Residents in north London are facing a flood a meter deep after a large water mains burst causing some people to leave their homes.
A “river” of water has flooded properties on Queens Drive and Princess Crescent in Finsbury Park, closing a a local primary school.
Postcode areas N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 have either no water or low water pressure, Thames Water said.
Traffic and pedestrians have been advised to avoid the area.
The water company said its engineers are, “doing everything they can to get things up and running as quickly as possible.”
It has apologised to customers but so far had not managed to turn off water from the burst pipe, a spokesman said, adding “it was a complicated process”.
Matthew who lives in a first-floor flat on Queens Drive woke up to the river outside his home and quickly alerted the occupants living in the basement property.
They have now been given temporary stay in another flat, said Matthew, who has a week-old baby.
He said he is worried about not having any water.
“I’m concerned about hygiene and although my wife is breast-feeding she needs to drink,” he said.
Cars can be seen stranded with water levels up to their wheel rims.
Parkwood Primary and Nursery schools have been shut as a result of the flood.
Thames Water is hoping to stop the water flowing from the burst pipe and reconnect customers by midday.
As well as fire officers checking basement flats, loss adjusters from Thames Water are on hand to provide help to residents who may now need somewhere to stay.
A man has been arrested after seemingly trying to set fire to himself outside the Houses of Parliament.
The Metropolitan Police said a man had been detained under the Mental Health Act after covering himself “in what appeared to be a flammable liquid”.
The police said the man, who had a lighter, had been sprayed with a fire extinguisher and there were no flames.
Tory MP Huw Merriman, who witnessed the episode, praised the “incredibly brave response” from the police.
The Met confirmed there had been an incident in which a man had “doused” himself with an unknown substance outside Carriage Gates – the main entrance to Parliament.
The police said there had been no reported injuries and the man had been taken to hospital after being examined at the scene by the emergency services.
The London Fire Brigade, it added, had made the scene safe by dispersing the suspected flammable liquid.
The Commons and Lords are sitting this week despite the Conservative conference continuing in Manchester – after MPs voted against a short recess for the event.
Chancellor Sajid Javid is currently answering Treasury questions while ministers will later answer Urgent Questions on the government’s latest Brexit proposals, as well as homelessness and Yemen.
Heavy rain is causing travel problems and flash flooding across England.
Three flood warnings and 29 flood alerts have been put in place by the Environment Agency.
The Met Office has a yellow rain warning covering most of the country in force until 23:00 BST.
Floods have been reported on roads in Southampton, Birmingham and Liverpool, while Transport for London (TfL) said a number of roads across the capital were also affected by flooding.
A flood warning is in place in Crawley for the Ifield Brook and River Mole at Ifield and the River Mole at Lowfield Heath.
Flooding is also expected on the upper Frome between Maiden Newton and Dorchester in Dorset.
National Rail has warned of major disruption between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge until about noon because of a tree blocking the line earlier.
Southampton City Centre has seen problems with several cars having broken down in water on Millbrook Road West.
Motorists have also been advised to avoid the road between Waterhouse Lane and Paynes Road.
Roads have flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, while Mersey Fire and Rescue Service reported vehicles trapped in floodwater in the Queens Drive and West Derby area of Liverpool.
A service spokesman urged drivers to “please take extra care”, adding: “Slow down, increase your distances, switch your lights on and please don’t drive into floodwater.”
About 2in (49.6mm) of rain fell in the six hours before 09:00 at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, according to the Met Office.
Spokesman Grahame Madge said it was a “significant” amount of rain.
He said the band of rain was “transient” and, having started in the South West, has moved to the Midlands before hitting the North later in the day.
He said some other areas could expect to see the same amount of rain as Boscombe Down.
Downward dogs and yoga mats have replaced cars and buses on London’s Tower Bridge as part of Car Free Day.
The mass yoga session was one of a number of activities taking place in the capital as more than 16 miles (27 km) of streets were shut.
Bank junction has been turned into a festival space while children will race go-karts in the Square Mile.
The closures will be in place until 19:00 BST with roads elsewhere expected to be busy as a result.
Tower and London Bridge were shut at 07:00 along with streets in parts of the City, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
Among the other activities taking place are a hedge maze in Cheapside and classic cycle rides on Tower Bridge.
