may be subject to delay or cancellations and to contact their airline for further information.  

Coroner announces verdict on Westminster attack victims

The coroner at the inquest into the victims of the Westminster attack has found that the five deceased were "unlawfully killed".  In addition, he said that the terror attack could "possibly" have been prevented if armed officers had been posted nearby.  

Prime Minister announces end of austerity

British Prime Minister Theresa May has declared the end of the government's austerity policy, a decade after the financial crisis.  The statement was made as part of her speech at the annual Tory Part Conference in Birmingham.

Foreign Secretary accuses Russia of cyber attacks

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the Russian military intelligence unit GRU is behind a recent wave of global cyber attacks.  He denounced the "indiscriminate and reckless" attacks against political institutions and businesses, and added that the attacks were an attempt to undermine normal life and interfere in elections.  The Australian authorities have joined the UK in their criticism of Russia.  Early in 2018, the UK , the United States and Australia accused Russia for the NotPetya global malware attacks, and Russia has also been blamed for the Novichok poisoning attack in Salisbury that resulted in the death of a resident.  President Vladimir Putin has denied all allegations.

Delays reported at all London airports

Delays were reported at all London airports on Thursday morning, due to adverse weather conditions and heavy fog.  Flight operations to and from London Gatwick (LGW), Luton (LTN), Stansted (STN), London City (LCY) and London Heathrow (LHR) are affected.

London Underground workers to strike on 5 October

Tube drivers are due to stage a 24-hour strike on the Central and Waterloo & City lines on 5 October, causing chaos for commuters.  Alternative means of transport are likely to be subjected to overcrowding.  The Central line runs from Essex to the west running through the City.  Passengers are advised to find alternative routes or to avoid travelling.

Three stabbed in Birmingham city centre

Three people were stabbed on Tuesday afternoon in Birmingham city centre, when a fight broke out as a large group of youths gathered in the area.  The incident happened at around 17:45 local time, despite heightened security measures in the city for the Conservative Party Conference.  Meanwhile, in a separate incident in London, a knifeman was arrested at around 18:30 following a stabbing on the London Overground.  Hundreds of passengers were forced to flee from Hackney Central station while police cordoned off the area.  The incidents happened amid criticism for Prime Minister Theresa May over a comment that reduced police numbers were not responsible for the wave of violent crime in Britain.

Broken down train blocks services to Manchester Airport

A broken down train blocked services between Manchester Picadilly and Manchester airport during the morning rush hour on 3 October.  The resulting disruption affected Northern and First Transpennine Express services and caused delays of up to 30 minutes.  The line was reopened at around 07:30 local time. 

Delays to affect Greater Anglia trains

On 3 October there are cancellations and delays on Greater Anglia rail services because of overnight engineering services that have over-run.  The stations affected are Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree, Shenfield, Southend Victoria, Southminster, Wickford and London Liverpool Street.

Tesco Bank to pay £16.4 m fine over 2016 cyber attack

On 1 October, Tesco Bank said that they would pay a £16.4 million fine as part of a settlement to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over a major cyber attack in 2016.  The FCA said that the fine was punitive because the company had received specific warnings about the issue that led to the breach, but had failed to address it until the attack had already begun.  They added that the incident  was "largely avoidable", and the fine indicates that the FCA "has no tolerance for banks that fail to protect customers from forseeable risks".  The attackers netted £2.26 million during the 48 hour incident in November 2016.  However, the FCA added that Tesco Bank had, following the attack, implemented a "comprehensive redress" programme, and devoted resources to improving the deficiencies that left the bank vulnerable.   The Chief Executive of Tesco Bank has apologised to customers.  

Forty injured after irritant used in Bournemouth nightclub

Forty people had to receive medical attention after an irritant was released at the Cameo nightclub in Bournemouth.  The premises were evacuated, and according to preliminary reports, the substance was beleived to be tear gas.

Man stabbed in the face on Central Line train

An altercation on a Central Line tube train in East London led to one man being stabbed in the face in the early  hours of Sunday.  The attacker left the train at Mile End, and police are seeking help in identifying him from CCTV footage.  The victim was helped off the train at Bethnal Green where he was treated by paramedics.  

Weymouth homes evacuated due to garage fire

On 30 September, around 100 homes had to be evacuated as a precaution due to a fire at a nearby garage.  Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said that homes within a 100-metre radius of the blaze were evacuated because of the presence of acetylene cylinders which were in danger of exploding in the flames.  Local guest houses and hotels assisted the families who were forced to leave their homes at around 05:00 local time.  

Two women stabbed to death in Hadlow, Kent

Police were called to a property in Hadlow, in Kent, early on Saturday morning, where three people were found to have suffered serious injuries consistent with a stabbing.  A man was detained near to the scene.  The two female victims who died were aged in their 50s and 70s, and a man in his 70s was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.  Police have not named the victims but it is believed that the suspect lived in the same street.

M25 closed clockwise due to major crash

A 13-mile stretch of the M25 has been closed on Monday morning, following a crash in which nine people were injured.  The closure between Junctions 13 and 12 affects traffic to both Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport.  Motorists were advised of delays of at least 60 minutes, and to seek alternative routes if possible.

Head teachers to march on Downing Street

Around 1,000 head teachers are expected to march on Downing Street on Friday in an unprecedented protest over funding. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said that £2.8 billion has been cut from school budgets since 2015, and that the number of secondary schools running at a loss had trebled in four years.  In contrast, the Department of Education says that schools have never been so well funded and that changes due to be introduced in 2020 will ensure better funding for smaller cash-strapped schools. 

HSBC mobile banking app crashes

HSBC are experiencing problems with their mobile banking app, on what will be pay-day for millions of people.  A spokesman said that they are investigating the problem and hope to resume normal service as soon as possible.  The incident follows a spate of failures for digital services at major banks, while record numbers of branches are being closed on the grounds of online popularity. 

Delays to rail services through Woolwich Dockyard

Commuters have been advised to expect delays of around 20 minutes through Woolwich Dockyard on Friday morning, after a fire.  Trains were unable to run from Greenwich and Blackheath, although London-bound trains were unaffected.  The disruption was expected to continue until 09:00.

M40 closed in both directions near Warwick after serious crash

A crash between a lorry and a car in the early hours of Friday morning resulting in a fire has forced the closure of the M40 between Junctions 15 and 16 near Warwick.  Emergency services and fire crews were immediately sent to the scene, and the northbound carriageway is likely to be closed for the remainder of the morning.  In a separate lorry fire, the southbound lanes between Junctions 15 and 16 are also closed.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area completely and seek alternative routes.

Novichock poisoning suspect potentially identified as Russian Colonel

An investigative website has suggested that one of the suspects in the Novichock poisoning case has been identified as a decorated colonel in Russian military intelligence, who once received an award from Vladimir Putin.  The suggestion comes despite Russia denying any involvement in the incident which took place in March and which caused a huge international diplomatic row, including the expulsion of diplomats.  On Wednesday, Theresa May addressed world leaders at the United Nations and criticised Russia for its' "desperate fabrication" over the Salisbury spy poisoning, and accusing the country of "flagrantly breaching international norms with the reckless use of chemical weapons on the streets of Britain by agents of the GRU".  

Huge tailbacks on M6 northbound due to pedestrian collision

There was a seven mile tailback on the M6 northbound on Thursday morning, due to a crash between a lorry and a pedestrian near the Keele services in North Staffordshire at around 06:30.  One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The carriageway between Junctions 15 and 16 has been closed, and is likely to remain out of service for the remainder of the morning.  Diversions are currently in place using the A500.

Delays at Heathrow due to problem with information screens

On 27 September, Heathrow Airport reported a technical problem with their information screen system.  Passengers were requested to use the website or app to keep updated, and extra staff were available to assist.  Two weeks ago Bristol Airport blamed a cyber attack for their departure screens failing and being inoperable for two days.  

Two deaths reported at Manchester hotel

Police were called at 05:30 on Wednesday amid reports of a man who had apparently fallen to his death from the Britannia Hotel in Manchester.  Further investigations revealed the body of a second man in one of the hotel rooms.  Silver Street in the city centre will remain closed for the remainder of the day.

Heathrow underground strikes to cause disruption

Strikes on the underground line serving Heathrow Airport are likely to cause severe disruption this week.  Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union will launch a 48 hour walkout from noon on Wednesday 26 September as well as a five hour strike from 20:30 on Friday. Transport for London (TfL) warned there will be little or no service after talks between the two parties at the conciliation service ACAS collapsed without agreement.  

Traffic accident causes major delays in Piccadilly

On Wednesday morning, a traffic collision in Stratton Street, Piccadilly caused road closures in the area affecting a number of bus routes and including the closure of the Piccadilly Underpass.  Emergency services are on the scene.  

Flood warnings follow Storm Bronagh

Flood warnings and alerts have been issued in the aftermath of Storm Bronagh hitting parts of the UK last night. The storm brought heavy wind and rain to Britain overnight, causing widespread travel disruption and flooding. According to the BBC, gusts of up to 65mph were recorded at Capel Curig in Snowdonia, while Sennybridge in Powys saw 74mm of rain within 24 hours. A Met Office yellow wind warning remains in place over much of the UK until 18:00 BST. Further weather warnings are expected to come into effect on Sunday morning.

Banks hit by technical glitch

NatWest and RBS banks have been hit by a technical glitch which prevented some customers from accessing their accounts online. The RBS Group , which owns the RBS, NatWest, and Ulster Bank brands, reported that the IT issue had been resolved this morning, stating that the failure was caused by a technical glitch in a regular update to their firewall which was applied in the early hours of Friday morning. According to the BBC, the issue was resolved by reversing the update. The RGS Group apologised to customers and was keen to emphasise that the problem was purely an "access issue" and that no customer data was compromised.

Storm Bronagh to bring adverse weather across the UK

Adverse weather conditions are forecast to hit large areas of the UK on Thursday evening as Storm Bronagh approaches. Strong winds and heavy rainfall are forecast to affect Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England. Travel delays are highly likely to affect most parts of the UK territory throughout Friday. The MetOffice has issued yellow warnings to most regions. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the MetOffice.

Amber wind warning issued to Northern Ireland

An amber wind warning has been issued to Northern Ireland by the Met Office as Storm Ali hits the British Isles. According to the BBC, winds of 91mph have been recorded in Killowen, County Down, threatening damage to buildings and widespread travel disruption. An estimated 65,000 homes across Northern Ireland are thought to be without power due to the storm, while the Belfast City Council and the Derry City and Strabane District Council have both closed public spaces.

Storm Ali sparks 'major incident' in Dumfries and Galloway

A 'major incident' has been declared in Dumfries and Galloway as emergency personnel respond to various incidents brought about by Storm Ali. A yellow wind warning has been issued by the Met Office, covering the entirety of Scotland, while an amber wind warning has been issued to parts of southern Scotland and northern England. According to the BBC, Glasgow Airport has cancelled a number of flights, while ScotRail has advised against all but essential travel, with a number of train services suspended due to debris and trees on the track or damaged overhead wiring. A freight train derailed on the Highland Main Line after hitting fallen branches - no casualties have been reported.

Storm Ali causes flight delays at Heathrow

The arrival of Storm Ali to the British Isles has caused significant travel disruption across much of England. EuroControl reported on Wednesday that flight delays had been caused at London Heathrow Airport due to strong winds brought in by the storm. All flight operations are currently being regulated due to crosswinds on the runways. Passengers have been advised to contact their respective airlines for specific flight information.

Car hits pedestrians outside London mosque

On Wednesday, British police reported that two people had been taken to hospital after being hit on a pedestrian crossing outside a mosque in north-west London.  According to preliminary reports, the occupants of the car had been moved on from a car park for anti-social behaviour, and were heard to make racist comments before driving off, striking the victims on the crossing.  The incident which happened just after midnight, is thought to be a racist event rather than terror-related.

British and French reach a deal over scallop fishing

British and French fisherman have reached a deal over scallop fishing in the English Channel, which saw boats colliding and angry rows breaking out in August.  French rules prevent scallop fishing between May and October, but British boats have no restrictions, leading the French to accuse their competitors of depleting stocks.  Under the terms of the new deal, UK scallop dredgers over 15 metres long will stop fishing off Normandy for six weeks in return for additional fishing rights in the Irish Sea.  Smaller British boats will not be affected.  The UK scallop industry is worth around £120 million, with much of the catch exported to France.

Two stabbed in Brighton park

On 17 September, two men were stabbed in a brawl in a park in Brighton.  The incident happened at around 11:45 local time, and police arrested three men at the scene on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.  They are appealing to the public for witnesses. 

Teeager stabbed in Yorkshire gang attack

A teenager was seriously injured on Monday when he was chased by a gang along a residential street and stabbed in the back.  The incident happened in Sheepridge, West Yorkshire in the afternoon, and witnesses reported that the three attackers were wearing balaclavas.  The Neighbourhood Policing Team said that they would be increasing patrols to provide reassurance and to address any concerns from local residents.  

May says Brexit choice is her deal or no deal

Theresa May has said that British MPs will have a choice of accepting her Chequers deal, or leaving the EU with no deal.  The UK is set to leave the bloc on 29 March 2019, with negotiations continuing until that date, and key matters such as the Irish border still unresolved.  Mrs May made the announcement amid rising tensions inside her party, with about 50 European Research Group Tory MPs openly discussing how and when they could force her to stand down as Prime Minister.

Police involved as two fall ill at Salisbury restaurant

Two people, one of them Russian, were hospitalised on Sunday after falling ill while eating at a restaurant in Salisbury.  Wiltshire Police said that there was nothing to suggest that the incident involved poisoning, or that a crime had been committed, but the restaurant and the surrounding area was cordoned off as a precautionary measure.  Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent in the city in March, sparking a diplomatic row with Russia.  The victims survived, but a local resident died after coming into contact with the same nerve agent contained in a perfume bottle which had been discarded in a park.  Two Russian men, who have been identified as military intelligence officers, have been charged in absentia with attempted murder, but the Kremlin denies any involvement, and insists the men were merely "innocent tourists" when they were captured on CCTV in Salisbury.  

Several injured in Luton street brawl

A number of people were injured with stab wounds after a brawl in Luton. Police were called to a residential street with reports of dozens of people brawling and weapons being used.  There was also a report of an acid attack in the town.

Bristol Airport hit by IT issues

Technical problems have meant that Bristol Airport is functioning without flight information screens on Friday morning, forcing staff to use whiteboards and announcements to call flights in the absence of working electronic screens.  Whilst flights are not directly affected, passengers are advised to arrive early for their flights to avoid any possible delay to departures.

Seven-vehicle crash on M5 kills two

A man and a woman were killed on Thursday in a seven-vehicle collision on the M5 in Somerset.  Emergency services were called to the accident on the southbound carriageway at junction 24 near Huntworth just after 08:30 local time.  The female driver of one car and a male passenger in another were killed and four others were taken to hospital.  The M5 was closed in both directions for several hours causing disruption to traffic.

Salisbury poisoning suspects claim to be tourists

The two men who are the prime suspects in the Salisbury poisoning case have given an interview to Russian state-funded media channel RT, claiming that they were only in the UK town as tourists.  President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that the two men are "civilians" and not connected to the Russian military intelligence service GRU, as claimed by the British government.  

Norovirus outbreak strikes two Exeter schools

Two Exeter schools have seen an outbreak of Norovirus, affecting at least 45 children.  Westclyst and Broadclyst Primary Schools are working with Public Health England to manage the outbreak in Devon, whilst it is understood that other schools may also be affected.  Norovirus, which is known as the "winter vomiting bug", is highly contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea.  

British man tortured in suspected gang attack

A British man has been hospitalized after he was attacked shortly after his arrival in Marbella on Saturday.  The victim was shot, stabbed, had his kneecaps broken and his face cut and remains in a serious condition, but police said he is not cooperating with them.  Investigators are working on the theory that he was tortured as a "warning" by members of a crime gang.  The incident comes just days after another Briton was shot dead by armed police after firing at them when they called at his hotel after a minor car accident.

Jet2 flight makes emergency landing at Manchester

On 12 September, a Jet2 flight from Leeds to Paphos, Cyprus, had to make an emergency landing at Manchester Airport (MAN) because of a hydraulic failure.  The aircraft landing safely and passengers were transferred to another flight to continue their journey.  

Electronics ban lifted on Turkish flights

On 11 September, the UK  Department for Transport announced that the restrictions on carrying large mobile phones, tablets and laptops in the cabin of an aircraft to or from Istanbul Ataturk and Dalaman Airport in Turkey, are no longer in force.  The ban was introduced in March 2017 due to security fears.  Passengers should contact their airline for further information.

Second confirmed case of monkeypox in UK

On 11 September it was confirmed that a second person has tested positive for monkeypox in Blackpool, Lancashire.  The patient has been transferred to Royal Liverpool Hospital's Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit.  The first case was diagnosed in Cornwall on 8 September.  Both individuals had visited Nigeria recently where they are believed to have contracted the disease.  Health authorities are contacting other individuals who may have come into contact with the two affected people, in order to provide health advice, but said that the risk to the wider public is very low.  Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, similar to smallpox, which can be transmitted via close contact.  It is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks, but severe respiratory illness and even death can occur.

Putin says Salisbury poisoning suspects identified

According to press reports, President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has identified two men suspected of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.  No further information is available at this time.  

Woman stabbed in south-east London street

A woman in her 20s has been airlifted to hospital after being stabbed multiple times in the street in Greenwich, south-east London this morning.  According to preliminary reports, the woman had been stabbed in the back.  Police arrived quickly at the scene at around 09:30 local time and closed local roads, but it is thought no arrests have been made.

One injured in Barnsley knife attack

Officers were called to a busy shopping area of Barnsley on Saturday morning, amid reports that a woman armed with a large kitchen knife had stabbed someone in the shoulder.  The woman then walked through busy shopping parades, before being confronted by a market trader who has been hailed as a hero. The woman was arrested and a large kitchen knife was seized.  Local shops and roads were closed for around an hour after the incident. Police investigations are under way and the public are advised that there is likely to be an increased police presence in the town for the next few days.  South Yorkshire Police said that the suspect was a 28-year-old woman from Isleworth.  She has been charged with attempted murder and possession of ah offensive weapon, and the authorities reported that the attack was not terror-related.

Boris Johnson compares May's Brexit to a suicide vest

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson has compared Theresa May's Brexit plan to a "suicide vest" with EU negotiator Michel Barnier "handed the detonator".  The statement appeared in the Mail newspaper and comes as the government proceeds with the final stages of the Brexit negotiations.  Critics said that Mr Johnson is seeking a leadership position for himself.  

Holidaymaker dies on flight to Ibiza

On 8 September, a passenger became unwell on a Jet2 flight from Manchester to Ibiza, forcing the aircraft to be diverted to Toulouse in southern France.  Although he was given CPR on board, and medical services attended to him on arrival in France, nothing could be done to save the man's life. Witnesses said that he was in his 30s, and was believed to have taken drugs during the flight.  

Four injured in A30 motorcycle crash

A serious accident on the A30 in Cornwall involving several motorbikes resulted in four people being injured, and one of them being airlifted to hospital. More than 1,000 motorbikes had taken to the road to celebrate an annual charity run when the accident happened at around 14:00 local time on Sunday.  The road was closed to allow an air ambulance to land, and then to complete an investigation, re-opening around two hours later. 

UN Security Council backs UK poisoning accusations

At a meeting of the UN Security Council called to discuss the Salisbury poisoning, the US, France, Germany and Canada agreed with the UK's assessment that the Russian government "almost certainly" had approved the attack, and urged Russia to provide full disclosure.  Russia dismissed the evidence as "lies".  

British Airways apologizes for data breach

The Chief Executive of British Airways (BA) has apologised for what he described as a "sophisticated, malicious criminal attack" of the company's security system.  Alex Cruz said that the personal and financial details of around 380,000 customers who had booked flights between certain dates had been compromised.  Customers affected will be notified by BA and should then contact their bank for further instructions.

Britain to confront Russia over Salisbury poisoning

Britain has called a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to update council members on the Salisbury poisoning in March.  The announcement comes as two Russian nationals were named as suspects in the case.  They are thought to be Russian intelligence officers, and that therefore the attack was approved at a high level.  The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the incident, and a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry said that the names of the men "mean nothing to us".  The Crown Prosecution Service has said that there is sufficient evidence to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with attempted murder but as Russia does not extradite its' own nationals, it was unlikely that a prosecution would go ahead.

Off-duty policeman stabbed in Birmingham

A man, believed to be an off-duty policeman, was stabbed in an attempted car-jacking in Great Barr Birmingham on Wednesday.  According to witnesses, the perpetrator demanded the keys to the car, and when the victim tried to run away, he stabbed him.  He sustained injuries that were neither life-threatening nor life-changing, but was transported to hospital by ambulance.  The attacker escaped in another vehicle with an accomplice and police have launched an investigation.

Arrest warrant issued for Russain suspects in Novichok case

Two Russian nationals have been identified as suspects in the Salisbury case of Novichok poisoning that targeted Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.  European arrest warrants have been issued for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov who are both around 40 years old.  The charges include conspiracy to murder the Skripals and a policeman, use and possession of Novichok contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act and causing grievous bodily harm.  The announcement comes after authorities confirmed that the toxic chemical that killed Dawn Sturgess in Amesbury three months later was the same nerve agent that was used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal.  The incident sparked an international diplomatic row with the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from several countries and a tit-for-tat response from Russia, who have always denied involvement.

Watford teenager charged with making international bomb threats

A 19-year-old man appeared in court on 4 September charged with making bomb threats to thousands of UK schools which saw 400 of them evacuated in March.  He has also admitted sending mass emails to schools in the US claiming that pipe bombs had been planted on the premises.  In addition, he is charged with making a hoax telephone call claiming that a United Airlines flight from the UK to San Francisco was being hijacked last month, while he was on bail for the school bomb threats.  Sentencing will take place at Luton Crown Court on 21 September.

Teenager stabbed in north London

An 18-year-old boy was in critical condition on Tuesday night, after he was stabbed multiple times in Islington.  Police were called to an altercation in the street, and found the victim with stab wounds.  Police are seeking a group of suspects but not arrests have been made.  Section 60 stop and search powers have been authorised for the area in an attempt to prevent further violence.  

Three injured in West London suspected acid attack

Three people have been injured in Notting Hill when they were sprayed with a "noxious substance" on the afternoon of 4 September.  Paramedics and firefighters were dispatched to the scene but it was not clear what substance had been used in the attack as no elevated chemical readings were detected.  The three victims were employees of a shop who had approached a man they suspected of shoplifting.  Two were treated at the scene for skin irritations, and the third was taken to hospital with burns.  No arrests have been made.  

Labour to vote on anti-semitism definition

The Labour Party is to vote on whether to adopt the internationally recognised anti-semitism definition in its' new code of conduct.  The party had previously said it would adopt the definition, but missed out several key elements, leading to a row that has engulfed the party for months.  

Fire reported at Dagenham primary school

Emergency services were called to a Dagenham primary school at around 04:50 on Tuesday, with around 80 firefighters deployed at the scene.  Twelve fire engines were operating at the scene, which was brought under control after several hours.  The 500 pupil school was due to reopen on Wednesday.  

Three arrested in West London for funding terrorism

Three people, all women and including a 16-year-old girl, were arrested on Tuesday in West London on suspicion of funding terrorism.  They remain in police custody while further investigations are carried out.


Huge blaze destroys Littlewoods Pools building in Liverpool

The Littlewoods Pools building in Liverpool was engulfed by fire on Sunday.  The blaze started at around 20:00, and Merseyside Fire Service deployed 50 firefighters and six fire engines, taking several hours to get the fire under control.  The iconic building was part of Sir John Moore's Littlewoods empire which included weekly football pools as well as high street stores.  A number of redevelopment plans for the building which has been empty since 2003, had fallen through, but plans had recently been announced for a major new complex including film and TV studios as a northern base for Twickenham studios.  Investigations are under way to find the cause of the blaze.

Woman stabbed in North London street

A woman in her 20s was stabbed in Caledonian Road, North London on Saturday morning.  She was taken to hospital by air ambulance where it is understood that her injuries are not life-threatening.  Roads were closed off, including access to and from King's Cross, and later in the day a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.  A knife crime epidemic has hit the capital this year, with more than 100 murder investigations launched so far.  

WW2 grenade found in Norwich

On 2 September, a magnet fisher in Norwich found an unexploded World War II grenade.  Police were called and bomb disposal experts safely detonated the device.

Delays expected at Gatwick until early afternoon

A Virgin Atlantic flight that developed steering issues while still in flight made a safe emergency landing at Gatwick on Friday morning, but blocked the runway, temporarily cancelling all arrivals and departures.  Although the runway was later reopened, some delays and disruptions are possible until early afternoon.

Man arrested for Birmingham murders

A 21-year-old man has been arrested under suspicion of the murder of a mother and daughter in Solihull on Bank Holiday Monday.  The detention comes amid a three day manhunt for the man who is the ex-boyfriend of the younger victim. The two women were stabbed outside their home and the incident attracted criticism of the police because they were apparently on the telephone with the police at the time of the attack.

Further strike action affects South Western Railways over weekend

A 72-hour strike by rail workers on South Western Railways is to cause chaos over the weekend.  The industrial action is part of a dispute which has been ongoing for a year over the role of guards on trains and whether driver-only operations are safe.  Picket lines are in place at stations and hundreds of services will be cancelled over the next three days.

Crossrail delayed until Autumn 2019

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the Crossrail underground service will not commence until Autumn 2019, a delay of nine months.  The project is currently running £600 million over budget and requires extra funding to be completed.  Crossrail Chief Executive Simon Wright said "the Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages".  The service was due to commence in December. 

BA flight delayed due to altercation

A British Airways flight from Gatwick to Ibiza was delayed on Thursday after an altercation between four men took place on board and takeoff had to be aborted.  Police arrested the four men and removed them from the aircraft, which was able to leave after a two-hour delay. 

Significant drug haul seized in Cornwall

A catamaran was intercepted by off the south-west coast of Cornwall on Thursday, and the Border Force seized a significant amount of cocaine was discovered.  Five men were arrested and the boat was taken to Newlyn harbour where Devon and Cornwall police and National Crime Agency officials are conducting an investigation.  The seizure comes just weeks after another craft was found at the same port with hundreds of parcels of drugs concealed within the hull.

Alex Salmond resigns from party following sexual harassment allegations

Former first minister Alex Salmond has resigned from the SNP following allegations of sexual harassment, which he refutes.  He says that the resignation is temporary until he has cleared his name, and is intended to avoid any embarassment to the party. Mr Salmond had been a member of the party for 40 years, 20 of them as party leader and seen as first minister.  He has launched a crowdfunding appeal to fund a judicial review into the Scottish government's handling of the claims.  

Michel Barnier hints at Brexit trade deal

EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has hinted at a trade deal by saying "We are prepared to offer a partnership with Britain such as has never been seen with any other third country".  However he reiterated that the EU would not divide or change the single market for Britain.  There are seven months until the end of the Article 50 process and less than two months ahead of the October European council meeting. 

Talks to be held with French authorities to avoid further fishing clashes

The UK government has confirmed that it is holding talks with French counterparts in an attempt to avoid a repeat of clashes between fisherman over scallop gathering.  On Monday, French boats confronted British rivals who were fishing legally in waters off the Normandy coast.  British boats are permitted to gather scallops all year round but French law restricts the season to between October and May.  The UK scallop industry is worth £120 million with 60 percent of the catch exported, much of it to the French.  Environmental Group ClientEarth said that France was demonstrating "high environmental standards" by banning fishing during the summer, which is spawning season and when depleted stocks can reproduce and grow.  Local French officials said that they could not intervene because the conflict took place in international waters.  

British and French boats clash in the Channel

Around 40 French fishing boats gathered in the Channel overnight on Monday in protest against British boats "pillaging" stocks of shellfish.  British boats are legally entitled to work in the scallop-rich area, but the French accuse them of depleting shellfish stocks as their fishing season is restricted to between October and May according to new rules imposed by President Macron.  A confrontation ensued in which several boats were damaged and apparently smoke bombs and stones were thrown.  The National Federation of Fishermen's Organization has asked for protection from the British government and said that "the deeper issues behind the clashes should be settled by talking around the table, not on the high seas where people could be hurt".   

Canary Wharf evacuated in bomb scare

Hundreds of office workers were evacuated on Tuesday afternoon, after a suspicious package was reported at South Quay station.  Police used a robot to investigate and later declared the area safe.  

Fire devastates historic Belfast Bank Building

Fire broke out on the fifth floor of the Bank Building on Castle Street in Belfast on Tuesday morning with flames and smoke billowing from the 233-year-old structure and visible from all over the city.  The Primark store which occupied the building had recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and had recently recruited 100 new staff.  The shop was evacuated and roads around the area cordoned off, and the blaze took more than six hours to extinguish.  Michael Graham, Belfast's Assistant Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, expressed concern over the structural integrity of the building, and warned that parts of it could be prone to collapse.  The building which was built in 1785, was designed by Sir Robert Taylor and had survived bombs and fire during the Troubles.

Two women killed in Birmingham stabbing

A major manhunt has been launched after a 49-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter were stabbed to death in Solihull, Birmingham on Sunday night.  The suspected attacker is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of the younger woman, and had apparently made numerous threats of violence to her prior to the attack.  Police are appealing for help in locating the attacker.  

Man stabbed to death in Deptford

A man in his 20s has been stabbed to death in south-east London late on Saturday night.  Police found the victim in the street suffering from knife wounds, but he was pronounced dead at hospital. A murder investigation has been launched. London has suffered a wave of violent crime this year, with the hundredth violent death this year reported last week.

Russia accuses Britain of dangerous RAF interceptions

The Russian Embassy in  London has accused Britain of intercepting its' aircraft over the Black Sea in a "dangerous fashion" with the intention of provoking Moscow.  The RAF scrambled to intercept a Russian maritime patrol aircraft on Friday and two fighter aircraft on Wednesday.  Three countries bordering the Black Sea, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, are NATO allies of Britain.  British defence and foreign ministries have declined to comment.

Police given extra stop-and-search powers for Notting Hill Carnival

Authorities invoked a Section 60 order, which gives police the right to stop and search people without the need for reasonable suspicion, amid fears of violence at Notting Hill Carnival.  The order is a controversial policy that critics say give police "draconian powers".  Knife arches, which can detect metal weapons, were also used for the first time. During the course of the carnival over the bank holiday weekend, 385 people were arrested for a range of offences, including drugs and offensive weapons as well as criminal damage. More than 69 weapons were seized, including 49 knives, as well as acid and a taser. Around 13,000 police officers were deployed across the two days when around two million people attended the festival of dancing and music.  

Brussels flight makes emergency landing at Heathrow

On 26 August, Brussels Airlines flight to Belgium's capital was forced to return to Heathrow and make an emergency landing after an engine suffered a catastrophic failure with a bang that was audible on the ground.  Emergency crews were in attendance, and the aircraft landed safelty at 07:20 local time.

Jet2 flight makes emergency landing at Manchester

On Thursday, a Jet2 flight from Newcastle to Dalaman was forced to make an emergency diversion to Manchester airport at 17:50 local time.  According to witnesses, the cause was a technical issue with one of the engines. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue spokesperson said that they had attended the scene, and the aircraft had landed safely.  

Illegal gun factory found in Sussex

Police have discovered what they believe to be a "large scale" gun factory in a warehouse unit in Hailsham, East Sussex.  They were called to the premises after reports of gunshots, which turned out to be tests.  A stash of weapons and ammunition were found inside the business, which claimed to be a gearbox repair company.  Three men were arrested at the scene under suspicion of possession of a firearm, and the area around the unit was cordoned off for investigation.  

40 affected by Glasgow shopping centre chemical spill

A reported chemical spill at the Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow yesterday caused dozens of people to be evacuated and affected by fits of coughing and breathing problems.  The incident happened at around 12:45 local time, and hundreds of shoppers were ushered out of the premises while specialist teams arrived to assess the situation.  A total of 40 people were treated by medical personnel at the scene.  Preliminary reports suggest that the chemical odour may have been caused by paint fumes passing through the shopping centre's vents.  

Pipe bombs discovered in Belfast

Two viable pipe bombs were found by workmen working at a property in the New Lodge area of Belfast yesterday.  The incident happened close to a community centre and near to where children were playing so the men moved the devices to a safe location before contacting police.  Several streets were closed to traffic and residents were evacuated.  Army Technical Officers who are responsible for bomb disposal carried out controlled explosions on both devices.  Police are appealing for information.  

Huddersfield private hospital on lock-down due to attack

The private BMI hospital in Huddersfield has been closed and cordoned off by police on Wednesday morning, following what they described as a "targeted attack".  According to preliminary reports a man is being treated there for non-life threatening injuries caused in an assault in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  The hospital is expected to reopen on Thursday.

Shooting incident at Rayner's Lane tube station

Two men have been arrested under suspicion of attempted murder following an incident at Rayner's Lane tube station in north-west London on Tuesday afternoon.  Two men were injured and taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.  Armed police attended the scene and an investigation has been opened.

Three injured in London shooting

Emergency services were alerted to shots fired at Kingsbury tube station on Monday night at around 21:45 local time.  Three people were injured and police immediately closed local roads and appealed to the public for witnesses.  No arrests have been made.  

Man arrested for Eltham hammer attack

A 27-year-old man has been arrested after a mother and daughter were violently attacked in Eltham, south-east London.  The incident happened on Sunday at midday, when neighbours alerted the authorities after hearing screams. According to preliminary reports the victims were a 64-year-old woman and her 30-year-old daughter who had been attacked with a hammer.  Police immediately appealed to the public for help, and the suspect was detained two miles from the scene.  Both women remain in critical condition in hospital. 

Westminster attacker to appear in court

Salih Khater, the 29-year-old Birmingham man who ran his car into a group of cyclists and then crashed into a barrier outside the Houses of Parliament, is to be charged with attempted murder and will appear in court today.  The Sudanese-born man, who is a British citizen, will be treated as a terrorist due to the method of the attack and the high profile location.  Three people were treated for non-life threatening injuries.  

One dead in hit and run near GCHQ

Emergency services were called to a road near GCHQ in Cheltenham in the early hours of Thursday, where a man was found dead.  Preliminary reports suggest that the deceased was the victim of a hit-and-run incident.  Roads in the area were temporarily closed while police conducted an investigation, and a 62-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Four stabbed in mass brawl in south London

Six people have been arrested after four young males were stabbed in Camberwell in South London on Thursday.  The incident occurred at around 17:30 local time in the same area where a 23-year-old drill rapper was killed on 1 August.  Witnesses said that a large number of police, including armed officers, attended the scene, together with a number of ambulances.  The four injured were taken to hospital.

South Western railway staff threaten more strikes

The RMT union has announced that workers on South Western Railways will stage three fresh 24-hour strikes in September, after talks with management over the role of guards on trains collapsed on Wednesday.

Counter terrorism operation in Midlands following Westminster attack

On 14 August, counter terrorism forces were carrying out searches at two addresses in Birmingham and one in Nottingham as part of their investigation into the incident which took place in the morning in Westminster.  Shortly after 07:00 local time, a silver Fiesta collided with cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in the capital.  The driver of the car was detained at the scene, but is apparently refusing to cooperate with the authorities.  The police reported that because of the deliberate nature of the attack, the method and the location, it is being treated as a terrorist act and the investigation is being led by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

Met Police to remove wider security cordon around Westminster, London

The Metropolitan Police has announced that the wider cordon around Westminster is being removed. However, areas surrounding Abingdon Street, between Parliament Square and Horseferry Road and Lambeth Bridge will remain cordoned off. Westminster Station has been fully reopened and train services are expected to operate normally throughout the afternoon.

Westminster incident confirmed terror attack

The police have confirmed that they are treating an ongoing situation outside parliament in Westminster as a terror attack. Shortly after 07:30 this morning, a car hit several pedestrians before crashing into a security barrier outside the Houses of Parliament. Updated reports from the BBC state that at least two pedestrian casualties are receiving hospital treatment for non life-threatening injuries. A male suspect in his late twenties has been arrested and remains in police custody as the counter-terrorism police continue to lead the investigation. Westminster tube station has been closed and Parliament Square is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day. No other passengers were in the vehicles and no weapons have been found so far. An emergency Cobra meeting will be held at 14:00 today in response to the incident. The suspect has not been formally identified and is not thought to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police and is allegedly not co-operating with officers. The head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit, Neil Basu, stated that  there was "no intelligence at this time of further danger" to London or the UK.

Coach overturns on M25, injuring dozens

A coach crashed down an embankment and overturned near Junction 3 of the M25 on Monday afternoon, causing traffic chaos and queues over six miles long.  The incident, which occurred at around 16:00 local time, left 41 people injured, including seven children.  Coach hire company Green's of London confirmed that the vehicle had been on its' way to London after a day at the beach in Portsmouth.

Car crashes into barrier outside Houses of Parliament

On Tuesday 14 August, a car crashed into a protective barrier outside the Houses of Parliament in the capital.  Preliminary reports suggest that several members of the public were injured in the incident, which happened at around 07:30 local time, and that the driver has been detained.  A major armed police response was launched as part of a counter-terrorism operation, and the following areas are currently closed:  Parliament Square, Millbank, Whitehall from Trafalgar Square and Westminster Bridge. 

Dozens injured in Moss Side shooting

Twelve people were injured including a 12-year-old child at a Caribbean street party in Manchester's Moss Side in the early hours of Sunday.  Armed police were deployed to the area following reports of several loud bangs, and found several people with leg injuries.  Several of the injured suffered "pellet-type" wounds, which police say were likely to have been caused by the discharge of a shotgun at close range.  Detectives said that it was lucky that no one was killed in the "reckless shooting", and are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Off-duty policeman stabbed in south London

An off-duty police officer has been stabbed in south London, when he interrupted four men who were attempting to steal a moped.  The incident occurred in Lewisham on Sunday.  

Police shoot man in Bournemouth

A man has been shot by the police in Bournemouth. The incident on Castle Lane West road, between a local girls' grammar school and Castlepoint shopping centre. According to the BBC, the man was shot in the arm after police officers stopped a vehicle along the road on Tuesday evening. The man had been travelling with a woman and a 36-year-old man - who has been arrested by the police. The injured party is currently being treated in the nearby hospital and is believed to be in a stable condition. The shooting will be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and a cordon has been established around the affected area while site investigations remain ongoing.

Suspect arrested in missing woman case

A male suspect has reportedly been arrested in connection to the case of a missing woman in Staffordshire. The body of 28-year-old midwife Samantha Eastwood was discovered in rural Caverswall, on the outskirts of Staffordshire on Saturday after being reported missing at the end of last month. According to the BBC, Michael Stirling - believed to be the brother-in-law of the victim's ex-fiance John Peake - was arrested on suspicion of abduction and murder and is due to appear in court on Wednesday. Two other men who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have reportedly been released on conditional bail.

Two stabbed in Glasgow before Rangers game

Police Scotland have reported that two men were stabbed in Glasgow on Thursday evening, ahead of Ranger's Europa League match against Croatian team Osijek.  The incident happened near the Ibrox stadium as part of a large-scale disturbance in the area.  The match ended in a draw, with Rangers advancing to the third round.  

One killed and two injured in Camberwell stabbing

One man was killed and two others injured in a knife attack in Camberwell on Wednesday evening.  Two men were arrested nearby on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.  The incident happened on the same street where a 17-year-old youth was found with a fatal gunshot wound in May.  According to preliminary reports, the victim was a drill rapper connected with Moscow17 gang who had appeared on a Radio 1 YouTube channel, and who are involved in a violent feud with rivals Zone2 from Peckham.  Drill rap makes violent boasts about killing rivals, and police have recently gone to court to ban certain groups performing on social media because they believe it inflames tensions between groups.  

Teenager in critical condition after shooting in east London

A teenagers was shot three times at point blank range on Tuesday night outside an east London station.  St James station remained closed on Wednesday morning, and the surrounding roads were closed while police conducted their investigations.  The incident happened at about 22:00 local time, and the victim remains in critical condition.  It is the second shooting outside the station within a few weeks, after a 23-year-old man was shot in the leg on 23 July.  

Teenager jailed for first acid-attack killing

A 19-year-old man has been jailed for 17 years in the first UK conviction for manslaughter using a corrosive substance.  Xeneral Webster pleaded guilty to causing the death of Joanne Rand on 3 June last year when she was covered in sulphuric acid while sitting on a bench in High Wycombe.  She was caught in the middle of a fight between Webster and another man over drugs.  She suffered 5 percent burns in the accident, but died 11 days later from sepsis.  Webster was also sentenced for possession of a samurai sword and another amonia and making threats to kill in a separate incident.  A spokesman from the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) said "I hope this conviction and subsequent sentence will serve as a reminder that the full extent of the law will be used robustly against those who use acid as a weapon".

Jeremy Corbyn forced to apologize over anti-semitism row

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has apologized over his attendance at a House of Commons event with an anti-Israel speaker in 2010, at which Israel was compared to the Nazis, prompting widespread condemnation.  Mr Corbyn said that he has "on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject", but the apology comes amid controversy over Labour's decision not to adopt the full version of the International Holocaust Rememberance Alliance definition.  

