More than 100 firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at a hotel in west London which has forced dozens of guests and staff to be evacuated.
Crews from several fire stations were called to the Travelodge on the High Street, Brentford, at 02:52 GMT.
The fire started in the “bin room” on the ground floor of a neighbouring building and spread to the five-floor hotel.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said there were no reported injuries.
The fire was brought under control shortly before 07:00 and the cause of the fire is now being investigated by the fire brigade and the Met Police.
Station commander Nathan Hobson said: “Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the hotel and around 160 guests and staff evacuated the building.”
He added that a “rest centre” had been set up by the local authority and the conditions had been “challenging”.
LFB’s assistant commissioner Graham Ellis warned people to avoid the Brentford High Street area.
“Fire crews will be damping down pockets of fire and carrying out salvage work throughout the morning,” he said.
One guest, who is from Barnsley and only gave his name as Nigel, said he initially thought the alarm was “a hoax”.
“We woke up and the fire alarm was going off, we thought it was a prank and maybe a few lads having a bit too much ale – but obviously it wasn’t,” he said.
“We come down the stairs and come outside and that’s where we saw all the bin storage in a blaze.
“Everyone was out really quick and everyone was fine, but we are all a bit tired and cold.”
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Another guest, Reg Williams, described the aftermath of the evacuation.
He said “some people panicked” and “there was a few small children”.
He said one firefighter came round taking names and room numbers, “just to make sure everyone was out”.
At the scene
Greg McKenzie, BBC News, London
The blaze is out now, although the fire brigade is still hosing down the building.
The hotel is just off Brentford High Street in the middle of a residential area, and consequently many people have been evacuated from their homes.
Fire alarms in neighbouring buildings were going off because the smoke was filling the air.
Many guests emerged from the hotel with only the clothes they had grabbed.
Buses were brought in to relocate guests to another Travelodge Hotel in Hounslow, but Mr Williams said there was not enough room for everyone. He said he had been told he would not be allowed back into the hotel until after midday.
In a statement, Travelodge said its guests were “being looked after”.
A spokesperson added: “Our team are now making arrangements for their future accommodation and support.”
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A police ban on Extinction Rebellion protests in London last month was unlawful, High Court judges have ruled.
The Metropolitan Police imposed the ban, which prevented two or more people from the group taking part in protests, under the Public Order Act.
But judges have ruled that police had no power to do this because the law did not cover “separate assemblies”.
Lawyers for the group described the police action as “hastily imposed and erratically applied”.
They say the Met Police now faces claims for false imprisonment from “potentially hundreds” of protesters.
Protests cost £24m to police and resulted in 1,828 arrests, with 165 charged with offences, the Met says.
During Wednesday’s court hearing, the force had argued that the ban was the only way to tackle widespread disruption.
Announcing their judgement, however, Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Chamberlain ruled in favour of Extinction Rebellion.
Lord Justice Dingemans said: “Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if co-ordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly within the meaning of… the Act.
“The XR [Extinction Rebellion] autumn uprising intended to be held from October 14 to 19 was not therefore a public assembly… therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it under… the Act.”
The judges noted that there are powers within that act which may be used lawfully to “control future protests which are deliberately designed to ‘take police resources to breaking point”‘.
During 10 days of climate change protests last month, activists shut down areas around Parliament and the Bank of England, and targeted London City Airport.
Police had tried to restrict them to Trafalgar Square, under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.
However, that ban was lifted four days later, with officers saying that it was no longer necessary because demonstrations had ended.
What does Extinction Rebellion want?
Extinction Rebellion’s legal victory follows two weeks of protests in the UK last month.
The group (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Launched in 2018, organisers say it has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
It uses an hourglass inside a circle as its logo, to represent time running out for many species.
During the court hearing, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, for Extinction Rebellion, told court the police ban had been “wholly uncertain, an abuse of power and irrational”.
Responding to the ruling, Extinction Rebellion UK tweeted “we won’t be silenced”.
Green Party peer Jenny Jones described the legal win as “historic”.
Speaking outside the court, she said: “The police can over-step the mark. The police are getting more and more strong powers that they are misusing – and that’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Ms Lucas described the ruling as “brilliant news”.
Jules Carey, a solicitor representing protestors, said the ban had been “hastily imposed” and “erratically applied”.
He said: “The police have powers to impose conditions to manage protests but not to ban them.
