Commuters are facing disruption as workers on South Western Railway (SWR) begin a 27-day strike.
It comes after talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and SWR over a long-running dispute over guards on trains broke down.
The operator called the action “unnecessary” and said “more than half” of weekday trains would run, but warned of queues at stations.
The union said the strike is “in defence of passenger safety”.
The RMT said SWR had “point-blank refused” to show any serious movement at talks held at the conciliation service Acas.
The union has been demanding that guards should oversee the operation of doors and perform other safety functions in dispatching trains.
It said the company’s proposals would leave guards as “glorified porters” without any safety responsibilities.
As the strike got under way earlier, disruption was compounded when a man seen carrying an air rifle led to a train being evacuated.
Elsewhere, Sophia Griffiths, who travels from Earlsfield station into central London, said: “Usually when they strike the station is not too bad but today was just nuts.
“I saw the queue outside and thought ‘no way’ – I’ve never seen it that long so I took the bus to Tooting and got the Tube from there.”
She said she was supportive of the striking workers and said it was “crazy they (SWR) would let it get to this”.
The communications officer at Nuffield Council on Bioethics said she was considering cycling to work during the prolonged action and working from home more.
Charlotte Burnell said it took almost an hour to travel from Claygate, Surrey, to Waterloo – a journey which usually takes 34 minutes.
“You can manage a couple of days of strike action but the thought of it going on for 27 days is pretty overwhelming,” she said.
“It’s physically uncomfortable. I was forced to stand awkwardly and my back was killing me.”
Steve Nagioff described passengers “rammed” into a carriage on his commute from Whitton in south west London.
“A woman next to me said that she couldn’t breathe. The train stopped at Richmond and I fell out – luckily other passengers got off the train so I got back on it again.
“It’s just not right – I pay full ticket prices. If the service is going to be like this then it should be free,” he added.
Becky Bartlett, from Wokingham in Berkshire, said she was an hour late for work in London after her regular train was cancelled.
“I have various theatre and gig plans for the month, plus Christmas parties and events, which I have either had to cancel, some at loss of the ticket price, or I’m going to have to pay for a £30+ taxi from Reading just to get home.
“This whole experience is going to be horrific. I’m one day in and I’ve already had enough.”
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said members were “absolutely furious” with SWR following the Acas talks.
“Of course our members don’t want to lose a month’s money running up to Christmas but they’re prepared to do that to show that safety and accessibility for disabled people is non-negotiable.”
Regional organiser Mick Tosh said the union would consider financial support for any members who suffered particular hardship because of the strike.
SWR said it had offered “a guard on every train, and a safety critical role for that guard”.
Managing director Andy Mellors said the action was “unnecessary” and the issue needed to be settled before a new fleet of modern suburban trains was introduced next year.
“Our assessment is that by having drivers opening and closing doors, that will actually optimise the performance of the network by getting more trains to Waterloo on time.
“We’ve been very clear that we’re committed to keeping a guard on our trains and those guards will have safety critical competencies. Our proposals will make guards more customer facing and improve safety, security and accessibility.”
By Paul Clifton, BBC South transport correspondent
At Chandler’s Ford station this morning, the ticket office door was locked. The platform was empty and all the signs were blank.
It’s going to stay that way for a month. The next train isn’t due until 2 January 2020.
It’s the same story at Swaythling, Millbrook, Dean, Dunbridge and a few other small stations popular with children heading to school as well as daily commuters.
The two sides are trading insults and blaming each other. They haven’t budged in more than two years of strikes.
I don’t think many passengers have any goodwill left at all for either the RMT or South Western Railway – because this month-long strike is going to cause real hardship for hundreds of thousands of people each day.
SWR released a revised timetable and said it would provide longer trains to increase capacity where possible.
The operator runs services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth as well as Reading, Exeter and Bristol. It also operates suburban commuter lines in south-west London, Surrey, Berkshire, and north-east Hampshire.
Strike days are as follows:
- From 00:01 GMT on Monday 2 December until 23:59 on Wednesday 11 December
- From 00:01 on Friday 13 December until 23:59 on Tuesday 24 December
- From 00:01 on Friday 27 December 2019 until 23:59 on 1 January
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Jose Mourinho says signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Tottenham “doesn’t make sense” because he has the “best striker in England” in Harry Kane.
Ibrahimovic, who played for Mourinho at Inter Milan and Manchester United, is available after his two-year spell at LA Galaxy ended.
