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Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth: Giant swirl of cream to be unveiled

The End by Heather Phillipson

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The Fourth Plinth Commission

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THE END will go on display on 26 March

A giant swirl of replica whipped cream topped with a cherry, a fly and a drone is set to appear in central London for the next year two years.

Heather Phillipson’s sculpture, titled THE END, will be unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square on 26 March.

Its drone will transmit a live feed of the square which can be watched on a dedicated website.

The London artist’s work was previously revealed as the next work to be placed on the Fourth Plinth in 2017.

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AFP

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The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist is a recreation of a sculpture destroyed by the Islamic State (IS) group

The organisers behind the scheme have described THE END as representing “exuberance and unease” and “a monument to hubris and impending collapse”.

Phillipson’s sculpture will replace Michael Rakowitz’s The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, which has been on the Fourth Plinth since 2018.

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Streatham Hill stabbing: Mother attacked in front of child

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The woman was stabbed while walking with her child in a pushchair on Downton Avenue in Streatham Hill

A mother was stabbed three times in front of her child in an unprovoked attack in south London.

The victim, 36, was pushing her child in a buggy when a man attacked her from behind in Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, on Monday.

The knifeman did not speak to the victim before he stabbed her at about 17:20 GMT then ran off.

Police said the woman’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The child was not hurt.

Neighbours told the BBC they heard the woman screaming and came out to help.

A man first on the scene said the victim told him: “I’ve been mugged.”

Two people said the wounds looked as if they were to the victim’s face or head area.

It is understood the woman was on the phone to her husband at the time and that he arrived soon afterwards.

No-one has been arrested. The Met said the suspect was a black man, about 6ft tall and wearing dark clothing.

Officers have been examining CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses.

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London’s City Hall provides Christmas meals for homeless

Sadiq Khan hands out food

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Sadiq Khan helped serve 100 Christmas Dinners to guests at City Hall

Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.

Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.

Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.

“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.

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Claire said she had been “looking forward” to the Christmas Dinner

Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.

“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”

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Guests were treated to rendition of carols by the London International Gospel Choir

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Around 100 people who use London’s homeless services were invited to City Hall

Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.

But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.

“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.

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Sadiq Khan said “it is shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do”

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Guests were given a three-course Christmas Dinner

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.

“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.

“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.

“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”

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Free opticians services were put on by charity Humanity First

Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.

There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.

Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.

Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.

“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”

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Ellie Goulding helps driver ‘T-boned’ by Royal Mail truck

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Media captionEllie Goulding and her driver rushed to help after a car was hit by a Royal Mail truck

Singer Ellie Goulding came to the aid of a driver whose car was being pushed sideways along a road by a lorry.

Footage shows a Volkswagen GTi being pushed down Western Avenue, A40, by a Royal Mail delivery lorry near the Greenford roundabout in west London.

Goulding posted on Instagram to criticise other drivers who got out to film the crash and “shout abuse” at the lorry driver.

The Royal Mail says it is investigating the crash.

The truck driver appears astonished to see the car in front of his vehicle, claiming he did not see it, or know it was there.

He can be heard yelling: “I didn’t see him, I honestly didn’t see him.”

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PA Media

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Ellie Goulding said her driver, Guy, stopped to help while she checked on the driver of the car

Goulding told her 14.4 million Instagram followers: “On a side note, I can’t believe the first instinct of the other drivers who got out was to instantly start filming on their phones and shout abuse at the poor shocked driver, not even checking the other driver was okay.

“What on earth.”

Goulding told BBC Radio 1 she intervened because “no-one was stopping”.

She said: “I think people were desperate to get to work. All these people were just driving on.

“We just drove up right next to it [the lorry] to be like ‘Mate, you’ve got a car on you!'”

The driver who was shunted along the road later messaged the singer “to just say he was OK,” she added.

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Shaan Assi / Twitter

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The driver of the Royal Mail delivery truck cab said he did not realise the car was there

The Met Police said there were no reported injuries and no arrests have been made.

A Royal Mail spokesman added: “We are very concerned about this incident. We sincerely hope that no one was hurt. We are investigating as a matter of urgency.”

Road safety campaigner Rebecca Ashton told the Victoria Derbyshire programme she hoped it was not a stunt.

She said: “He must have been able to hear the scraping of the tyres – possibly a feeling of pushing a car.”

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Alex Dombrandt: Could England pick Harlequins number eight for Six Nations?

Alex Dombrandt has started 18 Premiership games for Harlequins, scoring seven tries

Harlequins number eight Alex Dombrandt would flourish in the international environment, says England scrum-half and club team-mate Danny Care.

The uncapped 22-year-old is thought to be pushing for a place in England’s Six Nations squad after starring for Quins of late.

“He reads the game so well, he’s smart and makes the right decisions all the time,” Care said.

“You put him in an England shirt and he is only going to excel.”

Care believes Dombrandt would provide England with an extra dimension if he made his international debut.

The former university student is on head coach Eddie Jones’ radar after appearing for an England XV in a non-cap game against the Barbarians in May.

There also appears to be an opening at the back of the scrum, with Billy Vunipola the only specialist number eight in the Rugby World Cup squad after Bristol’s Nathan Hughes fell out of favour.