“This judgement is a timely reminder to those in authority facing a climate of dissent – the right to protest is a long-standing fundamental right in a democratic society that should be guarded and not prohibited by overzealous policing.”
About 20,000 fans are expected at Sunday’s Women’s Super League game between West Ham and Tottenham at the London Stadium, Jack Sullivan has said.
The Hammers’ women’s side will be playing at the 60,000-seater stadium for the first time.
Both sides have won once and lost once in the WSL this term.
“We have either sold, or given away to local community groups and schools, just under 20,000 tickets,” said West Ham women’s managing director Sullivan.
“I think we’ll get maybe just over 20,000 there, and considering we only had five weeks to sell it, we’re pretty happy with that number.”
Such a turnout would be the third-largest in the WSL era, which began in 2011, and comfortably a club record for West Ham’s women.
They usually play at Rush Green Stadium, on the site of West Ham’s Rush Green training ground near Romford.
A crowd of 1,297 saw their first home league game of this season – the 1-0 win over Birmingham on 15 September.
Sullivan added: “It’ll be a really amazing occasion for us but they are the sort of numbers we’re hoping for, which will fill the lower bowl and just a bit above that as well.
“It’s an exciting week off the back of the men’s team beating Manchester United as well, so hopefully there’s a feel good factor around the club and we can kick on with those numbers.”
Manchester City, Chelsea and Bristol City all hosted matches at the home of their male team’s ground during the opening weekend of the WSL season, with attendances of 31,213, 24,564 and 3,041 respectively.
The turnout at the Etihad Stadium smashed – by almost a factor of six – the previous league record, which had been the 5,265 that saw Arsenal clinch last season’s title at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.
Spurs, who were promoted to the WSL from the Championship at the end of last term, will host the Gunners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 17 November, during the Football Association’s first annual Women’s Football Weekend.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.
|Betfred Super League|
|Wakefield Trinity (8) 19|
|Tries: Hampshire 2, Lyne Goals: Brough 3 Drop-goal: Brough|
|London Broncos (0) 10|
|Tries: Walker, Lamb Goals: Dixon|
London Broncos suffered relegation from Super League for the second time in five years as they were beaten by rivals Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue.
Danny Brough’s early penalty followed by two converted tries from Ryan Hampshire either side of the break gave Trinity a 14-0 lead.
Reece Lyne then added another try, followed by Brough’s drop-goal.
Alex Walker pulled a try back late on before Brock Lamb scored with the final play but Broncos still go down.
With all four relegation-threatened teams on 20 points at the start of the evening, it was always likely to be a dramatic night, and Broncos were full of hope having twice beaten Wakefield this season.
They marked their return to Super League back in February with a 42-24 victory over Wakefield in Ealing, then won again with a four-try Jordan Abdull-inspired 42-34 home victory in May.
But, for this huge game, Wakefield boss Chris Chester imposed a social media ban to keep his player’ minds relaxed and firmly on the job.
And, with former Warrington and England centre Ryan Atkins making his second Wakefield debut, 13 years on from his first, the hosts kept their heads and simply proved too solid.
Following Brough’s early penalty, Broncos wasted two good chances to get on the scoreboard.
Kieran Dixon pulled his attempt wide with a very kickable penalty, before the winger then failed to grab hold of an awkward lofted pass in the right corner – and the chance was gone.
Trinity winger Ben Jones-Bishop, up against his old club, then knocked on trying to get on the end of Brough’s kick to the right corner.
But the first try of the night came for Hampshire after 24 minutes, Brough kicking the goal for an 8-0 half-time lead.
Then four minutes into the second half Hampshire got in again at the left corner, Brough again added the extras – and it was 14-0.
On 53 minutes, Trinity added a try out wide on the right from Lyne and, although Brough this time missed the kick, the hosts still went into the final quarter with an an 18-point cushion.
Brough’s one-pointer with 13 minutes left made it safe, but Broncos typically had the final say.
Walker scored on the right and, although Dixon missed the kick, he then finally got it right when he improved Lamb’s last-gasp try.
Broncos made a lot of friends
Promoted a year ago, London Broncos were most people’s favourites to go straight back down after upsetting much-fancied Toronto in the Million Pound Game. But they will be missed.
Despite their meagre support, averaging 1,500 to 2,000 home fans at their Ealing home, they have won many admirers.
Their 10 wins include those two at home against relegation rivals Wakefield, as well as two over leaders St Helens.
But Danny Ward’s ‘Band of Brothers’ have repeatedly shown a never-say die attitude.
