US President Donald Trump has said he could “work with anybody” in No 10 – nine days ahead of a general election.
Speaking on a three-day visit to the UK, Mr Trump said he would “stay out of the election”, that he was a “fan of Brexit” and he thought PM Boris Johnson was “very capable”.
Mr Trump is in the UK for a Nato summit being held in Watford on Wednesday.
He will attend a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace later, where protests are expected.
The US president was speaking during a breakfast meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the US ambassador’s residence in London.
During a press conference Mr Trump also said:
- The US wanted “absolutely nothing to do with” the NHS, when asked if it would form any part of future trade talks. He added: “Never even thought about it, honestly.”
- He himself was “a very easy person to work with”
- The US was “trying to work something out” with the family of teenager Harry Dunn
- French President Emmanuel Macron was “very disrespectful” for suggesting Nato was “brain dead”
The US president’s comments came moments after he told reporters that he was staying out of the election on 12 December “because I don’t want to complicate it”.
President Trump is visiting the UK to attend a Nato summit commemorating the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic organisation.
Scotland Yard has said road closures will be in place in central London during the summit.
He is due to have separate talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
President Trump will attend a working lunch with representatives from Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the UK.
However, it is unclear whether Mr Trump will hold a one-on-one meeting with Mr Johnson.
Mr Trump said he would be meeting the British prime minister during his visit, adding: “I have meetings set up with lots of different countries”.
And Mr Johnson said he would be discussing Syria, Russia and China during discussions with Nato leaders.
However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – who will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later – said on Tuesday that arrangements for such bilateral meetings were “always quite fluid”.
BBC diplomatic correspondent James Lansdale said the Conservatives’ HQ is not keen on such a meeting “to avoid pictures that could be used by his (Boris Johnson’s) opponents” in the upcoming general election.
Mr Johnson and Mr Trump did speak on Saturday, when Mr Trump expressed his condolences after the London Bridge attack.
The Queen will host a reception for world leaders, including Mr Trump, at Buckingham Palace later.
Protesters are expected to gather outside the palace ahead of the event on Tuesday evening.
The friends and family of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn are expected to be among them. Mr Dunn’s death led to a diplomatic row between the US and UK after a suspect over his death returned to America, claiming diplomatic immunity.
A spokesman for Mr Dunn’s family said they will join demonstrations in order to “make our feelings known” to Mr Trump.
‘Respect and politeness”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for Mr Trump to be treated “with respect and politeness” during his visit.
Ahead of the visit, Mr Corbyn wrote to Mr Trump, demanding assurances that the NHS will be “off the table” in any post-Brexit US-UK trade talks. However, Mr Johnson said the claims were “nonsense” and the NHS would not be part of any such trade discussions.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has told the Sun newspaper that Mr Corbyn wants to “disband” Nato and accused the Labour leader of being “naive” to the risk of terrorism.
Labour’s manifesto says that, in government, it would maintain a commitment to Nato.
A spokesman for the party said that Mr Corbyn “will do whatever is necessary and effective to keep the British people safe”.
Elsewhere, Nigel Farage has said it is “awkward” that his “friend”, Mr Trump, had arrived during the election campaign. The Brexit Party leader said he would keep any “personal exchanges” between them private.
Mr Trump has previously been criticised for voicing his opinions of British political leaders.
The US president was warned against getting involved in the upcoming general election by Mr Johnson last week.
Mr Trump later said he was “absolutely cognisant” of the importance of not interfering in other countries’ elections.
Coldplay may have put their touring plans on hold, but a select group of fans were treated to a one-off show among the fossils at London’s Natural History Museum on Monday.
It was a spectacular setting, with the museum’s great hall bathed in pastel lights as the band played beneath Hope, a giant 128-year-old skeleton of a blue whale.
“I said, when we launch our album can we play a gig near Wales, and look what happened,” joked Chris Martin, as he took to the stage.
“It’s so hard, as a British person, not to come up with Natural History Museum puns for the whole show,” he added. “But the last artist who tried that was Dodo and you know what happened to her.”
His jokes may have prompted groans but, when it came to the songs, Martin was drowned out by the 1,000-strong audience singing along to hits like Sky Full Of Stars and Viva La Vida.
For the most part, though, the set concentrated on Coldplay’s latest record, Everyday Life – a playful and probing double album that cautiously ventures away from their lighters-out pop template.