Organisers hope more than 150,000 people will join the event which has been named Reimagine.
Away from the centre, 15 boroughs will be running their own Car Free Day celebrations and more than 340 “play streets” – safe spaces for local people to socialise and play – have been approved some 24 boroughs.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said the day was about “demonstrating our commitment to cleaning up our toxic air and experiencing a greener way of living”.
Transport for London has warned that those who do take to the roads should expect “significant delays”.
A man accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend and burying her in her garden has told a court they had split up over the death of their pet dog.
French film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was discovered in a shallow grave at her home in Kew, south-west London, on 5 March.
Kirill Belorusov told the Old Bailey they separated a week after their Rottweiler was put down, and he had owed her nothing at the time.
The 32-year-old denies murder.
The court previously heard Mr Belorusov owed the victim thousands of pounds, and he had tricked his way into her home where he strangled her.
Giving evidence, he said he moved to London in 2009 and began dating Ms Garcia-Bertaux after meeting her at a gig.
“We spent the whole of the night walking and walking and walking, and in the morning I decided to get to her place and she invited me over. She said ‘yes’ and I never left,” he said.
Speaking about their relationship, Russian national Mr Belorusov said they argued “like any couple” over food and money “but everything was OK”.
He said they had separated in 2016 after “a slow build-up over years” and at the time their dog Jazz was “the only thing connecting us”.
The jury has heard Mr Belorusov avoided paying back money he owed to Ms Garcia-Bertaux by pretending to have cancer and there was no record of him receiving treatment at hospitals in London.
However, he insisted he had suffered from cancer with “pancreatic complications” and went on drug trials in Sussex, Kent and Ipswich, the court has heard.
The trial continues.
About 30 residents have been evacuated and part of a building has been destroyed following a suspected explosion.
London Fire Brigade said it was called to a fire after the suspected blast on High Street in Hampton Hill, south-west London, on Tuesday night.
On social media, one witness described hearing a “boom” before the blaze. No was injured.
Road closures remain in place at the scene, Richmond Council said.
A fourth teenager has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a boy at a chicken shop in central London.
Josiph Beker, 17, was stabbed to death outside Edgware Road KFC, Westminster, at about 14:00 BST on 10 September.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder. He remains in custody.
Two 16-year-old boys were charged with murder on Saturday. An 18-year-old arrested over the murder has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Police have arrested 18 people believed to be involved in a climate change protest at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow Pause activists threatened to fly drones in the exclusion zone, but no flight disruption has been reported.
The 18 arrested people have all been held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.
Heathrow Pause said one of the arrested – Roger Hallam, an Extinction Rebellion co-founder – was still planning to fly a drone on Saturday.
The group said Mr Hallam was released from custody at about 22:00 BST on Friday and that he would be flying the drone at midday “near Heathrow” with the location “to be announced nearer the time”.
The Metropolitan Police said that, out of those arrested, five remained in custody on Friday night. The others have been bailed.
Police say those arrested range in age from 19 to 69.
Heathrow Pause had previously said it intended to fly drones within the 5km exclusion zone around the airport on Friday morning, but the group claimed the airport was using “signal jamming to frustrate” their efforts.
Both the airport and police refused to comment on “security matters”.
The Met Police said a dispersal order at the airport would be effective until early on Sunday morning.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “We are really clear that [flying drones] is unlawful, it is a criminal offence, and anybody who turns up expecting to fly drones in that exclusion zone will be arrested.”
The force made seven pre-emptive arrests on Thursday, including that of Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam.
Heathrow Airport said it was committed to addressing climate change, but this was best tackled through “constructive engagement and working together to address the issue”.
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema is the Netherlands’ all-time leading goalscorer, has won three league titles in two countries and holds the record for most Women’s Super League goals in a season. She is also just 23.
Fresh from playing in this summer’s World Cup final, Miedema sat down with BBC Sport to discuss her Dutch roots, football chats with Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk and her childhood fascination with Robin van Persie.
Family, Feyenoord and Van Persie
Growing up in Hoogeveen, a town in the north-east of the Netherlands, Miedema would join her father and younger brother Lars in making the 120-mile trip to Rotterdam to watch Feyenoord play.