The new Tottenham manager said he has “more than a connection” with the former Sweden forward.
But he said: “Amazing player, amazing guy, but I would say no chance.”
Mourinho, appointed Tottenham manager last Wednesday after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, added: “We have the best striker in England. It doesn’t make sense to sign him when we have Harry Kane.”
England captain Kane scored last Saturday as Tottenham won 3-2 at West Ham in the Premier League.
He now has 175 goals in 269 games for Spurs, overtaking Martin Chivers to move third on the club’s all-time top scorer list.
But while Kane is central to his new manager’s plans, Mourinho said that the selection of Christian Eriksen – a substitute at West Ham – will be based on a “perspective of the future”.
The Denmark midfielder, 27, is out of contract next summer and has been the subject of intense transfer speculation since the club’s Champions League final defeat by Liverpool in June.
While dealing with Eriksen’s future, Mourinho also has to concentrate on the perceived hangover from that loss to Liverpool in Madrid.
“If Mauricio says that [losing the final affected the players] then he’s been here and he’s sharing his feelings. It’s like landing on the moon but you don’t do it,” he said.
“Look at Liverpool; they had the frustration of not winning and then the next season they reached the final and won it.”
Alli accepts Mourinho comment
Before Saturday’s win, Mourinho said he had asked midfielder Dele Alli “if he was Dele or Dele’s brother”, as the 23-year-old has been struggling with injury and poor performances.
Alli revealed that training-ground joke was the first thing Mourinho said to him after becoming Tottenham manager but accepted the criticism.
“A lot of people have been saying that, so it was nothing new,” Alli said. “In that sense, to have it honestly said to your face was nice because a lot of people would prefer to say it behind your back.
“It didn’t shock me. Playing in the Premier League, you expect it when you are not performing – to be criticised.
“It is just important you listen to the right people. I am my own biggest critic. I know what I need to work on.”
Two teenagers have been jailed for life for murdering a 17-year-old girl in an east London park.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back as she sat with friends in Harold Hill on 1 March.
Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and Arron Isaacs, 17, were both convicted earlier this month after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Ong-a-Kwie, of Romford, will serve a minimum of 26 years while Isaacs was detained for at least 18 years.
- Jodie Chesney murder: Life sentence for Jodie killers
- Jodie Chesney: Stabbed in the back and left to die
Explaining the sentences, Judge Wendy Joseph QC told the court she was “satisfied” Svenson had stabbed Jodie while Isaacs was a “willing supporter”.
“When that knife was driven into Jodie, that intention was to kill,” she said.
Premiership club Harlequins have appointed Laurie Dalrymple as their new chief executive.
The 44-year-old left Premier League football club Wolves in July following four and a half years at Molineux.
“While I’ve worked in football most recently, rugby has always been my passion,” he told the club website.
“Following an inspiring World Cup, CVC’s investment into the league and a growing supporter base, Harlequins are well placed to capitalise.”
Dalrymple, who served as managing director of Wolves for three years, was previously executive director at the Ricoh Arena and international sales director at global event producer EMAP.
Quins chairman David Morgan said he will bring “a wealth of experience” to The Stoop.
“Laurie helped transform Wolves from a Championship club to an established member of the Premier League,” he added.
“I would again also like to thank David Ellis (Harlequins’ outgoing chief executive) for all his dedication, hard work and achievements over the past eight years.”
Harlequins are 10th in the Premiership table, having won only one of the their first four games of the season.
A major outdoor art exhibition by an Oscar-winning artist has gone on display on billboards across London.
Turner Prize-winner and film-maker Steve McQueen’s billboards show class photographs of thousands of children from the capital’s schools.
The 613 posters across London’s 33 boroughs, featuring Year 3 pupils, celebrates the idea of citizenship and reflects the diversity of London.
McQueen said the project was inspired 21 years ago after he became a father.
“My hope is that through the billboards, millions of Londoners can reflect on the past, the present and the future not only of themselves but of their city,” he said.
“I am very excited that this portrait of London will be seen by so many people as part of their daily life in this great city that I love.”
Some 76,000 children, two thirds of London’s Year 3 pupils, were photographed for the accompanying exhibition at Tate Britain.
The Tate said: “Year 3 is considered a milestone year in a child’s development and sense of identity, when seven-and eight-year-olds become more conscious of a much bigger world beyond their immediate family.
“Steve McQueen’s project captures this moment of excitement, anticipation and hope through the medium of the traditional class photograph, with rows of smiling children sitting or standing alongside their teachers.”