They were joined on stage by Afrobeat scion Femi Kuti and his brass section for the limber and funky Arabesque, while Norah Shaqur added a beautiful Arabic verse to Church.
And some moments that fall flat on the new record – notably the anti-firearm anthem Guns – gained a little bite on the stage, with Martin spitting invectives at gun rights activists as he thrashed his acoustic guitar.
In some respects, Coldplay have always felt like a church worship band, with their earnest goofiness and hand-on-heart positivity. It’s an instinct they embraced on Monday night, handing out badges declaring “love”, while supporting musicians wore T-shirts emblazoned with the Bible verse “Do everything in love”.
They were even joined by a four-piece gospel choir, who embellished the harmonies (while politely declining to show up Martin’s vocals) on tracks like BrokEn and Cry Cry Cry.
Martin was so enraptured by their presence that he asked them to reprise the final chorus of Fix You a capella, “so we can hear what our band would sound like if we had really good singers”.
“Just imagine,” he added. “We’d be playing much bigger venues than this place.”
It was a knowing nod to the band’s more usual habitat, playing to tens of thousands of fans in open-air stadiums. It’s a mode of touring they have decided they can no longer pursue in good conscience – citing the environmental impact of taking a full-production rock concert on the road for 18 months or more.
“The hardest thing is the flying side of things,” Martin told the BBC last week. “But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”
In that respect, playing the Natural History Museum felt like a recalibration, with the band exploring whether their music could work in smaller venues, with a minimal production. Proceeds went to the non-profit organisation ClimateEarth (regrettably, though, the beer cups on the night were all single-use plastic).
Songs like Daddy and Sparks felt more intimate, while the big-tent anthems like Orphans lost none of their impact. And no-one missed the flashing wristbands or pyrotechnics of Coldplay’s bigger shows.
Well, no-one except the frontman.
“Normally we have some fireworks at this point,” he observed during Sky Full Of Stars. “But they said this building was too precious.”
After 23 years, Coldplay might be rock dinosaurs, but they’re not fossils yet.
See the set list below (Sky Full Of Stars was a last-minute addition to the encore, just before Guns).
A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.
Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.
He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.
After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.
He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.
Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.
The trial continues.
Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman says the club are targeting a younger manager to replace Neil Warnock and expect a quick appointment.
Warnock left the Championship club on Monday following three years in charge.
Dalman said owner Vincent Tan will play an active role in naming the 70-year-old’s successor.
“We’re down to a small number of names. I’d be surprised if we don’t announce something in the next 72 hours, certainly by the weekend,” he said.
Former Millwall manager Neil Harris is among the early favourites to replace Warnock, who Dalman said was relieved to leave his role.
Speaking to Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers, Dalman claimed it was Warnock’s decision to leave the club who are14th in the Championship following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Bristol City.
“It was Neil’s decision to go,” he said.
“I really wanted him to stay until the end of the season, but he felt it was time for a change. I think he was quite relieved actually when I had a chat with him and we felt maybe it was right, so he left on his own terms.”
Dalman said Tan would have a say on who replaces Warnock.
“I think Vincent wants to take a much more hands-on involvement in (appointing) the next manager, which I think is right, after all he’s the owner of the club,” he said. “I think he wants somebody younger, maybe a little bit more (of an) offensive type of manager.”
Dalman added the club could consider a director of football type appointment in conjunction with the new manager, saying he would welcome “more football knowledge at board level.”
And, in terms of a new manager, he did not rule out a move for Harris, the 42-year-old currently out of work having left Millwall last month after four years with the south London club.
When asked specifically about bookmaker’s favourite Harris, Dalman said: “I don’t know. At the moment, we’re still going through the thought process, we’ll go through the names that we have and we’ll focus on one of them.”
Harris ‘worth a gamble’ – Kavanagh
Ex-Cardiff captain Graham Kavanagh says ex-Millwall boss Harris, 42, could be worth a “gamble” to replace Warnock.
Although he has only managed the Lions, ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Kavanagh says Harris could do the job.
“If Neil Harris comes in I think it is a slight gamble,” said Kavanagh.
“He’s been in the Millwall job four years and hasn’t managed anywhere else, but he’s done a magnificent job.”