They gave themselves real hope by winning at both Catalans and last week at Hull KR.
And the fact that they still had the character to score twice in the final 10 minutes said much about that battling spirit.
Wakefield need to be more consistent
Following their Million Pound Game near miss in 2015, when they beat Yorkshire neighbours Bradford to stay up, Wakefield have over the last three years enjoyed the happiest times of their 21-stay in Super League.
Prior to this season, they had not been out of the top eight in three successive campaigns – capped by finishing fifth two seasons running.
But this year Chris Chester’s side have struggled for consistency.
Not even the pre-season return of kicking machine Danny Brough to Belle Vue from Huddersfield has helped.
In fact, they are an average of four points down per game on last season. And they went into this crunch finale with just two wins in 14 matches.
But, when it became to the biggest stage of all,. they got their lines right – and the signing of Ryan Atkins may yet prove a masterstroke.
‘We’ve got to regroup’ – reaction
London Broncos head coach Danny Ward told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:
“I’m gutted. It’s tough to take, but we’ve got to regroup, rebuild and go again.
“We’ll reflect in a few days. It’s been good and we’ve had a lot of positives. We’ll learn from it and know where we need to get better.
“Wakefield dominated the field position, ran harder than us, they defended well. We didn’t play badly, but Wakefield are a good side and shouldn’t be down here battling for survival. They just played at the right end of the field.”
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:
“That was a special win. We knew what was at stake and we were fantastic from minute one to minute 80.
“Plans are already in place for next season. We’ll enjoy tonight – it’s just made me more determined to make sure we’re not in this position again next year.”
Wakefield: Escare; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Atkins, Hampshire; Miller, Brough; Kopczak, Randell, Tangata, Kirmond, Tanginoa, Crowther.
Interchanges: Wood, Green, King, Arundel.
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Lamb; Battye, Cunningham, Butler, Gee, Pitts, Yates.
Interchanges: Fozard, Mason, Hindmarsh, Lovell.
Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL).
A former child refugee trying to track down a camp worker who bought her a bike has been inundated with offers to help trace him.
Mevan Babbakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands for five years during the 1990s.
She posted a photo on Twitter of the “generous man” who bought her a bike “out of the kindness of his own heart” asking for help to find him.
Within 30 minutes of posting more than 100 people had retweeted the message.
Hundreds more have since offered to help, with one person claiming to know who he is.
Ms Babakar and her parents fled Iraq during the first Gulf war, travelling to refugee camps in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia before spending a year at the one near Zwolle between 1994 and 1995.
The family eventually settled in London.
Asked on Twitter what she would do if she found her benefactor, she replied: “Honestly I’d cry my eyes out.
“There was so much hardship at that point in our lives and this was such a generous act, it taught me kindness can exist everywhere, no matter how terrible it may seem.”
The tech manager said her mother, who was also given a bike, believes the man was nicknamed “Ab” and he was an odd-job staffer.
He also invited the family to spend one Christmas with him at his home.
Ms Babakar has taken a sabbatical from work to retrace her refugee journey and is in Zwolle carrying out research.
But she said she has had more success with a single Twitter post.
“We have some leads, someone has said they might know him. I would love to meet him and thank him in person.
“It’s quite important for me to find him. When I go through bleak times I always go back to that feeling I had when he was so generous to us.
“Acts of kindness can shape a person and I hope I can do the same for others.”
London City Airport wants to increase the number of its flights to meet “increased passenger demand”.
The current annual limit of 111,000 should be increased by 36% to 151,000 by 2035, according to a draft master plan out for consultation. This could mean an extra 110 flights per day.
Campaigners described the plan as a “disaster for residents”.
The airport pledged up to 2,500 new jobs and that sustainability was “central” to its thinking.
There were 75,000 flights carrying more than 4.8m people at the airport in 2018 and passenger numbers have increased by 42% over the past five years.
The draft plan forecasts that by 2030 passenger demand to use the airport in the Royal Docks, east London, could increase to 9.8m per year and to 11m by 2035.
‘Flights could double’
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said the proposal was a “long-term vision for London City Airport, detailing how London’s most central airport can meet continued demand sustainably, create jobs and opportunities for east London, and support the capital as a major global city for tourism and business”.
“These proposals reflect the airport’s changing role, with an increasing proportion of leisure passengers choosing the airport, and east London’s continued transformation.”
John Stewart, chair of Hacan East which campaigns about the impact of the airport on local communities, said: “For all its green talk, this plan would be a disaster for residents.