Anti-piracy headquarters to move to Spain after Brexit

On Monday the decision was made to move the headquarters of anti-piracy Atalanta patrols from London to the Spanish port of Rota on 29 March 2019 when Britain exits the EU.  In addition, the London-based Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa will move to the French port of Brest, under Atalanta command, which will be headed by a Spanish navy commander.  The bloc launched Atalanta in 2008 to combat acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia, where attacks have fallen to just one so far this year.

Dixons Carphone breach affected millions more than originally feared

The data breach which happened in 2017 but was only announced by Dixon Carphone in June this year, affected millions more people than originally thought, the company announced yesterday.  They revealed that 10 million customer records had been hacked, affecting shoppers at Currys, PC World, and Dixons Travel, but said that the information did not contain payment card or bank account details, and there was no evidence that fraud had taken place.  

New drone regulations enter into force

On 30 July, new regulations came into force for drone operators near airports.  The new rules make it illegal to fly a drone over 120 metres or 400 feet, or within one kilometre of any airport.  Guidelines also say that the machines should be kept 150 feet or 50 metres away from people and property.  The UK Dronecode also states that it is a criminal offence to endanger the safety of an aircraft which could lead to a five-year prison sentence.

BA flight makes emergency landing at Gatwick

On 30 July a British Airways flight from London to Heraklion in Greece was forced to return to the airport and make an emergency landing after a technical fault was discovered.  The runway was temporarily closed while the plane landed at 18:40 local time, and 10 departing flights were cancelled.  

Littlehampton supermarket subject of armed robbery

A small express supermarket in Littlehampton was the subject of an armed robbery on Sunday, leaving staff shaken but uninjured.  Two men apparently entered the store and threatened staff with a machete before leaving with cigarettes and money in a van driven by a third man.  Police are appealing for witnesses.

Safety measures employed at poisoning victim's funeral

The funeral of Dawn Sturgess who was poisoned by exposure to Novichok, a former Soviet nerve agent, will be held in Salisbury today.  Police have confirmed that extra security measures will be taken to protect the public, including the coffin being in the church ahead of the service instead of being taken by pallbearers.  Mrs Sturgess fell ill after spraying herself with a substance that she thought was perfume, which had been given to her by her partner Charlie Rowley who was also affected but has since recovered.  It is believed that he had found the substance in a perfume bottle in a public park.  The incident occurred four months after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found slumped on a park bench in the same area.  They both recovered and have been discharged from hospital.   The fact that the substance in the second case was found in a sealed box has led the authorities to speculate on whether there may be another source which has yet to be found despite extensive searches and security measures.   The UK government has blamed Russia for the attacks, but they have denied any involvement.

300,000 sign petition for second referendum

Over 300,000 people have signed the Independent newspaper's petition to demand a "Final Say" referendum on the Brexit deal.  Several prominent names, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, ex-Tory minister Justine Greening and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable backed the move, which comes as Theresa May struggles to get support from European leaders for her recent Chequers plan.  

Stratford shopping centre closed due to flooding

On Sunday, Stratford shopping centre was closed when 50 of the shops were flooded due to a burst water main and torrential rain. Firefighters attended the scene to try to prevent the water from entering the premises.  The centre is likely to remain closed on Monday.

Child killed and two arrested in Birmingham vehicle accident

A young child was killed in a car accident in the Smethwick area of Birmingham on Sunday.  The incident happened at around 22:50, when apparently the little girl, who was with her father, was struck by the car on a pedestrian crossing.  Two people were arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving, but police are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage.

Delays and cancellations impact Eurotunnel trains

Delays and cancellations are currently being reported on Eurotunnel trains due to technical difficulties. High temperatures in the UK are also one of the main factors of travel delays in the last few days as some carriages are not being used due to lack of air-conditioning. Disruptions are likely to last over the weekend, especially on French-bound services. Although Eurostar trains are operating normally, strike action is expected to impact services from London on Saturday.

Train services disrupted by freak weather

Train services out of London, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Doncaster were delayed on Friday, due to a signalling box at York which was struck by lightning.  London North Eastern Railway (LNER) suggested that passengers should abandon their journeys if at all possible as they were unable to confirm when services would be resumed.  Northern gave similar advice to passengers, while Network Rail said that "severe weather had caused widespread disruption".  The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for thunderstorms across eastern Britain for Friday and Saturday afternoons, and warned that volatile weather conditions could lead to power cuts and road closures. 

Eurocontrol warn of widespread flight disruptions due to storms

Eurocontrol has advised that widespread flight disruptions are likely on Friday across Europe, due to the process of major storms.  Passengers are advised to check with their airline for updates.

Shots exchanged with police in Forest Gate

Police officers observed three men in a car in possession of firearms on Thursday night, resulting in a car chase across East London, and shots exchanged in Forest Gate.  The incident happened at around 22:45 local time, and 15 police cars and a helicopter were involved in the chase.  No injuries were reported and the three men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. 

Huge blaze breaks out in West Hampstead

More than 100 firefighters were deployed when a huge fire broke out at Welbeck Mansions in the north west London suburb of West Hampstead in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Around 50 people were evacuated from the flats, but no injuries were reported. 

One missing after Aberystwyth hotel blaze

The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service rescued 11 adults and three children from a fire at the Belgrave House Hotel in Aberystwyth in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  The blaze broke out at around 02:00 local time, and nearby residents were evacuated as the flames spread to neighbouring properties.  Five of those rescued were taken to hospital and one person is unaccounted for.  

Two held over death of baby found in Manchester woods

Two people have been arrested over the death of a newborn baby girl, whose body was found in woods in Heywood, Manchester in April.  The man and the woman were detained on suspicion of murder, concealing a birth and preventing a lawful burial.  The two are thought to be related to the child, who was born with a congenital heart defect.  

Permission granted for Lancashire fracking

The government has given the go-ahead for the Caudrilla company to frack at its' well site at Preston New Road in Lancashire, subject to certain conditions.  Work is likely to begin in late August or early September at the site, which has been the focus of 18 months of protests by local residents.  Campaigners say that fracking risks air and water pollution, and may exacerbate climate change, but the Energy Minister said that shale gas was an important potential energy source and that regulation would maintain strict environmental standards.  Last week, six protesters broke a court injunction and locked themselves together outside the fracking site.  Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth and directing a high pressure water mixture at rock, fracturing it to release gas.

Met Office warns of continued high temperatures

The Met Office has issued further warnings for temperatures in excess of 33 degrees celsius for the remainder of the week.  People are advised to ensure that they drink plenty of water, avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00, and seek medical attention if those with underlying medical conditions feel unwell.

BA flight declares mid-air emergency over London

A British Airways flight from Heathrow to Warsaw reported technical issues on Monday immediately after departure from Heathrow, and was forced to request emergency assistance.  The flight circled over Essex and south-east London, before returning to the airport.  Heathrow has come under criticism in the last few days over an IT hitch that forced BA to ground all its' aircraft, and a fire alarm that forced the temporary closure of all operations, including air traffic control.  

Man arrested over Hackney shooting

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man received gunshot wounds in Hackney in the early hours of Sunday morning.  Police were called to the incident at around 01:00 local time following reports of gunfire, and arrested a 20-year-old man nearby.  The victim was taken to an east London hospital where he is in a stable condition.  Police are appealing for witnesses.  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that violent crime is on the rise in the UK, with 6,492 offences for the year up to March 2018.  

New scanner may reduce travel restrictions

A new scanner is currently being tested at Heathrow Airport that could reduce the restrictions on carrying liquids in hand luggage.  The computed tomography (CT) scanners can produce a 3D image of luggage items, and have already been tested at Amsterdam's Schipol airport and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City.  The current rules came into force after a 2006 plot to blow up a transatlantic plane with liquid bombs. If the trials are successful, use of the new scanners could also lead to passengers no longer needing to remove items from hand luggage to be screened separately.

Child killed and three injured in Bambridge car crash

A crash between an Audi and a Ford Focus in Banbridge, County Down near Belfast, has left an eight-year-old boy dead, and three other people seriously injured.  The road was closed after the incident around 17:30 local time, as emergency services and an air ambulance attended.  Police are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage as part of the investigation into the cause of the crash.  

Three-year-old injured in Worcester acid attack

A three-year-old boy in a pushchair suffered serious injuries to his face and arm after he was sprayed with acid in a homeware shop in Worcester on Saturday afternoon.  Police said that they believed the child had been deliberately targeted in the attack at the Shrub Hill Retail Park, but that the motive was unknown.  Three suspects in their 20s were arrested in London as well as a 39-year-old from Wolverhampton, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm . The boy was treated for serious burns and released from hospital.  

Road access to Luton Airport restricted

On Monday morning just before 09:00, road access to the terminal building of Luton airport was restricted due to a medical emergency which required an air ambulance to land on the roadway.

Hong Kong flight makes emergency landing at Manchester

On 20 July, a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Manchester was forced to make an emergency landing.  A hydraulic leak meant that a manual gear extension had to be performed to lower the landing gear.  The aircraft landed safely and was grounded for maintenance.

Drivers warned of travel chaos

More than nine million people are expected to take to UK roads this weekend as schools break up and the summer holidays begin amid a heatwave.  Roads, ports and airports are likely to be exceptionally busy, and forecasters are predicting a yellow weather warning for intense thunderstorms for parts of the UK.  Drivers have already experienced delays on the M11 on Friday morning after a lorry-load of hay caught fire on Thursday afternoon.  The road was reopened after resurfacing works at 09:00 on Friday.  

Woman killed on busy west London street

A woman in her 20s was found severely injured in the street in Ealing, west London, at lunchtime on Thursday.  Police, paramedics and an air ambulance crew were deployed but could not save her life.  A 28-year-old man was arrested nearby, and is being held at a north London police station while investigations were underway.  A post-mortem will take place on Friday to determine the cause of death.  A surge in violent crime in the capital has left a total of 81 people who have been deliberately killed since the start of the year.

Inquest opens into Salisbury poisoning death

On Thursday, an inquest was opened into the death of Dawn Sturgess who died following exposure to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was used in an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.  Her partner remains in hospital.  Police discovered a glass bottle at their home which was found to contain the substance, and were trying to establish how the couple came into possession of it.  There was speculation that police have identified several suspects, but the Metropolitan police who are leading the investigation, declined to comment.

Gatwick runway closed due to emergency landing

In the early hours of 20 July, a British Airways flight from Naples to Gatwick made an emergency landing after experiencing technical problems.  The aircraft landed safely but remained on the runway for inspection, with incoming flights temporarily diverted to other airports.    

Manchester airport car parks subjected to crime wave

Dozens of holidaymakers have complained that their cars have been broken into at multi-storey car parks at Manchester airport.  A spokesman for the airport said "We are aware of a number of vehicles being damaged and are working with Greater Manchester Police to introduce a range of additional security measures".  

Flybe flight makes emergency landing at Belfast City Airport

On 18 July, a Flybe flight from Leeds to Belfast developed a crack in the windshield, and was forced to make an emergency landing at George Best Belfast City Airport.  Emergency services were deployed but the aircraft was able to land safely.  

British Airways delays at Heathrow due to computer glitch

British Airways reported long delays and some cancellations at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday night because of a glitch with their computer systems.  According to a spokesman, the issue impacted their ability to produce boarding passes.  The IT system failure comes just over a year after another computer issue forced the cancellation of 726 flights over three days, costing the company around £100 million.  

Fire alarm temporarily disrupts operations at Heathrow Airport

On 18 July, a fire alarm briefly affected the running of Heathrow Airport, including the control tower.  A spokeswoman for the airfield said that emergency services had responded according to regular safety procedures, and operations were quickly resumed.

Government narrowly wins key Brexit vote

Theresa May's government narrowly won a key Brexit vote on Tuesday, against an amendment to the Trade Bill which would have meant the UK remaining in a customs union in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  The vote was won 307 against 301 with the support of some rebel Labour MPs.

Vote Leave fined and referred to police

"Vote Leave" has been fined more than £60,000 for the serious breach of electoral rules and an investigation found "clear and substantial" evidence of wrongdoing, according to the Electoral Commission.  Two officials have been referred to police over false declarations of campaign spending.  Vote Leave donated £625,000 to a smaller group called BeLeave, and although they were allowed to work together, they should not have co-ordinated the spending of the money to sidestep spending limits.  

UK-Italian fighter jet project announced

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Monday a two billion pound UK and Italian investment into the Tempest fighter jet as part of the Combat Air Strategy.  Mr Williamson said at the Farnborough Air Show that he welcomed the investment into an industry that supports 18,000 direct jobs in the UK as well as 100,000 indirectly in the supply chain, and is worth £6 billion to the UK.  The aircraft will eventually replace the Typhoon fighter jet and can be used with pilots or as a drone.  It will carry laser-directed energy weapons as well as upgrades on avionics and weapons systems.

Scotland to host UK spaceport

The A'Mhoine Peninsula inSutherland has been chosen as the location of the UK's first spaceport, where rockets will be launched vertically to put satellites into orbit.  Greg Clark, Business Secretary, announced the plan at the Farnborough International Air Show, and told the event "we are one of the best countries in the world for the research, development, manufacturing and application of satellites".  Mr Clark detailed a total of £33.5 million in grants with the majority going to Lockheed.  The goal is to have launches as early as the 2020s.  

Over 200 firefighters tackle Wanstead Flats blaze

A massive fire broke out at Wanstead Flats, which is an area of grassland in east London, on Sunday afternoon.  Police asked people to avoid the area, and residents were advised to keep doors and windows closed.  Over 40 fire engines from Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Hainault stations were involved at the scene of the grass fire which had engulfed an area the size of 100 football pitches.  On Monday morning, the London Fire Brigade confirmed that the blaze was under control, but because of dry conditions, they would continue to damp the area down.   

Justine Greening calls for fresh Brexit referendum

Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, has called for a second Brexit referendum, saying that the final decision should be given back to the people and taken out of the hands of "deadlocked politicians".  Mrs Greening, who is MP for Putney, says that the proposed deal does not deliver the proper break that leavers voted for, as it means still complying with many EU rules, but without any say on shaping them.  Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out a second vote, as has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.  Mrs May is expected to be questioned about her Brexit strategy in the Commons when she updates MPs on the last week's NATO summit.  

Arrest made in connection with Trump's visit to Turnberry

Police Scotland have said that they arrested a 55-year-old man in connection with an incident during US President Donald Trump's visit to his Turnberry golf course.  The man is accused of flying a powered parachute in the vicinity of the hotel.  

Fire services tackle huge grass fire near Heathrow Airport

Almost 100 firefighters were involved in dealing with a huge grass fire near to Heathrow Airport on Sunday.  Five hectares of scrubland was involved in the blaze in Feltham, which started at around 16:00 local time.  A spokesman for the airport said that the incident had "no impact" on their operations, and both runways were operating normally.  

A dozen arrests in London demonstrations

On 14 July a total of 12 people were arrested in connection with two major demonstrations which took place in London.  One of the rallies was to welcome Donald Trump, and the other was to demand the release of activist Tommy Robinson, who is serving a 13-month prison sentence.  Smaller groups against Mr Trump and against far-right Mr Robinson were also present. Hundreds of police officers had been deployed during the protests in a bid to ensure security but demonstrators engaged in clashes with each other.  Most of the arrests were for public order offences and assault.

Six arrested in connection with Canvey stabbing

Six people, including youths of 15, 16 and 17 and a woman, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 16-year-old boy suffered three stab wounds after leaving a party on Friday night.  The victim's injuries were not said to be life-threatening, but he remains in hospital.

Belfast rail services disrupted due to security alert

The railway line between Bangor and Belfast has been closed due to a security alert.  Trains due to run through these stations are suspended, and disruption is to be expected for the remainder of the morning.  Tickets are being honoured on Ulsterbus services between Belfast and Bangor.  

False alarm as diner falls ill in Salisbury

Police closed off a road in Salisbury on Thursday night after a diner fell ill at the restaurant where Sergei Skripal and his daughter ate before being hospitalized following contamination with a nerve agent.  Two other people were also affected last week after being exposed to Novichok, a former Soviet nerve agent, one of whom has since died.  The other remains in hospital and has recovered sufficiently to speak to police, who are seeking a contaminated item discarded after the previous attack.  The fears of a further contamination on Thursday proved to be a false alarm, and police have said there is no concern over the man's health.  

Trade deal with US unlikely, says Trump

President Trump has said that the UK will "probably not get a trade deal" with the US if Theresa May's Brexit plan goes ahead, as it would mean the US would be dealing with the EU, and not exclusively with the UK.  Mr Trump also said that Boris Johnson, who resigned as Foreign Secretary this week, would make a "great prime minister", as well as criticising London Mayor Sadiq Khan over terror attacks and violence in the capital.  Mr Khan had given permission for a giant inflatable of Mr Trump to fly over London.  Protesters had gathered outside the US Ambassador's residence in Regent's Park as Mr Trump arrived in the UK, and around a thousand of them also demonstrated outside Blenheim Palace where he and his wife were given a red-carpet reception on Thursday evening.  On Friday, Mrs May and Mr Trump will watch a counter-terrorism exercise at a military base before travelling to Chequers for talks with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and then on to Windsor to meet the Queen.  The President and his wife will then fly to Scotland to his Turnberry golf resort for the weekend.

Further unrest in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

On 13 July there was a further night of unrest and violent disorder in Londonderry, including petrol bombs being thrown at police and vehicles in the Bogside area.  The incidents come in the wake of 12th of July Orange Order commemorations to mark the 1690 victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.  The Police Service of Northern Ireland have expressed "regret" at the outbreak of violence and said that young children were also involved in the attacks.  

President Trump to arrive in the UK later today

US President Donald Trump arrives in the UK later today for a two-day working visit, including meeting Prime Minister Theresa May and the Queen.  Extra security has been put in place and large-scale protests are expected over some of his controversial policies.  Mr Trump is expected to avoid London where the majority of the protests are likely to take place, and instead will visit Blenheim Palace, Chequers and Windsor Castle.  The security operation for the visit is estimated to cost around £9 million, with officers from nearly every force deployed.  Mrs May has said that the visit is an opportunity to "boost trade and strengthen cooperation on security", as well discussing Brexit and the Middle East.  She has also said that she expects Mr Trump to raise matters such as the Salisbury nerve agent attack, with President Putin of Russia when he meets him on Monday. 

17 venues to celebrate 12 July marches

17 venues throughout Northern Ireland are set to mark the 328th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne today with Orange Order parades.  Traffic is likely to be severely disrupted throughout Belfast and other large towns across Antrim, Down, Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh.  There will be a heavy security presence at the events.  

Former ambassador to US attacked at Victoria station

Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to the US, was attacked at Victoria station in London on Wednesday and had to be hospitalized for his injuries.  After retiring, Mr Meyer became chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, the newspaper regulatory body, but police believe the incident was a failed robbery and was not politically motivated.  Two individuals were arrested shortly after the attack.  Violent offences in the country increased by 21 percent last year.

Vehicles burnt and roads blocked by loyalist bonfires in Belfast

Cars and a bus were torched in violence linked to loyalist bonfires on Wednesday night, following a day of tension after police supervised the clearing of two bonfire sites amid fears of damage to property.  Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition that marks the anniversary of the Protestant victory over the Catholics at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.  A further security alert caused the closure of the dual carriageway to Belfast City airport, preventing passengers from leaving the terminal building.  In Newtownards, Co Down, a bus was hijacked by masked men who were thought to be armed.  None of the passengers were injured, but he bus was later set on fire.  

Facebook to face maximum possible fine

Britain's Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said that she intends to fine Facebook £500,000, which is the maximum possible, for the use of data analytics by political campaigns.  CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been questioned by both US and EU lawmakers over how the Cambridge Analytica were able to obtain the personal data of 87 million users of the social media app from a researcher.  Ms Denham said that Facebook, which has a market value of $590 billion, had broken the law by failing to safeguard user's information, and had not been sufficiently transparent about how data could be harvested by others.  

Large crowds expected ahead of protests against US President's visit

Large crowds are expected to take part in several protests ahead of US President Donald Trump's official visit to the UK. On Thursday, protesters will gather outside Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. During the evening, a protest is scheduled at Regent's Park, near the US Ambassador's residence. On Friday morning, demonstrators will gather outside Chequers in Buckinghamshire, where he will meet Prime Minister Theresa May. The main march will take place on Friday afternoon from outside the BBC at Portland Place towards Trafalgar Square. In the evening, protests are also expected outside Windsor Castle, during President Trump's meeting with the Queen. Demonstrations have also been scheduled in Glasgow, Scotland, where President Trump is heading on Saturday. Enhanced security measures and severe travel disruption are expected around those venues.

Frozen sweetcorn recalled over Listeria outbreak

The Food Standards Agency has named more frozen vegetable products that are being withdrawn from shelves in the UK, after a food poisoning alert that has killed nine people in Europe.  Over 50 products which contain frozen sweetcorn have been named, including own-name brands from Tesco, Sainsbury's Waitrose and Iceland.  Symptoms include severe headache, stiff neck and an upset stomach.  Most people will recover in a few days, but the listeria bacteria is particularly dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and babies.  Listeria can be killed with thorough cooking, but sweetcorn is often eaten raw in salads.  The contamination has been linked to a frozen food plant in Hungary.  

Aptamil baby milk under scrutiny

French company Danone is investigating reports that its' baby milk formula, Aptamil, is making some infants ill after it changed its' recipe and instructions.  Hundreds of UK parents have taken to social media complaining that their children have become unwell with upset stomachs after consuming Aptamil First Infant Milk powder, Aptamil Follow On Milk Powder and Aptamil Growing Up Milk powder.  The company has set up a free helpline that parents can use for advice on 0800 996 1000.  

Cabinet meets in attempt to unify government

Theresa May will meet with her reshuffled cabinet on Tuesday in an attempt to unify her government following the resignation of two senior ministers yesterday.  David Davis, the Brexit Minister resigned and was replaced by Dominic Raab, and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary followed, and was replaced by Jeremy Hunt.  Mrs May had warned the Cabinet on Monday that internal squabbling could pave the way for opposition leader Jeremy Corbin to take power.  She has made proposals for a future EU relationship after Britain leaves the bloc next March and must now convince EU leaders that they can work.  German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, arrives in London later on Tuesday.  In the June 2016 referendum, a narrow majority backed leaving the EU, citing concerns over immigration, sovereignty and financial payments to the bloc.  The government is struggling to find a way of tackling these issues while avoiding burdonsome customs arrangements that could damage trade.  

Road closures and disruption in London due to RAF events

Royal Air Force events being held to celebrate the 100-year anniversary will close roads around the St James's Park area of London, including The Mall, Birdcage Walk, Constitution Hill, Marlborough Road and Victoria Street between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00 on Tuesday.  

Flight delays at Heathrow for RAF flypast

Some flight delays and disruptions are likely at Heathrow airport his afternoon, as the RAF perform a fly-past for their 100th anniversary.  

Foreign secretary resigns amid Brexit row

Boris Johnson has announced his resignation as the UK's foreign secretary amid an ongoing row over Brexit. Johnson's resignations comes just a day after fellow cabinet minister, Brexit Secretary David Davis, resigned amid a growing political crisis over the direction of the UK's Brexit strategy. The resignations have been seen as part of an effort to put pressure on PM Theresa May over Brexit policy going forward. According to the BBC, Johnson's resignation has been announced less than hour ahead of May's address to parliament regarding her new plan for Brexit. A replacement is due to be announced shortly.

Dominic Raab appointed new Brexit secretary

Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new Brexit secretary following the resignation of David Davis on Sunday evening.  On Friday, the entire cabinet had spent over 12 hours at Chequers working out proposals for the UK's future relationship with the EU.  Mr Davis had agreed with the proposals but he resigned at the weekend after "mulling over" his decision.  His deputy, Steve Baker, also resigned.  Mr Raab is a Brexiteer, and was previously a housing minister.  

Woman exposed to nerve agent dies

Dawn Sturgess, who had been hospitalised in Salisbury after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, died on Sunday evening.  She had fallen ill last Saturday, and her partner remains in critical condition.  Police are continuing their enquiries into how the couple came into contact with the substance, which it is thought could have been through a contaminated article discarded after the poisoning of former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter four months ago.  Six locations which the couple had visited last weekend before falling ill have been cordoned off for further examination.  Police have opened a murder investigation.

Hand luggage restrictions on powdered products to be considered

The government is considering imposing new airline hand-luggage restrictions on powdered items such as baby milk powder, coffee, spices and protein mixes, which would bring Britain in line with the United States, Australia and New Zealand.  The move comes after a foiled plot by Islamic-State attackers who attempted to place an explosive device on a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi last year, but failed to get the powdered component through security.  Powdered substances could be restricted to 12 ounces, and would be subjected to extra screening. Tight restrictions on liquids in hand luggage were introduced 12 years ago. 

Call for social media giants to combat people-smuggling

The National Crime Agency has called for social media giants to combat people smugglers who are using Facebook, amongst other platforms, to legitimise their business which is thought to be worth £6 billion. Migrants pay thousands of euros to make dangerous crossings, and are often subjected to physical and sexual abuse.  An NCA taskforce has been targeting the smugglers operating in the Mediterranean and on the UK borders.  Crossings from Libya to Italy and Malta have fallen by 75 percent in the last year, but the number of deaths continue at a high level, including 300 deaths just last week.  

Woman murdered and son injured in Aylesbury attack

A 54-year-old woman was stabbed to death in front of her home on Saturday afternoon while her son was seriously injured.  The attack took place while England were playing a World Cup football fixture, and while children played in a park nearby.   A 32-year-old man has been arrested, and police have said that they believe the attack to be an isolated incident.  

Man arrested following Grimsby gas explosion

A man has been arrested following a small gas explosion at a building in Grimsby in the early hours of  Monday.  Two fire appliances attended the scene and the road was closed off.  A spokeperson for Humberside Fire and Rescue said that the cause of the blast was "deliberate ignition", and one suspect was detained on suspicion of arson and making threats to kill.

Brexit meeting under way at Chequers

The Cabinet is staging a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the Prime Minister's country home today, in a bid to decide on the UK's negotiating stance with the EU.  A spokesman said that Mrs May hopes to produce a package of proposals that deliver on the referendum vote, with "the minimum of disruption to British jobs, British trade and investment".  

Police searching for source of nerve agent poisoning

Police are urgently searching for the source of a former Soviet nerve agent in the Salisbury area, which has left two local people in critical condition in hospital.  Authorities believe that the pair could have been exposed to a contaminated container that had been used in the March poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who were found slumped on a bench in the same area.  The father and daughter were both hospitalised for a lengthy period, but survived.  British officials blamed Russia for the incident, but the Kremlin denies any involvement.

Novichok poisoning confirmed in Salisbury

The couple who were hospitalized in Salisbury at the weekend in a suspected poisoning case remain in critical condition as the authorities confirmed that the substance involved was the former Soviet nerve agent Novichok.  Public Health England Medical Director Paul Cosford said that the public should avoid picking up discarded objects, which he said was precautionary advice but "sensible".  The incident comes just months after former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by the nerve agent in the same area, sparking a diplomatic row with Russia. 

Boy arrested over child's murder in Bute

A boy aged under 18 has been arrested for the murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Scottish island of Bute.  The girl had been reported missing by her grandmother at 06:25 on Monday, and her body was found in woodland a few hours later.  She had been on holiday at the home of her paternal grandparents, and police were continuing to search their premises and grounds as well as appealing to the public for further information.

Major rail disruption reported between London and Gatwick

National Rail has reported that, due to a major fault with the signalling systems, Southern Rail, Thameslink and the Gatwick Express networks are experiencing significant service disruptions.  Members of the public have been advised to avoid travelling through London Victoria, and the Gatwick Express has been cancelled for the whole of Thursday.  

Boy stabbed to death in Liverpool

On Tuesday night, Merseyside police were called to an incident where a 16-year-old boy had been stabbed.  He was taken to hospital, but later died from his injuries.  Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack in Belle Vale Road.

Major incident declared in Amesbury, two critical

Two people are in critical condition in Salisbury District Hospital after being exposed to an unknown substance in Amesbury, Wiltshire.  A major incident has been declared while investigations are underway.  Public Health England said there was no significant health risk to the wider public, but the event comes just months after Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a soviet-era nerve agent, also in the Salisbury area, sparking a major diplomatic row with Russia.  

Security staff at Manchester airport consider strike action

Around 1,200 security workers at Manchester airport are to consider strike action over a new roster which they say will force them to work more days, including weekends.  Unite the union and Unison representatives will hold talks on Thursday with airport management in a bid to resolve the dispute and avoid disruption to Manchester airport's passengers over the busy summer period.

Morning travel disruption on Central and District tube lines

Severe delays and disruption have been reported on a number of underground lines on Tuesday, due to signal failures at Paddington and Liverpool Street.   Delays continue on both the Central and Circle lines, while the District line is part-suspended.  The Hammersmith and City line was also reporting minor delays.  Passengers are advised that tickets are being accepted on London buses.  

Wildfires prompt evacuations in Gwyneddn

A wildfire in Bethesda in Gwynedd in the early hours of Tuesday, has prompted authorities to issue an evacuation order for more than 50 properties as a precaution.  North Wales Fire and Rescue Service (NWFRS) are working to control the blaze, and there have been no reports of injuries.  Hot dry weather has provided the perfect environment for wildfires, and additional blazes have been reported at Maerdy mountain in Rhondda Cynon Taff, and Pembrey Mountain in Carmarthenshire.  

Firefighters deployed to Winter Hill as two large wildfires merge

Dozens of firefighters are still battling major fires in northern England as two wildfires merged over the weekend. Lancashire Fire service said that: "We are dealing with a rapidly developing aggressive fire across all vegetation types, including woodlands." Police have advised people and drivers to avoid areas around Winter Hill and Court Road, near Bolton, while a large stretch along Belmond Road is currently closed. Another major wildfire, located nearly 30 miles away from Winter Hill, is still active at Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester.

Firefighters deployed over tower block fire in east London

Dozens of firefighters have been deployed after a fire broke out in a tower block in east London. Reports revealed that the fire erupted on Friday afternoon at the 12th floor of Grafton House in Wellington Way, Mile End. Dozens of residents were evacuated while no reports of injuries were confirmed. The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said that the fire is already under control.

Fire breaks out on Saddleworth Moor

A large fire has broken out on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester. The blaze has forced some 50 houses to be evacuated as the Army is put on standby to help fire fighters trying to tackle the fire. According to the BBC, the fire broke out on Sunday night, but reignited on Monday amid hot and dry weather, before strong winds further spread the fire on Tuesday. The fire currently measures about 3.7 miles across the hilly area. It remains unclear what may have caused the fire.

EU withdrawal bill becomes law

House Speaker John Bercow has announced on Tuesday that the so-called Brexit bill has been officially turned into law after long-standing grievances linked to the bill's wording and guidelines. The bill was mainly resisted by the House of Lords, but the bill was later passed and received royal assent. The move allows a several pieces of legislation from the EU to be translated into UK law to ensure a smooth transition ahead of the UK departure on 29 March. It also grants the parliament a vote on the final aspects of the UK withdrawal.

Several injured in road crash in Cambridgeshire

At least a dozen people have been injured when a bus collided into a lorry in Cambridgeshire. The accident happened on Tuesday morning along the A47 Thorney Road in Guyhirn. Emergency services told the BBC that some of the patients suffered severe injuries. Traffic along the A47 stretch between Thorney and Ring's End was blocked during the morning as emergency services rushed to the scene.

MPs approve bill to build London Heathrow's third runway

Members of Parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill which seeks to build a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR). Despite 415 MPs voted in favour, the bill faced some resistance regarding pollution and noise concerns. London Mayor Sadiq Kahn said that he is teaming up with local councils and environmental groups to file legal action against the project. It is expected that the 14-billion-pound project may increase air traffic at LHR to 740,000 flights per year.

Yellow health warning issued as heatwave hits UK

A yellow health warning has been issued in the UK as a heatwave sweeps across the country. The Met Office issued the warning on Tuesday morning and is set to stay in place until Thursday evening. According to the BBC, the warning indicates an 80 percent chance of temperatures being high enough to present a risk to health. Network Rail has also announced that services will be operated at a reduced speed due to fears the railway tracks could buckle in the heat. The heatwave is set to last until the weekend.

Airbus to leave UK in the event of no-deal Brexit

Aeronautical firm Airbus has said that it plans to leave the UK in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, and that it would reconsider its' investments and long-term footprint in the country.  It is likely that production would move to China, the US, or elsewhere in Europe.  The company employs around 14,000 people in the UK, at sites in Bristol, Stevenage, Portsmouth and north Wales.  The company also commented that the current planned transition period to 2020 was too short for businesses to reorganize supply chains.  A spokesperson from Downing Street said that significant progress had been made to ensure free trade, including the aerospace sector. 

Charing Cross station evacuated in bomb scare

Charing Cross mainline and underground stations were evacuated at the start of the morning rush hour on Friday, when a man on the tracks claimed to have a bomb.  Officers from the Metropolitan Police and firearms officers attended the scene, and a 38-year-old man was detained under the Mental Health Act.  Services on both rail and tube were affected for several hours.

Car crash causes gas leak in Wickford

Several properties in Wickford, Essex, were evacuated as a precaution on Thursday evening, when a car crashed into a cafe, potentially causing a gas leak.  The Fire and Rescue Service left the scene at around 22:30 when the scene was declared safe.  A 37-year-old woman was arrested for drink driving.

Disruption at Glasgow Central station

On 21 June, a signalling fault is causing disruption for commuters travelling to and from Glasgow Central station.  Trains to and from the station to East Kilbride, Ayr, Kilmarnock and Largs are affected.

Police arrest suspect after London Tube blast

The London Met Police have arrested a 23-year-old man after a small blast on a London Tube wounded five people yesterday. According to the BBC, the man was arrested on suspicion of an "act likely to cause an explosion" following the incident at Southgate station in north London. Witnesses claim they saw six-foot flames at the entrance to Southgate Underground and could smell burning rubber. It's believed the explosion was caused by a faulty drill battery. Investigations remain ongoing.

Diversions in place on M23 to Gatwick

From 19 June to 25 June, all southbound lanes of the M23 between Junctions 7 and 11 will be closed between 22:00 and 04:00, due to road improvements.  Diversions will be in place, but passengers travelling to Gatwick are advised to leave extra time for their journey to the airport.

Five injured in explosion at tube station

On 19 June, five people were injured when a short circuit caused a minor explosion at the entrance to Southgate underground station in Enfield during morning rush hour.  The station was temporarily evacuated.

Government rejects bid to legalise cannabis

The UK government has rejected a bid to legalise cannabis for recreational use. Former Conservative Party leader, Lord Hague, had supported the push to legalise the drug, claiming the war on cannabis had been "irreversibly lost" and a change of policy was needed. Debate on the topic was sparked by the case of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell - a boy with epilepsy who was granted a special licence to use cannabis oil to treat his condition. The call for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis has received widespread support from other parents of children with severe epilepsy. 

New Brexit defeat for government in Lords

The House of Lords has decided that MPs should have to approve whatever the government plans to do in the event of no final agreement with the EU, in a further defeat for Theresa May.  The issue will be sent back to the House of Commons for a debate on Wednesday.  The row centres on what will happen if Parliament votes to reject the final deal agreed by the government, or if no deal is reached.

Three killed at south London train station

Three people were killed on Monday after being hit by a train at Loughborough Junction station in south London.  Police were called at around 07:30 to reports of bodies on the tracks, and an investigation was started immediately to ascertain who the victims are, and how they came to lose their lives on the railway.  Preliminary reports suggest that the victims may have been graffiti artists.

Paddington-Heathrow train services suspended after incident

Train services between Paddington and Heathrow (all terminals) have been temporarily suspended following an incident on the track. Transport for London (TfL) confirmed the suspension on their Twitter page, which was allegedly caused by a person being hit by a train. It was also stated that tickets bought for that service will be accepted on the Piccadilly line and on all local bus services. Passengers should allow extra journeying time and have been advised to monitor the TfL Twitter page for further updates.

Immigration rules to be relaxed for non-EU medical workers

Theresa May announced on Thursday that immigration rules for non-EU skilled workers, particularly doctors and nurses, would be relaxed in a bid to enable the National Health Service (NHS) to fill vacant positions.  The previous cap was introduced when Mrs May was interior minister and was intended to reduce immigration in line with Conservative campaign promises.  The NHS has relied on recruiting professionals from abroad for decades, and currently has tens of thousands of vacancies, a problem which could be compounded by Brexit which could place restrictions on EU workers coming to the UK. 

Man stabbed in Croydon

A 20-year-old man has been stabbed in Croydon on the outskirts of London. The incident occurred along a high street, near Barclays Bank on the intersection of George Street and Wellesley Street. A witness allegedly told reporters the victim had been asking for spare change earlier in the day and was later chased, wounded, down the street by the attacker. The police have responded to the scene and cordoned off the area. The victim has been taken to hospital where it's believed he is being treated for knife wounds to the head.

Dixons Carphone reveals massive data breach

The owners of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse have announced that there has been an unauthorised breach of 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records.  The company is urging customers to take protective measures, but said there is no evidence of related fraud at this stage.  

Detainee admits to terror plot

A 23-year-old detainee, Jack Renshaw, has admitted to plotting a terrorist attack. Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing an act of terrorism by purchasing a machete with the aim to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper. The accused is believed to be a member of the banned far-right group, National Action, although Renshaw denies any affiliation. According to the BBC, five other men are also on trial in connection with the case.

Police evacuate shopping centre in Reading

The police have reportedly evacuated the Oracle shopping centre in Reading after the alarm was raised over a suspicious unidentified item. A full evacuation of the complex and adjoining car parks was ordered by the police on Tuesday morning. The Thames Valley Police have recently published an update on their Twitter page, confirming the situation remains ongoing and that road closures have been put in place around the area. Nearby residents have been advised to stay inside.

Justice Minister resigns over Brexit strategy

Philip Lee, the Justice Minister, has resigned over the Brexit strategy being pursued, saying that it breaches fundamental principles on human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty.  The Commons will vote later today over whether to give MPs a decisive say on any final deal to be struck with the EU in the autumn. The EU withdrawal bill is the legislation intended to ensure that the UK has a smooth transition out of the EU, and the House of Lords has put forward 15 proposed amendments to the bill, but the government is keen to avoid any changes. David Davis said that the UK's whole approach risked being undermined by amendments to the flagship Brexit bill.

Explosions at house in Llanbradach injures five

Severeal large explosions ripped through a house in Llanbradach on Monday afternoon, leaving its' five occupants with burn injuries.  South Wales Fire and Rescue Service worked in hazardous conditions to control the resulting blaze and prevent it from spreading to adjacent properties.  Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosions.  

Rolls Royce announce thousands of job cuts

British engineering company Rolls Royce have announced 4000 job cuts as part of a restructuring move.  The company has been plagued with complaints about  a component of their Trent 1000 package C aircraft engine that is forcing airlines to implement extra inspections and has led to the grounding of planes.  A further announcement is expected on Friday 15 June. 

Disruption and cancellations for Norfolk to London train routes

A major technical fault at Liverpool Street Station was discovered at the weekend, which has led to severe disruptions and cancellations to Greater Anglia services to and from Norfolk.  Two platforms at the London station have been closed, with restrictions to services expected to last until the end of the week.  Greater Anglia apologised for the inconvenience to passengers and confirmed that ticket restrictions had been lifted, and that their tickets would also be valid on West Anglia services.  

Man wounded in Luton stabbing

A man has been wounded in a stabbing incident in Luton. The incident reportedly occurred on Montrose Avenue, where the police have cordoned off the road as they attend to the scene. It remains unclear how the incident broke out, while it has been confirmed that the victim is now receiving hospital treatment.

Three further stabbings in London in one night

Two men and a teenager were stabbed in London last night in unrelated attacks that occurred within two hours of each other.  The incidents, in Harrow, Northolt and Brixton, bring the total of murders in London this year to 74. Police are appealing for witnesses to any of the attacks.

North London hospital evacuated due to fire

Several wards of Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield were evacuated on Sunday evening, after fire broke out on the ground floor of the two-storey building.  Almost 60 firefighters were deployed to control the blaze, and two hospital employees were hospitalized, with several patients treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.  

Supreme Court rejects appeal on Northern Ireland abortion law

Supreme Court judges have rejected an appeal linked to the current abortion law in Northern Ireland. The case has been submitted by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), which claimed that the current legislation violates principles predicted under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Judges ruled that such claims were not compatible with ECHR, but acknowledged that some reforms are widely necessary. Abortion in Northern Ireland is only allowed in certain and very specific circumstances, while it does not abide by the UK 1967 Abortion Act.

Massive blaze breaks out at a hotel in Knightsbridge, London

Dozens of firefighters and more than a dozen fire engines have been deployed to central London after a massive blaze broke out at a building on Wednesday afternoon. Reports suggest that the fire erupted at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, while its origins remain unknown. London Fire Brigade said that the fire was producing a lot a smoke. No casualties were so far confirmed. BBC reported that Knightsbridge is currently closed between Sloane Square and Grosvenor Place.

Cabinet approves third runway at Heathrow

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of ministers on the Cabinet's economic sub-committee, at which the go-ahead was given for a third runway at Heathrow.  MPs will be given a vote on the decision in the next few weeks. Labour are demanding environmental tests be met before they consent, while critics, including several conservative MPs, say that the decision on Heathrow is being taken in the absence of any policy on how to tackle aviation's carbon emissions.  Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that Heathrow was the best option to increase passenger capacity and boost the national economy while being cost-effective.  He acknowledged the concerns of people living around the airport, but promised a generous package of compensation, noise insulation and improvements to public amenities.