Harris, who scored 138 goals over two separate spells with Millwall as a player, took over as caretaker manager in March 2015 following their relegation to League One.
He guided the Lions to promotion back to the second tier in 2017, after reaching the League One play-off final for a second consecutive season, while the London club reached the FA Cup quarter-finals twice, in 2017 and 2019.
He stepped down as boss at the Den in October 2019 after a seven-match winless streak left Millwall five points above the relegation zone.
Harris – who briefly played alongside Kavanagh on loan at Cardiff in December 2004 – remains Millwall’s record goalscorer, despite being diagnosed with cancer when he was just 23.
“He’s a great lad, he works very, very hard, he’s very diligent and honest in his work and he does like to play,” Kavanagh, 45, said.
“He’s never had too much money to spend, but what he has spent at Millwall he’s done a remarkable job.”
Kavanagh says that Warnock will be a hard act to follow.
“He’s [Warnock] done a phenomenal job at the club, getting it promoted. I know obviously he then got relegated but it’s very, very tough to stay in the Premier League,” Kavanagh said.
“He spent quite a bit of money but it looked like he was buying Championship players with the thought that if they went back down, then they’d be able to jump back up.
“Obviously that hasn’t been how they’ve started the season, so he’s paid the price of that.
“A man of his experience and his wealth of knowledge… he’s going to be a massive loss to the club.”
Premiership and European champions Saracens have been docked 35 points for breaching salary cap regulations.
The punishment comes after an investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.
Saracens have also been fined £5.36m, with the points deduction coming into immediate effect in the Premiership.
The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens have said they will appeal, having said in March they “readily comply” with the regulations.
They claimed to be able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.
During an independent disciplinary panel hearing, Saracens saw their challenge of the validity of the regulations on competition law grounds rejected.
In the five seasons that Saracens have finished as Premiership champions, a 35-point deduction would have meant they would not have reached the play-offs – but would also not have been relegated.
They would have finished 10th last season had the same punishment been imposed in 2018-19.
Saracens, who have won two of their three Premiership matches so far this season, are entitled to seek a review of the decision by an arbitration body.
The deduction will put them bottom of the table on -26 points before their trip to Gloucester on Saturday.
Premiership Rugby introduced their salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.
The regulations are also designed to control inflationary pressures on clubs’ costs and provide a level playing field for clubs and a competitive Premiership.
Saracens started the current Premiership campaign with a significant number of their star players still on World Cup duty.
Eight of their players were in the England squad which lost to South Africa in the final, including new signing Elliot Daly, who completed a move from Wasps in the summer.
‘The biggest story in English club rugby history’
Analysis: BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones
Saracens have been the dominant force in the domestic game for the best part of a decade – scooping seven major titles and providing the spine of the England World Cup team – but that success will now be considered tainted.
How long has it been going on? Will the club keep their titles? Will they appeal, given they insist they were involved in legitimate business dealings with players? What happens now to the current squad, which may need to be dismantled, especially with a £5m fine and the threat of relegation?
And what do players, coaches and fans at other clubs think, given everyone is affected in some way by this? On that note, do any other clubs in the league have something to hide?
Like with the Bloodgate scandal 10 years ago, the fallout to this will be significant and lengthy, and will damage the integrity of the Premiership just at the point the league is looking to launch a global expansion.
This is probably the biggest story in English club rugby history.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been condemned for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the Grenfell Tower fire, in a report after the first phase of an inquiry.
Fewer people would have died in the 2017 fire if the LFB had taken certain actions earlier, the report by inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said.
The head of the Fire Brigades Union said the inquiry was “back to front”.
The BBC has seen sections of the report ahead of Wednesday’s publication.
The document follows the first phase of the inquiry, which looked at what happened on the night that 72 people died in the tower block fire on 14 June 2017.
The second phase will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.
General secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack, said: “The truth is that the fire spread the way it did because it was wrapped in flammable cladding. The firefighters turned up after that had happened, after the building had already been turned, in reality, into a death trap.
“Firefighters’ actions on the night, which were remarkable in the circumstances, are now being scrutinised. Nobody is trying to avoid scrutiny, but we think that the ordering of the inquiry is completely back to front.”
The council, the tower’s tenant management organisation, the police and the fire service were all questioned during the inquiry’s first phase.