“Flight numbers could almost double from today’s total.”
The airport insists it will retain its eight-hour night-time closure and not permit any noisier aircraft than those currently operating.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks.
Newham Council, which would decide on any bid to increase operational caps, said it remained “committed to improving air quality in Newham” and pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.
US President Donald Trump has once again criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling him a “national disgrace” who is destroying the UK’s capital.
His comments came after five attacks in London in less than 24 hours left three men dead and three others injured.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was “absolutely awful” Mr Trump was using the “tragedy of people being murdered to attack the mayor”.
President Trump’s tweets follow a long-running feud between the two men.
Retweeting a post by right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins about this weekend’s violence in London, the president said Mr Khan was “a disaster” and the capital needed a new mayor.
Mr Trump later followed it up with another post saying: “He is a national disgrace who is destroying the city of London!”
In response, Mr Khan’s spokesman said the mayor’s thoughts were with the victims’ families and he “is not going to waste his time responding to this sort of tweet”.
The mayor was focused on supporting the city’s communities and “over-stretched” emergency services, he added.
Mr Khan later tweeted: “Violent crime has no place in our city, and there’s no higher priority for me than Londoners’ safety.”
Mr Corbyn tweeted in defence of Mr Khan, saying he was “rightly supporting the police to do their job while Katie Hopkins spreads hateful and divisive rhetoric”.
Police have made 14 arrests – including several boys and a girl – following the five separate attacks.
An 18-year-old man was stabbed to death on Friday afternoon in Wandsworth, south London, then minutes later a 19-year-old man was shot dead in Plumstead, south-east London.
A man in his 30s then died after he was stabbed in Tower Hamlets on Saturday afternoon.
In the early hours of Saturday two men were stabbed in Clapham and another was stabbed in Brixton.
The deaths take the total number of murders in London in 2019 to 56. Last year there were 132 homicides in the capital.
President Trump and Mr Khan have clashed many times in the past.
The president called Mr Khan a “stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London” shortly before landing in Stansted ahead of his three-day state visit to the UK earlier this month.
It followed comments from the mayor of London that the UK should not be “rolling out the red carpet” for Mr Trump during his visit.
Three London homes worth more than £80m have been frozen by the High Court in the second-ever use of anti-corruption orders to stop foreigners laundering cash in the UK.
The Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) were sought last week against a foreign official who was not named in court.
The National Crime Agency has demanded that the subject of the probe explains the source of their wealth.
The homes cannot be sold or given a new owner until the investigation is over.
The properties are held by offshore companies.
UWOs are a new anti-financial crime power targeted at foreign government officials and their families from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are believed to have laundered stolen money through British property.
If the suspect – known as a “politically exposed person” – cannot explain the source of the wealth, the NCA can ask the High Court to order the homes’ seizure.
The measure aims to target people who have committed huge frauds and embezzlements abroad where there is little or no chance of obtaining the evidence to convict them in a British court.
The first ever UWO was used against Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of a jailed Azerbaijan banker, who lives in a £12m London home and owns a Berkshire golf course.
Court papers disclosed to the BBC on Tuesday revealed how she spent £16m in Harrods over a decade without raising suspicions.
That legal action has so far lasted 15 months – and she not only denies wrongdoing but is also appealing against the potential loss of her property.
In a statement, the NCA said the three more recent orders were against property in “prime locations” in the capital.
Andy Lewis, the NCA’s head of asset denial, said UWOs are a “powerful tool in being able to investigate illicit finance flowing into the UK and discourage it happening in the first place”.
“The individuals behind these offshore companies now have to explain how the three properties were obtained,” he said.
By Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondent
Unexplained Wealth Orders have caught the public’s eye because of the extraordinary allegations of mysterious wealth hidden behind the doors of some of Britain’s mansions.
But the fact is that the cases so far brought by the NCA are probably the tip of an iceberg of suspected corruption.
Of the properties owned by overseas companies in England and Wales, two-thirds are registered to firms in the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man – which means it can be difficult to work out who ultimately benefits from the asset
The government is supposedly committed to banning the ownership of British property through shadowy companies – but nothing has been done.
Until there is more clarity on who owns what, already-stretched financial crime investigators will struggle to seize the suspected billions of stolen loot washing around the British property market.
Robert Barrington, executive director of campaign group Transparency International, welcomed the latest UWOs – but said much more needed to be done.