Planned Jubilee line strike suspended

Strike action which had been planned for Wednesday 6 June on the Jubilee line, has been suspended, with normal services now expected to run. 

Baby boy wounded in Hounslow stabbing

A one-year-old infant boy has been seriously wounded in a stabbing incident in Hounslow, west London. According to the BBC, the emergency services responded to a call at a property on Swinfield Close, where they found the child in a critical condition, along with a woman in her thirties who was suffering from less serious injuries. The police have launched a search for a man who lives at the same address and is known to the victims.

Further storms forecast for Friday

After torrential rain and thunderstorms on Thursday, forecasters hae warned of further storms due to hit the UK today, with yellow weather warnings in place for much of the country.  Thunderstorms are likely for Scotland, Northern Ireland, most of the north of England, Wales and the Midlands.  Damage from the storms on Thursday night has affected transport and roads as local authorities work to repair damage and clear debris.

Car drives into crowd at Trafford Park

Five people were seriously injured when a car struck a crowd of people at Trafford Park in Manchester on Thursday evening.  The car failed to stop at the scene and police investigations were immediately launched.  A blue BMW which was believed to be involved in the collision was found in the Salford area shortly after the incident, which occurred at around 21:45.  One person was detained.  There is no suggestion at this stage that the matter was terror-related.

Inclement weather triggers flight delays at London airports

Severe flight delays are currently being reported at London Stansted Airport (STN). Eurocontrol stated on Thursday afternoon that disruption is expected to last until the early evening due to inclement weather. Disruptions are also being reported at London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW) until the end of the day. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

New laws proposed to control gang violence

In a move to clamp down on knife and gun violence, police are to be given new powers to clamp down on those who "glamourise" such crimes through videos and music.  Police Commander Jim Stokley said that the new measures mean police no longer needed to link media with specific crimes to secure a conviction for incitement to violence.  The proposals need to be approved by the judiciary before they can be enforced, but mean that gang members could be treated like terrorist suspects.  YouTube have recently removed more than half of the music videos that Scotland Yard had requested be deleted because of a call to violence.  Social media, in particular videos of gangs threatening each other with violent lyrics and hand signals, are thought to have contributed to a surge of more than 60 murders in the capital alone this year.

Flight returns to Gatwick for emergency landing

An Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Milan declared an emergency at 08:30 on Thursday and diverted to Gatwick airport for an emergency landing.  An airline spokesman said that the incident was related to a medical issue with a patient, and that the flight would continue its' journey to Milan, arriving in the early afternoon.  There are no ongoing delays anticipated.

London City flights delayed due to fog

London City Airport announced this morning that due to foggy conditions, some flights may be delayed or cancelled.  Passengers are advised to contact their airline before departing for the airport.

Fresh storms cause travel disruptions

Lightning strikes and heavy rain caused numerous flights to be cancelled from Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow on Tuesday, with fresh storms overnight causing more problems for travellers.  Severe delays were also experienced on trains, including the Eurostar.  The Met Office said that while thunderstorms were to be expected in the summer months due to warmer air, the longevity of the period of thundery showers is causing the problems.  

Man arrested after huge traffic accident in Dartford

25 vehicles were damaged and more than a dozen people injured in a road traffic incident in Dartford, Kent on Tuesday evening.  Emergency services attended the scene and the road was temporarily closed while the vehicles and debris were removed.  One person has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving. 

Sinkhole causes disruption in Kent

A sinkhole has caused disruption in Kent, after it opened up in a main road between Maidstone and Tonbridge. According to the BBC, at least 10 residential properties nearby were evacuated as police responded to the incident on the A26. It's believed that the two-metre-wide opening to the sinkhole is just the tip of the iceberg, as the void underneath is estimated to extend a further 20 metres under ground and could take several weeks to fully repair. The A26 has been closed between Hermitage Lane and Queens Road and a diversion is currently in place.

Flights delayed due to lightning strikes at Stansted

Over 200 flights were disrupted during the morning of 27 May when lightning strikes damaged an aircraft refuelling system at London Stansted airport.  The incident occurred between 05:00 and 11:00 in storms that unleashed more than 64,000 thunderbolts on the UK.  

Manchester airport gate evacuated due to structural damage

One of the gates at Manchester airport was evacuated on Tuesday morning, when a structural fault appeared in the floor and walls.  The passengers were evacuated as a precautionary measure, and some temporary delays were caused.

GDPR enters in effect across the EU

The so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has entered in effect across the EU. GDPR was approved back in 2016 and seeks to give EU citizens more control over the use of shared personal content with companies and online services. Such forced companies across the EU to introduce a different approach on how to gain consent from individuals to collect and use their data. The GDPR introduction comes amid growing concerns over the use, sale and share of personal data from tech giants to third parts.

Luton airport baggage handlers to strike this weekend

Members of the Unite union working for Menzies Aviation have rejected a pay offer from the management and have announced that they will take industrial action from 3am on Saturday until 2pm on Sunday.  The company handles Easyjet and British Airway's sister company, Vueling, and a walkout would hit families flying out for half-term. Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline.

Teenager arrested in counter-terrorism raid

On Wednesday, a teenager was arrested in Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism.  A 20-year-old woman was also arrested in London later that day in connection with the same case, charged with failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.  The arrests come almost exactly a year after the Manchester bombing, and at a time when the UK terror threat level is severe according to MI5.  

Retaliation against cyber attacks deemed lawful

In a speech at Chatham House on 23 May, the Attorney General said that retaliation against cyber attacks is lawful under international law.  Jeremy Wright QC MP, said a UN expert group had found that the UN Charter applies to cyberspace, meaning that a state has an inherent right to defend itself in response to a cyber operation "meeting the threshold of an armed attack".  Such a threshold could include interference with the operation of a nuclear reactor or the targeting of essential services such as air traffic control or medical facilities. 

Brexit negotiators to discuss Northern Ireland

Brexit negotiators are to tackle the issue of Northern Ireland in Brussels on Wednesday, and whilst Britain and the EU have agreed that there should be no hard border, they are at odds on how to acheive it.  The EU proposal is that Northern Ireland would stay in the customs union and most of the single market, which the UK has rejected but has not yet presented its' own solution to the issue.  The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, will visit the border on Wednesday as part of a fact-finding mission.  

Direct flights from London to Brunei to be launched

On 22 May, Royal Brunei Airlines announced that they are to launch daily non-stop flights between London and Brunei with effect from 28 October.  The route is the first time that the two locations will be linked with a direct flight.

Measles outbreak in Sussex

Fifteen cases of measles have been reported at a school in West Sussex according to Public Health England (PHE).  Authorities are urging anyone who may have missed their innoculations as a child, to go to their GP for the vaccination. The UK recently achieved World Health Organization (WHO) elimination status for measles, but it is thought that travel between European countries which are experiencing measles epidemics, together with a failure to take up the recommended vaccinations, are responsible for the outbreak.  Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads by an infected person coughing, sneezing or even breathing.  Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever and a rash.  In one in 15 cases it can cause life-threatening complications.  

Four million trains rescheduled in timetable change

The UK's biggest rail timetable change came into effect on Sunday, with four million trains rescheduled in a move designed to increase frequencies and reliability.  Delays were reported on Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern on Monday morning, the first rush-hour since the changes were implemented.  One of the major changes is that trains across the south-east will be funnelled through a central core between London Blackfriars and St Pancras International.  Many of the timetable changes are tthe result of a seven billion pound investment in the Thameslink programme, including the rebuilding of London Bridge station.  Some rail providers had already anticipated disruption to services in the initial stages as trains and drivers are redeployed to the correct locations. 

Severe disruption on M42 near Birmingham airport

On Monday morning traffic was severely disrupted near Birmingham airport due to a collision on the M42 between five vehicles.  Delays of up to an hour and a half have been reported and motorists have been advised to seek an alternative route, whilst travellers from the airport are advised to leave extra time for their journey.

Theresa May pledges commitment to European security

At the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Theresa May pledged her commitment to the security of Europe after Brexit.  She said that a "stable Balkans" leads to a more stable and secure Europe.  She is due to travel to Macedonia to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  The next Western Balkans summit will be held in London in July.  

Increased security for royal wedding in Windsor

Increased security measures are already in place on 18 May in Windsor, Berkshire, 19 miles west of London, where Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on Saturday.  Around 100,000 spectators and 5,000 journalists are expected to attend.  Security services have erected barriers, closed roads and deployed over 1,000 police officers in the area.  

Two killed in separate stabbing incidents

Two people were killed on 17 May in separate stabbing incidents.  One victim was killed in Sutton Coldfield at around 15:30.  The second was stabbed to death at 23:30 in Barking, bringing the number of fatal stabbings in the Greater London area to 63 this year.  Another person was injured by a stabbing in Tulse Hill at 19:45, and four suspects were arrested.  Police are investigating all the incidents.

London City airport evacuated

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of passengers were evacuated from London City airport when a fire alarm sounded.  All flights in and out of the airport were suspended while emergency services investigated the cause of the incident, which was eventually declared a false alarm.  Flights resumed at around 19.30.

Scotland votes against Brexit bill

On 15 May, the Scottish parliament passed a motion by 93 to 30, stating that it does not consent to the UK government's EU withdrawal bill.

MI5 chief warns of further IS threats

Andrew Parker, head of MI5, has warned that the Islamic State group are aspiring to commit more attacks in Europe after losing territory in the Middle East.  Speaking at a meeting of European security chiefs in Berlin, he also condemned Russia for the "targeted" poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury and revealed that 12 terror attacks had been thwarted in the UK since the Westminster attack in 2017.  Mr Parker also added that European intelligence agencies had to rely on shared co-operation more than ever, and thanked them for their assistance in the investigation into the Manchester bombing last year.  

Manchester man detained under Terrorism Act

Bomb disposal officers were called to a house in Little Hulton, near Manchester, when suspicious items were found during a raid at the premises. A 33-year-old man was detained under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of possessing information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism.  The police said that there was no wider risk to the public.

BT to cut thousands of jobs and close London HQ

BT has announced its' plans to cut 13,000 jobs over the next three years, mainly back-office and middle management roles, in an attempt to reduce costs by around £1.5 billion.  The company announced that it will hire around 6,000 new employees to support network deployment and customer service in a move that will see it become more "lean and agile".  Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said that the company will also move out of its' Central London base into smaller premises, and said that the measures were in response to changes in the telecoms market.  Last year, BT was forced to write down the value of the Italian part of the organization after an accounting scandal, and announced a 13-year plan to plug a huge pension deficit. 

Further violent attacks across London

Police were called to three separate incidents of violence in Twickenham, Woolwich and Hackney yesterday, following a bank holiday weekend which saw a series of gun and knife attacks across London.  Extra police have been deployed supported by armed units in an attempt to curb the wave of violence.  

Cyber attack targets Sheffield Credit Union

Sheffield Credit Union (SCU) have said that the data of around 15,000 of its' members had been targetted in a cyber attack in February.  The information accessed is believed to include names, addresses, national insurance numbers and bank account details, which South Yorkshire Police said may leave victims open to fraud.  Credit Union members have been advised to monitor their bank and credit reports, and be suspicious of any text messaging or cold calling about their accounts.  The attack only came to light when the hackers threatened to publish the data unless a ransom was paid.  

Thousands march for Scottish independence

Thousands of protesters marched in Glasgow on Saturday in a call for independence, four years after a referendum failed to secure the result they desired.  The 2014 referendum was defeated, prompting the resignation of First Minister Alex Salmond, who was replaced by Nicola Sturgeon.  The independence issue has been reignited by the 2016 Brexit vote, after 62% of the nation's electorate voted to stay in the EU.

Gunman detained after lengthy stand-off in Oxford

A 24-year-old gunman has been arrested after a 14-hour stand-off with the police in central Oxford. Thames Valley Police (TVP) confirmed that the suspect exchanged fire with police officers on Monday afternoon at a residence in Paradise Square, where several roads nearby were cordoned off. TVP said: "Shortly before 03:00 today a 24-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He is currently in police custody."

Detection dogs to be deployed at airports

In an attempt to improve aviation security across the UK, the government has announced plans to deploy explosive detection dogs at airports to scan air freight.  The free running explosive detection dogs (FREDDS) will be used alongside existing screening methods.

British national arrested for drug offences in Barcelona

On 4 May, a British national was arrested at a Barcelona gym in connection with large-scale drug dealing.  The suspect, Jamie Acourt, had been sought by police for two years and was one of the UK's most wanted fugitives.  He was also a suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993.  It is understood that Mr Acourt will not challenge his extradition to the UK.

Mixed fortunes for Labour and Conservatives in local elections

Following local elections yesterday, Labour gained seats in London but failed to take control of three key councils:  Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea, which was the site of the Grenfell tower fire, and Barnet which has a high Jewish community.  Labour did however succeed in taking control of Plymouth and Trafford from the Conservatives.  UKIP suffered defeats across the country, with the Tories benefitting most, and the Liberal Democrats gained 40 seats, winning back control of Richmond, a remain-voting borough in southwest London.  Chief Executive of the Local Government Information Unit, Jonathon Carr-West, said "it looks like a better night for the Conservatives than many would have anticipated, while Labour results have not quite lived up to expectations". 

Schoolboys planned Columbine-style attack

Two teenagers appeared in court yesterday, charged with planning a "Columbine-style" attack at their school in Leeds, after becoming obsessed with the 1999 school massacre in Colorado where 12 students and a teacher were killed and dozens injured.  The boys had allegedly planned to break in to a girlfriend's house and steal her father's seven guns.  The accused are now both 15-years-old, and deny the charges.  

Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect suspended on Sunday

Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services from Central London will be suspended on Sunday due to Network Rail upgrade work. Heathrow Airport (LHR) also stated that during the day, inter-terminal shuttle trains will also be affected. Travellers have been advised to use the London Underground Piccadilly Line or local buses. Further information on travels from and to central London and inter-terminal shuttle services can be found at LHR website.

Explosion at Jewish festival bonfire injures 10

Around 10 people were hurt on Wednesday evening at a Jewish Lag baOmer celebration in Stamford Hill, when an explosion erupted when a bonfire was lit.  The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed, but Hackney police confirmed that several people had sustained minor injuries. 

NHS breast screening error may have cost lives

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that due to an IT error 450,000 women aged 68 to 71, had failed to get invitations to routine breast cancer screening since 2009.  He announced an independent review and apologised "wholeheartedly" to the women, some 309,000 of whom are still alive and likely to be in their 70s.  It is believed that up to 270 women may have died through non-diagnosis.  All those affected will be contacted by letter by the end of the month, and those under 72 will get an appointment for a catch-up mammogram.  Breast cancer screening is routinely offered every three years to women aged 50 to 70 in England because the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age.  

Cambridge Analytica to close

Political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica is to close down, following their involvement in the Facebook data-sharing scandal when about 87 million users' data was harvested from a quiz app and passed on to them.  The company has been accused of using that personal data to influence the outcome of the 2016 American presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum. The UK-based company denies any wrongdoing and said that they had been criticised for activities that were not only legal, but accepted practices in online advertising in the political arena.  Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was questioned by US lawmakers over the issue last month, and the UK parliamentary committee has threatened to issue him with a formal summons to appear in the UK.  

MPs vote against disclosing Windrush papers

An opposition motion to force the government to disclose papers on the Windrush migrants has been defeated in parliament.  Labour wanted the government to hand over evidence to a Home Affairs Committee, but the Prime Minister announced that an upcoming review would have the necessary access to the information.  The Windrush generation were immigrants who came to the UK from Commonwealth countries between the 1940s and the 1970s, but were never given proper paperwork, denying them rights to healthcare and education.  Some of them have recently been threatened with deportation as they travelled on their parents' passports without their own ID documents.  Mrs May was Home Secretary in 2014 when new immigration rules were introduced.   

UK government defeated over EU exit deal

On Monday, Britain's upper house defeated the government, giving parliament the power to block or delay a final deal on the departure of the UK from the European Union.  Theresa May had already committed to giving parliament a vote on the final deal, but this was a choice between approving the terms negotiated with Brussels or rejecting them and leaving without a deal.  Monday's vote means that the government must take a course of action decided by the House of Commons if they oppose the exit deal, which the government said "redefines the nature of democracy", since it was part of the constitution that the executive represents the country in international diplomacy.  The bill can be overturned in the lower house, where Mrs May has a slim majority.

18 injured in Glasgow bus crash

Eighteen people were injured on Sunday evening, when a bus mounted an embankment and overturned on a busy road near the Clyde Tunnel.  Ambulance, fire and police crews attended the scene, and the A814 sliproad was closed to traffic.  One person remains in critical condition.

Strong winds trigger delays at London airports

Strong winds are currently causing significant delays across London airports. Eurocontrol has advised that flights at London City (LCY), Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) are being affected. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Amber Rudd resigns over immigration targets

Amber Rudd has resigned from her post as Home Secretary, saying she "inadvertently misled" MPs over whether targets existed for removing illegal immigrants.  Mrs Rudd had told parliament last week that targets did not exist, but on Sunday the Guardian published a letter in which she had set out "ambitious but deliverable" aims to deport 10 percent more illegal immigrants over the next few years.  The controversy arose because some migrants from Commonwealth countries who had been invited to settle in the UK between the late 40s and 1973 were being wrongly declared illegal immigrants and denied official paperwork such as passports. She is the fourth person to resign from the cabinet in the last six months.  Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, has been appointed as her replacement.

Barnier denies special Brexit deal for the City of London

Chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier has dismissed the idea that the rest of the bloc needs access to the City of London, and denied that Britain's financial sector would get a special deal after Brexit.  He told a financial services conference in Bulgaria that an "equivalent system" that worked with American banks would not be appropriate for London.  London is the biggest financial centre in Europe with almost all of the EU banks having offices in London.  Several European cities have proposed themselves as alternatives. 

TSB calls in IT specialists over online banking crisis

TSB, whose switch to new computer servers over the weekend left almost two million customers unable to access their funds for four days, have reportedly called in experts from IBM to resolve their digital banking crisis.  A bank spokesman said that the majority of their "engine room" was working correctly, and that standing orders and direct debits are proceeding as normal, but customers complained that access to their accounts online was still severely limited.  TSB has announced that all overdraft fees and interest charges for April would be waived for business customers, and have made a commitment that no-one would be left out of pocket by the upgrade.

Two arrested for attempted murder after Liverpool-Roma clash

Two Italian men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after an attack before Liverpool's Champion League semi-final at Anfield, which left an Irish man in a critical condition.  The attack happened 10 minutes before kick-off outside a pub near the ground, and witnesses said that he had been hit with a belt buckle and fell to the ground, suffered a head wound.  Witnesses said that around 80 Roma fans had used a side road to gain access to an area where Liverpool fans had gathered, and that many of them were armed with belts and bats.  European fottball's governing body, UEFA, condemned the attack and may initiate disciplinary charges.  Roma fans have been involved in violence before - several Tottenham fans were injured in 2012 in an attack in Rome. 

Rail timetable overhaul to cause weeks of chaos

The biggest overhaul of timetables in UK rail history is set to take place next month, and is likely to cause weeks of disruption, according to Govia Thameslink executives.  The changes will take place at 02:00 on 20 May and are intended to increase capacity for passengers into London as part of a £7 billion Thameslink project, with stations rebuilt and power supplies boosted over the last decade.  Govia boss Charles Horton said that there could be "teething problems", as there are new timetables, new routes and new trains, but that passengers would see a transformation in services with a more reliable Southern timetable in particular.

Flight delays reported at Bristol and London airports

Flight delays have been reported at Bristol Airport (BRS) due to fog. Delays are also being reported on Monday at London Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) airports due to the implementation of a new electronic flight strip system. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates.

Passport publisher abandons appeal over UK passports

British passport publisher De La Rue has abandoned its' plans to appeal the government's decision to award the contract for UK passports to their overseas rival.  They admitted that their tender was not the cheapest, but said that their offering "was the highest quality and technically most secure bid, and in the national interests".  The decision was made recently to award the contract to Gemalto, a French-Dutch company.  De La Rue specialises in banknotes and identity documents with more than 3,000 employees around the world.  They issued a profit warning as a result of the decision, affecting their share price.  

Strong winds trigger delays at London airports

Strong winds are causing severe flight delays at London City Airport (LCY) on Tuesday. Eurocontrol also stated that some flights at London Heathrow (LHR) are also being affected. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

UK and US issue warnings over Russian-sponsored cyber attacks

UK and US officials have issued a joint alert over Russian-sponsored cyber attacks, saying that "milllions" of devices have been infected by hackers, including computer routers, as part of a global espionage campaign to target government agencies, businesses and infrastructure operators.  The head of the National Cyber Security Centre based at GCHQ in Cheltenham said that Russia was "our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace", and that dealing with the problem was a major priority for Britain and America.  British relations with Russia are currently at a historic low after the UK blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, prompting  a mass expulsion of diplomats.  Russia has denied any involvement.

MPs to hold second emergency debate

A second emergency debate was secured by Jeremy Corbyn yesterday, when he accused the Prime Minister of by-passing Parliament when she approved military action in Syria without consulting ministers.  Mrs May defended her position in a six-hour debate on Monday, saying that it was "legally and morally right" to join the US and France in the strikes.  Mr Corbyn had said that the unilateral decision had created a dangerous precedent, and that the debate was needed to clarify the government's obligation to consult MPs before military intervention.  Even some MPs who supported Mrs May's decision to participate in the strike expressed frustration that Parliament was not given the opportunity to participate in the decision.  Sites near Damascus were hit by the US, French and UK forces on Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack on civilians in Douma on 7 April.

No further strikes planned against Syria

No further strikes are due to take place against Syria following the recent joint US, UK, and French airstrikes over the weekend. The airstrikes were conducted as a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government in Douma. Prime Minister Theresa May made the controversial decision to go ahead with strikes without consulting parliament. According to Reuters, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated that there were currently no plans for further attacks.

Russia claims foreign agents staged chemical attack in Syria

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused foreign agents of staging, directing, and taking part in the recently reported chemical attack in Douma, Syria. According to the BBC, Lavrov claimed the Russian government had "irrefutable evidence" that the attack was staged and led by one unnamed country as part of a wider "Russophobic campaign". Lavrov's comments come shortly after Russian officials accused the UK of anti-Russian propaganda over the Salisbury nerve agent attack, claiming the attack was staged by the UK itself. The UK is considering military action in response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria, while the US and France both claim to have proof the attack took place.

Collisions cause massive delays on M5 and M4

A serious collision between several vehilces at around 06:00 on Friday caused massive delays on the M5 southbound between Thornbury and the M4 towards Bristol. All lanes were closesd and Highways England confirmed that emergency services were at the scene.  Traffic in the area is not expected to clear until later in the morning. 

Severe delays on the District Line due to strike action

Commuters face travel chaos on Friday as unions organized a 24 hour walkout on the District Line, which is used by around 800,000 Londoners every day.  The action is over the treatment of a new driver who ran three red signals in his first 11 weeks in the job, after which Transport for London offered him an alternative role.  Commuters expressed anger that his action had compromised passenger safety, but was being defended by the Unions.  

Cabinet agrees on the need to take action over Syrian attacks

UK cabinet ministers have agreed "on the need to take action" against the Syrian government in order to deter the future use of chemical weapons, saying that it was "highly likely" that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack which killed dozens in Douma earlier in the week.  No details of UK military involvement were mentioned, but opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of waiting for instructions from Donald Trump, who spoke to Theresa May on Thursday night.  There is concern from some ministers that Mrs May might be prepared to take action without seeking parliamentary consent first, with MPs due to return from the Easter recess on Monday.  

Chemical weapons watchdog backs UK in Skripal case

An international chemical weapons watchdog has reportedly confirmed Britain's findings in its analysis of the nerve agent used in the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last month. The UK had initially claimed that its analysis found the nerve agent to be a type of military grade Novichok - a nerve agent originally developed by the Soviet Union. According to the BBC, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) didn't explicitly name the nerve agent as Novichok, but stated it agreed with the UK's findings. The OPCW investigation was requested by the UK, while Russia has continually denied any involvement.

Fog triggers delays at London airports

Eurocontrol has stated that flight operations at London City (LCY), Heathrow (LHR), Stansted (STN) and Gatwick (LGW) may face disruptions on Thursday due to fog. Significant delays are also being reported at Bristol Airport (BRS). Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Theresa May to call emergency cabinet meeting over Syrian crisis

Theresa May has called an emergency meeting of the cabinet this afternoon to discuss possible military action in response to the escalating Syria crisis.  The alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma which left over 40 people dead, has created tensions with the Syrian regime being blamed, and various countries demanding it be held to account.  The US and Russia have squared up over the ongoing civil war and Moscow's support for Bashar al-Assad.  On Tuesday, Russia vetoed a draft UN resolution to create a new body to determine responsibility for the attack.  Many ministers are concerned that the UK could deploy without consulting Parliament. 

Weather-related delays reported at London airports

Some flights to and from London City (LCY) and Stansted (STN) are facing delays. Minor disruption has also been reported at London Heathrow (LHR). Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

UK businesses facing increasing cyber threats

A joint report released on Tuesday by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) highlighted that UK-based businesses are increasingly facing threats from cyber-attacks. Trends identified in 2017 include the threats of ransomware, DDoS attacks, data breaches, supply chain compromises and fake news. Other emerging threats include vulnerabilities in cloud storage services. One of the most notorious cases reported last year was the WannaCry ransomware attack which targeted multiple companies and organisations, including the NHS.

Flight disruption reported at London airports

Adverse weather conditions are affecting flights at London airports. According to Eurocontrol, operations at Gatwick (LGW), Stansted (STN) and London City (LCY) are all being affected. Minor disruptions are also being reported at Heathrow (LHR). Passengers have been advised to check flight status information with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Yulia Skripal released from Salisbury hospital

Yulia Skripal, the daughter of a former Russian spy, who was poisoned in Salisbury together with her father, has been released from Salisbury hospital.  A source said that her treatment was not finished, but her discharge was a significant milestone in her recovery.  It is believed that she has been taken to a secure location, while her father Sergei continues his recovery in hospital.  The pair were found slumped on a bench in the town on 4 March after being exposed to a toxic nerve agent believed to have originated in Russia. The police officer who was first on the scene was also hospitalised.  The UK government and many European countries have united to accuse Russia of the attack, which they deny.  A diplomatic crisis has followed with dozens of countries expelling Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK.

Russian football gangs issue threats to England World Cup fans

Russian football hooligans have issued a public warning to English fans travelling to the World Cup later this year, that they plan to "unleash hell" during the football tournament.  FIFA were forced to issue a statement that they have confidence in the host country's ability to guarantee the safety of English fans, despite violent incidents in Spain recently involving Russian Ultras in which a police officer died. The ongoing situation between Westminster and Moscow over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK is likely to create more tension, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised English football fans to prepare for a hostile reception on arrival.

Low cloud ceiling triggers disruption at London airports

Operations at London's Luton Airport (LTN) are expected to face disruption due to low cloud ceiling conditions. Most delays are set to occur from late Monday afternoon to early evening. Minor delays are also expected to impact flights at London City Airport (LCY) and Stansted (STN).

Russia to publish UK government correspondence

The Russian government has reportedly announced intentions to make some correspondence with the UK government public. The correspondence in question is that of the current UK Prime Minister Theresa May, during her tenure as the British Home Secretary. May was in the role of Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 before becoming the Prime Minister. The decision to publish the correspondence is seen as the latest in tit-for-tat diplomatic stand-off between the UK and Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury.

M62 closed in both directions due to police incident

At around 07:30 on Monday, the M62 was closed in both directions due to a police incident.  According to witnesses, the road was closed because of concerns for an individual on a bridge.  The road has now been reopened, but delays are likely for the rest of the morning.

Home Secretary pledges £40 million to tackle violent crime

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has announced a £40 million Serious Violence Strategy in an attempt to tackle violent drugs gangs after a surge of stabbings in London.  The strategy will be supported by a new Offensive Weapons Bill which will place restrictions on the online sales of knives and the possession of corrosive substances in public, and the expansion of stop and search powers.  A new National County Lines Coordination Centre will be set up to prevent youngsters being used to courier drugs across the UK.  The Government had faced increasing pressure to act following a surge of fatal stabbings in the capital which have left over 50 young people dead in the first three months of the year.

Suspicious vehicle stopped near Buckingham palace

A man was arrested on Monday morning, after police stopped a suspicious vehicle on Birdcage Walk, metres from the gates of Buckingham Palace.  The driver was arrested on suspicion of public order offences, but has not been identified.  Although the road was temporarily closed and cordons put in place, police said that these moves were of a precautionary nature and that there was no indication that the incident was terror-related.  

Man shot dead by police in Romford

A man has been shot dead by police at a Romford petrol station, after he had claimed to be in a possession of a weapon and had made threats against a number of people.  Firearms police were called to a house in the east London area in the early hours of Monday, but by the time they arrived, the man had left.  According to witnesses he was then seen walking through the streets with a gun, and making threats.  Road closures remain in place, and the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Six teenagers stabbed in London overnight

A further six teenagers were stabbed in the capital overnight, including a 13-year-old boy.  The attacks took place over four boroughs, and come less than 24 hours after the latest surge in violence which brought the number of fatalities in London to over 50 this year.  Scotland Yard has enlisted help from the City of London police due to the high number of cases, and public protests have taken place calling for an end to gang violence.  The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has criticised the government, blaming the level of cuts in policing for the spate of attacks.

Police seek man with machete after car crash

A car crashed into multiple parked cars and hit two men on Thursday afternoon in a residential street in Dudley.  According to witnesses, one of the people inside the car was in possession of a machete, and firearms officers were sent to the scene.  The road remained closed until 11:00 as police searched for the man.  The authorities said that they believed the incident was part of a dispute between two groups and was not likely to be terror-related.  A pedestrian remains in hospital with serious injuries.  

Man stabbed to death in Hackney

A man in his 20s died on Wednesday evening, when he approached police officers in Hackney after being stabbed.  He was given first aid, but died at the scene, despite the attendance of the London Ambulance Service and the London Air Ambulance.  A man in his 50s was killed in an assault nearby earlier in the evening.  Two fatal shootings took place on Monday, and a burglar was stabbed on Wednesday, bringing the number of people killed in the capital to 50 this year.  Following the recent spate of violence, police patrols have been stepped up and officers are using stop-and-search powers to seize weapons.

Pensioner arrested over death of burglar is bailed

The 78-year-old pensioner who was arrested after stabbing a burglar in his home, has been released on bail.  Scotland Yard said that Richard Osborn-Brooks has been bailed until May pending further enquiries.  Police are still seeking a second man who fled from the scene in Hither Green, southeast London.  

Pensioner detained over burglar stabbing

A 78-year-old pensioner has been detained by the police after stabbing an alleged burglar to death. The incident happened on Further Green Road, Hither Green, south-east London. According to the BBC, two suspected burglars broke into the property - one of whom forced the elderly man into the kitchen, where it's thought a struggle occurred. It's believed the pensioner stabbed the suspect in self-defence; however, the 78-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder after the suspect died from his stab wounds in hospital. Police investigations have been launched to track down the second suspect, who managed to flee the scene.

Flight planning system failure triggers disruptions across European airports

Flights to and from major European airports suffered widespread disruptions on Tuesday morning after a flight planning system failure. Eurocontrol put contingency measures in place after an issue with the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) reduced the capacity of the European network by nearly 10 percent. Eurocontrol said that the problem has been already identified and that technicians are working to recover the system. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Teenager killed in North London shooting

A 17-year-old girl has been killed in a drive-by shooting in North London. The incident was reported on Monday evening near Northumberland Park in Tottenham. Witnesses told the BBC that a car pulled up and started shooting. The shooting comes amid concerning surges in crime-related violence in some parts in London, where the Metropolitan Police have opened 22 murder investigations in March alone.

Teenager arrested over hoax terror threats to schools

An 18-year-old from Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire has been arrested on suspicion of blackmail and making malicious communications, after hundreds of UK schools were placed on alert for a terror attack earlier this week.  An email was sent to the schools saying that a car would drive into students as they left the premises, and that they would be shot if there was an evacuation.  The National Crime Agency was called in to investigate, and while they said they did not believe there to be any increased risk to the public, hundreds of worried parents rushed to schools after hearing about the message through social media.  The incident comes a week after another teenager was arrested for emailing a bomb hoax to hundreds of UK schools.

Former Catalan minister detained in Edinburgh

The former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsati has handed herself into the police in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ponsati was placed on the European Arrest Warrant list by the Spanish authorities for her suspected involvement in the Catalan independence riots last year. The Scottish police have now detained Ponsati and will likely extradite her back to Spain to await trial. Some protests against her detainment may spring up in Edinburgh, as the Scottish are thought to be sympathetic towards the Catalan bid for independence.

Addenbrooke's Hospital announces crisis

Addenbrooke's Hospital  in Cambridge has no beds available for admissions, and was yesterday forced to divert ambulances to other facilities and cancel elective operations.  The hospital said it is operating at its' highest level of alert after exceptional levels of acutely unwell patients were admitted.  An NHS spokesman said that ward G3 had also been closed due to "infection control issues".  On 5 March, Addenbrooke's also had to temporarily close the A&E Department because of a problem with its' computer systems.

Police officer stabbed in Manchester attack

A police officer has been wounded in a sword attack in the city of Manchester. The officer sustained wounds to his face and shoulder but is not in a life-threatening condition. A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack. Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: "The officers responded with immense bravery to this report and while the sergeant is making a good recovery, this was an incredibly nasty incident which could have been so much worse."

Car rams children in Glasgow

At least one teenager has been seriously wounded after a car rammed a group of children in Glasgow. According to Sky News, the driver of the vehicle deliberately drove into a group of five pedestrians aged between 12 and 14 on Saturday. The incident occurred on Stravanan Road in the Castlemilk area, where a silver Vauxhall Astra mounted the pavement in what the police are now treating as a case of attempted murder. One 14-year-old remains in critical condition while four others sustained minor injuries. Search operations for the vehicle's driver and a suspected passenger continue as police investigations remain ongoing.

EU backs Britain in blaming Russia for spy attack

On Thursday, EU members met in Brussels, and announced that the EU backed Britain in blaming Russia for the nerve agent attack on a former double agent earlier this month.  23 Russian diplomats have been expelled from the UK in the diplomatic row, with the same number of UK embassy staff leaving Moscow today.  Lithuania, Germany,  France and other Baltic states said yesterday that they are ready to recall their diplomats in support of Theresa May.  Russia has denied any involvement in the matter and Vladimir Putin described the EU policy as "unfriendly and provocative".  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical but stable condition in hospital.

UK seeks European help against Russian spies

The UK is reportedly seeking European assistance in taking action against suspected Russian spy networks. According to Reuters, it's believed that such networks could be used to organise attacks similar to the Salisbury nerve agent attack which targeted former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. PM Theresa May allegedly plans to coordinate with EU members over the matter at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Discovery of body closes Brixton underground

In the early hours of Thursday morning a body was found by the tracks of Brixton underground station, causing rush hour chaos, as police sealed the area off.  A police investigation is under way to discover whether the person was hit by a train, or fell to their death.  Delays and disruption is to be expected between Brixton and Victoria, with train tickets valid on local bus routes.

Teenager arrested over school bomb hoaxes

A 19-year-old man has been arrested over the bomb hoax email that forced over 400 UK schools and colleges to close earlier in the week.  The National Crime Agency said that the teenager had sent around 24,000 threatening emails, but there had never been a credible threat.  He was arrested in Watford, on charges of blackmail and making malicious communications.   

Signal failure causes disruption into London Waterloo

On Tuesday night, a serious signal failure at key rail junction Havant caused severe disruption to journeys from Portsmouth to Waterloo and on Southern between Brighton, Chichester, Portsmouth and Southampton.  Network Rail engineers worked on the problem, but were unable to fix it completely, meaning that disruptions and delays continued into Wednesday.  

Cambridge Analytica boss suspended over Facebook row

Cambridge Analytica, the company currently embroiled in a row over the unauthorised use of Facebook data, has suspended its' boss, Alexander Nik, pending an investigation.  The London-based company together with Facebook itself has come under scrutiny because of claims by a whistleblower.  Christopher Wylie alleges that huge amounts of data were amassed from a personality quiz on the social media site, and used to profile people and send them pro-Trump material in a bid to influence the 2016 US election.  Around 270,000 people took the online quiz, but the data of 50 million users was harvested from their friends network.  Facebook has said that the capture of the data was legitimate, but that Cambridge Analytica failed to delete the the data when it should have done so.  A UK parliamentary committee has called for Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to give evidence about the use of the data.  Around $50 billion has been wiped off the market value of the social media giant since the row started. 

Police shoot suspect in East London

Police responding to reports of an armed robbery at a house in Hackney, East London, shot a suspect in the early hours of the morning after an hour-long standoff.  The man, thought to be in his 20s has been taken to Royal London Hospital and is a critical but stable condition.  An investigation into the incident has been opened.  

London Victoria station temporarily closed due to fire alarm

London Victoria was closed and passengers evacuated on Tuesday lunchtime when there was a smell of burning in the left luggage room and a fire alarm was activated.  Fire crews attended the scene, and were able to reopen the station approximately 30 minutes later.  British Transport Police said there were likely to be minor delays to services. 

Red Arrows plane crashes at Welsh air base

A Royal Airforce Aeronautics Team , or "Red Arrows" plane crashed at RAF Valley in Holyhead on Tuesday afternoon, while preparing for the forthcoming display season.  The pilot was able to eject and is receiving medical treatment, but an engineer was killed when the aircraft hit the ground and burst into flames.     

Russian diplomats leave London embassy

Around 80 people including diplomats and their families left the Russian embassy today and headed to Moscow, following their expulsion by Theresa May in connection with the poisoning of a former Russian double agent.  Moscow is denying all involvement, and is expelling 23 British diplomats from Moscow on Saturday in response.  Later today the UK government will decide whether to impose further sanctions on Russia.  The leaders of France, Germany and the US and well as Japan have pledged support for the UK, and EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss any potential response to Russia.  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition in hospital after coming into contact with a Soviet-era nerve agent in Salisbury on 4 March.  

Five London murders in five days

A university student was shot and stabbed to death on Saturday night outside a parade of shops in Enfield.  Another man at the location was also found stabbed and taken to hospital, where he is in a serious but stable condition.  The murder was the fifth in as many days in the capital, with sixteen young men losing their lives so far in 2018.  

Bomb hoax closes 400 UK schools

The authorities have confirmed that around 400 schools were contacted by email from the United States, with a threat to detonate a device on the premises unless money was paid to a nominated account.  Metropolitan police said that they were investigating reports of communications to a number of schools across London, but they did not believe there was a viable threat.  Elsewhere, schools in Manchester, North Yorkshire and Northumberland were also affected.  The Home Office and the Department for Education advises any school who has received the email to contact the police.  

Car rams into crowd outside grime nightclub

A man has been charged with attempted murder after a vehicle ploughed into the crowd outside a Gravesend nightclub on Saturday.  According to witnesses, the Suzuki 4x4 was driven into a marquee where smokers had gathered during a concert by grime artist Giggs.   Several people were injured.  Mohammed Abdul, who is 21-years-old, was detained by the public until police arrived, and will appear in court on Monday.  Police said that the incident was not terror-related.

Terms agreed for Brexit transition period

Michel Barnier has said that the UK and the EU have agreed on a "large part" of the agreement which should lead to an "orderly withdrawal" of the UK from the bloc.  Mr Barnier said that agreement had been reached on the rights of 4.5 million EU citizens in the UK and the 1.2 million UK citizens in the EU after Brexit, but added that more work still needed to be done particularly on issues such as the Northern Ireland border.  The transition period will begin on 29 March 2019 and is designed to prepare the path for the future and a more permanent relationship.  Both sides hope that a deal can be reached before autumn to allow member states to ratify it before Brexit day next March.  

Russia suggests nerve agent came from UK lab

Russia's EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, claimed in a TV interview on Sunday that the chemical nerve agent used to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, could have come from a British laboratory.  He added that Porton Down, only eight miles from Salisbury, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom and that the nerve agent could have been stored there for comparison purposes.  Skripal and his daughter were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury two weeks ago after coming into contact with a Soviet-era nerve agent, causing a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the UK, including diplomats being expelled on both sides. 

Around 250 homes evacuated amid wildfire in Fort Carson

On 16 March, around 250 homes were evacuated due a wildfire in Fort Carson in Colorado.  Around 2000 acres were burned and on Saturday, authorities were assessing the damage to buildings in the region.  The fire had spread quickly near Indian Village Heights and Armadillo Heights, and firefighters used air tankers and helicopters to bring the blaze under control.  

Labour leader warns against condemning Russia without full evidence

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday that Labour did not support Putin, but that Britain should have a more cautious approach to the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia until full evidence is available. He suggested that the Russian mafia could be behind the attack and added that Britain should stop accepting corrupt money from the former Soviet Union.  Prime Minister Theresa May has said that Russia was behind the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, and as a result, has expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the UK.