The inquiry has criticised the Daily Telegraph, which first published leaked details of the report, and other media which followed suit. A spokeswoman said publication had deprived “those most affected by the fire – the bereaved, survivors and residents – of the opportunity to read the report at their own pace”.
Sir Martin’s report praised the courage of firefighters on the night.
But it found many “institutional” failures that meant the LFB’s planning and preparation for the incident was “gravely inadequate”.
For example, Sir Martin said control room staff who fielded 999 calls “undoubtedly saved lives” but “a close examination” of operations revealed “shortcomings in practice, policy and training”.
He said staff that night were in an “invidious” position when they were outnumbered by 999 calls.
“Supervisors were under the most enormous pressure, but the LFB had not provided its senior control room staff with appropriate training on how to manage a large-scale incident with a large number of FSG [Fire Survival Guidance] calls,” he said.
“Mistakes made in responding to the Lakanal House fire were repeated,” he added – referring to a fire in Camberwell, south London, in 2009, which killed three women and three children.
By Lucy Manning, special correspondent
This report could not be more critical of the London Fire Brigade.
The Grenfell families wanted this level of criticism, especially those whose relatives died when they were told for nearly two hours to stay put in the building as it was covered in flames.
But there is also some frustration that this first part of the inquiry wasn’t about those who made the cladding and oversaw the refurbishment of Grenfell.
That will only happen in the second phase of the inquiry next year and then they’ve got even longer to wait for the police investigation to finish.
So they are seeing some blame apportioned and they hope they will eventually see justice but the Grenfell survivors will always suffer the loss and grief and ask the question how did 72 people die in what was supposed to be the safety of their homes?
Sir Martin also criticised the LFB for following a “stay put” strategy, where firefighters and 999 operators told residents to stay in their flats for nearly two hours after the blaze broke out.
The strategy was rescinded at 02:47 BST, the report said. Sir Martin wrote: “That decision could and should have been made between 01:30 and 01:50 and would be likely to have resulted in fewer fatalities.”
Firefighters who attended the fire did not have training on how best to combat a cladding fire, the report added.
Four members of the first crews to have fought the blaze had 52 years of combined experience. However, they had not received any training on the risks posed by exterior cladding or the techniques to be deployed in fighting fires involving cladding, the report found.
Sir Martin said the “principal” reason the fire spread so quickly “up, down and around the building was the presence of the aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores, which acted as a source of fuel”.
The report also said evidence given by the LFB’s commissioner, Dany Cotton, suggested lessons from the fire might be missed.
Sir Martin wrote: “Quite apart from its remarkable insensitivity to the families of the deceased and to those who escaped from their burning homes with their lives, the Commissioner’s evidence that she would not change anything about the response of the LFB on the night, even with the benefit of hindsight, only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire.”
A spokesperson for the LFB said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the report’s findings before they were officially released on Wednesday.
Speaking on Monday, Sir Martin said the report was long and detailed.
He stressed that readers of the report “should understand as clearly as possible the terrifying conditions faced by those who were in the building, at the time”.
The cause of the fire was found by the report to be “an electrical fault in the large fridge freezer in the kitchen” in a fourth-floor flat.
“It occurred without any fault on the part of the tenant… and I am pleased to clear him of any blame, given that some people have unfairly accused him of having some responsibility for what happened,” Sir Martin said.
- Additional reporting by Vinnie O’Dowd.
A man has been jailed for life for the 2017 machete murder of a father of two.
Daniel Boakye, 32, of Western Green, Dagenham, will serve a minimum of 11 years and eight months for the killing of Daniel Adger in South Ockendon.
He admitted the offence, as well as being concerned in the supply of drugs, in December 2017 but sentencing at Basildon Crown Court was delayed for legal reasons.
Zakaria Lahrar had previously been jailed for the killing.
Mr Adger, 34, died after being attacked with a machete in Eden Green, South Ockendon, on 21 August 2017.
A police investigation found Lahrar and Boakye “conspired to attack Mr Adger”, who ran outside to call for help after the attack at about 13:00 BST.
Several passers-by came to his aid but he later died of his injuries in hospital.
CCTV footage showed Lahrar meeting Connal Cocker-Dawkins, 20, at a hotel in Grays shortly after the murder.
Cocker-Dawkins, of Denmark Street, Plaistow, was jailed for three years on 8 March for conspiring to supply cocaine. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder.