McQueen was born in London in 1969 and after becoming a renowned artist, he went on to make films Hunger, Shame, Widows and the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.
When he started the project McQueen said: “When you first start education, things start to change. When you start being aware of gender, when you start being aware of race. When you start being aware of class.
“When those things come into your psyche – it can actually change your thoughts forever.”
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On why he chose to express his vision via the traditional school photograph, McQueen said: “The school photo is very formal. Kids are standing or sitting crossed legged with the teacher on the side.
“I used to love that format – and it’s a photo that reflects on that class, the school and also reflects on society.
“So a message that can be so local – when moulded with the other photographs – can become global.”
Haringey and Yeovil say they want the “real winner to be football” in their replayed FA Cup match on Tuesday, after the original game was abandoned amid allegations of racial abuse.
The fourth qualifying round tie on 19 October was halted when Haringey boss Tom Loizou took his team off the field.
Two men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and later bailed without charge.
A Football Association investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“The testing times after the first game have resulted in a strong bond between the two clubs,” said a joint statement.
“Irrespective of which team wins on the pitch, on Tuesday we want the real winner to be football.”
Visitors Yeovil had just taken a 1-0 lead through Rhys Murphy’s 64th-minute penalty when the initial tie was abandoned.
It was claimed that Haringey goalkeeper Valery Douglas Pajetat was spat at and struck by an object thrown from the Yeovil supporters’ section, while defender Coby Rowe alleged he had been the victim of racist comments.
Whoever wins at Borough’s Coles Park ground will face Hartlepool at home in the first round.
“We have been working hard together with the authorities to make sure Tuesday’s game is safe and enjoyable for all, with increased stewarding being one of many additional measures,” added the statement issued by both clubs.
The FA have announced that 5 November has been set aside as a replay date, should the rearranged tie end as a draw.
Loizou hopes Tuesday’s game will pass without incident, telling PA Media: “I just want it out of the way now to tell you the truth.
“There is a sour taste in my mouth, I just want to get through it with no incidents and to get on with our lives.”
Yeovil said in the immediate aftermath that they would co-operate with any investigations into the incident and, speaking after their National League win over Chorley on Saturday, Glovers boss Darren Sarll supported the way his players responded to the situation.
“I thought we left there doing the right thing,” he told BBC Somerset.
“I thought the lads conducted themselves in a very professional manner in a tough situation. I found it really tough.
“It’ll be a good tie – it’s the FA Cup. Football’s got to win in all of these situations and hopefully it will on Tuesday.”
Manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham’s worst opponent this season has been themselves.
Spurs reached the Champions League final last season but were thrashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich in their first home game of this year’s competition.
They now host Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday having taken just 12 points from 27 in the Premier League.
“It is going to be tough but at the moment our worst opponent is ourselves,” said Pochettino.
“We need to compete with Red Star as well as ourselves.”
Spurs, who surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Olympiakos in their opening group match, go into Tuesday’s game with one point – two behind second-placed Red Star.
Pochettino’s position as Spurs boss has been questioned, but the Argentine added: “That is football. I am not surprised. In the same way they praise you, football is all about the win.
“The expectation changed after the Champions League final and that is why the situation looks worse. The most important thing is to build our confidence again.”
A man who drove at cyclists and police officers outside Parliament has been jailed for life for attempted murder.
Salih Khater, 30, of Highgate Street, Birmingham, aimed his car at members of the public before swerving towards the officers in Parliament Square on 14 August 2018.
He must serve at least 15 years in jail, the Old Bailey judge said.
Khater was accused of attempting to cause maximum carnage, and it was said to be “miraculous” no-one was killed.
The court was told he tried to “kill as many people as possible” with his Ford Fiesta.
CCTV footage showed how he careered into a security lane and crashed into barriers as two police officers jumped out of the way.
Alison Morgan QC told jurors Khater’s attack was “premeditated and deliberate” and had a terrorist motive.
The defendant claimed he had driven to London to find the Sudanese embassy to get a visa but “got lost” around Westminster and panicked.
However, a jury rejected his explanation for the crash and found him guilty of two charges of attempted murder in July.
In mitigation, Peter Carter QC told the court Khater had still not offered an explanation for what he did.
He argued: “The lack of evidence is not a proper basis for drawing a conclusion there is evidence of a terrorist connection.”
But Mrs Justice McGowan found Khater had deliberately copied terrorists and jailed him for life with a minimum term of 15 years.