Parsons Green bomber found guilty

Ahmed Hassan, an Iraqi asylum seeker who was charged with leaving a bomb on a packed tube train at Parsons Green station in September last year, has been found guilty of the attempted murder of 93 people.  A talented student, he built the bomb in his bedroom at the home of his foster parents during the school holidays.  The device failed to detonate, but caused a huge fireball in the tube carriage, injuring 30 people.  Hassan was arrested at Dover trying to board a ferry to the continent.  He changed his story to officials several times, initially claiming he had been recruited and trained by Islamic State, but afterwards saying this was a lie intended to garner sympathy and improve his chances of asylum.  18-year-old Hassan has been remanded in custody to be sentenced next week. 

Supermarket attacker sentenced to 30 years

Neville Hord, who stabbed his ex-partner's daughter to death in December in the supermarket where she worked, has been sentenced to 30 years for her murder.  The attack was witnessed by several people, including a child, and continued until Hord was restrained by members of the public.   

Major fire at Shoreham Port, East Sussex

Fire has broken out at a timbers merchant in Shoreham Port in East Sussex, with dozens of firefighters tackling the blaze along the seaside front.  Local residents have been advised to stay indoors and keep their windows close, and Brighton and Hove police have warned of traffic disruption in the area as well as diversions to local bus routes.  Nearby buildings have been evacuated.

Unilever moves head office to Rotterdam

Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever has confirmed that it is to move its' headquarters to Rotterdam, rather than the current dual HQ arrangement with London which has existed since 1930.  The company said that no jobs will be lost, and that the move was part of a restructuring unrelated to Brexit.  Talks had been held with both governments in the run-up to the decision.  

Russia to expel British diplomats

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, has confirmed that Moscow will soon expel a number of British diplomats in response to Britain's explusion of 23 of the Kremlin's embassy staff in London.  Russia continues to deny involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian double agent with a Russian military-grade nerve agent.

FCO advises caution for Russian travel

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued a travel advisory for British nationals either currently in Russia or due to travel in the next few weeks.  The British Embassy in Moscow has said that, whilst it is not aware of any increased difficulties at this time, people should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment, avoid any protests or demonstrations, and avoid commenting publically on political developments.  The advisory comes after Theresa May accused Russia of its' involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury, using a soviet-era military-grade Russian nerve agent.  

Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats

Britain will expel 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent on UK soil last week.  Theresa May also said that more measures may be introduced to strengthen UK defences against hostile state activities including freezing Russian state assets.  Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the incident and said that Britain should expect a response to its' actions.  Mrs May said that Sergei Skripal and his daughter were targetted with a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent and has asked Moscow whether they were responsible, or whether they had lost control of stocks of the highly dangerous substance. 

Gillingham streets closed down in nerve agent investigation

Streets in Gillingham in Dorset have been put into lockdown as part of the investigation into the nerve agent attack last week.  The operation, led by the military, is believed to be centred around a recovery vehicle parked there which was used to remove a car belonging to the Skripals.  Theresa May has given Russia an ultimatum to explain how a Soviet-era nerve agent was used in an attack on a former double agent on the streets of Salisbury.  Russia has denied all involvement and has demanded a sample of the chemical agent before responding. 

Major fire near Brent Cross causes traffic disruption

Emergency services are tackling a fire which broke out in a lorry believed to contain gas cylinders close to the Brent Cross Shopping Centre.  Four fire engines and 21 crew tackled the blaze involving a vehicle which is part of a circus show in the area.  Surrounding roads were closed and bus routes diverted, but Transport for London that traffic was 

Counter-terrorism police investigate death of Russian in Surrey

On Tuesday, counter-terrorism police were investigating the unexplained death of a Russain, Nikolai Glushkov, whose body had been found at his Surrey home late on Monday.  Police said that the case was not linked to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury, but the investigation was underway because of the victim's association to Boris Berezovsky, a Russian tycoon who was also found dead at his home in 2013.  Berezovsky had fled to claim asylum in the UK after a row with Vladimir Putin, and was found hanged at his Ascot home, although the coroner recorded an open verdict.  Glushkov had always been vocally sceptical that his associate had taken his own life.  He had worked for Russian airline Aeroflot and at a car company owned by Berezovksy and had served five years in a Russian jail for money laundering and fraud, before fleeing to the UK to claim political asylum in 2004.  

Russia refuses to respond to ultimatum

Russia has refused to respond to Theresa May's midnight deadline to explain how a Soviet-era nerve agent was used to poison a former Russian double agent in Salisbury, until it receives samples of the chemical substance.  The Russian embassy said that Russia was not involved in the incident, and that any punitive measures would elicit a response.  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury 10 days ago and remain in critical condition in hospital.

Parsons Green bomber denies being trained by IS

Ahmed Hassan, the 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who is on trial for the Parsons Green bombing has denied being trained by Islamic State, and says that he was seeking a better life in Britain.  When he originally arrived in the UK in 2015, he told officials that he had been forced to join the terror group, but he said at his trial today this was a lie to improve his chances of getting asylum.  He admits preparing the explosive device, but says that his intention was for it to burn rather than explode.  The prosecution suggests that he blamed the UK and the US for the deaths of his parents and "felt it was his duty to hate Britain".  Hassan left the device on a tube train at Parsons Green station in September, injuring 30 people when a fireball tore through the carriage.

One injured in helicopter accident at Perth airport

One man was injured in a helicopter accident at Perth airport on Tuesday morning.  No other aircraft or vehicles were involved, and the man was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.  The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service together with emergency service partners at the airport remained at the scene until it was made safe.  Flights and services were not affected.  

Transport for London bans French advert

Transport for London (TfL) has banned an advertisement on the Underground from the Normandy Development Agency urging British businesses to relocate to France after Brexit.  TfL said that the advert contained "images or messages that may cause public controversy or sensitivity".  The region is offering tax breaks and incentives of up to 100,000 euros to British companies who relocate to the north of France.

May demands answers over poisoning attack

Theresa May said yesterday that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury last week, and called for Moscow to explain why a Russian-made military-grade nerve agent was used in the attack.  She added that if there was no "credible response" by the end of 13 March, the UK would conclude there had been an "unlawful use of force" by Moscow.  The Russian Federation Council's Defence and Security Committee have desribed the accusations as "unfounded".  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March, and remain in critical condition in hospital.  A police officer also fell ill attending to them, remains in hospital seriously ill, but is thought to be recovering.

Teenager jailed for multiple acid attacks

A 17-year-old has been jailed for six acid attacks on moped riders in the space of 90 minutes in July.  Derryck John stole two mopeds, and tried to take another four, before being arrested hours after the attacks in north and east London.  The teenager pleaded guilty to the offences, but has refused to name an accomplice, or to reveal where he obtained the noxious substance.  

Salisbury residents told to take precautions against nerve agent

Up to 500 Salisbury residents who were present at the pub and restaurant involved in the ex-Russian spy poisoning case, have been told to wash their clothes and clean their possessions after traces of a nerve agent were found in both venues.  The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies has said that the risk of harm was "low", but as a precaution anyone in attendance at the two venues should wash their clothes in a machine, and wipe down any items such as handbags, phones and jewellery with wet wipes which should then be disposed of in sealed plastic bags.  Residents have expressed concern that the advice was not issued earlier, but Dame Sally said that there had been a painstaking process of scientific tests and that no further harm had been caused by the delay.  More than 250 counter-terrorism police and 150 military are now involved in the investigation.  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical condition in hospital and a police officer who was the first responder is recovering.  

Forensic expert testifies at Parsons Green trial

The trial of Ahmed Hassan, who is charged with attempted murder after placing an explosive device on a tube train at Parsons Green in September last year, began this week.  The 18-year-old denies all charges.  The device partially exploded, producing a fireball through the tube carriage and injuring 30 people.  On Friday, forensics experts explained the difference between "detonation" and "rapid burn", which could explain why the shrapnel contained in the device had not caused as much damage as it might have done.  The Iraqi teen had already explained that he used the money he won for a school merit prize to buy the chemicals for the improvised device.

Teenager shot outside North London cinema

A 19-year-old boy has been shot dead outside the Vue cinema in Wood Green in the early hours of Thursday in what police believe was a targeted killing.  His assailants fled on a moped according to witnesses, but police are appealing for further information.  

Foreign Minister promises robust response to poisoning case

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has promised that he will respond "robustly" to the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury on Sunday, if it was discovered that a foreign government had been involved.  Former British Intelligence officer, Annie Machon, cautioned against jumping to conclusions about who is responsible.  Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain in serious condition in hospital after being exposed to what is believed to be a nerve agent.  The police officer who was first on the scene and was also affected, is understood to be recovering.  

Britain First leaders jailed

On Wednesday, the leaders of far-right extremist group Britain First were jailed for hate crimes against Muslims.  Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were arrested in May for the distribution of leaflets and posting videos during the rape trial of three Muslim men.  The judge ruled that their behaviour was intended to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants, and jailed them for 18 and 36 weeks respectively.  The Britain First group became more visible to the public last year after US President Donald Trump retweeted some of their posts on Twitter.  

Fresh severe weather warnings issued

The Met Office has issued fresh severe-weather warnings as the country recovers from a big freeze and Storm Emma.  The affected areas are East and West Midlands, Wales, North West England and Yorkshire and Humber.  More than 10 centimetres (4 inches) of snow has been forecast, and motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys and be prepared for the conditions.  Rail passengers may also suffer disruption to their journeys.  The new weather front comes as over 20,000 properties in London and the South East had their water supplies restored, days after thawing temperatures caused pipes to burst.  

Disruption on Merseyrail due to explosion

An explosion on a Merseyrail train early on Thursday morning left commuters stranded for hours and affected power to the Northern Line.  Witnesses reported sparks and flashes as well as flames and smoke when the train ground to a halt. The company has apologised for the inconvenience and said that the problem was due to compacted snow which had prevented the transmission of power to the motors, causing damage. Services between Walton and Ormskirk were suspended, and no replacement buses were available due to severe weather.  Disruption is to be expected for the remainder of the day.  

Demonstrations against visit of Saudi Crown prince

Protests at Downing Street greeted the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman yesterday, on his visit to the UK to meet Theresa May and have lunch with the Queen.  Hundreds of demonstrators brandished placards protesting against Saudi involvement in a US-back coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.  Blockades of food and medicine there have led to a cholera outbreak and widespread hunger.  The Financial Times newspaper has reported that Saudi Arabia and the UK will sign agreements potentially worth more than $100 billion during the visit, sparking calls for Mrs May to end the sale of arms to the country.  

Two teenagers killed and seven injured after A61 crash

Two 17-year-olds have been killed and seven other people, including two children, taken to hospital after a collision involving three vehicles on the A61 in North Yorkshire last night.  The road was closed at the scene of the accident, and reopened in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Police enquiries are ongoing, and they are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage to assist in estalishing the circumstances of the incident.

Nerve agent used in Salisbury poisoning

Counter terrorism police have confirmed that government scientists had identified the nerve agent used in the attempted murder of an ex-Russian spy in Salisbury on Sunday.  Sergei and Yulia Skripal are still unconscious and remain critically ill in hospital, as well as a police officer who was first to attend the scene and who is now showing signs of recovery.  The authorities reported that they believe that the two initial victims were specifically targeted, and that there was no widespread health risk to the general public. Nerve agents are highly toxic chemicals that prevent the nervous system working and shut down bodily functions.  

Fire at Blackpool Tower traps 12

A small fire has broken out in the Blackpool Tower, trapping around 12 people, although Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said that they were being held in a safe area.  According to witnesses, the blaze was started when contractors were working on the roof of the building at the base of the tower itself, triggering a smoke alarm and the evacuation of the premises.  No injuries have been reported.  Emergency services are at the scene, and nearby Bank Hey Street has been closed.

EU offers limited free-trade agreement

On Wednesday, the EU offered Britain a draft free-trade agreement but with much more limited cooperation than London had called for.  The bloc has said that Britain will be treated like any other third country in respect of financial services, while Theresa May had hoped that this sector might be included in any future free-trade deal in order to preserve UK banks' current access to continental Europe. 

Fire at University Hospital Coventry

A fire has broken out near the mother and baby unit of Coventry's University Hospital this morning.  Eight fire engines attended the blaze, which is believed to have started in an extractor flue in a boiler room.  Some wards have been evacuated but no injuries were reported.  

Two buses collide in Manchester city centre

Two buses collided at a busy junction in Manchester city centre this morning, leaving 14 people injured, although none of them seriously.  The emergency services attended the scene near Picadilly station, where initial reports indicated that one bus had run into the back of the other, causing the doors to jam and trapping passengers on board.  The incident has caused delays in the city centre while the buses are removed from the scene.  Stagecoach, the bus operator and Manchester police will carry out an investigation. 

Cobra emergency meeting to be held over Russian poisoning case

British counter-terrorism police have taken over the investigation into the suspected poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.   The pair were found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday and remain in critical condition after exposure to an unknown substance.  A nearby restaurant and pub which had been visited by the father and daughter remain closed as a precaution.  The Home Secretary Amber Rudd is due to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee today in response to the incident.  Public Health England have said that it did not appear that there was an risk to the general public.

Official visit of Saudi crown prince begins

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is due to begin his official visit to the UK today, when he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May at her countryside residence, and have lunch with the Queen.  Protests are expected at Downing Street on Wednesday to demonstrate against the visit and the kingdom's human rights record, as well as the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.  Mohammed bin Salman is however credited with leading a number of social reforms, including allowing women to drive and lifting a ban on cinemas.  According to Downing Street, the meeting with Mrs May will tackle terrorism, extremism, the Yemen and other regional issues such as Iraq and Syria.   

Explosion of police car sparks bomb fears

Police were called on Tuesday morning when a police car caught fire on the A2 Belfast to Bangor road, sparking fears that it was caused by a bomb.  The road was closed while emergency services investigated.  Subsequent reports revealed that the incident was due to mechanical failure.  The female officer was able to evacuate the car and was uninjured.

One person dead in carbon monoxide leak at London hotel

A Spanish tourist has been found dead, and his friend is in critical condition after a suspected carbon monoxide leak at the four-star Mayflower hotel in Kensington.  Police reported that at this stage they were treating the death as unexplained.  

Man stabbed to death outside South Norwood nursery

A man was stabbed to death outside a nursery in South Norwood on Monday.  Police and paramedics battled to save him, but nothing could be done to save his life.  Police are appealing for witnesses, particularly as the attack took place at rush hour.  The number of fatal stabbings in London this year is at least 18.

Substation explosion leaves thousands without power

On Monday evening, an explosion at a substation in Saltburn, North Yorkshire left around 22,000 people with a supply of electricity.  Homes in Redcar, Teeside and Hartlepool were affected.  Emergency services attended the scene and were able to extinguish the blaze, which may have been caused by a power surge.  

Major incident declared in Salisbury, Russian in critical condition

On 5 March, a major incident was declared in Salisbury when a man and a woman were found unconscious on a bench in a local shopping centre after being exposed to an unknown substance.  It later emerged that the male was Sergei Skripal who was a colonel in the Russian military intelligence, arrested in Russia in 2004 on suspicion of spying for the British and sentenced to 13 years.  He was released in 2010 following a "spy swap" and moved to the UK. The pair remain in critical condition in hospital.  Investigators are understood to be drawing comparisons to the 2006 murder of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko who drank radioactive polonium given to him in a cup of tea.  All attempts to extradite the prime suspects for that crime from Russia have failed.  Public Health England said that anyone who had been exposed to the unknown substance had been "decontaminated", and that patients at Salisury hospital were not in any danger.     

Six men arrested in connection with Leicester explosion

A sixth man has been arrested in connection with the Leicester explosion which caused a building to collapse last week, killing five people.  Three other men are to appear in court on 5 March on charges of manslaughter and arson, and a further two have been released under investigation.  The blast is believed to have been caused by an illegal distillery that the men were operating in the basement.  Police have confirmed that the explosion was not terror-related.

Aftermath of severe weather revealed

The RAF are to airlift supplies to some Cumbrian villages that have been cut off for five days following substantial snowfall.  It is likely that the villages of Fellside, South Stainmore and Alston will not have their roads cleared for another 48 hours, and supplies of food, coal and heating appliances are being airlifted to the worst affected areas.  In other areas of the UK, thousands of homes in South London were left without water when pipes broke due to fluctuating temperatures.  The RAC have warned of the risk of substantial potholes on the roads as the snow subsides.

Explosion in north east London

On Sunday, emergency services were called to reports of an explosion in Harold Hill.  Local residents were evacuated from their homes, but police reported that the incident was due to a gas leak, and was not terror related.

Theresa May sets out her vision for Britain after Brexit

Theresa May spoke at the Mansion House in London on Friday, after the venue had to be switched from the North East due to the weather conditions.  Mrs May said that the UK would align with EU rules to secure free-flowing trade, and that a deal with Brussels would be the first free trade agreement to cover broadcasting and financial services. She also set out a list of tests for the UK's future relationship with the bloc.  Mrs May also said that it is the responsibility of the UK Government and the European Commission to find a solution to the contentious issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.  

Travel chaos across the UK

The military have been drafted in to clear the M62 near Rochdale where many motorists were stranded overnight.  The majority of flights have been cancelled due to high winds and ongoing snowfall, while rail services are also likely to be disrupted.  Eurostar have cancelled a number of their services.  In all cases, travellers are advised to consult their travel provider before leaving home.  

UK paralysed by heavy snowfall

The UK has suffered the heaviest snowfall in thirty years, bring chaos to roads, railways and air travel.  Thousands of schools and businesses had been closed in anticipation of the arrival of the storm.  On Friday morning, the Met Office red warning for the south-west of the UK was lifted.  Meanwhile, hundreds of motorists were trapped on the M62 overnight when conditions deteriorated.  Around 100 vehicles were stranded on the A303 in Hampshire, and hundreds of passengers were trapped on a broken-down train near Christchurch.  A 7-year-old girl died when a car crashed into a house in Cornwall. Currently, two lanes of the M1 have been closed and and the M2 is closed eastbound. The police are warning people not to travel unless absolutely essential.  

Over 20 injured in motorway pile-up

Over 20 people have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident on the M66 between Ramsbottom and Bury, due to severe weather and atrocious driving conditions. Manchester Fire and Rescue Services said that the motorway had been closed in both directions and asked the public to avoid the area.  

Counter-terrorism police arrest man at Stansted Airport

A Swedish passenger arriving from Stockholm has been detained by counter-terrorism police at Stansted airport, Metropolitan Police confirmed.  The arrest on Tuesday morning was made on suspicion of possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.  He is being held at an Essex police station while Counter Terrorism Command make further investigations.

Three arrested in connection with Leicester explosion

Three men have been arrested over the explosion in a Leicester supermarket on Sunday night, which killed five people and injured five more.  Three of the victims were a mother and her two sons who lived above the shop.  Two people are also unaccounted for and presumed dead, but the fire which was still burning on Monday morning has made identification difficult. Search teams have faced several challenges due to concerns over the structural integrity of neighbouring buildings and severe weather. 

Tusk to ask for better Northern Ireland idea

Donald Tusk is to ask the Prime Minister for a "better idea" in order to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.  Theresa May had previously rejected EU proposals because she said they would "split the UK in two".  Both the EU and the Irish goverment want to avoid the return to a physical border with posts and checks, and whilst the UK has suggested that new IT systems could be introduced that would avoid this, it has yet to clarify how this might work.  Mrs May is due to give a Brexit speech on Friday.  

Severe travel disruptions reported

The Automobile Association (AA) have issued warnings of "atrocious" conditions on UK roads, and warned against any but essential travel.  Hundreds of people were stranded in their cars on the M80 in Scotland as conditions deteriorated last night, and the A15 between Lincoln and Scunthorpe has been closed.  Meanwhile, many train services are disrupted, including the closure of Paddington in London, no trains between Carlisle and Scotland, and services suspended between Newcastle and Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Air travel has also been affected with both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports closed until 15:00.  Cancellations and delays are to be expected at all UK airports.  Those who need to travel are advised to check with their provider before leaving home.  

Red weather warnings for Scotland and south-western England

On Thursday 1 March, a "danger to life" red warning remains in place for central Scotland, whilst the same level has today been issued for south-western England as Storm Emma makes its' way up from France.  Amber warnings are in place elsewhere in Scotland, northern and eastern England and the East Midlands.  The public are advised to avoid any non-essential travel.

Protests planned for Saudi prince visit

The Prime Minister has confirmed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Britain, which led to Human Rights campaigners to announce a demonstration next Wednesday in the capital.  Organizers are critical of the successor to the Saudi throne's human rights record, as well as calling on Theresa May to suspend UK arms sales to his country in view of their military action in Yemen.  A Saudi-led blockade has led to Yemen being on the brink of famine.  Mrs May said that the joint relationship on intelligence-sharing would make both countries safer, and praised recent decisions to allow women to drive and reforms to health, education and infrastructure amongst other areas.

Disruption to travel as weather warnings continue

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures have caused fresh warnings and delays and disruptions to road and air traffic.  Some flights have been cancelled from Heathrow and Gatwick, with Glasgow Airport closing temporarily while the runway was cleared.  Air passengers are advised to contact their airline before travelling to the airport.  Rail travellers have also been warned of cancellations and delays, particularly on routes operated by TfL, London Overground, c2c, Southeastern, Greater Anglia, Virgin Trains, Southern, South Western Railway and ScotRail.  Road travellers are being asked to avoid unnecessary travel, with the Met Office posted more amber warnings for fresh snowfall, particularly in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, East Midlands, East of England, London and the South East.

Over 64,000 UK deaths in January, highest since records began

Government figures show that 64,157 people died in the UK in January, the highest figure since records began in 2006.  The Office for National Statistics reported that circulating influenza was likely to be a contributory factor.  There has been a surge of four aggressive subtypes of flu, including one from Australia which triggered triple the normal number of cases in their winter.  Another Yamagata strain, known as "Japanese flu" raised concerns because it was not covered in a vaccine given to the elderly.  

Two dead and five injured in London house fire

Two men have been killed and five more injured in a housefire that tore through flats above shops in Tolworth, South London early this morning. The London Fire Brigade reported that they sent 58 firefighters to the scene, but it took almost three hours to get the blaze under control.  The cause of the fire is not known, and will now be the subject of an investigation. 

Three killed in hazardous driving conditions

Three people were killed when their vehicle overturned on the A15 in Lincolnshire, amid fresh warnings from the police of hazardous driving conditions.  Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which involved a blue Renault Clio and a white Scania lorry.  The road has been closed while investigations are under way.  

Ryanair to reduce presence at Glasgow Airport

Ryanair announced on Tuesday that they would be closing their Glasgow International base due to uncertainty caused by Brexit and high air-passenger taxes.  One aircraft and nine routes will be moved to Edinburgh Airport, with only three - Dublin, Wroclaw and Krakow - remaining at Glasgow, and placing around 300 jobs at risk. The Air Passenger Duty is a flat rate of £13 which the Irish budget airline says is more than a third of their average fare.  The move comes only days after Ryanair pilots called for Michael O'Leary, the Chief Executive, to resign.

Three dead in Northern Irish house fire

At least three people have been killed in a house fire that started early this morning in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has reported.  Fire services from Lisnaskea and Enniskillen attended the scene, but the blaze was well advanced at the detached bungalow.  The emergency services remain at the scene, where they are working to establish the cause of the fire.  A 27-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

Leicester explosion kills five

A major incident was declared in Hinkley Road, Leicester, on Sunday evening when an explosion caused a building housing a shop and a flat to collapse.  Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service reported that five people are now known to have been killed and five taken to hospital with injuries.  On Monday morning, crews are working to find any survivors who may be trapped inside the building. Local residents were evacuated and power supplies compromised.  Hinkley Road remains closed in both directions and the public are advised to avoid the area as emergency services work to secure surrounding properties.  Authorities said that it was too early to say what caused the explosion, but it was not thought to be terror-related.  

No customs union with EU after Brexit, says May

A spokesman for the Prime Minister has said that Britain will not seek to enter a customs union with the EU after Brexit, while Jeremy Corbin, leader of the Labour Party said his party wanted to negotiate a new customs union to ensure tariff-free trade.  The Conservatives insist that they want to have the freedom to sign independent trade deals and to reach out into the world.  

BA cancels flights out of Heathrow due to severe weather warnings

British Airways has cancelled more than 36 flights out of Heathrow Airport today, as a proactive measure against the Met Office's severe weather warnings for the rest of the week.  Travellers are advised to contact the company before travelling to the airport.  The forecast warns of substantial snowfall, particularly in the east of the country, and "potential risk to life" because of plummeting temperatures. 

Travel disruption likely ahead of severe weather

The Met Office have issued warnings of heavy snow showers for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and have said that air and road travel delays are likely over the next few days throughout the country.  The weather front is approaching from the east, and Greater Anglia limited services on Monday ahead of the freezing weather, with all night train services stopping at 22:00, and with limited services on Tuesday.  South Eastern have advised commuters to finish their journeys by 18:00 to avoid becoming stranded.  Transport for London (TfL) urged passengers to check before traveling as disruptions on Underground and Overground services was possible. The forecast is for 20 centimetres of snow in parts of eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and winds making it feel like minus 10 degrees centigrade.  

Cold spell forecast for UK

The Met Office is predicting the coldest weather for at least five years for next week.  Significant and disruptive snowfall is likely, particularly for Eastern regions, with worst affected areas seeing up to 30cm throughout the week.

Teenager arrested on suspicion of London stabbings

Police investigating two murders in Camden on Tuesday night have arrested an 18-year-old resident.  The suspect is being held in an East London police station on suspicion of two counts of murder and a further charge of grievous bodily harm.  Fifteen people have been stabbed to death in London so far this year, five of them teenagers.  

Brexit crunch talks held at Chequers

Theresa May and 11 of her top ministers held an eight-hour discussion on Thursday at the Prime Minister's country retreat to try to agree the UK's approach to Brexit.  Mrs May will set out the agreement in a speech next week following a discussion by the full cabinet.  There have been clear and public differences between ministers on the way forward,  but sources revealed that Mrs May had persuaded some Brexiteers to shift their position.  However documents suggest that the European Commission is unlikely to allow the UK to "cherry pick" which EU rules to abide by, and which to diverge from after Brexit.  

Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam resigns amid prostitution scandal

Penny Lawrence, Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam resigned on Monday over the prostitution scandal which is engulfing the charity.  The announcement was made following talks between Oxfam bosses and ministers over allegations that senior aid workers used prostitutes in Haiti during the 2010 earthquake relief effort.  Two of the men involved had been previously implicated in a similar situation in Chad, leading to the charity facing criticism over its' response to the allegations.  Fresh accusations also revealed that three staff members had threatened and intimidated a witness during an internal investigation.  The Haitian goverment has threatened to expel Oxfam following the accusations.

Man and his grandson killed at level crossing

On Saturday a 72-year-old man and his 15-year-old grandson were killed when their car was hit by a train at a level crossing in Horsham, West Sussex.   The teenagers younger brother had been due to travel with the pair who were on their way to a football match, but decided not to go.  British Transport Police are investigating the incident.

Two injured following explosion under Docklands train

Two people suffered minor injuies in the rush to evacuate a train thismorning at Pontoon Dock on the Docklands Light Railway, following an explosion underneath a train.  British Transport Police said that the station was shut while they investigated the cause of the incident which was thought to be an electrical fault.

Eight vehicle pile-up closes M23

A pile-up on the M23 between junctions eight and nine involving eight vehicles, forced the closure of the busy Gatwick to London motorway overnight on Thursday.  Two lorries and six cars crashed on the northbound lane, resulting in one car being overturned and a fuel spill across the road.  One person was seriously injured and taken to St Georges' hospital in Tooting.  

Man jailed for murder of niece

A man has been jailed for 40 years for the kidnap, murder and rape of his niece and the attempted murder of a further woman.  Mujahid Arshid kidnapped, stabbed and raped both women, but the second victim managed to escape and text her family.  Arshid had put the body of the victim in a freezer and intended to flee to Pakistan but was apprehended by police in Folkstone.  

Coach bursts into flames on M25

A coach caught fire on the M25 on Wednesday evening, leading to the evacuation of around 30 passengers.  The incident happened between junctions 15 and 16, and the fire was extinguished quickly but led to extensive delays on the UK's busiest motorway.  No injuries were reported.  

Two airport vehicles crash at Heathrow airfield

Emergency crews were deployed on Wednesday morning when two vehicles collided on the airfield at Heathrow.  One employee was taken to hospital but subsequently died, while another was treated at the scene.  An area near Terminal 5 has been sealed off while investigations are under way.  There was some disruption to flights as some planes were unable to leave their gates on time. 

Two crashes force closure of M6 near Coventry

The M6 motorway has been closed northbound between Junctions two and three this morning, after two separate incidents in which one man was killed and several injured.  One accident involved seven vehicles, and the second seeing three trucks collide.  Diversions are in operation and drivers are advised to consider alternative routes and allow additional time for journeys.   

Birmingham theatre and library evacuated

The area around Broad Street in Birmingham city centre was cordoned off on Tuesday evening after reports of an explosion.  Police evacuated the public from the busy area and later West Midlands Police confirmed that the explosion was due to a technical fault at the Repertory Theatre.  No injuries were reported.

Three dead in Northampton collision

Three people have died and a fourth is in a serious condition after two vehicles collided early on Monday morning on the A427 between Dingley and Market Harborough. The road was closed until the afternoon, and police are appealing for witnesses to the incident.

Police attending to an incident at the House of Commons

Witnesses have reported that police are responding to a "suspicious package" at the Houses of Parliament.  There is a heavy police presence in the area, and Metropolitan Police will make a statement later this afternoon.  Parliament is currently in recess until 20 February.

Closures and severe delays on District Line

Commuters are experiencing disruption on the District Line this morning.  There was no service between South Kensington and Ealing Broadway and between Earl's Court and Edgware Road, and although Transport for London has since confirmed that the line has reopened, severe delays are to be expected due to a signal failure.  

M5 closed southbound between Junctions 28 and 29

The M5 motorway was closed on Tuesday morning after several vehicles hit a body on the road.  While the Northbound remains open, police are advising drivers to seek alternative routes for the forseeable future.  In a separate incident, a motorcyclist was injured in a collision between Junctions 25 and 26, resulting in further delays.  Police have urged drivers to drive carefully in the adverse weather conditions.

London City Airport reopens

London's City Airport reopened on Tuesday, after the World War II bomb which had been found in the River Thames nearby had been safely removed.

Eurostar launch London to Amsterdam service

Eurostar is to launch a direct service between London and Amsterdam from 4 April, with the journey taking three hours and 41 minutes.  As a temporary measure, passengers travelling from Amsterdam to London will have to change at Brussels to go through passport control until the British and Dutch governments agree over passport checks in the Netherlands. This issue should be resolved by the end of 2019.

London City Airport closed due to WWII bomb

A World War II bomb has been found in the River Thames near London City Airport, forcing the facility to be closed on Monday.  The item was discovered during works to the airport, and a 200 metre exclusion zone has been set up around the airport, including the evacuation of local residents. Around 16,000 travellers are likely to be affected and passengers are advised to contact their airline rather than travel to the airport.

Multiple collision on M5

One person has been killed and at least 10 injured in a multiple-vehicle crash on the M5 in Somerset.  The incident happened at around 06:20 on Friday, and resulted in the motorway being shut between junctions 25 for Taunton and 26 for Wellington.  Police are on the scene and traffic is being diverted away from the area, but it is likely that the road may be closed for several hours and the public are being advised to find alternative routes. 

Girl killed in nightclub crush

A university student was crushed to death by a barrier outside a nightclub in Durham on Wednesday as people queued to get into the venue.  First aiders and doorman tried to resuscitate her but nothing could be done to save her life.  Police have reported that the 20-year-old girl died of a head wound caused by a tragic accident.  

Bank of England to increase interest rates soon

On Thursday the Bank of England (BoE) increased its' growth forecast for Britain, and said that interest rates may have be increased sooner than they predicted some three months ago.  Those responsible for setting the rate voted to hold the bank rate at 0.5 percent while they take time to assess the effect of Brexit, but said that the strong global recovery leads them to believe they should try to return inflation to its' two percent target in two years rather than three. The Monetary Policy Committee raised interest rates in November for the first time in a decade.

Huge blaze at Rochdale warehouse causes traffic disruption

Fire crews were called to Albert Royds Street in Rochdale in the early hours of Thursday morning, amid reports of a fire at an industrial unit.  Around 100 firefighters spent the night battling the blaze and local residents were evacuated or advised to keep doors and windows closed to avoid smoke inhalation.  A railway line close to the building was shut, affecting services between Todmorden and Rochdale.  The Fire Service confirmed this morning that the fire had been extinguished but that they would maintain a presence on site for the remainder of Thursday to avoid hotspots and flare-ups.  

Commuter chaos as Applepay payments declined

Hundreds of London commuters suffered delays and disruptions this morning as Transport for London (TfL) ticket machines stopped accepting Applepay.  TfL confirmed that the problem had been resolved just after 09:00, but commuters complained about a lack of information and alternative payment options. 

Rush hour chaos as train catches fire

Hundreds of rush hour commuters were forced to evacuate a train after it caught fire yesterday evening at Berrylands, South London.  Witnesses reported hearing several loud bangs, and seeing sparks and flames at the side of the carriage.  Fire crews arrived on the scene quickly and evacuated passengers from the train and the platform.  South Western Rail, the train operator reported at the time that the issue was being resolved, but the disabled train was temporarily blocking one of the lines out of London and was likely to cause ongoing delays.  The incident was later blamed on an electrical fault. 

One dead in Holland Park fire

A man has died after an extensive house fire in Holland Park which started in the evening and burned for more than two hours.  Eight neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution. More than 10 fire engines and 80 firefighters were called to the converted flat in the area where multi-million pound houses are home to a host of stars.    

Tesco faces huge equal-pay claim

A prestigious law firm says that thousands of predominantly male distribution workers at Tesco are paid considerably more than the largely female shop staff.  The company said that it had already started to submit claims to correct this disparity on behalf of clients, and that over 200,000 Tesco staff could be affected leading to a potential bill for the company of more than 4 billion pounds.  

Julian Assange UK arrest warrant ruled still valid

Westminster Magistrate's Court has ruled that the arrest warrant for Julian Assange is still valid.  Lawyers for the founder of Wikileaks had argued that it had "lost its' purpose".  The warrant was issued in 2012 after he had allegedly breached bail conditions relating to a sexual assault claim which required him to be extradited to Sweden. Assange sought asylum in Ecuador's London embassy where he has remained. The claims against him have since been dropped, but the judge said that "not surrendering to bail was a stand-alone offence" and she was not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn.  Mr Assange also fears that if he leaves the embassy he could be extradited to the US, where he could face trial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents. 

Tesco fraud trial abandoned

The trial in which three former Tesco executives are accused of fraud and false accounting in a £250 million scandal, has been abandoned pending a possible re-trial. It was revealed that one of the defendants, Carl Rogberg, has had a heart attack and remains in hospital. The case was due to be finished before Christmas but has been beset by delays caused by juror holidays and the illness of the judge.  The Serious Fraud Office will consider whether a re-trial is appropriate. 

Police smash Kurdish people trafficking ring

A major operation by the National Crime Agency on Tuesday morning involving more than 350 officers resulted in raids on 20 properties nationwide including homes and car washes, and several arrests.  The target was a Kurdish gang who are suspected of people trafficking, illegally smuggling hundreds of people into the UK in lorries and charging them thousands of pounds each.  Those detained are suspected of immigration offences and money laundering.  

BA cancels further flights out of London Heathrow

On Monday, British Airways cancelled around 70 short-haul flights out of London Heathrow, with a further 10 flights cancelled on Tuesday.  The airline said that it had decided to stop services over safety concerns, with routes to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Milan, Dublin and Manchester affected. the move drew criticism from travelleres since London experienced barely an inch of snow on Monday.  The Met Office has issued another warning for snow and ice from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning with much of the country likely to see snow in the coming days and this week predicted to be the coldest of the winter so far.  

Thousands march over NHS crisis

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of central London on Sunday to highlight the "crisis" of the NHS and to demand additional funding.  The march was organised by the People's Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, and began in Gower Street, moving on to Downing Street.  There is believed to be a shortfall of approximately 40,000 nurses across the UK at a time when more people are leaving the NHS than joining it, and during one of the worst winters of recent years.  NHS England said that it is doing everything it can to deal with high numbers of patients.  

Hacker wins extradition appeal

Lauri Love, the 33-year-old autistic man accused of hacking into US government computers, has won his UK-based appeal not be extradited.  The Lord Chief Justice found that the extradition would have been against his human rights as he has severe mental health issues and would have been at a "very high risk" of suicide if he was sent to the United States.  The Crown Prosecution Service will now work with US authorities to bring a prosecution in Britain.  US authorities have 14 days to find fresh points to try if they wish to appeal the ruling.  

Parents warned to watch for scarlet fever

Public Health England has announced that scarlet fever cases have increased, with over 700 cases of the infection reported in England and Wales in the last week of January.  Over 17,000 cases were recorded in 2017 with final figures still to be calculated, making it the second-worst year on record.  Scarlet fever is caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria with symptoms including sore throat and fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.  One to two days afterwards, a fine sandpapery rash appears usually on the chest or stomach .  Cases are more common in children although adults of all ages can also develop scarlet fever.  

Severe weather causes multiple accidents in southeast England

Heavy snow, sleet and ice have caused numerous accidents in southeast England today, as forecasters predict one of the coldest weeks of winter so far.  The M20 was particularly badly affected, with collisions involving several vehicles.  Kent police have advised people to control their speed, watch out for static vehicles and allow extra time for journeys.  The Met Office have warned that the mercury could reach as low as minus seven in some areas, with a yellow weather warning in place for the East and West Midlands, North East and North West England and Wales until 15:00 on Tuesday.  

Explosion kills one at Stevenage care home

An elderly man has been killed when an oxygen cylinder exploded at his care home in Stevenage on Saturday.  Seven other people were taken to hospital as a result of the ensuing blaze, with firefighters rescuing several people from the building. The home, which changed hands in August last year, had previously been found to "require improvement" following a routine Care Quality Commission inspection earlier in the year.  

Lloyds Bank cracks down on Bitcoin purchases

Lloyds Banking Group, Britain's biggest bank, is set to tell its' nine million credit card users that it will block any attempts to buy Bitcoin amid fears that their customers could run up huge losses, for which the bank could ultimately become responsible.  The cryptocurrency has lost more than half its' value in the last two months and is popular with criminals because it can be used to evade traditional money-laundering checks and other regulations.  Facebook recently announced that it would block any advertising promoting cryptocurrencies, and the UK Treasury said that it intends to update the regulations to include virtual currency platforms into anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financial regulations.  

Burst water main causes cancellations at Manchester hospitals

A burst water main restricted supplies to four Manchester hospitals on Monday, causing them to cancel hundreds of operations.  The affected facilities are the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.  Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said that cancer operations would be unaffected, together with an urgent procedures, and that all other appointments would be rescheduled as soon as possible.

UK rules out customs union with EU after Brexit

According to a source from the Prime Minister's office, Britain has ruled out any customs union with the EU after Brexit, because this could prevent London from make trade deals with countries outside the bloc. 

Fire on plane at Bristol airport causes delays

Passengers were evacuated from a KLM flight to Amsterdam at Bristol airport this morning, following reports of a fire.  According to an airport source, the disembarcation was a precautionary measure, and passengers were allowed to return to the aircraft once the incident had been dealt with.  There may be minor delays during the morning of Monday as a result.  

May signs lucrative trade deals with China

At the end of her three-day trip to China, Prime Minister Theresa May said that her visit has yielded new trade deals worth nine-and-a-half billion pounds and created over 2,500 new jobs across the United Kingdom. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that his country's relations with Britain will remain unchanged throughout Brexit.  China is the worlds' second-largest economy and Britain is keen to sign a free-trade agreement with the country.

Finsbury Park mosque attacker sentenced to 43 years

Darren Osborne, the man who drove a van into a crowd of Muslims near Finsbury Park mosque, has been sentenced to life in prison for murder and attempted murder, and will serve a minimum of 43 years.  The 51-year-old victim who died had previously collapsed on the pavement, but was still alive when Osborne deliberately mowed down the pedestrians, also injuring 12 others.  The jury took only one hour to convict him after a nine-day trial.

Arrest made in relation to Nottingham station fire

British Transport Police have confirmed that a 33-year-old woman from Derby has been arrested on suspicion of arson relating to the fire at Notthingham railway station on 12 January.  Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have been at the station between 05:00 and 06:30 on that Friday.  The blaze caused extensive damage to the building, and caused travel chaos for thousands of passengers.

Three arrested after stabbing at London Bridge station

Police were called to a disturbance at around 06:50 on Friday morning at London Bridge station, where a man had been stabbed. Three men were arrested at the scene, but southbound and northbound Northern line platforms were closed during the incident, causing some delays and disruptions to communter travel.  The police said that the incident was "not terror related".  

Ministers meet with Capita following profit warning

Oliver Dowden, junior cabinet office minister, told parliament on Thursday that officials had met with senior executives of Capita following its large profit warning earlier in the week.  The outsourcing company lost 50 percent of its' value when its' new boss slashed profit forecasts and set out plans to raise cash, including cancelling dividends. The situation drew comparisons with rival Carillion who collapsed with massive debt last month, leading to criticism of the government for continuing to award them large public service contracts despite previous profit warnings. 