Luis Jordan, 34, of Church Road, Manor Park in east London, is due to stand trial for murder on 24 February 2020.
Det Ch Insp Daniel Stoten of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Daniel Adger was subjected to a violent attack and suffered terrible wounds which sadly led to his death.
“There have been some delays in Boakye’s sentencing due to legal reasons but he has been in prison since his arrest.
“Boakye and Lahrar will now spend a long time in prison and I hope that this brings some comfort to Mr Adger’s family.”
All-rounder George Scott has signed a three-year deal with Gloucestershire after declining the offer of a new contract at Middlesex.
The 23-year-old right-hander and medium pacer leaves Lord’s after four seasons.
His 43 appearances in all formats saw him score 692 runs and take six wickets following his debut in July 2015.
“I’m very excited, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for me cricket-wise,” Scott said. “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining.”
Gloucestershire won promotion to Division One of the County Championship this summer and will play in the top flight for the first time since 2005 next season.
Extinction Rebellion protesters on the streets of London have been labelled “uncooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The demonstrators – who are demanding action on climate change – should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads, the PM added.
Police have already arrested more than 300 people at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Some activists glued themselves to government buildings early on Tuesday.
Speaking at a book launch, Mr Johnson said: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road.
“They said there was some risk that I would be egged.”
Mr Johnson added protesters could learn from former PM Margaret Thatcher, who he said had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before activists such as Greta Thunberg were born.
“I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.”
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
The Metropolitan Police said there have been 319 arrests in relation to the demonstrations since 00:01 BST on Tuesday.
Some 200 campaigners who camped overnight on streets in central London also faced arrest on Tuesday morning after being issued with warnings by police.
Activists who blocked Horseferry Road, in Westminster, throughout the night were warned that they will be arrested unless they move to nearby Trafalgar Square.
But many said they were prepared to stay in the camp. Mike Gumn, 33, from Bristol, told the PA news agency: “We will decide as a group when we are going to move and we are not going to let police tell us when.”
‘A last resort’
By Becky Morton, BBC News
Behind Parliament Square there are dozens of tents where protesters from Scotland, Cumbria and north-east England have camped overnight.
Mikaela Loach, 21, travelled from Edinburgh on Monday with a friend on a bus organised for protesters.
She says she has attended protests before but this is her first time camping out overnight.
“I was a bit worried about police coming in the middle of the night, but it was a nice atmosphere having people around you that are here for the same cause,” she said.
“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to. This is a last resort,” she said.
“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.
“There need to be big structural changes.”
Some activists glued themselves to the Department for Transport building early on Tuesday, a tactic used in demonstrations earlier this year.
A lorry was also parked on Marsham Street, outside the entrance to the Home Office, with protesters attaching themselves to the vehicle.
On Monday, organisers blockaded key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Some glued and chained themselves to roads and vehicles – those who did so outside Westminster Abbey were later removed by police.
The roads behind Downing Street were blocked throughout the day by protesters, some of whom had erected tents in the street and were sitting down and singing songs together.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Further road closures are expected on Tuesday, with Parliament Street, Great Smith Street and Westminster and Lambeth bridges predicted to be heavily affected.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
Recipe box business Gousto has announced plans to create 700 jobs, more than doubling its workforce.
The firm, which delivers meal kits directly to customers, is set to hire about 400 staff at its distribution centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
A further 300 will be hired at its headquarters in London.
Gousto secured a £30m investment two months ago, and plans to expand following a period of rapid sales growth.
It currently employs more than 500 staff and will recruit more over a period of three years.
The £30m cash boost investment firm Perwyn takes its total external investment to more than £100m since its creation in 2012.
The money will be used to expand its rapidly growing technology team, while roles will also be created in data science, analytics, software engineering and user experience, the company said.
Timo Boldt, chief executive officer and founder of Gousto, said he is proud to be “bucking the trend” in job creation, after a recent decline in the total number of new job vacancies in the UK.
He added: “The 700 jobs we will create over the next three years will enable us to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer behaviours.
“Growing Gousto and fulfilling our ambition to become the UK’s best loved way to eat dinner, requires a specific focus on our technology team.”
Gousto said it hopes its expansion strategy will help to grow its position as “one of Europe’s leading technology enabled companies”.