“Your undoubted intention was to kill as many people as possible and by doing so spread fear and terror,” she said; adding that he had “replicated the acts of others who undoubtedly have acted with terrorist motives”.
The court heard Khater was born in Sudan before being granted asylum in Britain in 2010, claiming he had been tortured in his birth country.
In the months before the attack, Khater had showed signs of “paranoia” about British authorities, emailing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to express concern about an “event” involving the intelligence services.
A former MP falsely accused of being part of a VIP paedophile ring has branded a review of how detectives handled the claims as “a whitewash”.
The police watchdog identified “organisational failings” but cleared five detectives of misconduct.
After the release of a retired judge’s criticisms of the Met’s probe, ex-MP Harvey Proctor said a separate report by the police watchdog was “a pathetic attempt” to excuse mistakes by police.
The watchdog said it had been thorough.
In its report, published on Monday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found no evidence of misconduct but said the investigation “revealed gaps and shortcomings where there is room for improvement”.
It made 16 recommendations to avoid mistakes being repeated, including on search warrants and ensuring allegations are investigated objectively.
No officers were prosecuted or disciplined for their part in Scotland Yard’s £2.5 million Operation Midland, which investigated bogus claims made by Carl Beech, previously known as “Nick”.
Beech, 51, from Gloucester, was jailed for 18 years for his false accusations.
The claims prompted searches of the homes of three prominent people – former Conservative MP Mr Proctor, D-Day veteran Lord Bramall and Lady Diana Brittan, the widow of former home secretary Leon Brittan.
In a 2016 report into Operation Midland – which was partly published by Scotland Yard last week – retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques found the searches “should not have taken place”, were “unlawful” and that police “misled” the magistrate who approved them.
The IOPC found no evidence the officers who were investigated had deliberately misled the district judge. But it acknowledged it was “unable to establish with any clarity or certainty” what exactly the officers knew about Beech’s evidence.
The IOPC report said it was “unclear” when details recording Beech’s inconsistencies began to be recorded, and that the watchdog did not know “which inconsistencies were known to the investigation team at any specific time”.
Sir Richard said the IOPC report was “flawed” and “fell well short of an effective investigation”.
Mr Proctor said the IOPC was “not an independent body that the public can trust” and called on the home secretary to abolish and replace it with “experts who are genuinely qualified to assess and to criticise police failings”.
He said the IOPC report attempted to excuse police mistakes “by saying they acted in good faith”, with the intention of maintaining public confidence in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
“But this is not acting in good faith – it is acting to interview under caution and search the homes and office of people without evidence in order to help public relations,” he said.
Mr Proctor’s lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said this was an “improper motive” and it was “outrageous that the IOPC should think it is a valid excuse for accusing innocent men of heinous crimes or misleading a judge to obtain a search warrant for their homes”.
In his report, IOPC director general Michael Lockwood said: “Did the officers involved make mistakes? Yes. Could police processes have been improved? Almost certainly. But did they deliberately exclude information to secure the warrants? Our investigation found no evidence of that.”
There must be public accountability and assurance in future, he said, that the weaknesses identified were addressed so mistakes were never repeated.
The IOPC’s recommendations included considering whether to record court hearings involving applications for search warrants and renewing efforts to balance the culture of believing victims when an allegation is made with the need to investigate claims objectively.
Writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, Sir Richard said the police watchdog embarked upon a “lamentably slow and inadequate process” in reviewing the work of five Metropolitan Police detectives involved in obtaining search warrants.
He wrote: “Who guards the guards themselves? Who watches the watchers? A malfunctioning police force has not received the necessary oversight.”
“The home secretary will wish to address these shocking failures,” he added.
Sir Richard said the officers’ belief that Beech had “remained consistent” in his accounts of sexual abuse was incorrect and that police “failed to disclose seven factors that undermined Beech’s credibility”.
He added that he had only been contacted after 20 months, and told that two of the five officers under investigation had already been cleared.
The IOPC continued to investigate three officers, but they retired before it published its findings.
Sir Richard said he was “alarmed by the [IOPC’s] lack of knowledge of relevant criminal procedure”.
He added: “I readily conclude that one or more of the five officers may not have committed misconduct in the application for warrants.
“However I find it difficult to conceive that no misconduct or criminality was involved by at least one officer.”
The IOPC said its review of the officers’ work “was not a cursory exercise” and “independent and impartial”.