Finsbury Park mosque attacker found guilty

The man who drove a van into a crowd outside a London mosque at Finsbury Park in June last year, killing one and injuring nine others, has been found guilty.  Darren Osborne, 48-years-old, had denied the charges, although he admitted wanted to kill Muslims and said he had also planned to target Jeremy Corbin and Sadiq Khan.  The victim had collapsed at the side of the road but was conscious before he was struck by the van.  The jury took only one hour to find him guilty of murder and attempted murder, and he will be sentenced on Friday.  

Palace of Westminster refurbishment approved

London lawmakers have voted in favour of moving out of the Palace of Westminster so that a massive renovation costing £3.5 billion can take place, beginning in 2025, and lasting up to six years. It will be the first time that British MPs and peers will have left the building since World War II.  The Commons will move to Richmond House on nearby Whitehall and the Lords will relocate to the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre.  The Lords still have to vote on the matter but are expected to agree.  The proposal has been prompted by the poor standard of deteriorating buildings and fire risk.  

Woman dragged under train at Notting Hill Gate

A woman was dragged underneath a train on Wednesday when her coat was caught in the doors.  Passengers were evacuated from the station, and Transport for London were able to derail the train to safely remove her from the tracks.  The station was later re-opened but with severe delays to the central line service. The condition of the woman is not known.

Blaze breaks out at former Teeside school

On Wednesday evening fire broke out at Eston Park Academy, a former school which had been derelict for some years.  Numerous fire engines attended the incident and surrounding roads were shut with residents told to stay indoors to avoid smoke inhalation. It is not clear how the blaze started, and no injuries were reported.  The fire was brought under control at approximately 10:00

UK and EU set to clash over citizens' rights

British Prime Minister Theresa May has suggested that EU citizens coming to Britain after Brexit in March 2019 will be treated differently compared to when the UK was still in the bloc.  The European Union has stated that they expect their three million citizens to remain eligible for free movement throughout the EU and including Britain until the end of 2020.  Curbing immigration is thought to be one of the main reasons why Britons voted to leave the EU following an influx of people, particularly from poorer countries in eastern Europe.  Britain and the EU will need to resolve this issue to reach a transitional deal.  

Brothers arrested in £50 million drugs haul

Two British brothers have been arrested, together with two Spaniards and an Italian, for importing cocaine worth £50 million on a private jet which landed at Farnborough airport.  The aircraft had arrived from Bogota in Colombia on Monday, and the drugs were found in 15 suitcases on board, according to the Border Force.  

Passport application fees to rise

The Home Office announced plans that will see a rise in all passport fees, with postal applications becoming dearer in order to encourage online use.  Current prices are £72.50 for a standard adult passport, whether new or renewal, and this fee will rise to £75.50 for online applications and £85 using the post.  Children's passport fees will rise from £46 to £49 online and £58.50 for postal applications.  The plans have yet to be approved by Parliament.

Brexit transition talks to begin

Ministers from the 27 EU states, led by Michel Barnier, have met to formally endorse their approach to Phase Two of Brexit talks.  David Davis said that fortnightly talks will commence in the coming weeks, and that he is confident of reaching agreement before a Brussels summit in March.  Topics that are likely to be discussed include the future of the customs union, trade and how London can sign up to trade deals with other countries while bound by EU agreements.  

Britain's first bitcoin heist takes place in Oxfordshire

The first Bitcoin heist has been reported in Britain, when armed raiders broke into a family home In Moulsford, Oxfordshire last Monday, and took a family hostage, forcing the father to transfer a large amount of the digital currency. It is thought that the man had established his own digital currency firm, and he could have been identified as a target because of the volume of his online trading.  Police later confirmed that the transaction had failed, so the victim did not incur a loss.  Pupils and teachers at local Cranford House School were under lockdown as police searched for the perpetrators.  Bitcoin is a digital currency that had a huge surge in value in July, and that allows people to trade anonymously online without regulation or the use of banks. It is therefore impossible to trace the funds. 

Accountancy firm to be investigated over construction company collapse

Dutch accountancy firm KPMG is to be investigated over its' role in the collapse of construction company Carillion.  The UK's Financial Reporting Council will conduct the review which will cover 2014 to 2016 and the audit work during 2017.  The construction company went into compulsory liquidation two weeks ago with debts of £1.3 billion, a massive pension deficit and a number of unfinished public contracts.  The company's directors have been accused of paying out generous dividends to shareholders rather than tackling the pension deficit, and the government for continuing to award vast contracts to the company despite profit warnings.

Two arrested over three-death crash

Two men have been arrested over a car crash in Hayes on Saturday which killed three teenagers. The three boys were walking with a group of friends on their way to a 16th birthday party when the driver of the black Audi which was travellling at high speed, lost control and mounted the pavement.  The two occupants of the car originally left the scene, but one was arrested nearby, and the other handed himself in to police following a public appeal.  Enquiries are under way to establish the full circumstances of the crash. 

Fire breaks out at Bolton college

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were responding to a fire at Bolton College on Friday morning.  The blaze is believed to have broken out at a beauty salon on the first floor, leading to hundreds of staff and students being evacuated from the building. No injuries were reported, but the college will remain closed for at least 36 hours.

Juvenile detained for Leeds crash deaths

The driver of a stolen car which crashed in Leeds in November, killing five people including three children, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years detention.  The 15-year-old admitted five charges of death by dangerous driving, having previously lied and said one of the other youths had been at the wheel.  Police had described the scene as "carnage", and witnesses said that the car was travelling at approximately 88  miles per hour when it hit a tree.  

Meat recall affects restaurant and pub chains, care homes and schools

A meat firm that supplies multiple pubs and restaurant chains as well as care homes and schools has been ordered to halt all deliveries after alleged "serious non-compliance" with food safety regulations.  Wetherspoons, Jamie Oliver restaurants, and Greene King and Marston's pubs are among those who have been advised to dispose of any unused meat supplied by Derby-based Russell Hume. The Food Standards Agency reported that there was no indication that people would become ill from eating the meat, but that the incident related to hygiene practices and labelling, and that the measures taken were of a precautionary nature.

Five-car accident leaves one dead

Five cars were involved in an accident on Wednesday night on the A12 eastbound at Leytonstone.  According to witnesses, a BMW collided with four vehicles before hitting the central reservation.  One person died at the scene as a result of the accident, but the occupants of the BMW left the scene, and have not yet been traced.  Police are appealing for witnesses.

Firefighters tackle blaze in Haymarket

Almost 60 firefighters were working to control a blaze at a steak restaurant in Haymarket on Monday morning.  London Fire Brigade reported that the blaze started in the ventilation system and spread to the first and second floors.  They were called at 08:00 and it took until 15:00 to get the fire under control, with roads around the area cordoned off, causing disruption to roads in the busy area.   No injuries were reported.

Finsbury Park mosque attacker linked to far-right groups

Jurors in the trial of Darren Osborne, who is accused of driving a van into a crowd outside Finsbury Park mosque in June, learned today that he had received social media messages from Britain First members.  Makram Ali, 51, was killed in the deliberate attack, and several others were injured.  According to telephone records, Osborne, 48,  had searched for the far-right group on social media, and subsequently received messages from deputy leader Jayda Fransen, and member Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League.  On 17 June, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, it is alleged that he collected the hired vehicle, and two days later deliberately ploughed into the group of Muslims who had just left the mosque.

Travel chaos in London following gas leak

A mains gas leak that closed Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations earlier this morning has led to further travel chaos, with Kings Cross station due to overcrowding.  At least 110,000 people use Charing Cross every day, and their diversion to other routes has caused crowds to build at several stations such as Kings Cross and also including Liverpool Street and London Bridge.  Cadent Gas engineers are on site on Craven Street and a spokesman said "We are working with the emergency services and a safety precaution, an exclusion zone has been put in place".  The authorities hope to reopen roads and stations as soon as emergency services confirm that it is safe to do so.

Charing cross and Waterloo East stations closed due to gas leak

Charing Cross station was closed and a cordon placed around it after a ruptured gas main in Craven Street prompted the evacuation of a nightclub and a hotel in the area early on Tuesday morning.  The London Fire Brigade confirmed that around 1,500 people had been taken to safety, and guests at the hotel were placed in alternative temporary accommodation.  Southeastern, the rail company that runs trains into Charing Cross said that many morning trains would be diverted to other destinations, but that there were likely to be cancellations and disruptions throughout the day. Waterloo East was also closed because trains could not turn round before reaching Charing Cross. A spokesman for Network Rail who run the rail infrastructure said that they planned to reopen the stations as soon as the emergency services advised them that it was safe to do so.    

Eight senior party figures resign from UKIP

Henry Bolton, Leader of the UKIP party has refused to resign his post following a vote of no confidence, leading to the resignation of eight senior party figures.  Those who have left their posts in protest are Margot Parker, UKIP Deputy Leader, Gerard Batten, Brexit spokesman, John Bickley , immigration spokesman, William Dartmouth, trade and industry spokesman, Mike Hooke, assistant deputy leader, Tim Aker, local government spokesman, David Kurten, education spokesman and Peter Whittle, London spokesman.  Mr Bolton's future lies in the hands of the party's membership with a vote due to take place in the next month at an emergency general meeting.

Gatwick to study using emergency runway to increase capacity

Gatwick Airport Head Stewart Wingate has confirmed that they are considering using the emergency runway, which runs parallel to the main one, for regular flights in a bid to increase capacity.  This move comes more than two years after their proposal to build a second runway was rejected in favour of a third runway at Heathrow.  Gatwick airport spokeswoman Laura Tattam said that the emergency runway had been used extensively recently while maintenance is performed on the main runway.

Suspicious package causes road closures near Kings Cross

On the morning of 19 January, a suspect package in Pentonville Road and Caledonian Road, in the proximity of King's Cross Station, caused roads to be cordoned off, although the station itself remained in operation.  One the authorities had determined that the package was not dangerous, the cordons were lifted.  

Galileo satnav systems to move hub to Spain after Brexit

Galileo satnav monitoring systems have decided to relocate their centre to Spain.  The UK won the contract in 2010 but the EU has decided it must remain within the bloc, so will be relocated to Madrid once Britain leaves.  The Galileo system provides highly accurate global positioning information for phones, cars, maritime and travel services and was created so that the EU had its' own technology and was not dependent on the US military.  The new centre is expected to cost in the region of 4 million euros and will be located in San Martin de la Vega, southwest of the capital.  This is the third EU agency to announce that it is leaving the UK after Brexit, with the European Banking Authority going to Amsterdam and the European Medicines Agency transferring to Paris.

Extreme caution urged on roads and disruption on railways due to severe weather

Gales of more than 80 miles per hour battered Britain overnight, bringing fresh travel disruption on roads and causing major delays and cancellations on the railways. Disruption has been caused on both roads and rail by fallen trees and debris.  The Met Office said that if there is a risk of being held up and delayed, people should ensure they had warm clothing, water and food with them, following hundreds of people being stranded in their cars overnight on the M74 in Scotland on Wednesday, due to snowfall.  Wintry showers will continue across the western United Kingdom on Friday, with a warm front bringing rain on Saturday, and a cold front moving in again on Sunday.  

Britain to pay France to police border at Channel port

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron are meeting on Thursday at Sandhurst, to discuss the Le Touquet agreement which allows British border guards to patrol on French soil, preventing tens of thousands more migrants arriving illegally each year.  Britain is likely to agree to pay France £44.5 million as Theresa May bows to pressure from Macron, mainly to be spent on more fencing, CCTV and detection technology in Calais and other ports.  Critics have said that policing the Channel ports is a matter for the French, and costs should be taken from the Brexit payment of £39 billion.  May is also expected to agree to take more refugees into Britain, particularly unaccompanied minors.  Other topics under discussion include the Bayeux Tapestry, which may be brought to the UK to be exhibited in 2020, providing it can be proved that it can be moved without damage.  

Heavy snow in Scotland - hundreds stranded on motorways

Hundreds of motorists were forced to spend the night in their cars after becoming stranded due to heavy snow throughout Scotland.  The worst affected area was around junction 12 of the M74 in South Lanarkshire, when the road was temporarily closed.  Public transport has been disrupted and schools closed in Scotland and Northern Ireland with snow and ice forecast until Friday.  

Theresa May to meet French PM about Calais migrant crisis

French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday to discuss the migrant situation in Calais.  He is expected to request that the UK take in more refugees and speed up the transfer to the UK of refugees with legitimate claims and in particular unaccompanied minors.  The Le Touquet accord of 2003 allowed Britain to effectively establish a border in France, which led to the Calais area becoming a temporary home for hundreds of migrants looking to cross to England.  At the peak of the crisis, up to 10,000 migrants squatted in a makeshift camp known as "The Jungle", before it was dismantled in 2016.  If Britain and France fail to reach a new deal, France could return border posts to either side of the Channel.  This would mean that Britain would have to deport migrants to the country where they first entered the EU, rather than to France as is done at present. Neither France nor Britain wants to see local economies suffer as a consequence of Brexit, as ports on both sides of the Channel benefit from a high volume of traffic.  

Severe weather warnings for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Forecasters have warned of dropping temperatures and potential travel disruption as the Met Office issued warnings for snow and ice across much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.  Conditions are also set to get worse across the country with storm-force winds gusting up to 80 miles per hour expected for Wednesday night into Thursday morning. 

Knife rampage at Leicester Royal Infirmary

A knifeman went on a rampage in the A & E Department of Leicester Royal Infirmary on Tuesday, stabbing one man, and damaging expensive medical equipment.  Police were called to reports of a disturbance and arrested the 20-year-old suspect.  Preliminary reports suggest the attack was not terror-related.   

Measles epidemic warning

A measles outbreak has seen 122 people infected over five regions in England.  West Yorkshire has the highest number of cases with 34, followed by 32 in the West Midlands, 29 in Liverpool and Cheshire and a small number in Surrey, Sussex and Manchester.  Public Health England (PHE) report that the outbreak is likely to have come from Europe, as other countries such as Italy, Germany and Romania also have epidemics.  Dr Mary Ramsey, head of immunisation at PHE urged parents to vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Over 25,000 small firms affected by Carillion collapse

Carillion, Britain's second-biggest construction company went into liquidation on Monday, with debts of around £1.5 billion.  The company had previously said that it used a wide range of small companies in order to generate regional economic growth and development.  However, the head of the Federation of Small Businesses said that thousands of jobs were now at risk because those small companies would be at the back of the queue for payment, and it was unlikely that asset sales would raise enough to cover the debts of senior bank creditors, meaning that the small firms would be paid nothing.  On Monday, Cabinet Minister David Lidington said that the government would step in to pay employees and businesses working on public contracts, and would assess the distribution of work amongst other companies.  Companies working on private projects will get no such support. Criticism has been levelled at the government for continuing to allocate billion-pound contracts to Carillion despite adverse profit warnings, and also at directors, some of whom will continue to enjoy their lucrative pay packets for several months more.  Mr Lidington told the Commons that the official receiver has the power to impose penalties if it is found that there had been any misconduct. 

Flu cases rocket and death toll rises

Official figures show that 4,128 people were struck down by the flu virus last week alone, a rise of around 35 percent in only seven days, with the death toll rising to 97.  15-year-old Sean Hughes is the latest victim in Ireland, where 10 people have died.  Projections indicate that the outbreak will be declared an epidemic by the end of the month, with the UK being hit by several strains simultaneously.  These include the H3N2 strain or "Aussie flu", so called because it triggered triple the number of expected cases in Australia during the country's winter, as well as the Yamagata strain, known as "Japanese flu".  This year's outbreak is 16 times more severe than that of 2015/16, causing a huge strain on hospitals and A&E units.  NHS bosses blamed rapidly escalating flu cases for the decision to cancel over 55,000 operations last week.  

RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

An RAF spokesman said this morning that quick reaction Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth had been scrambled to intercept Russian planes approaching UK airspace.  They refused to supply any further details for operational reasons, but it is believed that such situations are a common occurrence, although Russian jets have never apparently actually entered British airspace. 

Lithuanian "slave gang" smashed in North East

Police have arrested six members of a Lithuanian gang, suspected of trafficking people from eastern Europe and putting them to work collecting clothes intended for charity.  The clothes were allegedly processed in a factory in North Shields and then sold abroad.  Twelve potential victims were safeguarded following the dawn raids on Monday.  They are considered to be victims of people trafficking because they were transported to the UK and housed in shared sub-standard accommodation, with their wages and benefits controlled by their employer.   Superintendent Steve Barron who led the operation said that many of them did not realize they were victims because the small wage they were paid was still in excess of anything they would have earned in their home country.  He also said that it is unlikely that any of the charities were aware of the situation, and that HMRC would now run a separate investigation to see whether any of the proceeds were actually going to the charities in question.   

Construction giant Carillion goes into liquidation

Talks between construction giant Carillion, their lenders and the government have failed to reach a deal, and the company, which is the second biggest construction firm in the UK, has been forced to go into compulsory liquidation.  Its' failure means that the UK government will have to provide funding for the many public services run by Carillion, such as HS2 high-speed rail line, schools, prisons and the maintenance of Ministry of Defence homes, as well as services to Network Rail.  The company has 43,000 employees worldwide, with some 20,000 of them in the UK, whose future now appears unclear.  The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has announced that Carillion pension funds for thousands of current and former staff will now be managed by them.  Labour criticised the fact that the company had issued several recent profit warnings, but the government continued to grant contracts to them. 

Traces of vomiting bug found in Bristol tapwater

Residents of Clevedon have been told by Bristol Water to boil their tap water until further notice after traces of a vomiting bug were found in local samples.  Staff from the water company were distributing bottled water to vulnerable customers such as the elderly and young children, and schools have been shut as a precautionary measure.  Bristol Water advises that tap water should not be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning teeth, feeding pets or cleaning dishes or clothes unless boiled first, and these measures should be maintained until Sunday 14 January at the earliest.  The parasite cryptosporidium can cause nausea and fever and can be fatal to people with compromised immune systems. 

Woman arrested at Heathrow on terrorism charges

A 27-year-old British woman has been arrested on her arrival at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of the preparation of a terrorist act. She was returning to the UK on a flight from Addis Ababa and is currently detained at a south London police station, pending enquiries.

BHS owner found guilty in pension case

The businessman in charge of British Home Stores (BHS) when it collapsed with a pension deficit of £571 million, has been found guilty of failing to cooperate with The Pensions Regulator (TPR).  Dominic Chappell bought the chain store from Sir Philip Green for £1 a year before it entered administration with the loss of 11,000 jobs.  During the four-day trial at Brighton Magistrate's Court, Mr Chappell insisted he had tried to comply with TPR's requests, but had been prevented from doing so as many documents had already been destroyed before he took over, and he was prevented from entering the BHS offices for months after it ceased trading. His lawyers claimed that Chappell was a scapegoat for 50 years of negligence.  Green has paid £363 million pounds to help plug the black hole in the pension scheme,  but TPR are still keen for Chappell to make an additional contribution.  Sentencing will take place next week after reports are completed on the former bankrupt's financial status. 

Travel chaos at Finsbury Park station

Travel chaos and huge queues have occurred at Finsbury Park after a person was reported on the track.  Crowds were packed into tunnels and a train was evacuated, with people having to make their way back to the station on the tracks.  TFL reported that there was no service between King's Cross and Cockfosters on the Picadilly line, and warned of major delays. A faulty train at Dalston Junction also caused delays on London Overground between Surrey Quays and New Cross. These incidents come as London is hit by a day of on-going industrial action over the role of guards on the trains, also causing delays and cancellations.  

Scottish teenager dies from flu virus

An 18-year-old female has died in Inverness after contracting the flu virus, which then developed into pneumonia.  Official figures confirm that the number of reported flu cases has doubled in Scotland in one week.  53 people have been treated in intensive care units there in the past fortnight, eight of whom have died, although officials stressed that they may have had underlying conditions. Health Protection Scotland (HPS) released figures that show an increase in cases of flu from 46 per 100,000 people in December, to 107 per 100,000 in the first week of January. NHS Highland said that people with flu symptoms who also had a long-term medical condition, the very young, the elderly and pregnant women should contact their GP.  They said that the flu vaccine is the best defence, and those who are eligible should be vaccinated as soon as possible.  People who are suffering flu symptoms are advised to keep hydrated, rest, avoid contact with others and wash hands regularly with soap and hot water to avoid the spread of the virus.  Anyone who is still suffering severe symptoms after seven days should see their GP, as this could indicate "Aussie flu", so-called because of problems the virus has caused in Australia.  

Massive fire breaks out at Nottingham train station

A huge blaze broke out at around 06:30 on Friday at Nottingham railway station, causing the building to be evacuated, and all trains prevented from entering and leaving the station.  Ten fire crews were in attendance, and a spokesperson said that the fire was in the main concourse, and had spread to the roof.  Nottinghamshire police also confirmed that no trains will be running today and that major disruption around the station building and across the city is to be expected. Station Street, Carrington Street and Queen's Road have been closed off, and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Apple pays £137 million in tax adjustment following audit

Following an extensive audit going back years, Apple Europe, which handles the group's UK marketing, has paid an extra £137 million to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  A spokesperson said, "this payment of additional tax and interest reflects the company's increased activity and is recognised in the current financial period which ended on 1 April 2017".  Apple's corporate tax arrangements have been under scrutiny by several governments and the EU in recent years. 

Aussie flu virus affects almost all parts of the UK

Dorchester and the City of London are the only areas in the UK with no reported cases of the flu virus, which has struck down 4.5 million people in the last week.  Children returning to school is thought to have triggered the rapid spread, together with people returning from their Christmas holidays from other countries, such as France, who have declared a flu epidemic.  The Aussie H3N2 strain is a mutation of the virus, so-called because of the high levels reported in Australia, with 93,000 cases reported in less than a month, leading to over 300 deaths.  Professor Robert Dingwall, a flu expert at Nottingham Trent University said that the NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, with the number of cases leading to hospitalization and even death, likely to rise in the coming weeks.  The symptoms of Aussie flu are similar to normal flu, including sore throat, cough, headache, fever, muscle pains and fatigue, but more severe.  People should recover from normal flu in seven days, so anyone still feeling ill after that time is advised to seek medical assistance.  Most at risk are the young, elderly and those with chronic underlying conditions.  

French man arrested in corruption scandal involving Sarkozy and Gaddafi

A French national has been arrested at Heathrow Airport on a European warrant, on suspicion of being the middle-man in a corruption scandal involving ex-President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy  and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  Sarkozy is suspected of taking covert funding from Libya both before and during his term as head of state between 2007 and 2012.  The arrested man, 58-year-old Alexandre Djouhri, is said to have helped launder some of the money, including receiving a massively inflated price for a house in the south of France, which he sold to Gaddafi for 10 times the market rate.  Sarkozy was accused of the crimes within a week of standing down from his role, as his immunity from prosecution expired. Djouhri had refused to answer summonses to appear in court, and had fled the country when Sarkozy's former lieutenant Claude Gueant was charged with money laundering, tax fraud and forgery. It is expected that he will be extradited to France to face charges.  Gaddafi was murdered by revolutionaries as part of the Arab Spring of 2011, a movement supported by the French Airforce in an attack sanctioned by Sarkozy.   

Second day of disruptions on commuter rail services

On Tuesday 9 January, rail services on the entire Great Western Railway network into London suffered disruptions due to signal failures.  Trains were either cancelled or delayed, with connections to Heathrow Airport also affected.  This follows a day of chaos for commuters yesterday, after strikes by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMTU), with further action planned for Wednesday and Friday this week.  The situation on Monday was further exacerbated by the suicide of a 30-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant, and who died when she was hit by a train at Slough station, closing the line between Reading and Paddington for several hours.  London Paddington has 14 platforms and is the eighth busiest station in Britain.  

Huge fire in North London

At around 21:30 on Monday, the Fire Brigade were alerted to a fire at a paint factory at Staples Corner, North London.  Almost 100 firefighters were deployed to tackle the flames, and neighbours and residents were advised to keep doors and windows closed.  The London Fire Brigade said that the blaze was "significant", and had completely destroyed the single-storey building.  After the blaze was extinguished, the site was damped down overnight to prevent a re-occurrence.  There were no reports of any injuries.  

Two found guilty of bomb terror attack plot

A 36 year-old man and a 33 year-old woman have been found guilty of plotting a terror attack in the UK with a homemade bomb.  Although the male was based in Derby and the woman in north-west London, they exchanged messages about poisons and bomb-making after they had met on a dating site.  When Munir Mohammed was arrested in December 2016, he had two of the three components needed for bomb-making in his possession, as well as manuals, mobile phone detonators, and ricin, a deadly poison.  Rowaide el-Hassan who is a pharmacist, was convicted on the grounds that she knew that Mohammed was planning a terrorist attack, and provided him with support and chemical knowledge.  The couple denied the charges but were found guilty and will be sentenced in February.  

May appoints new Conservative Party head

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, appointed a new head for the ruling Conservatives on Monday in a reshuffle amid months of division over Brexit and numerous scandals.  Brandon Lewis will be Chairman of the party, with lawmaker James Cleverly as deputy chair in a move seen as a strategy to assert her authority over the party and broaden its' reach.  The key departments of finance, Brexit, foreign and interior ministers retained their roles, but May had been under pressure to include more women and younger people, after the loss of her majority in a disastrous June election gamble and plummeting membership of the party.

Northern Ireland Minister resigns on health grounds

The British Minister for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire has resigned his post because of ill-health.  The resignation comes ahead of a  planned cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Theresa May and could complicate efforts to restart talks in the coming weeks to avoid a return to direct rule, further straining relations with Ireland which have deteriorated in the last year.  The province has been without a regional government for almost a year, and talks between Irish Nationalists Sinn Fein, and pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)  had been scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.  Brokenshire had made efforts to be seen as an honest broker, but some of the parties said that a deal by the DUP to prop up May's government had made agreement almost impossible.  

Freezing temperatures lead to multiple crashes in Scotland

Freezing conditions on Monday morning led to more than 25 road accidents reported in a single hour, and disruption to rail services throughout Scotland.  Temperatures of -9.8C were recorded at Strathallan, Perthshire, -9C at Glasgow Airport and -8C at Edinburgh airport overnight.   Several schools were closed because of problems with the heating systems.  The Met Office predicts increased wind speed from the South and cloudy weather, which is likely to lead to a rise in temperatures. 

HMS Westminster deployed to intercept Russian ships in English Channel

A number of Russian ships sailing through the English Channel were detected on Monday, leading to the Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster being sent to intercept them.  There have been previous similar incidents, such as when a Russian destroyer passed through the Channel in November without permission, when another frigate was dispatched to escort the ship from UK waters.  In August, NATO jets were scrambled to intercept Russian jets flying over Europe, buzzing Estonian territory.  The Ministry of Defence has yet to comment on the incident. 

Strikes at five rail companies cause commuter chaos

Workers at five rail companies walked out in the latest wave of strikes on Monday in the ongoing dispute about the role of guards.  Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) are striking today and on Wednesday and Friday on South Western Railway (SWR), Arrival Rail North, Merseyrail and Greater Anglia, and today on Southern.  Passengers faced cancellations and replacement buses on the first full week back at work after the festive period.  Talks have been held between the union and SWR and Arriva, but ended without agreement on the row over staffing, driver-only operation and the role of guards.  RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:"RMT members remain solid and united each of the separate disputes across the country over rail safety this morning as we continue to put public safety, security and access before the profits of the train operating companies".  A Department of Transport spokesman said: "This is a dispute between a private company and RMT.  However, the Transport Secretary recognises the disruption caused to passengers and has met with union leaders on several occasions to help bring an end to the strikes".   

Outbreak of Norovirus causes Orpington hospital to ban visitors

The Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington has closed its' wards to visitors after an outbreak of Norovirus.  Also known as the "vomiting bug", the symptoms of Norovirus are vomiting, diarrhoea and painful stomach cramps.  Doctors advise those affected to stay hydrated, take paracetamol, wash hands regularly and stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.  The restriction on visitors has been imposed because the virus is easily spread, and patient safety and wellbeing is the hospitals' number one priority, the NHS trust said.  

Outbreak of Aussie flu hits the UK

More than 1,600 cases of the so-called "Aussie flu" have been reported in the UK over the Christmas period, including 23 deaths, with Public Health England declaring an increase of 48% over the last seven days.  Some deaths have also been recorded in Ireland.  The H3N2 is a strain of influenza A that triggered 170,000 cases in Australia, two and a half times the number expected and the highest levels for 50 years.  Symptoms of the Aussie flu are similar to normal flu, but more severe, and include a sore throat and cough, headache, fever, muscle aches and fatigue. In September, NHS bosses urged those eligible to get vaccinated.  Most at risk are the over 65s, pregnant women, young children, and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, lung and heart disease.  Doctors recommend that anyone affected should keep warm, rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Those in the high-risk category, or whose symptoms do not improve after seven days should seek medical assistance.   

Police detain six suspected members of outlawed far-right group

Six people were arrested by counter-terrorism officers on Wednesday, suspected of being members of the far-right group National Action which was outlawed in 2016.  Five men in their twenties and a woman of 37 were detained across central and northern England, and several properties were searched.  National Action was banned after their members praised the murder of MP Jo Cox, and several members, including soldiers, have been arrested on suspicion of planning the murder of other politicians, amongst other violent acts. 

Severe weather warnings continue across the UK

Storm Eleanor has hit the UK with gusts of wind up to 100 miles per hour, leaving thousands of homes without power.  Over 80 flood warnings and almost 150 flood warnings remain in place on Wednesday across the UK, with flooding and obstructions on the roads due to downed trees.  Coastal towns in south-west England are among the worst hit. The Thames barrier is to be closed to protect London against flooding, only the 18th time it has been used since its' construction.  There have been numerous train delays, with many trains running slowly as a precaution due to debris on the tracks.  The Met Office's yellow warning for severe weather will remain in place until 18:00, but rain and winds are forecast to ease as the day progresses and the Storm Eleanor makes its' way across the Channel.

Uk hospitals to delay non-urgent procedures

National Health Service England are telling hospitals to delay some non-urgent procedures to free up staff and beds because of extreme seasonal pressure.  Director Bruce Keogh said that the pressure will continue until the end of January due to early signs of spreading flu, and whilst the situation is not ideal, the measures are necessary to provide needed healthcare.  The decision is likely to affect some 55,000 operations.  Many hospitals across the country are operating at full capacity, with long waits for treatment in emergency rooms.  

Britain wants financial services included in EU trade deal

David Davis, the Brexit Minister, said on Tuesday that Britain wants to include financial services in any trade deal with the European Union, adding that the principles of a trade deal in goods could equally be applied to services.  Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had cast doubt on the inclusion of financial services in a free-trade deal.  Davis said "we are looking at the full sweep of economic cooperation that currently exists and determining how that can be maintained with the minimum additional barriers or friction". 

London Bridge station opens new platforms

On Tuesday, five new platforms and a large concourse were opened at London Bridge station after days of engineering work over Christmas and New Year.  The station serves as a hub for arrivals from south-east England, and the north-south Thameslink service will link with Luton Airport when the redevelopment work is completed in May.  The opening was marred by protests from trade unions against the introduction of higher ticket prices, which have risen by an average of 3.4 percent.  

Fire at Liverpool car park destroys 1,600 vehicles

On 31 December, a fire engulfed seven floors of a multi-storey car park at Liverpool's waterfront, completely incinerating 1,600 vehicles. The final event of the Liverpool International Horse Show at the Echo Arena was called off, and 80 horses were rescued with some 4,000 people being evacuated.  Residents and tourists staying in the immediate vicinity were forced to spend New Years' Eve in a temporary shelter amid fears for their safety.  A spokesman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said that there were no sprinklers fitted in the building, hampering their efforts to bring the blaze under control. 

Met Office warns of severe weather as Storm Eleanor approaches

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for most of the UK today, with Storm Eleanor bringing gale-force winds and thundery downpours over the next few days.  The Environment Agency also warned that strong winds and high tides could bring coastal flooding.  A yellow weather warning is in place between 18:00 on Tuesday until 08:00 on Wednesday for north-east and west England, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland.  An AA spokesman said that drivers should beware of road conditions, which combined with the return to school and work, together with January sales, could cause chaos on the roads.  The outlook for later in the week remains unsettled, with a return of colder conditions and risk of frost and ice next weekend.

UK motorists warned of travel disruptions

Motorists have been warned of gridlock on the roads today as people try to avoid the Friday rush and weekend jams.  More than 20 million people are due to hit the roads over the festive period,  with major rail works and strikes also expected to contribute to delays on roads already clogged with Christmas shoppers and delivery services.  RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said "Things tend to get worse on the last working day before Christmas,, with 'Frantic Friday' this year falling on 22 December".  Black-spots are predicted for the M6 southbound, and the M1 north and southbound,  with shopping trips spiking on Saturday.  Network Rails' £160 million engineering project is also set to cause disruption with 260 hotspots across Britain closing or restricting major stations and lines.  A strike by Virgin Train workers tomorrow could force more people on to congested roads.  Airports, ports and international train stations are also expected to be exceptionally busy as more than 4.5 million people head abroad over Christmas and the New year.  Travellers are advised to leave extra time to reach their departure points for flights, boats and trains.  

First secretary of state forced to resign from the cabinet

Damien Green, the first Secretary of State and one of the closest allies of Theresa May, has been forced to resign from the British cabinet after an enquiry found that he breached  the ministerial code. Green had been under investigation after allegations of inappropriate behaviour in 2015, and the discovery of legal pornography on his Commons computer.  He had previously declared that he was unaware of the existence of the pornography, but later conceded that he had been advised of the matter by police in 2013.  Green has played a substantial role behind the scenes of the government, chairing key cabinet committees and deputising for Mrs May at Prime Minister's Questions.  He is the third minister to resign in two months - Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel both quit in November. 

Birmingham to host 2022 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham has been confirmed as the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with mayor Andy Street describing the announcement as "a fantastic Christmas present for our region".  The bidding process has not been straightforward, with Durban in South Africa awarded the Games in 2015, but then being stripped of the event as it did not meet Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) criteria.  They also deemed Birmingham's initial application "not fully compliant", but the city has now been confirmed as the host of the £750 million Games, which will be the most expensive sports event in Britain since the London Olympics.  Organizers will now build the UK's largest permanent athletics stadium as well as four indoor arenas and an athletes' village in Perry Barr to the north of the city.  

Swedish passenger arrested at Stansted

A Swedish passenger arriving at Stansted from Stockholm was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday.  According to reports, he was detained for having material "likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism".  He is being questioned at a police station in Essex.

UK Christmas terror plot foiled

Four suspects have been arrested in Sheffield and Chesterfield as police disrupted a terror plot planned for the festive period.  Anti-terror police targeted four properties in Sheffield, and the bomb squad was called to a house in Chesterfield on Tuesday, amid fears that an explosive device had already been prepared.  A police spokesman said that the arrests were "intelligence-led, and pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

UK residents to have legal right to high speed broadband by 2020

All British homes and businesses will have the right to high-speed broadband by 2020 after the government pledged to regulate on the matter with a universal service obligation on Wednesday.  They rejected a voluntary proposal by British Telecom (BT) in favour of more formal regulation.  Under the plan, broadband providers will have a legal requirement to supply high speed broadband to anyone requesting it, subject to a cost threshold.  Regulator Ofcom said this month that 4% of UK premises, representing approximately 1.1 million people could not currently access broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps.   

Uber granted licence for five years in Cambridge

The university city of Cambridge has extended the operating licence for Uber for a further five years from its' expiry date on 20 December.  This is a welcome boost for the taxi app which is battling to retain its' rights to work in other UK cities such as London and Sheffield.   

US airforce base in Suffolk on lockdown after security incident

RAF Mildenhall, a US airforce base in Suffolk was placed on lockdown following a security incident on Monday afternoon.  According to witnesses, the lockdown follows an argument at the base gates, when a driver forced his vehicle through a checkpoint.  Shots were fired, and the individual was deained, and later arrested by Suffolk police.  They said there was no wider risk to the public, or occupants of the base, which is currently home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing.  RAF Mildenhall was previously among those targetted by ISIS supporter Junead Khan, who was jailed for preparing a terror attack in April 2016. 

Two dead in fire at Loch Lomond hotel

Two people have died after a fire at a hotel beside Loch Lomond.  More than 200 guests were evacuated at 06:40 on Monday and police and emergency services were mobilised at the scene.  The 132 room Cameron House Hotel has been extensively damaged.  One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and a second died later in hospital.  Three others, including a child, were taken to hospital.  Cameron House is one of Scotland's most luxurious hotels offering five-star facilities for weddings, a championship standard golf course and five restaurants including one with a Michelin star.  The venue is owned by US investment group KSL Capital Partners, who bought it in 2015 for around £70 million.  

Six killed in car crash in Birmingham

Six people have been killed in a car crash in Birmingham which emergency services described as "horrific".  Three vehicles were involved in the incident at an underpass on Belgrave Middleway near Edgbaston in the early hours of Saturday morning.  A further three cars suffered damage while trying to avoid it. The ambulance service said that they had dealt with 13 patients in total, including one person who remains in a critical condition, four people who were taken to hospital with non-life threatening conditions, and a further two people discharged at the scene.  The road was closed for the whole of Sunday, and police say that they hope to reopen it on Monday afternoon after all the forensics and investigations are completed.  They are appealing for witnesses.  The road has two lanes in either direction, and a speed limit of 40 mph, although residents report a problem with speeding and racing on the road, and the adjacent Bristol Street.  

School bus collides with lorry near Aberdeen

A school bus driver died early this morning, when his coach carrying 13 children was in a head-on collision with a lorry.  None of the pupils from Lathallan School in Johnshaven was injured.  The driver of the lorry and a car driver who was also involved in the accident were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  

Grenfell Tower service held at St Paul's Cathedral

A multi-faith memorial service was held at St Paul's Cathedral on Thursday, attended by Grenfell Towers survivors, families of those affected, politicians, firefighters and members of the royal family.  Bereaved mourners held pictures of their loved ones throughout the service.  The fire broke out in the middle of the night on June 14, exactly six months ago, and is Britains' deadliest fire since World War II.  The building was home to a multi-ethnic community living within one of Londons' richest boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea.  A public enquiry is being held to investigate the lack of fire precautions such as sprinklers in the building, and why safety concerns expressed by residents were ignored.  Many of the hundreds of residents are still staying in hotels as suitable permanent homes are not available within the borough.  The devastation inside  Grenfell Tower meant that it took police and forensic scientists months to recover and identify all the human remains, leading to a final death toll of 53 adults and 18 children.  

Tory rebels win key Brexit vote in UK parliament

Conservative party rebels have won a key Brexit vote in the House of Commons, backing an amendment which allows MPs to have the final say on Brexit deals. The amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill grants a legal guarantee of a parliamentary vote on the final Brexit deal made between the UK and the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May lost the vote by four votes, as 309 MPs supported the amendment compared to 305 voting against it. According to the BBC, the vote is the first major House of Commons loss for May - who is due to attend a summit in Brussels today. The amendment provides legal backing to a government promise to provide a "meaningful vote" for MPs on the final Brexit deal; however, while the amendment is not expected to derail Brexit negotiations, some MPs argued it could slow down the process. In order to carry the vote through parliament, a cross-party alliance was formed between the Labour party, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party. Eleven Conservative MPs voted against their party, while two Eurosceptic Labour MPs voted with the Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Fresh rail strikes planned over Christmas

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have announced new strikes in its' ongoing dispute with two rail companies over the role of guards and driver-only trains.  South Western Railway will be affected for 24 hours on 31 December and Greater Anglia on 27 December.  The union revealed that meetings with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had not led to a resolution.  RMT General Secretary Mike Cash said that the Scottish and Welsh Governments had agreed to keep guards on trains, so he saw no reason why the UK Government should not do the same.  The union says that they are concerned about safety issues, and a "faceless" railway where passengers are left to fend for themselves.  Similar disputes are affecting Southern, Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail, who are striking on 22 December. 

15-year-old boy admits causing death of five people

A 15-year-old boy has admitted causing the deaths of five people, when the stolen car he was driving crashed into a tree in Leeds.  Police arriving at the scene described it as "catastrophic".  Three children and two young adults were the individuals killed.  The boy will be sentenced on 26 January.  

Two charged with house fire in Salford

A man of 23 and a woman of 20 have been charged with three counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and a count of arson, in connection with a house fire in Salford.  The early morning fire on Monday trapped seven family members inside the property.  The three killed were children, and the mother and youngest child remain in hospital in a serious condition, while two teenagers escaped.  The pair will appear in Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. 

Ryanair pilots in Ireland to strike

Pilots for Ryanair flying out of Dublin have announced that they will strike for one day on 20 December, affected many travelling for the festive period.  The company's pilots across Europe are demanding that the company recognize their trade unions, and enter discussions about pay, contracts and working conditions. Although only about 28 percent of the Dublin pilots will strike, they are mainly high-ranking captains who are key to the operation of flight schedules.  Pilots in Germany and Portugal also plan to strike, although no dates have yet been released and pilots in Italy will strike for one day on Friday. Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has consistently refused to recognize unions, and the airline has been losing pilots who are leaving for better pay and conditions at rival airlines.  The company was forced to cancel about 20,000 flights in September due to a shortage of pilots.