And when asked about the influence of her family on her playing career, Miedema jokes she “never really had a choice” but to pursue football as a profession.
“My dad used to play football, my granddad used to play football and my little brother is playing now too,” she tells BBC Sport, referring to Lars’ contract with FC Den Bosch, the club where Ruud van Nistelrooy began his career.
“We just loved it and there was nothing else for me. I am four years older than my brother but I used to play football with him and it’s made me a better player and I think him too.”
The Miedema family were all big Feyenoord fans and between 1996 and 2004 were able to watch as ex-Manchester United and Arsenal striker Van Persie developed on his way to becoming one of the best strikers in Europe.
Reflecting on that time, she says: “If you are a young girl now it might be a bit different because there are lots of female players to look up to but I used to be a fan of the Feyenoord players. I used to buy the little kits of Robin van Persie and watch every single game.
“They were the only games I was allowed to stay up late for during the week. We used to go to some of their games. Sometimes, as a birthday present, I would go to a fan day or an open training session.
“I met van Persie once – I can’t really remember it because I was so young. But [at Feyenoord] you got to meet some of the players and go on the pitch with them. It was amazing.”
Celebrating Dutch success with Virgil van Dijk
Like Van Persie, Miedema has become one of the most prolific strikers in the game.
She scored 22 goals and picked up 10 assists in 19 league appearances last season in helping Arsenal win their first WSL title in seven years, her performances leading to being named the PFA Player of the Year. Compatriot Van Dijk picked up the men’s prize.
“It was quite a big thing back home – two Dutch players winning it made it even bigger than it probably was for me and for him,” says Miedema.
“It was nice to get the awards after the year we both had but we are both quite down to earth and the day after the focus was on the football again.”
For Miedema, focussing on football meant the then-upcoming World Cup. Liverpool defender Van Dijk was supporting Miedema and her Dutch team-mates this summer, wishing them luck before their defeat in the final by champions the USA.
“I spoke with him [Van Dijk] at the PFA awards and he is a nice guy,” says Miedema. “Obviously we had some football chat – I went to the Liverpool v Barcelona Champions League semi-final as well.
“It was just nice. We see them [the men’s internationals] when we are away with the national team as well. We watch their games and they watch ours and he was watching the World Cup final. It’s nice to have that contact and respect each other.”
Breeding confidence at Arsenal
Dutch players have enjoyed success in the English game, with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Edwin van der Sar and Arjen Robben among players to have enhanced their reputations in the Premier League.
In 2018-19, there were four Dutch players in Arsenal Women’s title-winning squad and all four started the World Cup final. This summer, midfielder Jill Roord joined from Bayern Munich.
“The English league is one of the most attractive leagues to go to right now,” Miedema says.
“The step from Holland to England is small, it’s not like going to Spain where you don’t understand a word and it’s a different life. In England, it is quite similar to how we live and that makes it a lot easier.”
Miedema, who has scored 63 goals in 83 appearances for her country, adds that success on the international stage breeds confidence with team-mates back at Arsenal.
“Nobody expected us to win the Euros or do well at the World Cup but we did it, again,” she says. “I played my part in that and it was good to get back into it recently for the start of the Euro qualifiers.”
After becoming the first player to surpass 16 goals in a single WSL season in 2018-19, there are higher expectations of Miedema and her team-mates to defend their title.
“I am lucky because I have been in this situation when I was at Bayern Munich [winning back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016]. I have that experience,” she says.
“It is something that’s extra special because obviously every team comes for you and has nothing to lose. They want to get a point off you and work a bit harder against you than other teams.
“That’s just extra motivation to get better every single week and play better football than we did last year.”
Theresa May’s former closest advisers have been recognised in the ex-prime minister’s resignation honours list.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill are among 57 people on a list of mostly political figures, though Mrs May showed her love of cricket with knighthoods for Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss.
Labour said the honours rewarded “big Tory donors and No 10 cronies”.
Every departing prime minister can draw up a resignation honours list, which the Cabinet Office has to approve.
Mrs May announced her resignation in June after failing to get support for the withdrawal agreement she had negotiated for the UK to leave the EU.
The 37 men and 20 women on the list include members of Mrs May’s Downing Street staff, political aides and lifelong supporters of the Conservative Party.