He said: “London has long been the playground of the world’s corrupt kleptocrats and oligarchs – it’s very encouraging to see that this is at last being challenged.”
“Two years ago we identified £4.4bn worth of UK property bought with suspicious wealth. From that list of around 150 cases, two have now been progressed.”
He said the two cases represent “progress” but are “still an insufficient response to the magnitude of the problem”.
The Liberal Democrats were the main winners in the European elections in London, gaining three MEPs in the region.
Both the Brexit Party and Labour had two candidates elected, while the Green Party took the remaining seat.
It means the Conservative Party no longer has any MEPs in London, having lost the two seats it won in the 2014 European Parliament elections.
The Lib Dems vote share rose by 20%. The Brexit Party took 18% of the vote.
Turnout was 41.3% – slightly higher than the 40.1% turnout in the previous election.
Labour’s share fell by 12.7%, while UKIP and the Conservatives fell by 14.8% and 14.6% respectively. UKIP leader Gerard Batten lost his seat as an MEP.
Irina von Wiese, Dinesh Dhamija and Luisa Porritt will now serve as MEPs for the Lib Dems.
One of the Lib Dem victories was in Jeremy Corbyn’s borough Islington, where the party beat Labour into second place.
A London Labour Party spokesman said the elections in London “were always going to be tough”.
He added: “We’re ecstatic that both Claude Moraes and Seb Dance have been elected as MEPs for London.
“Our MEPs will go to Brussels championing workers rights, fighting climate change and the other issues important to our party.”
By Professor Sir John Curtice
Nothing illustrates more clearly the success of the Lib Dems in winning over Remain voters than the party’s success at coming a clear first in the capital, something it has never come remotely close to achieving in a previous election.
The Greens have also prospered to some degree with a three point increase in its vote to 12%.
Meanwhile the Brexit Party have inevitably done less well here with a modest 18% of the vote.
Meanwhile the weakness of Change UK is underlined by its inability to get more than 5% in this most Remain party of England.
Lib Dem MP Ed Davey tweeted he was “hearing good things across London” as his party dominated Kingston-upon-Thames in his constituency with 25,006 votes, amounting to 47% of the total 53,027 turnout in the borough.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted her congratulations to successful London candidate Scott Ainslie.
After Change UK failed to win a seat in London, MEP candidate and former BBC journalist Gavin Esler thanked “the 170,000 Londoners” who voted for the new party.
He added: “Now the real fight begins – to save Britain from the self-harm of Brexit in a People’s Vote and work to Remain.”
The ATP Finals will move from London to Turin after the Italian city was named as host of the event from 2021 to 2025.
Manchester, Singapore and Tokyo were also on a five-city shortlist to stage the season-ending tournament.
It has been held at London’s O2 Arena since 2009 but will move to the Pala Alpitour stadium.
“We believe that Turin has all the ingredients to take the event to new heights,” said the ATP’s executive chairman Chris Kermode.
The ATP Finals feature the world’s best eight singles players and doubles teams of the season and will boast a record prize fund of $14.5m (£11.2m) in 2021.
Turin will be the 15th city to host the event, and first in Italy, since it was first staged in 1970.
A cumulative total of more than 2.5 million spectators have watched the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena, which will host the event in 2019 and 2020.
The Pala Alpitour stadium, which was opened in 2005, has a capacity of around 15,000 and is Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena.
World number one Novak Djokovic, who lost to Alexander Zverev in last year’s final, said: “The ATP Finals is the biggest and most prestigious event that we have at the ATP.
“It’s a tournament that has historically moved around and so I’m very excited to see it move to Turin from 2021.”
Italy also hosts the Next Gen ATP Finals, with Milan staging the first five editions of the tournament for 21-and-under players from 2017 to 2021.
BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller
With the exception of New York’s Madison Square Garden, no other city has hosted the ATP Finals for as long as London.
The event does need to move around, and the world number one and ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic has been making that argument for some time.
The O2 Arena’s 12-year run has been a phenomenal success, consistently attracting more than 250,000 people with style and panache. The departure of the Finals robs British tennis of a prime spot – at a traditionally fallow time – to showcase the sport.
Turin has a very hard to act follow. But there is a lot of money behind this bid.
Prize money will increase by more than 50%, and put men on a par with women.
The current disparity had not gone unnoticed by ATP players. The prize fund in London this year will be $9m; in Shenzhen, at the start of a 10-year run in China for the WTA Finals, it will be $14m.