Uber refused licence in York

Uber has had its' operating licence revoked in York, the third UK city in the UK to ban the app-based service after London and Sheffield.  York is a popular tourist destination and a university town, with only a handful of drivers registered to work there, but the area has seen an influx of operators licensed elsewhere, according to Saf Din, chair of the York Hackney Carriage Drivers' Association.  This has led to a number of complaints levelled against the company, including inflated fares and lack of local knowledge.  Uber is expected to appeal the decision as it has done in other locations, and a hearing date is expected in April 2018, until which time they may continue to operate.  Authorities have expressed concern over Uber's criminal record-check systems as well as a recent data breach when the company paid a hacker $100,000 to keep quiet and delete the data.

Snow and ice cause nationwide travel disruption

Heavy snowfall and icy conditions have caused widespread travel disruption across the UK. Sub-zero temperatures brought 10 to 12 cm of snow in some places over the weekend, prompting nationwide snow and ice warnings. On Tuesday, the Met Office extended yellow warnings for snow and ice until 11:00 GMT. According to the BBC, the AA also warned that driving conditions were considered to be 'hazardous' and drivers should take extreme care - especially in more remote areas where small country roads may not be gritted. The current Met Office warning covers Wales, northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, and most parts of England.

Waterloo trains cancelled after fire

A fire near the tracks at Waterloo station has caused widespread chaos and cancellations across the transport network this afternoon.  Network Rail has warned commuters that trains will be either cancelled or delayed until the end of today, with platforms one to three out of service.  The incident comes just a day after snow halted many services on Sunday, and disrupted travel across the whole country.

Uber to continue in London for further six months

Uber is allowed to continue to operate in London until their appeal is heard in May next year.  Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew Ubers' licence in September on grounds of public safety and security implications, expressing concerns over the company's approach to reporting criminal offences and how criminal records checks are carried out, amongst other issues.  Uber has 40,000 drivers, and some 3.5 million passengers use the service in London alone according to the private hire company, which enables users to book a cab using their smartphone.  An Uber spokesperson said today that they are continuing with "constructive discussions" with TfL in order to resolve any issues.  

Three children die in suspicious house fire

A 14-year-old girl died at the scene, while an eight-year-old and a seven-year-old died in hospital after a house fire in Salford.  The blaze broke out at about 05:00 last night, and is being treated as suspicious.  There were seven people in the house at the time, two of whom escaped.  The mother of the children and a three-year-old girl are in hospital in a serious condition.  Police said that they are searching for a man in connection with the incident and that they had visited the house in the hours before the blaze. 

Britain to launch economic crime centre

On Monday the government announced that it is to launch a new national economic crime centre as part of a crackdown on drug dealers and people traffickers. The new unit which will act as part of the National Crime Agency (NCA), will coordinate a nationwide response among agencies which tackle money laundering and fraud, as well as improving the confiscation of crime proceeds. 

Widespread travel delays and school closures due to extreme weather

More than 140,000 homes lost their electricity supply on Sunday when high winds and snow affected most of the country.  Temperatures dropped as low as -12 degrees centigrade in Northumberland.  On Monday hundreds of schools across England and Wales are closed, and major disruptions were reported to flights and rail services.  The Met Office has issued further yellow alerts for ice for Wales, the Midlands and the South East.  Motoring Associations reported a 40% increase in call-outs on Sunday, with thousands of breakdowns on Monday morning, and warned of treacherous conditions on the roads.  In Calais, hundreds of Eurotunnel passengers were delayed for several hours but were returning to normal on Monday despite challenging conditions.  Up to 50,000 BA passengers were stranded at airports in the UK and around the world as crews and aircraft were left out of position.  More wintry showers and icy conditions are predicted for Monday until midday.  Sunday's weather was described as a "snow bomb", which occurs when moist air from the Atlantic comes up against a rapidly increasing whirlpool of violently strong winds and storms from the Arctic.

Mohammed Abdallah jailed for 10 years

Mohammed Abdallah, who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS), has been jailed for 10 years after a trial at the Old Bailey.  He was found guilty of membership of IS, Possession of a weapon, and receiving £2,000 for terrorism.  He was assisted by his brother Abdalraouf, who is in a wheelchair after being wounded in Libya, who set up a communications hub from his home in Manchester.   In 2016 he was found guilty of assisting others in acts of terrorism and funding terror, and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.  Mohammed Abdallah was outed as an IS fighter in 2016 when evidence of his registration as a "specialist sniper" was leaked to Sky News by an IS defector.  He denied swearing allegiance to IS, saying he went to Syria to deliver money to the poor.  Abdallah's trial had been delayed after the Manchester Arena bombing over links with Salman Abedi who also lived in Manchester, had travelled in Libya, and attended the same mosque. 

Ubers' licence suspended in Sheffield

Uber had its' licence suspended for operations in Sheffield after it had failed to respond to questions about the management of its' taxi app.  The company can continue to operate there until 18 December, and if it appeals, until that appeal is resolved, Sheffield City Council said.  Uber blamed an administrative error for the failure to reply, saying the council sent the documentation to the wrong address. Uber has had its' licencing rights challenged in several cities worldwide, including London where they will head to court to appeal after the company was deemed unfit to run a taxi service by the city's' regulator.

Breakthrough deal paves way for further trade talks

A deal was reached between Theresa May and the EU last night, which enables Brexit talks to move on to the next stage of negotiations.  At an early press call this morning, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that "the result was, of course, a compromise... which had required give and take from both sides."  Agreement has been reached on some of the points that had proved difficulty previously, including the decision that there would be no "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa would be protected. Theresa May has achieved what she needed from the agreement.  Failure to reach a deal would have left her in trouble politically. 

Storm Caroline causes disruption

Rail and ferry services have been disrupted as well as schools shut in Scotland as Storm Caroline arrives with strong winds.  Gale force winds in Orkney have seen wave heights of up to 45 feet and winds gusting up to 91 miles per hour.  Yellow warnings have been issued for large parts of the UK for Friday and Saturday, with snow, ice and wind expected. Met Officers said that the storm brings the threat of injury and even loss of life to northern parts of the UK.  

Met Office warns of severe weather as Storm Caroline arrives

Storm Caroline, the third named storm of the year, is expected to bring wet and blustery conditions overnight, especially in the north and north-west, with strong winds expected on Thursday.  An amber (second highest) warning is in place on Thursday between 06:00 and 23:55 for the Highlands and Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland and Grampian, where winds of some 60 to 70 miles per hour are expected. There is also a yellow warning for wind for the rest of Scotland and the north of Northern Ireland, with the north and west of the UK experiencing showers that may change to sleet and snow over high ground. The public have been advised of poor visibility on the roads, possible damage to buildings, and disruption to rail, air and ferry services.  Later this week, snow and falling temperatures are forecast for parts of Britain. 

No Brexit deal reached

Britain and the EU failed to strike a deal over Brexit on Monday during talks in Brussels, despite encouraging progress.  Both parties said they were confident of reaching an accord, but the EU says that Britain must make sufficient progress on some of the key divorce issues such as the Irish border, the financial bill and the rights of EU nationals in Britain, before trade talks at a summit of 15 December.  Dublin insists that there should not be a "hard border" which might threaten a peace process that ended decades of sectarian violence.  An angry reaction from the Northern Irish unionists who prop up Theresa Mays' minority Conservative government meant no deal could be struck.  After months of stalemate, it appears that agreement has been reached over the divorce bill, and also the rights of Europeans living in Britain.  

South Western Railway may axe quiet carriages

South Western Railway has announced that it is considering scrapping quiet carriages on its' services.  It says that conductors are often unable to enforce the rules, which prohibit the use of mobile phones and loud conversations.  The company has posted a survey on its' website, asking for customers to give their opinions before they make a decision.  Cross Country Rail and Great Western Railway have already abolished quiet carriages on some services.

Man in court over plot to kill Prime Minister

MI5 Chief Andrew Parker reported to the Cabinet on Tuesday that nine Islamist terror plots had been foiled this year alone.  Today, a man is due to appear in court accused of planning to bomb Downing Street security gates and then attack the PM with a knife.  A second man aged 21 is accused of the preparation of terrorist acts.  Both were arrested on 28 November and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court.  A security review also revealed that it was "conceivable" that the Manchester Arena bombing which took place in May, killing 22 people, could have been prevented if information had been handled differently. 

MI5 brief Cabinet about terror threat

The Head of MI5, Andrew Parker, has briefed the Cabinet about the level of terror threat facing the UK.  Five terror attacks have taken place this year in London and Manchester, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.  However, he revealed that nine terror plots had been foiled in the past year.  The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that "while Islamic State (IS) had suffered defeats in Iraq and Syria, this did not mean that the threat was over, but rather that it has spread into new areas, including trying to encourage attacks in the UK and elsewhere via propaganda on social media". He also stressed that technology giants have a part to play in cracking down on extremists. 

Train fares to rise in January

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) have announced that the average cost of a train ticket will rise by 3.4 percent in January, the sharpest increase since 2013.  One in nine trains failed to meet their punctuality target in 2017, and it is said that less than 50 percent of passengers are satisfied with the value-for-money of train tickets.  The move was condemned by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) who said that public-sector workers would suffer most as they have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by the government.  The RDG said that 97 pence in every pound of fares goes back into improvements and maintenance of the railways. 

Suspicious package found near St Paul's Cathedral

A road near St Paul's Cathedral near the City of London's financial district has been closed as police respond to a report of a suspicious package.  Members of the public have been advised to avoid the area on Tuesday morning.  

Facebook opens new London hub

On Monday Facebook opened its' new London offices, promising a further 800 jobs in the capital next year.  The investment makes London the biggest Facebook engineering hub outside the US, and is generally seen as a vote of confidence in the UK despite the decision to leave the European Union.  The new office which was designed by architecht Frank Gehry, will also host an in-house start-up incubator to help fledgling businesses with expertise from teams within the Facebook building.

Moped riders raid Fleet Street watch shop

A moped gang attacked a glass-fronted watch shop in Fleet Street with swords, knives and iron bars on Monday.  City of London police were called at 10:52, but the assailants had fled on the bikes.  No-one was hurt in the incident, and so far no arrests have been made.  Moped attacks have become increasingly common in London recently, particularly targetting mobile phones.

UK aims to stay in aviation body

The UK is to ask to stay in an aviation safety body under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, so that planes can continue to fly after Brexit.  The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is responsible for safety and maintenance checks and sets standards across Europe, and 40 percent of its' technical expertise is based in the UK.  A source said that membership is part of the second phase of the Brexit negotiation process, but the US Federal Aviation Authority has told Britain it has only weeks to come up with a legal structure for aviation safety.  It is possible that the UK could stay in EASA as an associate member like Switzerland and Norway who make budget contributions.  Sky News reported that the government is preparing a backstop of legal letters to airlines at the hour of Brexit to maintain legal flight rights in the event of a "no deal" departure.

RBS to close one in four branches

The Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 72 percent owned by the taxpayer, has announced that it is to close 259 branches, and cut 680 jobs.  An RBS spokesman said that customers using the branches had dropped by 40 percent since 2014, and that over five million customers now used their mobile banking app or banked online.  The Unite union who represent bank staff said that the cuts were "savage", and questioned whether the closures mark the end of branch network banking.  Industry analysts CACI forecast that a typical customer will only visit a bank branch four times a year by 2022, but concerns have been expressed about rural areas, the elderly and vulnerable customers who may not have digital access.  In last weeks' Budget, the government revealed that it plans to sell down its' stake in RBS, aiming to sell £15 billion of its' shares by 2023.  

Virgin West coast staff to strike over festive period

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has announced that workers on the Virgin West Coast line are planning to strike six times in December and January, with one of those walkouts planned for the busy Friday before Christmas. The union reported that about 1,800 workers would be involved in the action, which will take place on 15 and 22 December, and 5, 8, 26 and 29 January.  Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains on the west coast said that generous pay increases had been offered, but the union had insisted on more and that his company remained open to further dialogue.  Travellers will also be hit by closures due to engineering works at several stations.

Glasgow airport expands central security area

Work on a £1.4 million project to increase the capacity of the central search facility at Glasgow Airport is underway and should be completed by March 2018.  The work will include a reconfiguration of the entrance and the increase of security lanes from 10 to 12 as well as improved facilities for passengers with decreased mobility.  The airport is approaching the 10 million passenger mark, and officials said they aim to move travellers through security in under 10 minutes.   

Trump tells May to concentrate on domestic matters

Wednesday saw Donald Trump advise Theresa May to focus on militant Islam within the UK rather than him.  May had criticised Trump's retweeting of material from a far-right British group Britain First, some of which has previously been identified as "fake news".  Jayda Fransen, Deputy Leader of Britain First, is currently facing criminal charges relating to a hate speech in Belfast this summer.  She has also previously been convicted of religiously aggravated harassment after screaming abuse at a woman on public transport.  Numerous British politicians have condemned the content of the tweets. 

London's Gherkin evacuated as police deal with suspicious vehicle

London's "Gherkin" building was evacuated earlier today, roads closed and surrounding buildings put on lockdown due to a suspicious vehicle parked on the street in the City of London.  Police later confirmed that the car had been found to be safe, and all restrictions had been lifted. However, the driver of the vehicle was arrested for possession of false identity papers  The alert comes just days after an evacuation of Oxford Circus Underground Station sparked panic and minor injuries, apparently started when two men had a fight in the tube station.

Temperatures due to plummet throughout UK

The Met Office has warned that temperatures across the UK are set to plummet to a possible -10 centigrade on Thursday.  The forecast comes after the UK experienced bitter temperatures at the weekend, but stayed above freezing for the most part.  Thursday is predicted to be colder, with snow showers down the eastern side of the country, and potential for snow in places like East Anglia, Lincolnshire, and perhaps Newcastle and Durham. Snow is expected to fall in hilly areas of the country, and yellow warnings for ice have been issued for parts of Wales, the North West and West Midlands.  Local Government Association transport spokesman, Councillor Martin Tett, said "Depots are filled with 1.5 million tonnes of salt and gritters are ready to be deployed at a moment's notice."  Public Health England (PHE) has also issued a cold weather alert and health warning, recommending that people should wear lots of thin layers, and keep their homes heated to at least 18 centigrade.

BA owner buys Monarch slots at Gatwick

IAG, the owner of British Airways, is buying the take-off and landing slot portfolio vacated by Monarch, the airline which collapsed in October with the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.  The value of the slots at Gatwick alone had been estimated at £60 million.  It is thought that IAG will use the slots to increase its' presence in long-haul budget markets.  The administrators for the airline had to win a legal battle to sell the slots, overturning a High Court ruling made earlier this month.    

Major security breach at Manchester Airport

Travellers arriving from Paris to Manchester airport on an Easyjet flight were mistakenly led to departures rather than arrivals on disembarking their plane.  Following a delay, passengers were allowed through security, some without boarding passes which had been discarded, and without further security checks, according to witnesses.  Who is ultimately responsible for the breach is yet to be decided, and a spokesman for Manchester Airport said they would be investigating with the airline and the ground handling agent to ensure that the event did not happen again. The Department of Transport is responsible for the security of UK airports, with their policies implemented at each airport by security staff.

New airline seeks backers after investor withdraws

Powdair, a new airline set to link UK and Belgian airports with Sion in the Swiss canton of Valais, has announced that its' financial investor has pulled out for personal reasons, leaving it no choice but to appeal for investors.  The airline needs at least £3 million pounds to operate this first season, and £1 million of that by the end of this week in order to honour existing bookings.  The airline was due to start scheduled ski season flights on 11 December, with its' offerings popular with British skiers looking to avoid the long journey from Geneva airport to the Valais, including Verbier and Zermatt. 

Scarlet fever epidemic reaches 50-year high

More than 17,000 cases of scarlet fever were recorded in 2016, its' highest level in England for more than 50 years.  Although cases have been on the rise since 2014, experts have failed to find a reason for the increase.  Doctors are urging the public to look out for the symptoms, which are a rosy rash, sore throat, headache and fever, and to seek help from their GP.  Scarlet fever is a bacterial disease caused by group A streptococcus, which is spread through close contact with carriers or contaminated objects, making it most common among children. It is highly contagious, but can be treated with antibiotics.  Anyone diagnosed with scarlet fever is encouraged to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of treatment to avoid passing the infection on.

Five killed in car crash, 15 year-old driver detained

Five young people have been killed in a car crash which happened on Saturday evening in the Meanwood area of Leeds.  Two 15 year-old-boys are being held in custody on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.  Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and three died a short time later at hospital, West Yorkshire Police confirmed.  They also said that the scene when they arrived was "carnage", and it is unclear whether all seven people were travelling in the stolen vehicle, or whether some were pedestrians.  A vigil was held at the crash scene on Sunday night.  

False alarm causes chaos in central London

On Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, two men bumped into each other on a platform at Oxford Circus and an altercation ensued.  This sparked a major panic, with gunshots mistakenly reported to police, who stormed the station to evacuate it.  Subsequently, the two men handed themselves into police following an appeal to the public to identify them, but they were released without charge.  Several injuries were reported, caused during the rush to evacuate the area.

Measles outbreak hits Liverpool and Leeds

On 23 November, a measles outbreak was confirmed in Leeds and Liverpool, with Manchester on high alert.  Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that measles was spreading across Europe due to low vaccination rates, possibly due to theories linking the vaccination to bowel disease and autism.  Symptoms include cold, a rash, fatigue and loss of appetite.  Most people make a full recovery from measles, but around one in fifteen develop life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and convulsions. 

Twenty German men arrested over Liverpool brawl

More than 20 German men were arrested following a brawl in Liverpool city centre on Wednesday night.  The brawl involved members of the public and door staff at a nightclub, where chairs and other objects were thrown.  One man was critically injured.  More arrests for breach of the peace are likely, police reported.

Monarch wins appeal over airport slots

Monarch has won its' appeal against a court decision to strip it of its' rights over airport slots at Gatwick and Luton, estimated to be worth up to £60 million.  The ruling found that Monarch was still an air carrier when slots were allocated last month, and can, therefore, sell them on to other airlines.  Administrators are hoping to recover money for creditors. Slots at Manchester and Birmingham have already been returned to the pool to be reassigned, a situation which was not affected by the ruling.  The airline collapsed at the beginning of October, forcing the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate over 100,000 travellers.

Bad weather hits the North of England

Bad weather hit the UK on 22 November, when around 1.7 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in parts of Lancashire.  Emergency crews received almost 500 calls, with Lancaster and Galgate the worst affected areas.  More than 160 properties were without power on the Fylde coast, and rail services were temporarily suspended between Preston and Lancaster. Two lanes of the M6 were closed between junctions 35 and 36 because of bad weather.  There are eight flood warnings in place in the north-west, with floods affecting road and rail services in North Wales and snow forecast across Scotland.  Ireland was also badly hit as flash floods caused significant damage, and emergency evacuation plans had to be implemented. According to BBC Weather, blustery showers will ease later, and the evening should be generally dry.

UK regulators concerned over Uber data breach

The Uk's Information Commissioner has expressed concern about Uber's "data policy and ethics" after a breach last year that exposed the data of 57 million customers and drivers. Uber officials told Bloomberg that telephone numbers, names and email addresses have been stolen in a massive data breach reported back in October 2016. Further, license plates and information about drivers were also obtained. However, Uber said that no credit card, social security numbers or itinerary details were taken. It was revealed that a ransom of $100k was paid to hackers to delete the data and keep the cyber attack concealed. According to the same source, the incident happened while US regulators were investigating Uber for alleged claims of privacy violations.  Next year, EU countries will radically alter data protection laws, and companies will be obligated to notify data regulators about a breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of the hack.  Companies will face fines of up to four percent of their global annual turnover, or 20 million euros, whichever is higher if they are found to be in breach of the regulations, and deliberately concealing any such breach is likely to lead to a higher fine.

Goldman Sachs moves European base

Goldman Sachs has announced that the investment bank will set up two new EU offices in Frankfurt and Paris as its' new European bases after Brexit.  Staff at the London office will be given a choice where to move, and local staff will be hired to make up any deficit.  The moves are necessary as the bank needs to ensure that it can still serve EU clients after Brexit, following the Uks' decision to leave last year. 

Airlander 10 crashes in Bedfordshire

The Airlander 10, which at 92 metres is the world's longest aircraft, broke free from its' moorings and crashed in Cardington, Bedfordshire after completing a series of test flights. This triggered a safety system which deflates the aircraft, but two members of staff were slightly injured dealing with the aftermath of the crash.  Hybrid Air Vehicles said "the vehicle was not flying at the time of the incident.  The aircraft is now deflated and secure on the edge of the airfield.  The fuel and helium inside the Airlander have been made safe."  The aircraft suffered a similar mishap in August.

Thomas Cook to offer new finanial services

Thomas Cook is launching a new financial division, Thomas Cook Money, with two new products to assist their customers to plan, save, borrow and spend their holiday money. "Roam" is an insurance app which can be tailored on a per-trip, per-person or per-day basis.  "Lyk" is a prepaid card offering that can be loaded in ten different currencies and used worldwide as a Mastercard product.  Thomas Cook Money is run by Anth Mooney who joined them from Virgin Money.  

British Airways to use group boarding system

British Airways (BA) is to commence using a new group boarding system with effect from December 12, in a move to improve and simplify the airport experience for their customers. Boarding will take place in the order of BA membership levels, followed by economy passengers. Earlier this year, BA also introduced automated biometric technology, self-service boarding gates and bag drop points. 

Plane and helicopter collide in Buckinghamshire

A plane and a helicopter have collided in mid-air in Buckinghamshire, prompting emergency rescue operations. The incident occurred on Friday afternoon, above the grounds of the Waddesdon Manor estate near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. According to reports, the two aircrafts crashed during flight, causing wreckage to fall from the air. The emergency services are responding to the accident and the police have established cordons around the perimeter of the crash site. One of the entrances to the Waddesdon Manor estate has been closed off near Upper Winchendon. Casualties are feared as rescue operations continue to search for survivors. Traffic disruption is expected along Main Road and Waddesdon Hill throughout the rest of the day.

UK Prime Minister accuses Russian President of election meddling

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused the Russian President Vladimir Putin of election meddling. According to the BBC, May made the accusation in a major foreign policy speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet in London, claiming Russia had launched a 'cyber espionage' campaign which included election meddling and hacking Danish government departments. "We know what you are doing and you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies", said May - hardening the UK's stance towards Russia. May's comments come ahead of a planned visit by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Russia next month.

Police launch two-week gun amnesty

The police forces in England and Wales have launched a two-week gun amnesty. Throughout the next fortnight, people in possession of illegal firearms, weapons, and ammunition will be allowed to surrender their weapons to the police without ramification. According to the BBC, the police claim "many firearms are held in ignorance of their illegality". Along with hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols, items such as BB-guns, starting pistols, and air weapons are also considered illegal if owned without a personally-issued gun licence. The last gun amnesty in England and Wales was in 2014 and over 6,000 weapons were surrendered.

Aircraft makes emergency crash landing at Belfast Airport

A Flybe aircraft was forced to make a crash landing at Belfast on 10 November, after the nose gear failed to operate correctly.  The pilot noticed the problem on take off and declared an emergency.  The aircraft, which can carry 78 passengers, circled for two hours while crew attempted to solve the problem, and to burn fuel.  However, with the nose gear failing to deploy, the pilot was forced to make a crash landing.  Fire services were in attendance but there were no injuries reported.

Britain sets EU exit day

The British Government announced on Thursday that it would use legislation to fix the date of exit from the European Union in order to address fears that negotiations are proceeding slowly.  The proposed withdrawal will set the date for 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019.

Easyjet appoints new CEO

Easyjet announced on Friday 10 November that its' new Chief Executive Officer would be Johan Lundgren, who previously worked with rival travel firm TUI.  Lundgren will take his post on 1 December to replace Carolyn McCall who is leaving Easyjet after seven years to become CEO of ITV.

Uber loses appeal against driver classification

The taxi firm Uber has lost its' appeal against a ruling that their drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.  The Employment Tribunal upheld the original decision that any driver who used the Uber app was working for Uber London Ltd, and therefore entitled to workers' rights such as holiday pay, rest breaks and minimum wage. The GMB Union said the ruling was a "landmark victory for workers' rights, especially in a gig economy", which is a system of casual working where the business does not commit to set hours or rights.  Uber has up to 40,000 drivers registered in London alone and has faced regulatory and legal setbacks in many cities around the world.

Armed police stage raid in Notting Hill

On 9 November at 23:00 local time, police staged a pre-planned operation in the Colville Square area of Notting Hill.  Firearms officers blocked off roads and helicopter support was provided to search the area. Residents were instructed to stay indoors.  Five people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, and remain in custody.  A number of knives were recovered.

Penny Mordaunt appointed as new International Development Secretary

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North has been appointed as the new International Development Secretary, following the resignation yesterday of Priti Patel.  Ms Patel admitted holding unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials whilst on holiday, and admitted that her conduct "lacked transparency".  Ms Mordaunt is Royal Navy reservist and was the first female minister for the Armed Forces in 2015.  As International Development Secretary, she will be responsible for the UK's £13b foreign aid budget.

Monarch administrators appeal court decision

The administrators of defunct airline Monarch Airlines, are seeking to appeal a decision made by the High Court that it cannot resell its' lucrative airport slots.  The judges decided that Airport Coordination Limited, the organization that allocates airport berths, could offer them to new bidders, and was not obliged to allocate them to Monarch for 2018. The administrators and Greybull, which bought Monarch in 2014, had been hoping to sell the rights, which for Gatwick alone had been valued at £60m.  The Government is understood to be keen to recoup some of the money it spent on the repatriation of some 85,000 passengers who were stranded by Monarchs' collapse.

Chemical leak causes evacuations in Oxford

On 9 November more than 60 people were evacuated from a street near Oxford University following concerns about a possible chemical leak.  Officers were making an arrest when they became aware of a potential hazard.  Fire and ambulance services were in attendance together with a hazardous area response team.  No injuries have been reported although two police officers were sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.  In January an Oxford University chemist poisoned herself with cyanide, causing a street to be put into lockdown, and a month later, an explosion ripped through a block of flats nearby, killing one.  Investigations are continuing.  

International Development secretary quits

On 8 November, Priti Patel resigned as International Development Secretary after she held a number of unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials while on holiday.  In her resignation letter to the PM, she said that had lacked "transparency and openness".  Patel resigned after she had been told by the prime minister to return from an official trip to Africa.  It is the second resignation of a cabinet member in a week after Sir Michael Fallon quit as defence secretary last week.  A replacement for Ms Patel is expected to be announced on 9 November.

SSE and Npower agree merger deal

Two of the big six household energy suppliers have agreed on the terms of a merger if regulators agree.  The tie-up would consolidate SSE as the country's' second-largest supplier, behind Centrica-owned British Gas.  With a combined customer base of over 11 million, SSE said that the merger would help them compete in a "competitive and regulatory market", as well as being able to realise efficiency savings.  The industry is under pressure to scrap controversial standard variable tariffs which are often the most expensive in the market, and currently paid by almost half of UK households.  Competition concerns may dominate any regulatory investigation, although the industry insists it is currently healthy, with 60 suppliers competing for business.

Five rail operators affected by strikes

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union have called strikes that are affecting travellers today throughout the country.  Greater Anglia, Southern and South Western Railway workers are striking for 48 hours, while staff on Merseyrail and Northern have walked out for 24 hours.  The Union is in dispute over plans to introduce driver-only operated (DOO) trains, where conductors would become onboard supervisors, and drivers would have the responsibility of closing the doors.  Industrial action has only recently affected other routes in England.  Southern has confirmed that most routes would operate normally with some alterations.  South Western Railway plans to run about 60 percent of its' timetable with some replacement buses.  Greater Anglia said it would be running a full service.  Merseyrail will operate a reduced train service while Northern said it planned to run more than 1,300 services between 07:00 and 19:00.   

Holyrood evacuated over suspect package

A suspicious package has led to part of the Scottish Parliament being evacuated.  The alarm was raised after a package containing a white powder was found in one of the offices of a member of parliament.  Police and firefighters are on the scene.  The parliament building is located at the bottom of the Royale Mile, which leads from its' historic castle to Queen Elizabeth's Edinburgh residence, Holyrood Palace. 

Police officer stabbed at Edinburgh college

On 6 November at around 09:00, police were called to the Granton Campus after reports of an armed man who was threatening to hurt himself and others.  The man was detained, but during the detention, a police offer sustained a non-life-threatening injury.  The Scottish Police Federation are treating the incident as isolated.

Low speed derailment at Wimbledon

At around 05:00 Monday, a train partially derailed between Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.  Around 300 people were on board, and only one minor injury was reported.  There was a large emergency response, and lines were reopened within about an hour, but disruption is to be expected for the remainder of the day.  Trains are being affected between Wimbledon and London Waterloo and London-bound district lines. 

Uk interest rate rises

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in 10 years.  The official bank rate increases from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, reversing the cut made in August last year.  Bank Governor Mark Carney will expect the banks to pass on the rate increase to savers but said that many mortgages, loans and credit cards would not be immediately affected.  The Monetary Policy Committee said the rate increase was justified because of record low levels of unemployment, high consumer confidence and rising global economic growth.  They also repeated previous guidance that further increases would be at "a gradual pace and to a limited extent."

Gavin Williamson replaces Michael Fallon as defence secretary

Following Michael Fallon's resignation over allegations about his past behaviour, Chief Whip Gavin Williamson has been appointed as the new defence secretary.  Theresa May has moved quickly to appoint a replacement, but her decision to move her chief whip at such a difficult time has come as a surprise to some.  However, it has avoided making a full reshuffle prior to the Budget on 22 November.  The appointment comes after Fallon became the first politician to quit over a number of recently revealed claims of sexual harassment in Parliament.

Ambulance explodes outside Glasgow hospital

An ambulance was destroyed on Wednesday when it burst into flames outside a Glasgow hospital.  The vehicle caught fire near Stobhill Hospital in the early afternoon.  There were no patients or crew on board at the time, and no-one was injured.  It is thought that an oxygen cylinder caused the explosion.

Two teenagers to be charged with terror offences

Two 14-year-old boys are to be charged with conspiracy to murder following their arrest on 28 October and will appear at Leeds Magistrate's Court on Thursday.  One faces additional charges of aggravated burglary.  On Monday, Assistant Chief Constable Phil Cain said "North Yorkshire Police are supporting officers from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit with their investigations. Officers believe that this is an isolated incident and the wider community is not at risk."

Police seek extradition of Arena bomber's brother

British police have formally requested that the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber is extradited to the UK from Libya.  Terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb during a concert by Ariana Grande in May.  His brother Hashem Abedi is suspected of assisting in the preparation and planning of the attack, which led to 22 deaths.  The family fled to the UK from Libya while the country was under the Gaddafi dictatorship, but the brothers returned with their father after the uprising in 2011.  Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said that the Crown Prosecution Service had reviewed the evidence, and a warrant had now been issued relating to the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of those who were injured, and conspiracy to cause an explosion.  Hashim is believed to be in custody in Libya.

Two 14-year-olds arrested in Northallerton under Terrorism Act

Counterterrorism police arrested two 14-year-old boys over the weekend, on "suspicion of preparing for an act of terrorism", following intense police activity in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Officers stated that they believe this to be an isolated incident and there was no on-going danger to the wider community. The boys have been detained and are being held at police stations in West Yorkshire where they are being questioned.

Fourteen-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was fatally shot in the chest on Wednesday evening.  Police were called to Oswaldtwistle near Accrington to reports that a 32-year-old male had suffered a gunshot wound.  He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The Lancashire police said that the boy is currently in custody and they believe this to be an isolated incident, with no wider threat to local residents.  Nevertheless, the force has added extra patrols and the victim's family is being supported by specially trained officers.  

London toxicity charge comes into force

London has introduced a new emissions fee, the toxicity or T-charge, in a bid to improve air quality in the city, which has frequently breached EU limits in recent years.  The charge will mainly apply to older more polluting diesel and petrol engines manufactured before 2006, and is in addition to the existing £11.50 congestion charge.  London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan hopes to clean up the city's air and encourage motorists to replace harmful vehicles.  He reported that 9,000 premature deaths are caused each year by poor quality air and that the economic cost alone is over 4 billion euros.  Opponents suggest the scheme would affect the poorest drivers who could not afford the T-charge on top of the congestion charge or to replace their vehicle.  The measure comes as 12 major cities including London commit to buying only zero-emission buses from 2025.

Man charged following Nuneaton seige

A man has been charged with the charges of false imprisonment and possession of an imitation firearm, following a siege at a Nuneaton bowling alley.  Police were called at around 14:30 on Sunday, with reports that an armed man was holding two employees hostage.  Approximately 40 people were in the complex at the time. The siege was ended when police stormed the building some four hours later.  The 57-year-old man will appear before magistrates on Tuesday. 

Siege at bowling alley in Nuneaton

At around 14:30 on 22 October, police officers were called to a bowling alley in Nuneaton after reports that a man with a shotgun had taken two members of staff hostage.  Approximately 40 people were inside the complex at the time, some of whom managed to escape by rear doors and others who locked themselves in the bathrooms.  Officers stormed the building after four hours, and a 53-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill.  Chief Superintendent Alex Franklin-Smith from Warwickshire police said the siege was "unconnected" to terrorism.  The suspect was given medical attention at the scene and taken to hospital.  A red Peugeot 307 car was removed from the scene by police.

CERT issues warning over global wi-fi vulnerabilities

On 16 October the US government's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) released information about  Wi-Fi protected Access II (WPA2) vulnerabilities.  Exploitation of these could enable attackers to take control of an affected system. CERT, which is part of the US Department of Homeland Security, encourages wi-fi users to update systems and security protocol to address this new threat. The flaw was discovered at the Belgian university KU Leuven, who titled the flaw KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack), and hackers can steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, photos and other digital information. The vulnerabilities are in the WPA2 protocol, not within individual WPA2 implementations which means that all wireless networks of this type may be affected. Microsoft said they had issued a patch on 10 October to protect users of Windows devices, and wi-fi users can also minimise risk by using virtual private networks and by updating devices including routers.

Storm Ophelia causes disruption in northern Britain

Storm Ophelia has caused disruption across many parts of Scotland and northern England after wrecking havoc across Ireland and Northern Ireland yesterday. The storm - which is gradually weakening - was classified as a category three hurricane before it hit the UK, when it was at it's strongest over the Atlantic. At least three people were killed in Ireland, over 240,000 Irish homes are without power, and schools across Ireland and Northern Ireland remain shut as clean-up operations begin. In Wales, the storm delivered gusts of 90mph (144km/h), forcing schools and railway lines to close. Meanwhile, the storm has continued to move in a north-easterly direction, bringing 70mph (112km/h) winds to parts of Scotland and northern England. According to the BBC, the Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning across southern and central Scotland and northern England, advising members of the public to "be aware" - especially during rush-hour traffic. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued 14 flood warnings - of which only one remains active in Strathglass - and several flood alerts were also issued along the west coast of Scotland. The UK Environment Agency has also issued a series of flood alerts across the north-western and south-western parts of England. Transport disruption is expected across most northern parts of Britain due to fallen trees and high winds.

Weather warnings as strong storm hits parts of UK

A strong storm is due to hit parts of the UK with winds of up to 80mph (130km/h). The Met Office has warned of a "potential danger to life" as windy weather abates parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia - which has come from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean - will batter parts of Ireland before weakening over northern Scotland. According to the BBC, at least three people have been killed in the storm so far - which is due to be the worst storm to hit Ireland in 50 years. An amber weather warning is in place in Northern Ireland, where all schools have been closed and thousands of homes are thought to be without power across Northern Ireland and Wales. 'Hurricane-force winds' are expected to hit Ireland's southern coast from around 10:00 onwards, with the worst of the storm hitting around midday. Most public transport services have been cancelled - including flight, rail, boat, bus, and taxi services. Up to 125 flight services have been cancelled at Dublin Airport, while Belfast Airport continues to operate flights as normal. Passengers have been advised to check the status of the flights online. The US National Hurricane Centre recently downgraded the storm to a category one hurricane, which is expected to gradually weaken. The storm will continue to weaken as it hits parts of northern Scotland in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Weather warnings ahead of stormy weather in northern Scotland

A strong storm is due to hit parts of the UK with winds of up to 80mph (130km/h). The Met Office has warned of a "potential danger to life" as windy weather abates parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia - which has come from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean - will batter parts of Ireland before weakening over northern Scotland. According to the BBC, the storm comes 30 years after the UK's Great Storm of 1987. The US National Hurricane Centre recently downgraded the storm to a category one hurricane, which is expected to gradually weaken. The storm will continue to weaken as it hits parts of northern Scotland in the early hours of Tuesday morning, prompting weather warnings along Scotland's north-western coast. By Wednesday, the stormy weather should have passed over most of the UK. Approximately 1,200 British soldiers are on standby to deal with major incidents throughout the UK.

Uber files appeal to overturn London ban

On Friday, Uber submitted a court appeal to overturn a decision by London's transport regulator to strip the company of its' operating licence. Transport for London (TFL) refused to renew the licence last month, deeming Uber unfit to operate a taxi service, citing its' approach to reporting criminal offences and the lack of background checks on drivers. An Uber spokesman said: "whilst we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London". A hearing is likely to take place on 11 December, but this is the first stage of a legal process which could take months or even years to reach a conclusion. In the meantime, Uber's 400,000 drivers in London will be able to continue operating until the appeals process has been exhausted.

Anti-semitic graffiti left at synagogue, Leeds

Anti-Semitic graffiti, including a swastika, has been daubed at a synagogue in Leeds. Police are treating the incident as a hate crime, and patrols in the area have been stepped up. The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which works against anti-Semitism and racism, said the act had caused "widespread upset and concern", and that they were cooperating with police.

Eleven injured in London car crash

At least 11 people have been injured in a car crash in central London over the weekend. The incident occurred on Saturday, outside the Natural History Museum on Exhibition Road in Kensington, London. According to the BBC, a 47-year-old man crashed a black Toyota Prius into at least two other vehicles. As a result, at least 11 people, including the driver, sustained non-life threatening injuries - nine of whom were taken to hospital. The driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and later released pending further investigation. The incident initially sparked panic at the scene, as the UK has seen multiple terror-attacks involving vehicles throughout the last year in central London and the current UK threat level is 'severe' - the second highest level - meaning an attack is highly likely. The driver was initially pinned-down following the incident and arrested, being released later that same day as the London Metropolitan police confirmed the crash was "not terrorist related" and the case going forward was "entirely a road traffic investigation".

PM under pressure to call leadership election

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has come under pressure to call a leadership election after dozens of Conservative MPs are rumoured to have called for her resignation. Conservative MP Grant Shapps has told the BBC that he has garnered the support of up to 30 unnamed Conservative MPs in a move to oust Theresa May from the leadership of the party. The move comes just a few days after the PM was handed a P45 form (termination of employment form) by a prankster during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. In response to Shapps' statement, members of the Cabinet have rallied to support the PM in an effort to present a united party. Calls for the PM to resign are based on her failure to secure an absolute majority in re-election earlier this year - losing the party's 2015 majority and committing the Conservatives to a coalition with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. At least 48 Conservative MPs would need to write to the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives to force a leadership election.

Travel disruption at Stansted airport

Travel disruption has been reported after a security alert prompted RAF Typhoon fighter jets to escort a passenger flight. Stansted Airport was briefly put on lockdown after RAF jets were scrambled to escort a 'non-responding' Ryanair flight into the airport. The passenger flight had reportedly been scheduled to land at Luton Airport, but a security alarm was raised after the aircraft failed to respond to routine contact with air traffic control. Operations at Stansted were briefly disrupted as the flight was diverted. According to local reports, a sonic boom was heard over Suffolk and at least two fighter jets have been circling the airspace above London. The police and the RAF have both confirmed the incident, while Stansted Airport has announced that operations have returned to normal. According to the BBC, the Essex Police have confirmed the incident is not thought to be a hijacking or terror-related incident.

Thousands of bookings cancelled as Monarch Airlines collapses

Nearly a million holidaymakers have been affected after Monarch Airlines - one of the UK's largest carriers - ceased operations on Monday. According to the BBC, dozens of planes were sent by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to bring back home more than 110,000 passengers - across Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece - while around 860,000 bookings were cancelled. Among the reasons behind the airline's collapse are the company's high financial loses and failed negotiations for holiday packages licenses with the CAA. Affected customers have been advised to check regular updates on the CAA website or to contact the body for further information.

Henry Bolton elected new UKIP leader

Henry Bolton has been elected as the new leader of the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP). Bolton garnered nearly 30 percent of the votes and defeated several candidates, including Peter Whittle and the controversial anti-Islamic activist Anne Marie Waters. He is the fourth UKIP leader is less than a year after Nigel Farage left the party and was replaced by Diane Jones and Paul Nuttall. Bolton faces the tough challenge of putting the divided UKIP on a new track and producing fresh party policies regarding the UK's departure from the EU.

Government outlaws two neo-Nazi groups

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that two groups linked to the outlawed neo-nazi group National Action will be banned under UK terror legislation. Scotland-based Scottish Dawn and the National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action (NS131) will be added to the list of banned organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000. Rudd said that: "By extending the proscription of National Action, we are halting the spread of a poisonous ideology and stopping its membership from growing - protecting those who could be at risk of radicalisation." The announcement came weeks after two British soldiers were charged for links to the National Action.