It includes recipients from all four nations of the UK as well as non-political figures and members of civic society.
Former aides honoured
The former prime minister’s chief EU negotiator Olly Robbins receives a knighthood.
The senior civil servant helped to create Mrs May’s Brexit deal before it was defeated in Parliament three times. It has been announced that Mr Robbins is to join investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Mrs May’s former chiefs of staff who left their jobs after the 2017 general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority in the Commons, become Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, or CBEs.
There is also a knighthood for her former director of communications, Robbie Gibb.
When her predecessor David Cameron awarded a knighthood to his own head of communications, Craig Oliver, Mrs May later joked that she “retched violently” at seeing his name on the list.
Gavin Barwell, the former Tory MP who Mrs May brought in to replace the pair, is one of eight new Conservative peers.
Sir Kim Darroch – who was forced to resign as ambassador to the US after comments he made about President Trump were leaked – has been made a crossbench peer.
Boris Johnson, who was then running in the Tory leadership contest prior to becoming prime minister, was criticised at the time for not showing enough support for Sir Kim.
Meanwhile, there is a damehood for Cressida Dick, whose police career started at the age of 23 after a brief spell working in a fish-and-chip shop. She is one of just a few non-political figures on Mrs May’s list.
Mrs May, who once compared her determination to delivering Brexit with the fighting spirit in Geoffrey Boycott’s batting marathons, has awarded the former Test opener with a knighthood.
Telling journalists he was one of her sporting heroes, she said in November 2018: “Geoffrey Boycott stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”
But domestic abuse charities have criticised giving a knighthood to Boycott, who was convicted in France in 1998 of beating his then-girlfriend Margaret Moore in a French Riviera hotel.
The 78-year-old, who has always denied the assault, was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspended sentence over the attack.
Mrs May, who introduced a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament earlier this year, was accused of sending a “dangerous message” by the charity Women’s Aid.
Another former England cricket captain, Strauss, was also awarded with a knighthood.
The 42-year-old left his role as England’s director of cricket last year and has raised nearly £400,000 for the charity he set up in honour of his wife, Ruth, who died of cancer in 2018.
Sir Simon Woolley, the founder of operation Black Vote, and Ruth Hunt, the ex-chief executive of Stonewall, have been made crossbench life peers.
While British Empire Medals, or BEMs, have been awarded to Graham Howarth and Debra Wheatley – Mrs May’s head chef at Chequers and housekeeper at Downing Street respectively.
The list of peerages – which sees those appointed sit in the House of Lords – include several nominated by other parties to sit on their benches.
‘Policy of restraint’
Among them are former NUT general secretary Christine Blower, for Labour, and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who will become the party’s second peer in the House of Lords.
The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said Mrs May’s list was “substantially smaller” than those drawn up by predecessors, helping to reduce the size of the House of Lords.
Several MPs have received honours:
- Sir Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales (Companion of Honour)
- George Hollingbery, Conservative MP for Meon Valley (Knighthood)
- David Lidington, Conservative MP for Aylesbury (Knighthood)
- Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne (Knighthood)
- Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth (CBE)
- Julian Smith, Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon (CBE)
- Seema Kennedy, Conservative MP for South Ribble (OBE)
John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw and an independent government adviser on anti-Semitism, received a non-affiliated peerage.
Mr Mann is standing down as MP, citing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
Margaret Ritchie, who was leader of the SDLP in Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2011, also received a non-affiliated peerage.
The former South Down MP made history in 2010 when she became the first leader of a nationalist party to wear a remembrance poppy.
A source close to Mrs May said the list “recognises the many different people who have made a significant contribution to public life” during her political career.
Criticising Mrs May’s choices, Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “It comes as no surprise that big Tory donors and Number 10 cronies are being honoured yet again.
“The Tories only care about looking after their own and will only stand up for the wealthy few who fund them.”
The SNP’s Pete Wishart accused Mrs May of “handing out peerages like sweeties”, adding that it was the “worst kind of cronyism”.
He said: “It is a disgrace that the Tories are able to give away jobs for the boys, and make their cronies and donors legislators for life – with no democratic mandate or accountability to the people of Scotland and the UK.”