It reviewed over 1,800 documents and 300 statements, gathering 14 independent witness accounts and accounts from three officers who were under investigation, a spokesperson said.
“As Sir Richard writes ‘no subject should be tried without proper investigation’. And, as he acknowledges in his own review, the IOPC is the right and correct authority to do this,” the spokesperson added.
What is the IOPC and what are its powers?
The Independent Office for Police Conduct took over investigations into police misconduct in England and Wales in January 2018.
Previously, it had operated under the name of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The watchdog is able to initiate its own investigations and can direct police forces to hold misconduct hearings.
If complaints against officers are proven valid, they can recommend actions and – in serious cases of misconduct – hand over information to prosecutors.
In the past, the watchdog was criticised for not having enough authority over forces and, in some cases, botching investigations entirely.
A 2013 parliamentary report called it “woefully underequipped and hamstrung”.
Police officers are still not always cooperating, despite recent attempts to improve the body.
Last year, officers investigated for ignoring chances to stop serial killer Stephen Port refused to answer questions during IOPC interviews.
Last week, the Met’s deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House said that he was “deeply, deeply sorry” for the pain caused by the Met’s “serious mistakes” during Operation Midland but that the force did not accept everything in Sir Richard’s report.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has ordered an inspection by the chief inspector of constabulary, following Sir Richard’s review.
The wife of the PM’s chief adviser, Mary Wakefield, says Boris Johnson did not touch her thigh at a lunch in 1999.
Charlotte Edwardes has accused Mr Johnson of touching her under the table and said he touched a second woman too.
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said a rumour had been circulating at the Conservative conference that Ms Wakefield was the other woman involved, but she has denied it.
The PM has also denied Ms Edwardes’ allegation, made in the Sunday Times.
In a statement, Ms Wakefield, who is married to Dominic Cummings, said “nothing like this ever happened to me”.
Earlier, ex-Tory minister Justine Greening said Ms Edwardes’ story was “deeply concerning”, but Chancellor Sajid Javid said he had “full faith” in the PM.
On Sunday evening, No 10 released a statement calling the claims “untrue”, but Ms Edwardes later tweeted: “If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.”
Asked on Monday if the incident had taken place, Mr Johnson said: “No.”
He also denied it had overshadowed the Conservative Party conference taking place in Manchester this week.
In her first column for the Sunday Times, Ms Edwardes said the incident took place in 1999. Ms Edwardes said she was seated on Mr Johnson’s right at the lunch, held at the Spectator magazine’s offices.
Mr Johnson was editor of the magazine at the time.
“More wine is poured; more wine is drunk. Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He gives it a squeeze,” she wrote.
“His hand is high up my leg and he has enough inner flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.”
Ms Edwardes said another woman at the lunch later told her he had done the same to her.
Spectator magazine commissioning editor Ms Wakefield issued a statement to say she was “not the woman referred to in Charlotte Edwardes’s column”.
“Boris was a good boss and nothing like this ever happened to me. Nor has Charlotte, who I like and admire, ever discussed the incident with me.”
Mr Javid refused to comment on the “personal allegations” against the PM when asked on BBC Breakfast, adding: “The prime minister has said that this is completely untrue.
“I have full faith in the prime minister and I don’t doubt that and what he has said for a second.”
However, Ms Greening told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I can’t comment on those accusations, but they are deeply concerning, and in a sense they go to the heart of this question about character and integrity of people in public life and what standards the electorate have a right to expect.”
At a conference fringe event on Sunday lunchtime, Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared to play down the claims.
He said Mr Johnson “has never lectured other people about their private lives,” adding: “I think that we should concentrate on delivering on what we are in politics for, which in my view is to serve the citizens of this country.”
Later, though, in an interview with Channel 4 News – conducted before No 10 issued its denial – Mr Hancock stressed that he did not intend to make light of Ms Edwardes’ allegations.
“I don’t dismiss it at all. I have seen how what I said has been… how people have responded to what I said, and [to be] totally clear about it, these issues are incredibly important.”
He said he knew Ms Edwardes well and knew her to be “trustworthy”.
Former minister Amber Rudd – who quit the Conservative Party over its handling of Brexit earlier this month – tweeted that she agreed with Mr Hancock’s conclusion.
But Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said, unless further evidence emerged, he would “take [the prime minister] at his word”.
“I don’t have any inside information into this,” he told BBC Politics Live.
“It’s very hard for any of us to speculate on what may or may not have happened.”