Global travel disruption due to glitching airport check-in software

Global travel disruption has been reported throughout several major international airports worldwide. According to reports, the issue has stemmed from a glitch in check-in software used by dozens of airports around the world. London Gatwick Airport was among those reporting IT issues this morning, along with Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, Changi Airport in Singapore, and several others. A statement released by London Gatwick has confirmed the issue was a software problem - not an airline or airport specific issue - and that "things are back up and running after a momentary IT glitch". Heathrow Airport has also confirmed issues at terminals two, three, and four - leading to check-in delays for passengers. It remains unclear whether or not the issue has been fixed at all airports affected. 

Police recovers bomb in west Belfast

Several residences in western Belfast have been evacuated during a security alert on Monday afternoon. A member of the public has warned Northern Irish authorities over a potential explosive device placed at Horn Drive, located between Suffolk Road and Lenadoon Avenue. An Army bomb disposal robot was used to examine the bomb, which the police labelled a 'viable device' and has been sent for forensic examination. The incident comes two weeks after another explosive device was found in north Belfast.

Ryanair announces further cancellations throughout winter

Ryanair has announced on Wednesday that a further 400,000 bookings are scheduled to be cancelled from November until March 2018. In a statement, the company has said that 34 routes will be grounded during the winter season as 25 aircraft will be removed. Among the routes cancelled are London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, London Gatwick to Belfast, and Newcastle to Faro. Ryanair claims that the measure comes due to schedule changes, which are believed to be linked to an ongoing holiday dispute between the company and its pilots. The decision comes after previous cancellations which are expected to affect another 400,000 passengers.

Several injured in acid attack at east London mall

Six people were injured in an acid attack at a shopping centre in east London on Saturday evening. Preliminary reports suggested that panic was unleashed at the Stratford Centre when a teenager engaged in a wave of random attacks. However, police later confirmed that the incident is linked to an altercation between two groups of males. Three of the victims were treated at the scene, while the remaining others were taking to London hospitals. The Metropolitan Police has said that a 15-year-old youngster was detained and later released on bail. The incident comes in the wake of a number of attacks involving hazardous substances across London.

Transport for London revokes Uber's operating license

Transport for London (TfL) has announced on Friday that the operating license for the app-based taxi service Uber has been revoked over safety concerns. According to the TfL, the company did not fully comply with passenger safety and vetting of drivers features. London Mayor Sadiq Kahn said: "I fully support TfL's decision - it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security. Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules." Uber was given a temporary four-month-long license to operate in the capital, which expires at the end of September.

Bomb scare triggers evacuation at City of London's Leadenhall Market

People were ordered to evacuate Leadenhall Market in the City of London after a suspicious package was found on Tuesday afternoon. The City of London Police advised people to avoid the area as armed police officers cordoned off the market. The venue was later cleared after a full sweep and has since been reopened after police officers confirmed that the item found was non-suspicious.

M1 closed both ways near Milton Keynes

The M1 motorway has been closed in both directions after a 'suspicious object' has been discovered under a bridge near Milton Keynes. Thames Valley Police have confirmed that the object was found on Tuesday morning between junction 15 for Northampton and junction 14 for Milton Keynes and traffic closures have been enforced between these two junctions. According to the BBC, a bomb disposal unit has been dispatched to the scene, along with at least three fire crews. The police have reportedly been provided with explosive ordnance device assistance from the Ministry of Defence. Severe traffic disruptions have been reported, with delays exceeding three hours as the police are clearing trapped traffic by funnelling northbound traffic through Newton Pagnell services and are turning southbound traffic around. The UK is currently on a 'severe' threat level - which was briefly raised to 'critical' after a bomb attack on a London Underground Tube last week.

London Underground Tube drivers to go on strike

On behalf of London Underground Tube drivers, the Aslef union has announced plans for drivers to take 24-hour strike action in the first week of October. The industrial action is scheduled for Thursday 05 October and is expected to have a widespread impact on public transport through London.  According to reports, approximately 3,500 tube drivers are expected to take part in the strike - around 80 percent of which are members of Aslef. The strike has been organised in response to an ongoing row over working conditions. If the strike goes ahead, it is likely to impact most underground lines and above ground services. While there remains a chance that the strike might be avoided as negotiations continue, Transport for London has advised travellers to expect rail service disruption and has released various maps detailing alternative walking and bus routes.

Ryanair cancels thousands of flights throughout October

The Irish airline, Ryanair, has announced that thousands of scheduled flights are due to be cancelled between now and the end of October. Between 40 to 50 flights are estimated to be cancelled per day throughout the next six weeks, causing widespread travel disruption for passengers. According to the BBC, hundreds of travellers were left stranded recently after their return flights were cancelled at short notice. The airline has since published a full list detailing all cancelled flights for the next six weeks and the chief executive of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary has released a statement admitting that the cancellations were caused because the airline had made a massive mistake in terms of planning pilot holidays. The airline stated that is was cancelling flights at airport's with the busiest schedules in order to better provide alternative flights. Approximately 400,000 passengers are expected to be affected and may qualify for compensation. 

Explosion reported on London Underground Tube

An explosion has been reported on a London Underground train in south-west London. The incident occurred on the District Line at Parsons Green on Friday morning. Preliminary reports suggest the explosion came from a bag brought onto the train by a passenger. The BBC has released photos allegedly taken at the scene of a white bucket inside a supermarket bag - believed to be the source of the blast. The emergency services have responded to the scene and a hazardous area response team has also been dispatched. Witnesses have described scenes of 'panic' as the train station was evacuated. At least 22 casualties have been reported - most of whom are suffering from burns as a result of the explosion, or sustained minor injuries while fleeing the station. According to The Guardian, the British Transport Police have described the blast as a 'major incident', handing over investigations to Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism department - who are treating the situation as a terrorist incident.

Disruptions reported on rail services to and from London Euston

Rail services between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston are currently facing severe disruptions after a north-west London fire broke out overnight on Thursday. Reports suggest that the incident happened at a timber yard in Harrow. Services on London Midland, Virgin Trains and Southern are temporarily suspended. National Rail said that delays and further disruptions are expected throughout the day as maintenance workers are repairing damage to the tracks.

Storm Aileen causes travel disruption and power cuts

Thousands of houses in Wales and north-east England suffered power cuts as winds reaching up to 74mph gusted across the country overnight on Tuesday. Electricity companies across England and Wales said that power was already restored to most homes. Travel disruptions were also reported during Wednesday morning. Some train services were cancelled or are running slower than normal due to trees and branches affecting the tracks. Services are expected to be normalised throughout the day. Aileen's main impact already passed but strong winds are still expected to coastal areas along the North Sea, while flood alerts are still in place to several areas in northern and south-western England.

Storm Aileen to bring 60mph winds to UK

The Met Office has forecast that Storm Aileen - the first UK storm to be named this year - will bring winds of up to 60mph to parts of Britain. The storm is predicted to hit on Tuesday night, with the worst winds expected in north Wales from 20:00 local time onwards. A yellow 'be aware' warning has been issued in most parts of the UK, while an amber 'be prepared' warning is due to come into force in north Wales and parts of central England shortly after midnight - when winds may increase to 75mph. Rough sea conditions are expected and there will be a heightened risk of transport disruption, flying debris, and falling trees which could affect power lines. The BBC has identified the highest-risk areas as Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Powys, Wrexham, and Anglesey.

Thomas Cook pilots take strike action

Thomas Cook pilots have taken strike action today over a dispute regarding pay. The industrial action has been organised by the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) and may be the first strike action taken by UK pilots since the 1970s. According to the BBC, the pilots walked out at 03:00 UTC on Friday morning, and will not return to work for 12 hours. The airline Thomas Cook attempted to obtain an injunction against the strike action but failed to do so. Thomas Cook claims that operational flight services have not been affected; however, travellers have been advised to check the updated status of the flights online and to be prepared for potential delays or disruption.

Travel disruption as London Waterloo station reopens

Major travel disruption has been reported at London Waterloo station as it reopens after a £800m project to increase capacity. According to the BBC, cancellations and delays to train services have been caused by a problem with the signalling system. The recent renovation project saw the parts of the station close for almost a month in a bid to increase capacity by 30 percent. Operations are underway to resolve the issue; however, travellers have been advised to expect significant delays until midday.

Dozens rescued due to intense floods in Northern Ireland

More than 120 people have been rescued after heavy rains triggered widespread flooding across Northern Ireland. The emergency services, assisted by officials from Scotland, Wales and Sligo, were fully mobilised after flash floods left dozens of people trapped in their cars and homes overnight on Tuesday. The most affected areas were Londonderry and Tyrone, where bridges and roads have been extensively damaged. Public transport remains widely disrupted, while all flights from the City of Derry Airport (LDY) were cancelled on Wednesday. Adverse weather conditions came after a yellow alert was issued for most parts of Northern Ireland, which - according to the Met Office -faced 63 percent of the average rainfall for August within a nine-hour period.

Holidaymaker killed in rip current, Cornwall

A 27-year-old holidaymaker has been killed and two others were airlifted to hospital after a strong rip current dragged them away from the coast in Cornwall. According to the BBC, the three tourists were swimming along the Crantock beach near Newquay when seven swimmers struggled to fight the current. Crantock is known for its unpredictable strong currents caused by the flow of a river that crosses the beach. It is highly advisable to follow RNLI recommendations in case of incidents involving rip currents. Strong swimmers are advised to swim parallel to the shoreline, while weaker swimmers are encouraged to float - raising an arm whilst calling for help to attract the lifeguard's attention.

Man falls to death from London Stock Exchange building

A man has reportedly fallen to his death from a balcony on the seventh floor of the London Stock Exchange building in Paternoster Square. According to Reuters, the police are not treating the situation suspiciously; however, it has not been confirmed how the man came to fall. The man has been identified as an employee of the London Stock Exchange. Investigations are underway to determine whether the incident was an act of suicide or an accident. There may be some slight traffic disruption between Paternoster Square and St Paul's Cathedral as police investigations continue.

Terms of reference for Grenfell Tower inquiry revealed

The UK government announced on Tuesday that the actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council will be included within the scope of the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry. Further issues to also be considered are the cause of the fire and the London Fire Brigade response along with the fulfilment of high-rise buildings' safety regulations and the authorities' - both central and local - actions before and after the tragedy. Despite social issues being left aside in the inquiry, PM Theresa May said that they will be largely answered. The announcement comes two months after at least 80 people were killed when a massive blaze engulfed the Grenfell Tower block in west London.

Heavy disruptions at London Waterloo due to derailment

Heavy disruptions are expected at London Waterloo station after a train derailed on Tuesday morning. Network Rail told the BBC that a South West train was travelling at low speed when it part of the train came off the tracks. Three people suffered minor injuries and were assisted at the scene. It is believed that the train crashed into an engineering wagon while leaving the station. Travellers have been strongly advised to avoid the station - nearly half of the platforms are still closed - while South West Trains announced that services will remain highly limited until the rest of the day, especially between Vauxhall and Waterloo.

Station evacuated as smoke fills platform in Holborn, London

Holborn station in London has been evacuated after smoke filled a tube platform on Tuesday morning. According to preliminary reports, a loud bang was heard on a Central Line platform shortly before smoke started filling the underground. The London Fire Brigade and the British Transport Police are currently responding to the scene, while Transport for London has stated that westbound Central Line trains are being held while investigations into a faulty train are underway. Significant travel delays are expected as the incident impacts on already congested train services after travellers were advised to avoid London Waterloo - one of the city's largest train stations - after a derailing incident this morning.

Oxford Circus evacuated as London Undergound tube fire breaks out

Oxford Circus train station has reportedly been evacuated after a fire has broken out on a train carriage of a London Underground tube. A carriage on a Bakerloo Line train allegedly caught fire whilst it was stopped at Oxford Circus, forcing a mass evacuation as the underground began to fill with smoke. According to reports, the cause of the fire remains unknown as the London Fire Brigade responded to the scene and investigations are launched. Commuters have been told to find alternative routes during rush hour as the station remains closed with no trains stopping there while the situation remains ongoing. 

Two trapped as London bus crashes into shop front

Two unconscious women are said to be trapped on the top deck of a London bus after it crashed into a shop front. The accident occurred in Lavender Hill near Clapham Junction on Thursday morning. The London Fire Brigade has responded to the scene and has confirmed that the two trapped women remain unconscious. The BBC has reported that the bus driver has been taken to hospital with injuries, while several others have been treated at the scene. A Transport for London spokesperson also confirmed that the bus in question was a route 77 double-decker bus with approximately a dozen passengers on board at the time of the incident. A full investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched.

Heavy rain causes flooding along east coast of England

Heavy rain has caused flash floods along the east coast of England. Floods have hit areas in East Riding of Yorkshire and north-eastern Lincolnshire, with almost a metre of standing water recorded in the worst hit areas in Withernsea, Grimsby, and Immingham. According to reports, the heavy downpours are forecast to continue over the next 24 hours as local authorities warn of the high risk of further flooding. Transport routes have also been affected, resulting in longer journey times, with delays and cancellations on public transport systems.

Police search for missing tourist on Isle of Lewis

Scottish police have launched extensive air and land searches over the weekend to locate a 48-year-old German national reported missing in the Western Isles. Despite his personal belongings already being recovered, Kulke's whereabouts are still unknown. Torsten Kulke was reported missing in late-July around Aird Uig on the Isle of Lewis.

Forty Army Cadets rescued from Mourne Mountains in bad weather

Forty Army Cadets have been rescued by the emergency services in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland. A group of 73 people altogether - including adults - were retrieved in treacherous weather conditions after they encountered difficulties. According to the BBC, at least 16 people believed to be suffering from hypothermia were stretchered out by the emergency response teams. At least 10 accident and emergency crews were dispatched to the scene, along with a hazardous area response team and a Mountain Rescue team. All members of the group have been accounted for.

Second day of violence at Mount Prison, Hertfordshire

Outbreaks of violence have entered their second consecutive day at a prison in Hertfordshire. Trouble broke out at HMP The Mount in Bovingdon village on Monday; however, the situation was not immediately resolved - leading to the capture of a wing of the prison by armed prisoners. The violence forced riot-trained security personnel to be dispatched to the site to restore order. According to the BBC, while the incident has been described by the Ministry of Justice as 'ongoing' the situation remains contained and allegedly represents 'no risk to the public'.

Brexit transition to finish by 2022

The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has released a statement saying that the Brexit transition process must be finished by 2022. Hammond clarifies that any post-Brexit 'transitional deals' must end before the next general election in 2022. Britain is due to officially leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019; however, there has been increasing talk of a 'transitional' period to smooth the leaving process. According to the BBC - Hammond has suggested that prolonged transitional deals would hamper "business as usual, life as normal" for the British people.

Two teenagers wounded in Bethnal Green acid attack, East London

Two male teenagers have been wounded in an acid attack in Bethnal Green, East London. According to Sky News, the attack occurred on Tuesday evening, near Roman Road, Bethnal Green. While it remains unclear precisely how the attack unfolded, it's believed an unknown corrosive liquid was thrown at the victims' faces - resulting in injuries requiring medical attention. Police investigations have been launched; however, no arrests have been made yet.

Vince Cable elected new Liberal Democrat leader

Vince Cable has been elected as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) after running unopposed to replace Tim Farron. In a statement, Cable focused on the UK departure from the EU, claiming that British nationals have the right to vote on a final Brexit deal agreement. Farron resigned after the snap general election in June, during which the Lib Dems won 12 seats.

Dozens evacuated due to flash floods in Cornwall

Dozens of people were evacuated on Tuesday afternoon when heavy rains triggered flash floods in Cornwall. Emergency services urged residents and tourists to avoid the coastal village of Coverack after flood waters ravaged more than 50 homes, forcing some residents to be evacuated by air. Several roads were completely blocked as large waves breached coastal defences. Newquay and Kent also reported a number of rescues due to the weather.

Five wounded in London acid attacks

At least five people have been wounded in acid attacks in north-east London last night. Five acid attacks were reported in various parts of London late on Thursday night, with one victim suffering severe injuries. According to the BBC, two suspects on a motorcycle drove between Hackney, Islington, and Stoke Newington, throwing a corrosive substance at people whilst carrying out robberies. A teenager has been detained in connection with the attacks and faces charges of grievous bodily harm and robbery. Investigations are ongoing to identify and locate the second suspect.

Fire breaks out overnight at Camden Lock Market

Dozens of firefighters were deployed in the early hours of Monday after a fire broke out in north London. Flames spread quickly after the blaze engulfed a three-storey building in Camden Lock Market. The causes of the fire - which took several hours to contain - remain unknown. London Fire Brigade (LFB) said that several firefighters will remain at the scene on Monday to assess for further damages and for potential victims.

British Airways cabin crew launch two-week strike action

British Airways (BA) cabin crew members initiated a two-week strike over a long-standing payment dispute on Saturday. The strike is being called by the Unite trade union, which is demanding higher payments for BA's mixed fleet crew. However, the main reason for the strike comes after Unite accused BA of cutting payments and benefits of employees who engaged in previous strike action. BA officials revealed that impact on flights is likely to be very limited in Heathrow, while flights at London City, Stansted and Gatwick airports will remain unaffected.

Theresa May narrowly wins confidence vote

Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won a confidence vote in parliament on Thursday. Following the agreement with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Conservatives had its legislative programme approved with 323 votes against 309. Most of the bill concerns the UK's departure from the EU, which includes plans to withdraw from both the single and customs unions. Meanwhile, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn sacked three Labour shadow ministers after they rebelled against the party whip regarding the single market post-Brexit. Last week, the Conservatives and the DUP struck a deal to form a minority government.

Advertising firm hit by major cyberattack

A British advertising firm, WPP, has allegedly been hit by a major cyberattack. The attack has reportedly affected IT systems in several WPP companies - including Windows servers, PCs, and laptops - prompting the company to issue a warning to all employees to switch off and disconnect their devices until further notice. While the precise nature and origin of the attack remain unclear, it's believed the attack is linked to other major cyberattacks reported by companies in Denmark, Russia, France, Spain, and Ukraine. According to the BBC, preliminary reports have suggested that the attacks appear to be a form of ransomware called 'Petrwap' - an updated version of 'Petya' ransomware - similar to the WannaCry which hit dozens of companies worldwide earlier this year.

Conservatives agree deal with DUP

The Conservative party has agreed a government deal with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionists Party (DUP). The so-called 'confidence and supply' arrangement will provide the Conservatives with the parliamentary majority necessary to push key votes through in the House of Commons. According to the BBC, the success of the government will rely on the DUP's backing in key votes, such as the Queen's Speech and Budgets. The DUP is expected to back the majority of Conservative policies, including all Brexit and national security matters. 

Six police officers wounded in violent London protests

At least six police officers have been wounded in violent protests in London. On Sunday, violent demonstrations broke out in Newham, London, as crowds protested against alleged police brutality. Demonstrators claim that London Metropolitan Police Officers brutally beat a detainee, leading to his death just six days after being arrested. While independent investigations have been launched, protesters have been throwing bricks at police officers and lighting fires outside the Stratford bus station and Forest Gate police station on Romford Road - causing general disruption and danger.

Heightened security measures for London Pride parade

Heightened security measures have been arranged for the London Pride parade next month. Recent terror attacks in London have prompted the strengthened security measures, with road security at the forefront of considerations. Concrete roadblocks will surround the parade along Regent Street to protect people should someone attempt to drive a vehicle into the crowd. The parade - due to take place on Saturday 08 July  - has altered its route to minimise exposure in light of the recent terror attacks and the surrounding Soho area will be patrolled by additional police officers.

Gunshots fired outside Birmingham school

A primary school in Birmingham has been put on lockdown after gunshots were fired outside the school. At least two gunshots were fired from a car at a man on a bike who was cycling past St Edmund's Catholic Primary School at the time of the incident. The victim allegedly ran into the school grounds for protection while the shooter fled the scene. No casualties have been reported and police investigations have been launched to locate both the suspect and the victim.

Hundreds to stage new Grenfell Tower protest in Westminster

Hundreds of people are expected to gather in front of the Parliament to demand justice for the dozens of deaths in the Grenfell Tower fire last week. Demonstrators called the protest on social media and plan to march from Shepherds Bush Green towards the Parliament, starting at 13:00 local time - shortly after the Queen's speech. Grenfell Tower was engulfed by a massive fire on Wednesday, where so far nearly 80 people were killed and several others are still missing.

UK and EU formally start Brexit talks

Brexit negotiations formally began on Monday. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the British Brexit secretary David Davis met in the European Commission in Brussels to agree which initial priorities should be discussed ahead of Britan's full departure from the EU. Among the points to be discussed are the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, along with negotiations on the controversial Brexit bill. The full process is scheduled to last until late-March 2019, but the deadline can be extended.

Van hits pedestrians outside London mosque

One man has been killed and 10 other people wounded after a van hit pedestrians outside two mosques in north London. The incident happened near the Finsbury Park mosque and Muslim Welfare House off Seven Sisters Road just after midnight, shortly after people were breaking the Ramadan fast. Witnesses said the van targeted the Muslim worshippers intentionally and the 48-year-old driver has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.  UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police are treating it as a "terrorist incident".

Armed police detain suspect near parliament

A man has been detained by armed police near the House of Parliament in Westminster, London. The suspect was allegedly apprehended by armed police near the gates to the Palace of Westminster shortly after 11:10 BST. Unconfirmed reports suggest the suspect was detained on suspicion of being armed with a knife. The man has been held at gunpoint and the police have allegedly asked members of the public to stay clear of the area. According to the BBC, the incident is not currently thought to be terror-related.

Hundreds to stage Grenfell Tower protest in Westminster

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a protest to demand justice for the Grenfell Tower disaster. The march will take place near the Department for Communities and Local Government on Marsham Street in Westminster at 18:00 local time. Residents are angry over an alleged inefficiency in the building administration to follow fire and safety regulations. Grenfell Tower was engulfed by a massive fire on Wednesday, where dozens of residents were killed and many others remain missing. 

PM requests full public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire

Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public enquiry on the Grenfell Tower fire, where at least 17 people lost their lives. Moments after visiting the site in West London, May said that: "We need to ensure that this terrible tragedy is properly investigated; (...) in addition to the immediate fire report that will be produced and any potential police investigation, that we do have a full public inquiry to get to the bottom of this". Emergency services at the scene are continuing the search for missing people, while the death toll is expected to increase significantly.

Government announces delayed Queen's Speech date

The UK government announced that the Queen's Speech to mark the Parliament opening will be delayed until Wednesday 21 June. The announcement was made by the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom on Thursday, suggesting that PM Theresa May reached an agreement to form a minority government with the Northern Irish DUP. The State Opening of Parliament is being delayed for two days after the Conservatives and the Unionists failed to reach an agreement shortly after the election.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron to resign

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, announced his intentions to resign from the party's leadership. In a statement, Farron said that his religious beliefs were somewhat incompatible with leading the Lib Dems. Farron will remain the head of the Lib Dems until the Summer recess, on 20 July, when a new leadership election will take place. The party won 12 seats in June's elections, which counted with the return of former ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.

Fire engulfs tower block in West London

An enormous fire has broken out in a block of flats in West London. At least 200 firefighters and 40 fire trucks were dispatched to Grenfell tower block shortly before 01:00 in the morning. It's suspected the fire broke out in one of the lower level floors of the 24-storey building; however, no precise cause has been determined. The tower block had recently been renovated, with new building heating systems and refurbished kitchens. As many as 500 people lived in the block of flats and at least 30 fatalities have been confirmed with over 68 casualties being treated in five different local hospitals. The fire has been categorised by the London Fire Brigade as a major incident. A cordon around the building has been widened amid concerns regarding the stability of the building. The public has been advised to stay clear of the tower block and to expect residual smoke in the area. 

Conservatives to form government with DUP

The Conservative party has announced intentions to form a new government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - the leading party in Northern Ireland. With 649 out of 650 constituency results confirmed, the Conservatives have fallen eight seats short of the 326 required to form a majority government. Earlier, PM Theresa May consulted with the Queen to receive royal approval to form a minority government. With the addition of the DUP's 10 seats, the alliance will have a slim combined majority in parliament. The Prime Minister is yet to deliver further details regarding the arrangement and it remains unclear if the Conservative-DUP alliance will take the form of a traditional coalition government.

Job centre staff held by knife-wielding man in Newcastle

Several members of staff at a Job Centre Plus in Newcastle upon Tyne have been held hostage by a knife-wielding man. The suspect has allegedly stormed the building on Clifford Street in the Byker area this morning, holding an undisclosed number of job centre employees against their will. The police have responded to the incident and have dispatched officers to the scene, who have established a safety perimeter around the building and have begun negotiations with the suspect - who is thought to be known to the staff. The incident is not thought to be terror-related at this stage.

UK general election results in hung parliament

The UK general election has resulted in a hung parliament, with no party achieving an overall majority. With only three results left to formerly be announced, the Conservative party has so far achieved 316 seats, falling short of the 326 seats needed to have a majority in the 650 seat parliament. The Labour party has garnered 261 seats, while the Scottish Nationalist Party have 35 seats and the Liberal Democrats have achieved 12 seats. With a hung parliament an inevitable outcome, all parties are now considering coalition deals and minority governments.

Trafalgar Square evacuated due to suspicious package

Trafalgar Square in central London has been evacuated and cordoned off by armed police due to concerns regarding a suspicious package in the area. The police forces are investigating the scene and have established a secure perimeter around the area. Some traffic disruption should be expected as bus routes are diverted around the area. 

Voters head to polls in the UK general elections

Voters are heading to polls on Thursday to elect 650 MPs in the UK general elections. Prime Minister Theresa May - leader of the ruling Conservative party - called for snap elections in mid-April after triggering Article 50 and initiating the process to leave the EU. Despite Brexit being the main subject in campaigning rhetoric, recent terrorist incidents have forced a slight shift towards security in the campaign agenda.  Jeremy Corbyn - the leader of the opposing Labour Party - has focused intently on holding the PM to account for past policy decisions regarding security, which he claims may have contributed to a lack of adequate policing at the time of the terror attacks. More than 40,000 poll stations will remain open until 22:00 GMT. YouGov's final election poll has predicted that the Conservatives will secure 42 percent of the vote, while Labour are expected to achieve only 35 percent - a three per cent decrease from 2015.

Teenager killed in knife fight, Tottenham

A 17-year-old boy has been killed in a knife fight in Tottenham, north London. The altercation occurred between Tottenham Green and Tynemouth Road on Tuesday evening, where several armed teenagers are thought to have engaged in a knife fight. The 17-year-old was discovered at the scene with fatal stab wounds. Police investigations have been launched and it's suspected the victim knew his attackers.

Man killed in stabbing incident, Kingston upon Thames

A man has been killed in a stabbing incident in Kingston upon Thames on the outskirts of London. A man in his 30s was discovered by police officers with fatal stab wounds in the Cambridge Road area late last night, prompting murder investigations to be launched by the police. Three suspects have been arrested thus far.

London police identify London bridge terror suspects

The Met Police have issued a statement confirming that investigations have identified the three suspects responsible for the terror attack on London Bridge which killed seven people late on Saturday night. The identities of the suspects are yet to be made public. On Sunday, the police arrested 12 people in a property raid in Barking - believed to be the residence of one of the terror suspects - releasing one man without charges. Further raids have been carried out on Monday, with the police detained an undetermined number of people. The attack has been claimed by the Islamic State (IS).

British Airways cabin crew to launch strike action

British Airways cabin crew are set to launch a four-day strike on Friday 16 June. The action was called by the Unite union which represents nearly 3,000 employees amid an ongoing payment dispute. It is advised to closely check flight status or contact the airline as flights during the strike period are likely to face disruptions. 

Dozens killed and wounded in London Bridge terror attack

At least seven people were killed and as many as 48 others wounded in the terror attack on London Bridge on Saturday. A speeding van mounted the pavement, driving into pedestrians along the bridge, before several suspects wearing hoax suicide vests then exited the van, stabbing people indiscriminately in the nearby Borough Market, including at least one police officer. Three suspects were shot dead by the police and most election campaigning has been suspended as counter-terror investigations continue. 

Pipe bomb found in Dungiven, Northern Ireland

A pipe bomb has been discovered in the small town of Dungiven in Northern Ireland. Police officers were dispatched to the scene on Foreglen Road after they received calls of a suspicious object in the area. The area was briefly cordoned off as the police forces safely removed the object. Military specialists then confirmed the object to be a viable pipe bomb - likely planted by extremists.

Three found dead in Liverpool flat

Three people have been found dead in a flat in Liverpool. A woman and two young children were discovered dead in the flat on Tuesday evening, shortly before residents along the street were evacuated due to a suspected gas leak. One man has been arrested in connection with the deaths and the incident is thought to have been domestic in nature.

Armed forces and EOD respond to incident in Hulme, Manchester

The British armed forces have responded to an incident in the central Hulme area of Manchester. Greater Manchester Police reported that the police forces had responded to a call in the area at 10:41 on Thursday morning. Just minutes later, the police forces confirmed that the armed forces and an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team have also been deployed to the scene. Several roads have been cordoned off around Mancunian Way and Linby Street. Traffic disruption should be expected in the area. The scene has been secured and it has been confirmed that the incident is over and there is no security threat.

UK police stop information sharing with US

UK police investigating the Manchester bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the US following a series of leaks.  On Wednesday UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd expressed the government's frustration at the leaks, warning "it should not happen again".  Images of the investigation into the terror attack - in which 22 people were killed - appeared in the New York Times, along with details about the assailant, Salman Abedi.

Armed police raid property in central Manchester

Armed police and soldiers of the British armed forces are conducting a property raid in central Manchester. A flat in Granby House in the central Granby Row area of the city has been targeted in the property raid. The raid has been carried out as part of ongoing counter-terror operations in connection with the terror attack in Manchester, which killed at least 22 people on Monday evening. 

Terror suspect detained at Stansted Airport

A terror suspect has been detained by the security forces at Stansted Airport. The suspect was apprehended by security personnel on Tuesday as he allegedly attempted to leave the country to go to Syria. According to the BBC, the suspect will face charges of planning acts of terrorism. The arrest is not connected to the terror attack in Manchester which killed 22 people on Monday evening.

Three arrested in Manchester terror attack investigations

Three people have been arrested by the security forces in connection with ongoing investigations into the recent terror attack in Manchester. All three suspects were detained on police warrants in southern Manchester. The arrests come after the attacker has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi - a British national of Libyan descent. Abedi had recently returned from a visit to Libya.

UK threat level raised to critical

The UK threat level has been raised from severe to critical following the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night. A suicide bomber targeted concert-goers at the Manchester Arena late on Monday evening, killing at least 22 people and wounding 64 others. The attack prompted a COBRA meeting, in which the prime minister and heads of state security made the decision to raise the threat level to critical - the third time in history the critical level has been enforced. The heightened threat level allows the government to enforce maximum security measures across the UK in the face of any potential imminent attack. Approximately 3,800 armed forces are to be deployed across the UK in due course, with an initial 800 troops immediately stationed at key sites in response to the attack.

Shopping centre in Manchester evacuated

A major shopping centre in Manchester has been evacuated due to a security risk. Preliminary reports have suggested that armed police have forced a full evacuation of the building amid a security incident. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that one suspect has been arrested in connection to a suicide bombing in a major concert venue in Machester last night. The evacuation comes just 13 hours after 22 people were killed and 50 others were wounded in a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena last night. The Arndale shopping centre was previously bombed by the Provisional IRA in June 1996 - almost 21 years ago - leaving over 200 people wounded. The security forces remain on high alert throughout Manchester.

Blast hits Manchester Arena

At least 22 people have been killed and 59 others have been wounded in a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena. An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated as concert-goers were exiting an Ariana Grande concert at 22:33 BST on Monday evening. According to the BBC, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that the lone male attacker was killed in the blast, along with at least 22 others. Many children and teenagers are believed to be among the casualties and many others remain unaccounted for, although no victims have been identified as of yet. The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack. One suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Nationwide protests to take place

Nationwide protests are expected to take place on Tuesday 23 May, as protesters gather in various towns and cities in support of local transport providers. The protests have been organised by the GMB union - who argue that private and unlicensed taxi or minicab services have had a negative impact on local business. Protesters will demand a review of licensing legislation to support local transport providers. Protests are expected to take place in Brighton, Cardiff, Greater London, Leeds, London, Rochdale, Trafford, and York. Travel disruptions should be expected.

One wounded in Glasgow shooting

A man has been wounded after being shot in an incident in Glasgow last night. A gunman - acting alone - allegedly targeted the victim as he was sitting inside his car on Craighill Road shortly after midnight. A police manhunt operation has been launched alongside investigations into the potential motives behind the attack.

Railway strikes to take place

Railway workers have voted in favour of strike action after talks between the National Union for Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) and railway companies have failed. The strike will be held on Tuesday 30 May in continued worker protests against poor pay conditions and the proposal of driver-less trains by 2020. The RMT union has organised a total of 31 days of strike action since the dispute opened up in 2016. Southern Railway, Arriva Rail North, and Merseyrail services will be the most affected by the industrial action.

Demonstration to take place in Belfast

A demonstration has been scheduled to take place in Belfast against anti-social behaviour in the community. Protesters are expected to gather at 19:00 on Thursday 18 May outside the Maureen Sheehan Centre on Albert Street. The demonstration was organised by concerned members of the West Belfast area after a recent increase in violent crime - such as burglaries and car theft - has afflicted the community. The protest may disrupt traffic throughout the evening.

Teenager killed in knife fight, Enfield

A teenager has been killed and another two people have been wounded in a knife fight in the town of Enfield on the outskirts of Greater London over the weekend. The fight broke out on Hertford Road late on Saturday evening. A murder investigation has now been launched by the police - it's suspected the fight broke out over a personal dispute.

NHS England targetted in cyber attack

The National Health Services (NHS) in England have been experiencing technical difficulties amid an alleged cyber attack. According to the BBC, the attack has affected hospitals and medical centres associated with the NHS. Several areas have been affected so far, including Blackburn, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, London, and Nottingham. IT systems and telecommunications have allegedly been shut down - causing many non-urgent appointments to be postponed. Unconfirmed reports of ransomware have surfaced, allegedly demanding payments for the return of NHS files. The incident has been described as a large-scale cyber attack and IT specialists have been working to resolve to issue.

Investigations launched following kidnap attempt, Surrey

Police investigations have been launched following an attempted kidnapping in Surrey. A man in his early 20s was allegedly assaulted by an unknown male assailant before the attacker attempted to bundle the victim into a vehicle. The incident unfolded last week in an alleyway off Eastworth Road in Chertsey, Surrey. The motives behind the incident remain unclear and no suspects have been detained as of yet.

Arriva Traincare workers to go on strike

Arriva Traincare workers have voted to take strike action through the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT Union). Members will take industrial action on Friday 19 May, between 00:01 and 23:59 GMT. The strike has come about over pay disputes and the train maintenance company's alleged refusal to negotiate with the RMT Union, as they refuse to acknowledge the RMT Union as representatives of the workers. The strike is unlikely to affect trains services.

Five arrested in Coventry on suspicion of financing terrorism

Five men in their 30s have been arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of funding terrorism. West Midlands Police announced on Tuesday that the arrests took place at a residential address in Coventry, while several properties are being searched. The arrests come a week after four people were detained in anti-terror raids in north-west London.

Man breaks his leg during robbery attempt in London

A man in his 30s has been targeted by robbers in London's Park Lane in Westminster. Eight criminals on mopeds targeted the victim in the attempt to rob his watch. According to the Metropolitan Police, the victim had his leg broken as three assailants chased him on foot. Robberies involving mopeds have become increasingly frequent in London, where criminals often use stolen vehicles to attack tourists and pedestrians.

Student found guilty of planting bomb on London tube

A 20-year-old student, Damon Smith, has been found guilty of planting a bomb on a London Underground train. According to the BBC, Smith was convicted by the Central Criminal Court after facing allegations of planting a homemade explosive device on a tube on the Jubilee line in London. While the suspect admitted to planning a bomb hoax, he claimed the device was not meant to cause harm; however, the device was found to contain ball-bearing shrapnel, suggesting that Smith intended to cause "maximum damage".

Southeastern trains to face disruptions due to lorry crash in Orpington

Heavy delays and cancellations are expected on Southeastern trains between Orpington and London after a lorry crashed into a railway bridge near Petts Wood station. Disruptions are expected last until 18:00 local time, while the structure is being analysed by engineers. 

Spanish warship incursion sparks Royal Navy reaction off Gibraltar

For the third time in less than a month, a Spanish warship has sailed through Gibraltar's territorial waters, sparking a reaction from the Royal Navy. The Spanish corvette was located off Gibraltar's coast on Saturday morning and later intercepted by a Royal Navy detachment. The incursion came just hours before EU leaders approved Brexit guidelines allowing a Spanish veto of the UK territorial dispute concerning Gibraltar.

Police issues alert over suspicious parcels to SNP in Scotland

British authorities issued a security warning after suspected packages were delivered to political offices and police buildings in Scotland. The parcels containing an unidentified white powdery substance were delivered to two police buildings in Fife and Glasgow, while others headed to SNP MP John Nicolson's office and the SNP headquarters. The police put Scottish politicians' offices under alert and revealed that the incident is likely linked to the upcoming UK general election.

Four arrested and woman shot in London anti-terror raids

Four people have been arrested in London anti-terror raids on Thursday evening. The operations took place in Willesden, north-west London, where a young woman was shot. The police also raided an address in Kent, where a 43-year-old suspect was arrested. According to the Metropolitan Police, the arrests are not linked to the previous security incident near Whitehall. 

Man arrested in security incident outside Whitehall, London

A man has been arrested in a security-related incident outside Whitehall, near the Houses of Parliament in central London. The incident unfolded around 15:00 BST in the mid-afternoon on Thursday 27 April. The BBC has reported that witnesses described seeing two knives on the ground as armed officers apprehended a man. The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that there have been no casualties following the incident. Further details are yet to be released. The areas surrounding Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament have been closely monitored by security following the terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament on Westminster Bridge last month.

One person killed in stabbing incident, London

A person has been killed in a stabbing incident in London. Knife-wielding assailants attacked the victim on Tuesday evening on Melody Road in the Wandsworth borough of London - killing the victim on the spot. Police investigations are underway and two suspects have been detained although no motive has been confirmed as of yet. It is likely the attackers knew the victim.

Fire breaks out at Christie cancer hospital, Manchester

A large fire has broken out in the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute building at the Christie cancer hospital in Manchester. According to the BBC, the fire started at around 10:35 local time on Wednesday morning and has occupied the first-floor plant room and roof space. At least five patients have been relocated to continue receiving treatment while some treatments have had to be postponed. No patients or staff have been caught in the blaze and the hospital, for the large part, has continued treating patients. The fire service has advised members of the public to avoid the area and to keep windows closed.

Northern Railway workers to take strike action

Workers of Northern Railway have arranged to take industrial action on Friday 28 April. The 24-hour strike has been organised by the National Union for Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT Union). Northern Railway has stated that while reduced services will be operating, additional carriages will be added to running services and replacement bus services will be made available. For the full list of available services operating, travellers have been advised to check the Northern Railway website for updates.

Petrol bomb thrown in van, County Antrim

A petrol bomb attack has been thrown into a van in an arson attack in County Antrim. It's believed the suspect smashed the van's windows before setting it ablaze with a petrol bomb in the Ballyclare area of Co Antrim in Northern Ireland on Friday evening. Police investigations are underway and a manhunt has been launched for a suspect seen fleeing the area. Nobody was harmed during the attack and the motives remain unclear.

Woman attacked at south-east London park

A woman has been robbed and raped at a park in south-east London. The victim was walking through Sutcliffe Park in the Kidbrooke area on Wednesday afternoon when she was approached by a man in his early 20s. All of her belongings were taken, while the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation to locate the suspect.

Tube workers to take 24-hour strike action in May

London Underground tube workers have announced intentions to take 24-hour strike action in early May. The industrial action has been organised by the National Union for Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT Union) over the alleged wrongful dismissal of a tube worker who tackled an allegedly violent fare-dodging passenger to the ground in November. The walk-out has been scheduled to take place at 22:00 local time on Sunday 07 May and will last until 22:00 the following evening - affecting the London Bridge and London Waterloo lines. Many travellers and commuters are expected to be affected and have been advised to plan alternative travel arrangements in advance.

One killed and one wounded in violent attack, Essex

One man has been killed and a woman has been wounded in a violent attack in Essex. Armed assailants allegedly attacked a brother and sister in the Cranfield Park Avenue area of Wickford in Essex on Sunday evening, just before midnight. The male victim died from gunshot wounds, while the female victim suffered severe stab wounds. Police investigations are ongoing and it is currently believed that the victims knew their attackers.

Terror suspect arrested in east London

The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command revealed that a 28-year-old has been arrested in east London on suspicion of supporting terrorism. The man was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning, while the police ordered searches of two addresses. The detention comes on the same day another person was detained in north London on suspicion of engaging in terror-linked activities.

A dozen injured in nightclub acid attack, London

Over a dozen people have suffered chemical burns after an acid attack at a nightclub in east London. The incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning at the Mangle nightclub in Hackney. Ten of the victims suffered minor injuries, while two others remain hospitalised. Investigations were launched to assess the motives of the attack and the police have stated that there is no evidence linking the incident to gang-related crime.

PM Theresa May calls general election

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has officially called for a snap general election to take place. The general election has been scheduled to take place on Thursday 08 June, 2017. According to the BBC, the election has been deemed a necessary move in order to provide Britain with the required stability and certainty to go through with 'Brexit' procedures. Should May secure a win in the upcoming general election, it will also provide the Prime Minister and the ruling Conservative party with a more secure mandate.

Hundreds protest at Russian Embassy over Chechen LGBT camps

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the Russian Embassy in London to demonstrate against human rights abuses in Chechnya, southern Russia. The demonstration was triggered following reports of LGBT camps, where dozens of gay men are being tortured. Rights groups endorsed the protests claiming that the gay population in Russia - especially in Chechnya - suffers successive crackdowns led by both the government and the local traditional population.

Virgin train staff to go on strike

Workers for Virgin Trains East Coast have arranged to go on strike at the end of April over disputes regarding the training and roles of guards and other operational jobs. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT Union) has organised the 48-hour strike - which has been scheduled to start on Friday 28 April - lasting until Sunday 30 April. The strike is expected to affect train services operating between London and Edinburgh.

One killed in stabbing incident, London

One man has been killed in a stabbing incident in Newnham Close, Northolt, London. The incident occurred in the Northolt area on Tuesday afternoon. Investigations are underway and four suspects have been detained for questioning. The motive behind the attack remains unclear; however, it is likely the attack was related to a personal dispute.

Greenpeace protest outside Coca Cola HQ, London

A demonstration organised by Greenpeace has gathered outside the headquarters of Coca Cola to protest against the company's use of non-recyclable and single-use plastic bottles. The activists have gathered outside the company headquarters on Wimpole Street in Marylebone and have allegedly blocked the entrance. The police forces have been dispatched to handle the situation.

PC Palmer's funeral takes place in central London

The funeral of PC Keith Palmer - who was killed in a terror attack at Westminster just two weeks ago - is taking place in Southwark Cathedral in central London today at 14:00 GMT. The funeral procession will take a route through various parts of central London and many people are expected to attend the street procession to pay their respects. Some light travel disruption should be anticipated and some public transport routes may briefly be diverted. 

UK Foreign Secretary cancels trip to Moscow, Russia

The UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has cancelled his trip to Moscow following the US airstrike on a Syrian air base. The air raid prompted harsh criticism from the Russian government, triggering a deterioration in diplomatic relations with the US. The UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, had previously announced British government support of the airstrike. The decision regards the chemical attack blamed on the Syrian government in Idlib, in which 70 people were killed. 

US missile strike prompts Downing Street protest

The US missile strike on a Syrian airbase has prompted a protest outside Downing Street in London. The protest has been organised by the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament groups. Demonstrators are scheduled to gather at Downing Street at 16:00 GMT. Travel disruptions are anticipated and it is likely that route diversions will coincide with rush hour.

One wounded in shooting, Greater London

At least one person has been wounded in a shooting incident in Greater London. The incident occurred on Thursday evening near a main traffic intersection between Lincoln Road and Great Cambridge Road. Police investigations are underway; however, no details have been released and it remains unknown how the incident came about. The shooting is not thought to be terror-related.

Suspect terrorist arrested at London's St Pancras International

The Metropolitan Police (Met) announced on Tuesday afternoon that an 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of supporting terrorism. The suspect was detained at London's St Pancras International train station during an attempt to leave the country. According to the Met, the threat was not directly against the UK and searches are being carried out at a residence in north London.

Airports and nuclear power stations under cyber threat alert

Airports and nuclear power stations in the UK are under alert over a potential terrorist cyber threat. Security services across the country have issued concerns over new methods used by subversive groups and individuals to pass undetected through safety checks. Intelligence suggests that terrorist groups are aiming to use everyday electronics to carry out attacks. The warning comes just days after the US and the UK banned large electronic devices on board flights to and from certain countries.

Clashes break out during far-right march in London

Clashes broke out during a far-right demonstration in London on Saturday. The protest escalated when anti-fascist movements stormed Trafalgar Square leading to clashes with Britain First and English Defence League (EDL) members. At least 14 people were arrested as dozens of police officers were deployed to control the crowd.

Suspected pipe bomb found in Londonderry

Authorities have reported that a suspected pipe bomb has been discovered in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Police have responded to the incident, evacuating nearby buildings and securing the perimeter. The explosive device was found in Tamneymore Park, Londonderry. The threat has been neutralised and removed by the bomb disposal unit.

M4 weekend closures planned in April and May

The M4 motorway is scheduled to be partially closed during four weekends throughout April and May. The M4 is expected to be closed in both directions between junction 12 (Theale exit) and junction 13 (Chieveley exit). The first closure period will start from 21:00 UTC Friday 31 March, until 06:00 Monday 03 April. The subsequent closures will operate on the same timings on the weekends of Friday 05 May to Monday 08 May, Friday 12 May to Monday 15 May, and Friday 19 May to Monday 22 May. The closures have been planned to allow essential repair work to take place on two bridges. Diversions will be in place through Newbury via the A4.

Five killed in helicopter crash in North Wales

Five people have been killed in a helicopter crash in North Wales. Preliminary reports revealed that the privately owned aircraft lost radar contact off the Welsh coast in the Irish Sea when travelling from Luton to Dublin on Wednesday. The exact location of the crash has not been disclosed yet; however, police concentrated searches around the Snowdonia National Park, while the wreckage was located in the Rhinog Mountains.

Thousands to march across Leeds over NHS cuts

Thousands of protesters are expected to storm Leeds city centre to demonstrate against NHS cuts. Demonstrators are scheduled to gather near the Leeds Art Gallery on Saturday morning. Several groups across Yorkshire are set to endorse the march to demand more funding for healthcare. Some claims concern the downgrading or closure of several hospital services and mental health facilities in the region. 

One wounded in petrol bomb attack, Fife

One man has been wounded in a petrol bomb explosion on Alexander Road in the Glenrothes area of Fife. The explosion - which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning - is believed to have been a targeted attack on the property. According to reports, local witnesses claim a petrol bomb was thrown through the window of the property. The police have not confirmed details regarding the incident whilst investigations are underway.

Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to trigger Article 50 - the process to leave the European Union (EU) - on Wednesday. The seven-page-long letter is set to be delivered during the afternoon by the UK Ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow to the EU Commission President Donald Tusk. The triggering of Article 50 means the initiation of a two-year negotiation - which, among many other aspects, will include talks on citizens' rights and the single market membership.

Scottish Parliament votes to hold second indepedence referendum

The Scottish Parliament has voted to hold a second referendum on the matter of Scottish independence. The vote won by 69 votes to 59 and grants the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the parliamentary power to initiate official talks with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May. The UK government has previously stated that it will not engage in talks regarding the issue until after negotiations for Britain to leave the EU have been completed. May has expressed her desire for Scotland to remain part of the UK. Britain's withdrawal from the EU has proven a divisive issue, pertinent to the Scottish Parliament's decision to hold another referendum - as Scottish Ministers claim the overwhelming majority of Scottish people do not want to leave the EU. The matter is likely to spark demonstrations and protests in Westminster, Glasglow and Edinburgh.

Piccadilly hotel evacuated due to basement fire, London

Dozens of people have been evacuated from a central London hotel, Le Meridien, as a fire broke out in the basement of the hotel. The fire brigade responded to the incident quickly, evacuating the building before fighting the blaze. Traffic disruptions should be expected throughout the surrounding Piccadilly area as lane closures and route diversions have been put in place on the A4 going eastbound between Swallow Street and Piccadilly Circus. 

Power failure causes delays on London Overground

A power failure in the Surrey Quays area has reportedly caused delays and disruption to the London Overground train services this afternoon. Transport for London has issued a travel warning to passengers to expect severe delays on the London Overground lines until the power failure is fixed. Passengers have been advised to check Transport for London's service update website for updated service delays.

IED goes off near police patrol in Strabane, Northern Ireland

An improvised explosive device (IED) went off on Tuesday evening in Strabane, Northern Ireland. The IED was planted near a police patrol stationed on Townsend Street. According to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the attack intended to target security personnel - investigations are ongoing. Previous attempts targeting police officers in Strabane have taken place in previous years.

Man kidnapped in car hi-jacking, Brandlesholme

A man has been kidnapped at gunpoint during a car hi-jacking in Brandlesholme, Greater Manchester. According to reports, the victim had been in the car with a friend in Lepp Crescent, when they were rammed into by a black van. Two masked assailants forced the victim's friend out of the car, keeping the victim in the car against his will as both vehicles were driven away from the scene. The victim was later recovered with minor wounds. Police investigations are underway.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Westminster attack

According to the BBC, the Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the Westminster attack yesterday. An announcement was released via the group's news agency, Amaq, claiming that the attacker - who is believed to have been a lone attacker influenced by the IS - was a "soldier of the Islamic State". The phrasing of the IS claim suggests that the attacker may not have been acting on direct orders from the IS, but rather was acting of his own accord having been heavily influenced by the extremist group.

Seven arrested in connection to Westminster attack

Seven people have been arrested in connection to London's Westminster attack on Wednesday afternoon. Acting Deputy Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism Mark Rowley told the BBC that a search operation took place overnight in six addresses. Further searches are also being carried out in Birmingham and London. On Wednesday afternoon, a man driving an SUV ploughed through crowds of pedestrians along Westminster bridge and later stabbed a police officer guarding the Parliament gates.

Death toll increases in Westminster attack

Four people have now been confirmed dead in the suspected terrorist attack outside the UK Houses of Parliament in Westminster.  A police officer who was stabbed has died from his injuries, while the assailant was also shot dead by other officers.  Two people died when a car hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, while more than 20 other people have been wounded.  The Metropolitan Police said a major terrorist investigation was underway.

Four killed, 20 wounded in Westminster terror incident

Four people have been killed and at least 20 others have been wounded in a terror incident which has occurred in Westminster, outside Portcullis House and along Westminster bridge. Preliminary police reports to the BBC have stated that: a police officer has died from stab wounds; the assailant who stabbed the police officer has been shot dead; two people have died after being mowed down by a car on Westminster bridge. An SUV car has crashed into a fence on the bridge - it remains unclear whether or not this was the car hitting people on the bridge. The Scotland Yard has launched an extensive counter-terror operation which remains ongoing. The House of Commons has suspended procedures and has been put into a full lockdown until further notice. It has been confirmed that the Prime Minister is safe. Severe traffic disruption is to be expected surrounding the Westminster area. London Underground services at Westminster tube station have been suspended. Police are describing the situation as a terror incident.

Main road to Belfast Airport to close temporarily

The main access road to Belfast International Airport is due to close temporarily next week. The closure has been arranged to allow necessary construction work on the A57 Ballyrobin Road between Antrim Road and the A26 Oldstone Road. The closure will be in effect from 19:00 local time on Friday 31 March and will re-open at 06:00 on Monday 03 April. The closure is expected to affect many people travelling to the airport - who have been advised to re-plan their routes accordingly and to allow extra time for diversions and delays.

Teenager shot dead in East London

A 19-year-old teenager has been shot dead in East London. The incident occurred late last night as the perpetrator(s) targeted the victim whilst he was sat in his car on Ilford Lane in Ilford. According to the BBC, the man died at the scene after paramedics attempted to revive him and failed. This is the second shooting fatality to occur in London within a week. Police investigations are underway with no suspects confirmed as of yet.

UK to ban certain electronic devices on flights

Certain electronic devices - such as laptops and tablets - will be subjected to an expected flight ban by the UK authorities. The UK ban is expected to be announced following the announcement of a similar ban from the US Department of Homeland Security. Specific criteria for the UK ban is yet to be formerly announced; however, they are expected to be more or less in line with the US restrictions - which state that no electronic device larger than a mobile phone will be allowed on flight unless it is stored in hold luggage. The BBC has reported that the US ban is applicable to airports across at least eight Muslim-majority countries in the Middle-East and north Africa. Medical devices - such as pacemakers - will be exempt from the ban. 

Ex-Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness dies in hospital

The former Sinn Fein leader, Martin McGuinness, has died in hospital from a rare heart condition. The former deputy first minister had only resigned from leadership in January 2017. The death of McGuinness may spark public demonstrations or extremist action due to McGuinness' history of extremist activity with the IRA. The BBC has cited that many have held him responsible through association for the organisation of several bombings killing hundreds of innocent people - indicating that his death will provoke high tensions, particular in Londonderry, North Ireland.

PM Theresa May to trigger Article 50 on 29 March

PM Theresa May announced on Monday a date to notify the EU of the UK's intentions to leave the European Union. The two-year deadline will start as the government is set to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday 29 March. One month later, an EU summit - excluding the UK - will take place in Brussels to discuss the negotiations' first steps.

Freight train derailment causes delays in south-west England

Heavy delays and cancellations are expected on services to and from Westbury, south-western England, after a freight train derailed on Monday afternoon. According to GWR, services from Taunton and Weymouth will be widely affected until Wednesday 22 March.

Armed man arrested at NatWest bank, Birmingham

An armed man has been arrested by police after attempting to carry out a siege on a NatWest bank in Birmingham. West Midlands Police officers quickly responded to reports of an armed man inside the bank, detaining the suspect and securing the area around the bank on Bristol Road South in the Northfield area. No casualties were incurred throughout the incident. Police investigations are underway; however, the motives behind the attack remain unclear.

Southern Rail to launch 24-hour strike amid dispute

Southern Rail services are expected to suffer severe disruptions on 4 April, Tuesday, as drivers and guards are set to launch a 24-hour strike. The action comes amid an ongoing dispute regarding an alleged safety impact on the removal of guards from some services and the impact of the 'Driver Only Operation', aimed to cut operations costs. 

London Underground faces severe disruptions

Severe delays are expected to several London Underground lines after separate incidents on Thursday afternoon. According to the British Transport Police, a man was struck by a train at Shepard's Bush Market Underground Station leading to its evacuation and closure. The most affected lines are Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Picadilly, TfL Rail and Victoria.

London Undergound night tube drivers to take strike action

Night tube drivers on the London Underground have voted to take strike action in April in a bid to secure fairer employment deals. The strike action has been organised through the ASLEF union - who have announced the planned industrial action in a statement on their website. Should an agreement not be reached, the strike will commence on Saturday 08 April and will last for three weeks until Saturday 29 April.

Queen gives Article 50 Royal Assent

The Queen has granted Royal Assent to Article 50 - the process to withdraw Britain from membership to the EU. The Queen's approval of the legislation formerly allows Prime Minister Theresa May to commence a two-year period of exit negotiations with Brussels. According to the BBC, May is expected to officially start talks by the end of March - after an informal EU summit scheduled for next week to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the founding body of the EU: the European Economic Community (EEC).

Parliament passes Brexit Bill to trigger Article 50

The UK parliament has voted to pass the Brexit Bill to trigger Article 50 and officially commence the process of Britain's withdrawal from membership of the EU. House of Lords peers were forced to back down as MPs in the House of Commons overturned objections submitted by the Lords. The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and will subsequently become British law on Tuesday 14 March. The BBC has reported that PM Theresa May is expected to initiate withdrawal negotiation talks by the last week of March.

Scotland to seek second independence referendum

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to seek a second referendum on Scottish independence. The second vote first has to be approved by Scottish parliament before it is submitted to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May for approval. If approved, the vote is expected to take place until spring of 2018. The move comes as May is set to trigger Article 50 - the process to withdraw Britain from the EU - in late-March as Scotland vows to remain a member of the EU single market and wants to "have a choice at the end of this process".

Southern rail company starts 24-hour strike action

Southern rail company has started a 24-hour strike today - joining Merseyrail and Northern in industrial action against driverless-trains organised by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT Union). The strike will be in effect until Tuesday 14 March with significant travel disruption for thousands of people. While Merseyrail and Northern will be operating reduced services, Southern has suspended some services altogether. Southern has stated that all train services from Clapham Junction to Watford Junction/Milton Keynes, and most services from London to Brighton, will not be running at all.

Northern Rail to take 24-hour strike action

Northern Rail workers have arranged to carry out a 24-hour strike on Monday 13 March. The strike will be in effect from 00:01 in the morning until 23:59 GMT. There is likely to be significant disruption to train services and passengers should plan journeys in advance, allowing extra time for delays. Travellers have been warned that there may be limited train services throughout the day, with busier than normal footfall on alternate modes of transport - such as bus services. 

Train derailment causes London train disruption

A train has derailed at White City this morning causing disruption to a London train service. The train derailed at 05:45 this morning - no passengers were on board the train at the time of the incident. The accident has caused significant travel disruption to London Underground services, as no service is running between North Acton and Marble Arch while the incident is being dealt with. Other lines are expected to be impacted by the disruption.

Travel disturbance due to gas leak in King's Cross, London

There has been some travel disruption in central London due to a gas leak in King's Cross. The gas leak was discovered on York Way in King's Cross - leading to the evacuation of nearby buildings and businesses and travel disruption. Authorities have cordoned off the area whilst workers fix the leak. Bus routes have been diverted and travellers in London should anticipate some delays.

Ongoing protests outside Parliament, Westminster

A group called the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have started protesting outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The group are protesting against the raising of the state pension age for women to 65 years-old in 1995 - which they claim they were not informed of until 14 years later in 2009. The protests started at 13:00 and WASPI representatives are scheduled to lobby parliamentarians in a Westminster meeting between 15:00 to 17:00. WASPI supporters have decided to continue to protest outside parliament whilst the meeting is ongoing - causing travel disruption and congestion.

London bridge station evacuated due to suspicious vehicle

London bridge tube station in central London has been evacuated amid concerns of a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity. Public transport services have been significantly affected as train services were suspended and the bridge was closed in both directions with bus route diversions in place. A bomb disposal squad was dispatched and no threat was found. Roads have been reopened; however, travellers have been warned to expect train service disruption in the station for the rest of the afternoon.

Democratic Unionist Party lose parliamentary majority in Northern Ireland

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has lost its long-lasting parliamentary majority following the recent Northern Ireland Assembly elections. According to the BBC, the DUP suffered significant losses to the Sinn Fein party - who managed to gain enough seats to almost draw level with the DUP. According to the power-sharing agreement of Northern Ireland, a nationalist party (Sinn Fein) and unionist party (DUP) must form a coalition government within three weeks of the election date. Should no coalition agreement be reached, another election will have to take place. If the second election fails to deliver a power-sharing coalition government then devolved parliamentary power in Northern Ireland could return to Westminster.

Ulster Unionist leader resigns

Mike Nesbitt has resigned as the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Northern Ireland. The decision to resign was made by Nesbitt after a significant number of his UUP colleagues failed to retain seats in the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly elections and the party failed to make any significant progress.

British Airways staff start week-long strike

British Airways (BA) cabin crew are due to commence a week-long strike at midnight tonight over continuing pay disputes. Members of Unite union who work for BA's Mixed Fleet operation have joined the strike action to protest against 'poverty pay'. The pay dispute has been ongoing for several months and seemed to be close to resolution in late December 2016. However, BA concessions were rejected by Unite union and since the new year, 26 days of strike action have been held. The Independent has reported that despite approximately 30 percent of BA's staff taking industrial action at Heathrow, only 0.4 percent of flight services will be affected. Throughout the first four days of the strike, BA claim that only 14 short-haul departure flights will be cancelled out of scheduled 3,300 departures.

Oxfordshire bus drivers on strike

Unite union has arranged for approximately 450 bus drivers of Oxford Bus Company to take strike action on Monday 06 March. The strike has been called over ongoing pay disputes. According to the BBC, the union has argued that the bus company has tried to minimise pay for drivers working over the holidays in an expensive city. There will be significant public transport disruption throughout Oxfordshire on Monday.

Liverpool Lime Street train station closed after wall collapse

Liverpool Lime Street station has been closed after a wall has collapsed onto railway tracks between Lime Street and Edge Hill. According to the BBC, the wall was overloaded with concrete and other material by a third party - causing the wall to buckle, collapsing onto the train tracks below and covering a large section of the track with over 40 tonnes of rubble and debris. Overhead lines were also damaged by the falling rubble - meaning an extensive clean-up and repair job will be required, as well as prevention measures to avoid further damage. The station is estimated to remain shut for the next few days, and may not return to full operations until Monday 06 March. Travellers have been advised to use Merseyrail services between Central Station and Liverpool South Parkway as an alternative city centre connection.

Jewish Museum in London evacuated after bomb scare

The Jewish Museum in London was evacuated after a bomb threat on Tuesday. Over 100 people were at the museum, including pupils from two school trips. A museum's spokesperson told The Independent that the measure was precautionary following a security alert. Metropolitan police swept the scene and cleared it on the afternoon. Other bomb threats have previously targeted Jewish buildings; however, investigations found no substantial cause for alarm.

Travel disruption expected amid Birminham Airport renovations

Travel disruption is to be expected at Birmingham International Airport amid an ongoing renovation project on the airport's passenger drop-off facilities. The £100 million project is to be completed before the peak summer season; however. those travelling in the meantime have been advised to allow extra time to account for the roadworks. Lane one in Airport Way will be closed between Bird Island roundabout and Hermes roundabout until 19 May. Lane one in Concorde Road will be closed between Hermes roundabout and the Drop and Go exit between 13 March and 29 April. The footpath and cycle path will also be closed along Airport Way throughout the project. 

Train strikes to take place in northern Britain

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) has voted to take strike action next month. The RMT has organised workers from Northern Rail and Merseyrail to go on strike in March. The BBC has reported that a 24-hour strike has been scheduled to take place on Monday 13 March, and workers will also refuse to work on 'rest days' from Tuesday 07 March, lasting indefinitely. The RMT union has been engaged in an ongoing dispute with rail companies over the issue of driver-only trains for several months now, with the union's position being that trains which are driver-only-operated (DOO) are more dangerous and will result in the loss of jobs for guards. However, rail companies insist that DOO trains are just as safe as any other trains and that no permanent guard will lose their jobs.

Teaching protests take place in Durham

Teaching assistants have taken to protest action in Durham amid an ongoing 18-month dispute over contracts and pay. Durham County Council's proposed changes to teaching assistant contracts bring in a new standard of assistants not being paid during holiday time. Hundreds of teaching assistants and supporters have been campaigning for the proposal to be withdrawn on the basis that it could result in a 23 percent cut in pay for most assistants. Durham County Council has promised to review the potential impact on the 2,400 employees it would affect. 

Students to protest march in Oxford

A student group in Oxford, called 'On Your Doorstep', has planned to protest march through Oxford on Friday 24 February. The group will march from Radcliffe Camera to a former Volkswagon showroom on Iffley Road to protest against the eviction of homeless squatters from the unused building. The squatters were served final notice last week, however the student group will campaign for the allowance of the empty space to be used by those who need shelter. The march will start at 13:00 GMT and is likely to remain peaceful with minimal impact - although there may be some traffic disruption around Iffley Road.

Woman killed in Storm Doris winds in Wolverhampton

A woman has been killed in Storm Doris after she was struck by falling debris in Wolverhampton. Strong winds of up to 94mph have been brought to parts of the UK as Storm Doris has hit on Thursday. The woman suffered serious head trauma after the strong winds caused debris to fall to the street. The gale-force winds have heightened the risk of injury throughout the UK as building debris, trees, heavy branches, and even garden furniture are being blown about and brought down - causing serious damage. Several cars have been hit by falling trees and thousands of houses in Northern Ireland - and 900 in Sheffield - have been left without electricity due to trees falling on power lines. The worst of the storm is expected to have passed by Thursday evening, however some less strong winds may still be experienced throughout Friday.

Travel disruption as Storm Doris brings 94mph winds

The UK has been hit by 'Storm Doris' which has brought winds as strong as 84mph to many northern parts of the country - causing extensive flight disruption. Severe weather warnings are in place in northern England, East Anglia, north Wales, the Midlands and northern Scotland - where snow has also fallen. Flight services have been reduced by 10 percent at London Heathrow Airport due to the weather - with 77 flights being cancelled. Travellers have been advised to anticipate train delays and potential road closures as the risk of fallen objects blocking roads increases. Parts of Northern Ireland are without electricity after trees have fallen on power lines. The Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex has been closed; the M80 has been shut northbound after junction five due to snow; Many train lines have restricted maximum speeds to 50 mph in northern parts of Britain; major disruption has been reported on the A5 and the A460. 

Flight disruption due to strike action

British Airways and Easyjet flight services are expected to experience disruptions today as airline staff go on strike. British Airways have already confirmed that several short-haul flights to Italy have been cancelled - as one of the most frequently operated services with lower demand at this time of year, the cancellations will cause minimal impact to passengers.

Improvised bomb discovered in Limerick city

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been discovered in Limerick city. The IED was found near Henry Street garda station in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The police were called and a bomb disposal unit was dispatched to remove the threat and secure the area. The vicinity around Henry Street has since been declared safe and very little disruption was experienced by the public due to the incident taking place in the early hours of the morning. Police investigations into the discovery are ongoing and those in the area have been advised to remain on alert. Since the start of 2017, the bomb disposal unit in Northern Ireland has dealt with five IEDs so far.

Solstice Park services evacuated following suspicious phone call

Solstice Park services on the A303 in Amesbury have been evacuated following a suspicious phone call received by the police. Wiltshire Police have cordoned off the services whilst investigations are ongoing. As a precaution, the police have advised travellers to avoid the area until further notice. The A303 will remain open, however there may be busier traffic than normal as the services remain closed approaching rush hour.

Local cleric accused of inciting terrorism at mosque in Stoke-on-Trent

An Imam in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, has been brought to court after allegations of influencing his congregation to support terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State (IS). Kamran Sabir Hussain faces eight terrorism charges over offences from mid-2016. He is scheduled to appear at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales - Old Bailey - on Friday 17 March.

Minor flight delays after protest at Heathrow Airport

Minor flight delays are being experienced at London Heathrow Airport following a three-hour demonstration. Activists gathered to protest against plans to build another runway at Heathrow Airport. Five protesters have been arrested, and the airport has apologised to passengers for the inconvenience and is working to operate flights efficiently to restore on time flight schedules as soon as possible. In the meantime, passengers should check airport websites for live updates on the status of their flights.

EU nationals gather in London in Brexit demonstration

Hundreds of EU nationals have stormed parliament square in London to pressure the British government for guarantees after Brexit - the British process to leave the EU. The main points of the protest focused on securing EU nationals rights who already live in the UK. The demonstration took place on Monday as the parliament upper house debated Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to initiate the protest in late-March. 

London Underground tube workers to take strike action

London Underground tube workers have announced a new strike to take place on Tuesday 21 February. The 24-hour strike will commence at 21:00 GMT on Tuesday and will last until 21:00 the following evening on Wednesday 22 February. Tube drivers who are members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) will take part in the strike. The Waterloo and City Lines will not be running and the Central line will be running severely limited services as tube drivers plan on walking out at 21:00 on Tuesday evening. Other main lines in zones 1 and 2 are also likely to be affected. Travellers and commuters should plan their journeys accordingly and anticipate busier buses throughout London during the strike.

Southern train workers to take strike action

Workers of the Southern rail company are scheduled to take strike action on Wednesday 22 February. The strike has been organised by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Train Workers (RMT) over an ongoing dispute surrounding the role of conductors on Southern train services. Similar strikes took place last month, and Southern have issued a public announcement stating that - as with the last strike - they expect to operate 75 percent of train services. Most lines will operate limited train services and bus replacement services, however the Southern services between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes, and between Leatherhead and Guildford will not be operating at all. 

Suspected pipe bomb explosion in Newtownabbey

A suspected pipe bomb has exploded in a business park in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. The explosion occurred on Saturday morning in Abbey Business Park. Investigators believe the explosive was thrown into the park in the early hours of the morning and remained undiscovered until 17:00 pm the same day. No casualties or major damages have been reported from the explosion. The site has been fully secured and there remains no further threat from the explosive device. No suspects have been arrested.

Train breakdown disrupts Heathrow connect services

A train breakdown at Hanwell has brought about a suspension in Heathrow connect services - causing significant travel disruption. Many passengers and airport staff who would usually use the service will experience delays and disruption until the breakdown is fixed and services resume operation. The train route usually runs from London Paddington to Heathrow, stopping via Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, and Hayes and Harlington. The disruption has occurred as British Airways staff are taking strike action over pay disagreements. Passengers have also been advised to anticipate some potential impact on flight services.

Stansted Airport evacuation causes travel disruption

Thousands of passengers face travel disruption after London Stansted Airport was evacuated after an emergency alarm went off. After investigations, it has become clear the incident was a false alarm, as the emergency alarm was set off by an e-cigarette - which a passenger had been smoking in an airport loo. Passengers have been advised to check the airport website for updated flight status' and to allow extra time for delays to their journeys for the rest of the day. 

Council tax protests take place in Glasgow

Protests have taken place outside the city council chambers in Glasgow against a recent rise in council tax. Demonstrators gathered to protest against the plans to cut council budgets and bring in tax increases which have been announced at the same time. It's been argued that the proposed cuts will have a direct negative impact on services and jobs throughout the city - which protesters claim is shockingly unfair when one considers the proposed cuts in conjunction with the planned three percent tax increase. There may be some disruption in the area until the protesters disperse. The demonstration has remained peaceful so far.

Residents evacuated due to suspicious package in Poole

Dozens of residents of Holyrood Close in Poole have been evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package under a car. Nearby buildings - including business and private properties - have been asked to evacuate as the bomb disposal unit attends the scene. Police cordoned off a 100-metre radius around the vehicle in question for several hours whilst the analysis process was ongoing. The package has since been removed, there is no immediate threat to those in the vicinity and residents have been allowed to return to their properties.

Toy shop evacuated due to suspicious package, London

Hamley's toy shop in Regent Street, London has been evacuated due to concerns of a bomb threat. A suspicious package has been discovered in the store this afternoon and police have responded to the situation. Regent street has been cordoned off and Hamley's is on lockdown until further notice. It remains unclear whether or not the package is a legitimate threat or a bomb-scare. Traffic diversions have been put in place.

Building collapses after explosion, Oxford

A building has collapsed following a large explosion in the Osney Lane area, west of Oxford city centre. Two people have been wounded and as many as three other remain unaccounted for. The explosion is thought to have been caused by gas canisters in the building - which contributed to the quick spread of fire, burning the building down to collapsing point. The emergency services have evacuated residents from the surrounding area, although it has been confirmed by gas suppliers that "there is no mains gas supply to the property affected". The fire has been put out, and those in the area have been asked to keep clear of the site whilst rescue effort and investigations to determine the precise cause of the explosion continue. 

British Airways to carry out further strikes

Unite Union has announced that it is organising further strikes to take place surrounding the ongoing dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew over 'poverty pay'. British Airways cabin crew are preparing to take four more days of strike action as of Wednesday 22 February. The strike will mainly affect services from Heathrow Airport, however most flights and services will remain unaffected. Travellers should monitor airport websites for updated flight status' closer to the time.

Man arrested in hostage situation, Rotherham

A 42-year-old man has been arrested by police after he held a woman hostage in his home in Rotherham. Police responded to reports of a hostage situation on Spalton Road in the Parkgate area of Rotherham, where the suspect was holding the woman against her will. Police forces performed a siege on the property and the victim was released with minor wounds and the suspect will face charges of assault and false imprisonment.

House of Commons approve Brexit bill

The House of Commons have given the green light to Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50 and initiate the withdrawal process from the European Union. With 494 votes for and 122 against, Members of Parliament approved government plans to engage the Brexit proceedings. The vote came as a Supreme Court rule ordered May to ask for parliament permission before engaging in formal negotiations to leave the European bloc.

Scottish parliament reject Brexit deal

The Scottish parliament voted on Tuesday to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to trigger Article 50 to formally leave the European Union (EU). With 90 votes to 34, the non-binding vote shows an overwhelming opposition to leaving the EU. The government led by the Scotland National Party (SNP) claims that the draft bill recently released failed to address the necessary provisions with the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NHS websites hacked by Tunisian Fallaga Team

Six NHS websites have been jacked by the Islamist Tunisian Fallaga Team - a hacking group which has been linked to the Islamic State (IS). The group posted graphic images of the war in Syria to six NHS websites in the south-east regions of the UK. The British Government had warned that the NHS websites were vulnerable to hacking attacks, stating that the threat was real. While patient information is thought to have been vulnerable during the attack, analysts have confirmed that the hackers chose not to exploit the vulnerability - focusing instead on achieving their goal of infiltrating several websites with images criticising the Syrian war. The group has also targeted French, Tunisian and Israeli websites in the past.

East London trains disrupted following explosion

East London train services have been disrupted this morning following an explosion on a passenger train. The incident occurred on a train at Dalston Kingsland station this morning. The explosion is thought to have been caused by a passenger's battery pack overheating. Police have confirmed that the incident is not being treated suspiciously. Several people are believed to be wounded. All train services have been suspended in both directions, with severe delays to services between Richmond and Stratford, and between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction. Dalston Kinglsand station has been cleared and train services are being reintroduced.

British Airways cabin crew protest outside parliament

British Airways (BA) cabin crew have been protesting outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London. Unite Union organised the BA cabin crew protest and have announced another planned strike on Thursday 09 February. The protest and scheduled strike action come as a the disagreement between cabin crew and BA over low pay continues. BA staff claim that newer members of the cabin crew receive 'poverty pay' in comparison to other members of crew. The protest was organised outside parliament in order to attract more attention and support from MPs and the media. The protest has not caused significant disruption.

One person wounded in nightclub shooting, Birmingham

One person has been wounded during a nightclub shooting in Birmingham. The shooting broke out on Saturday night, in the Second City Suite nightclub on Sherlock street in downtown Birmingham. A fight broke out between several men in the club, when one of them pulled out the gun and fired it at another man involved in the fighting. Four people have been detained in connection with the incident, and the wounded individual is receiving hospital treatment for non life-threatening wounds. 

Tube strikes called off

Tube strikes which had been scheduled to take place throughout London have bee cancelled. The three-day strike had been scheduled to start on Sunday evening, however the strike action was called off yesterday amid negotiation developments. Travellers should expect services to run as usual.

Tube strikes to take place across central London

Tube strikes have been scheduled to take place on-and-off throughout central London from Sunday 05 February until Wednesday 08 February. The strikes will start at 20:00 on Sunday 05 February, with  stations closing until 07:00 on Monday morning - when very limited services will be brought in. Normal services will be re-introduced at 16:00 on Monday afternoon - lasting until midday on Tuesday, when only very limited services will be running before stations close again at 20:00. Stations will remain closed until 07:00 on Wednesday morning - when very limited services will run for an hour before services return to normal at 08:00 and the strike comes to an end. It's expected that most of the stations affected by the strike will be in zone 1, with some in zone 2 and a few in zone 3. Travellers and commuters have been advised to replan their journeys amidst the limited services.

Protests at Biomass station, Port Talbot

Protests have broken out outside the Biomass Power Station in Port Talbot, near Swansea in southern Wales. Approximately 40 people are estimated to be taking part in the protest - which has remained peaceful so far. South Wales Police have been deployed to the area to maintain the peace, despite the protest being non-violent in nature. No arrests have been made and some protesters have begun to disperse. It has not been made clear precisely why people are protesting, however police have reassured local residents that officers are in the area, monitoring the situation.

Man shot dead in Liverpool

A 26-year-old man has been shot dead in a chip shop along Bishopsgate Street in Liverpool. Police investigations are underway, with the incident being treated as a murder case. The gunman was last seen heading in the direction of the town centre. A manhunt has been launched amid police investigations, with those in the area warned that the perpetrator remains on the loose.

Parliament overwhelmingly backs Brexit bill

Following a Supreme Court order, Prime Minister Theresa May asked fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) for parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 - the process of leaving the EU. A strong result showed an overwhelming approval to trigger Article 50 - with 498 MPs voting in favour and 114 against. The Conservatives and Labour MPs were the main supporters, while the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats opposed the bill. Further debate is scheduled as hundreds of amendments were discussed during the three-day-long debate in the House of Commons. May has set a deadline to trigger the Brexit process by late-March.

Controlled explosion carried out on suspicious vehicle

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) has carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious vehicle outside the police station in Workington, Cumbria. Part of the A596 had been cordoned off, with diversions in place along the A597. Police confirmed there was no longer a threat to the public and reopened the A596.

Suspected bomb explosion in Irvinestown

A suspected bomb has exploded in the Irvinestown area of Northern Ireland. The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the Sandys Wood area of Irvinestown. No people were harmed during the blast, however a vehicle was destroyed. Local authorities have stated that this was an unusual occurrence for the normally peaceful area. Police investigations are underway to identify the perpetrators of the bomb incident.

British Airways cabin crew to take strike action

British Airways (BA) cabin crew from Heathrow Airport have announced that they will take further strike action amid continuing disagreements over employee wages. UK-based cabin crew will strike for two three-day periods - from Sunday 05 February to Wednesday 08 February, and from Thursday 09 February to Sunday 12 February. BA have issued a statement to advice travellers that while some disruption should be anticipated, most flight services will remain unaffected by the strike. 

Severe railway disruption between London and Hampshire

Sever railway disruption has been reported following trespassing incidents in which two have been hit by trains between London and Hampshire. Two men have been hit and killed by trains in two separate incidents at New Malden and Woking along the South West London - Weymouth line. All services between Woking and Surbiton have been temporarily closed following the incidents - causing severe disruption to South West train services. Due to the block, all London Waterloo - Weymouth services will start and terminate from Basingstoke, while London Waterloo - Portsmouth Harbour will start and terminate from Guildford. Disruption is expected until the end of the day, with passengers able to use affected train tickets on London buses, London Underground, Thameslink, Great Western, CrossCountry and Tramlink services to complete their journeys at no extra cost.

London Bridge station evacuated due to fire

London Bridge train station has been evacuated and temporarily closed after a fire broke out. It's thought the fire either broke out on the platform or from an elevator. The London fire brigade have arrived at the scene and have contained the blaze, however it reportedly remains unsafe for travellers to return to the station and it will remain closed while full investigations into how the fire was started are carried out. Northern Line and Jubilee Line train services will not be stopping at the station. No one has been injured in the incident. Travellers should expect disruption to services until further notice.

Anti-Trump protests to take place across the UK

Anti-Trump protests have been scheduled to take place today across the UK to coincide with an anti-Trump march outside Number 10 Downing Street in London. Approximately 38 demonstrations have been planned to start between 17:00 and 19:00 GMT tonight, in locations throughout the UK - including: Brighton (Town Hall); Bristol (College Green); Cambridge (St. Mary's University Church); Cardiff (Queen Street); Colchester (Town Hall); Edinburgh (The Mound); Glasgow (Donald Dewar Statue); Liverpool; Leicester (Haymarket Clock Tower); Manchester (Town Hall); Nottingham (Market Square); Oxford; Sheffield (Town Hall); Swansea (Castle Square); York (St. Helen's Square). The demonstrations will collectively protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to implement a travel-ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Travel disruptions should be anticipated and greater caution should be taken in large crowds and gatherings.

Anti-Trump protest to take place outside Downing Street, London

An anti-Trump protest is scheduled to march outside the Prime Minister's residence at Number 10, Downing Street in central London. The march is due to start at 18:00 UTC on Monday 30 January. The march will protest against President Trump's travel-ban policy in the US. Various well-known political figures and MPs - including MP Caroline Lucas and Ed Miliband - are set to make speeches during the march. An estimated 18,000 people are estimated to attend the demonstration. Severe travel disruption should be expected along Whitehall and Horse Guards Road. 

Public petition started to prevent President Donald Trump's visit to Britain

A public petition has been started to prevent President Donald Trump's arranged visit to the United Kingdom. The petition has gained almost 1.3 million signatures - qualifying it to receive a government response, and to be considered by parliament for debate in the House of Commons. It is expected that the official government response will be issued tomorrow, which is expected to emulate Prime Minister Theresa May's recent good-will towards President Trump - meaning that a government refusal to prevent Trump's State visit is more than likely. President Trump's administration has not yet commented on the petition.

Two lanes blocked on M5, southbound

Two southbound lanes on the M5 have been closed following a crash involving two lorries. The crash occurred between juntion 24 and junction 25 - near Bridgwater South and Taunton. The lanes have been closed since 09:00 this morning, as two fire engines are attending the crash site. One person has been injured, having sustained a minor wound to the knee. There is not immediate threat to traffic in the area. Traffic remains slow and the two-lane closure continues. The motorway is expected to re-open the lanes by midday.

Government issues Brexit bill to parliamentary approval

The government has issued a draft bill regarding its intentions to leave the EU. The Brexit bill entitled 'European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill' was granted a three-day deadline to be discussed in parliament. It is likely the bill will pass, as Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party holds the majority in parliament and the Labour Party opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said not to offer any resistance. The move comes days after the Supreme Court ruled the need for parliamentary approval for the invocation of Article 60 and commencement of formal negotiations with Brussels.

Dozens evacuated over discovery of pipe-bomb, Londonderry

Approximately 40 people have been evacuated from their homes amid the discovery of a pipe-bomb in the Erne Gardens estate in Londonderry. Security officials were called to the area after a loud bang was heard by dozens of residents in the estate. It was established that a pipe-bomb had been thrown into a property's garden and had partially exploded. No casualties have been reported, although four people who were inside the property at the time have been treated for shock. The surrounding area has been sealed off by the police and residents in the area have been temporarily relocated to a nearby community centre whilst investigations at the scene are ongoing.