“For me he’s got everything. He’s hungry for it, he’s got the work-rate and the work ethic, and he’s a good boy,” Care told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

Dombrandt only broke into the Quins first team a year ago after completing his undergraduate studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

But after a breakthrough season last time around, he recently signed a new deal to stay at The Stoop despite firm interest from Northampton Saints.

“He went to uni, did it properly and enjoyed himself, but he’s got a chance to play professional rugby and he’s grasped it with both hands,” Care added.

“I’m not picking the England squad, but 100% [he should be in].

“I just think if you throw him in there, and you have him running lines alongside Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Joe Marler – which attacker is the defender going to take?

“He is different, and there aren’t many of him around. And he can play six [blind-side flanker], seven [open-side flanker] or [number] eight.”

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Loughton hit-and-run: Harley Watson named as victim

Harley Watson

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Instagram

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Harley Watson, 12, was described by his school as “liked and loved”

A 12-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run outside a school has been named locally as Harley Watson.

He was struck near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, at about 15:20 GMT on Monday.

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four other teenagers and a 23-year-old woman who were hurt in the crash.

One of the victims was described by his mother as “battered and bruised”.

It is understood all the injured children – two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, and a girl, 16 – are pupils at the school.

Debden Park’s head teacher Helen Gascoyne, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected.

“The school will be open [on Tuesday] with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”

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Flowers and messages to Harley Watson and his family have been left at the scene of the crash

Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described the Harley’s death as “a young life so tragically lost”.

He said: “This young man had made his mark on the school and was liked and loved by staff and students.

“We will consult with the family and our school community to decide how best to commemorate his life.”

‘I’ve been hit by a car’

Donna Mills, the mother of Alfie Barnes who was one of the 15-year-olds struck by the car, said he was “still in shock… battered and bruised”.

“He remembers the car coming towards him, he remembers getting hit, but it is a bit of a blur. He hit his head and I think he blacked out for a bit,” she said.

“Alfie rang me and said ‘mum I have been hit by a car’, so I shot down there as fast as I could. It was horrendous.

“It was… horrible to see, kids laying on the floor, just terrible.”

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Google

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Debden Park High School opened on Tuesday for staff and pupils to support each other

Essex Police said officers are looking for a silver Ford Ka that was “likely to have damage to [its] front”.

Earlier, the force took the step of naming Terry Glover, 51, as someone they wanted to speak to in connection with the crash.

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Met Police superintendent sentenced over indecent video

Dido Massivi, Jennifer Hodge and Novlett Robyn Williams

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Julia Quenzler

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Supt Novlett Robyn Williams (right) was on trial with her sister Jennifer Hodge and Dido Massivi (left)

A senior Met Police officer who was found guilty of possessing an indecent image of a child has been told to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was sent a “disturbing” video by her sister last year, but failed to report her.

The judge told the Old Bailey her “grave error of judgement” was likely to have “immense” career consequences.

Williams had denied the charge, saying she “zoned out” when she received the video.

The 54-year-old, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, was cleared of a charge of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers in failing to report the distribution of an image.

Judge Richard Marks QC told Williams it was “completely tragic you found yourself in the position you now do” considering her “stellar career in the police force over 30 years”.

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PA

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Supt Williams, pictured with London mayor Sadiq Khan, was highly commended for her work helping families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster

Williams’ sister Jennifer Hodge, 56, of Brent, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service having been found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.

Hodge’s partner Dido Massivi, 61, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years as well as 200 hours of community service.

He had been found guilty of two counts of distributing indecent photos and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Scotland Yard said Williams remains on restricted duties but that would be “reviewed now criminal matters are complete”.

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Rape-accused Joseph McCann ‘caught on CCTV at hotel’

Joseph McCann

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PA Media

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CCTV images allegedly showed Joseph McCann at the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April

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.

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Met Police

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Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 alleged victims, including children

The trial continues.

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Frank Dobson: Ex-Labour minister dies aged 79

Frank Dobson

The veteran Labour politician Frank Dobson has died at the age of 79.

Mr Dobson served as health secretary in the government of Tony Blair following Labour’s 1997 landslide victory.

He left government to contest the first-ever London mayoral election in 2000, ultimately coming third to independent candidate Ken Livingstone.

He served as MP for Holborn and St Pancras in central London for more than 40 years before standing down in 2015.

Mr Dobson led Labour-controlled Camden Council in the 1970s before first being elected to Parliament in 1979.

He served in a number of shadow frontbench roles under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair during Labour’s 18 years in opposition.

As Labour’s first health secretary for nearly 20 years, Mr Dobson oversaw the abolition of the internal market in the NHS, but was frustrated at financial constraints initially imposed by the Blair government, which stuck to the Conservatives’ spending plans for the first four years.

He put himself forward as a candidate, some suggested reluctantly, for the new post of London mayor in 2000.

However, he was pushed into third place behind Mr Livingstone, who ran as an independent – after being barred from standing by Labour – and the Conservative candidate Steve Norris.

After his defeat, he never returned to government but continued in Parliament for a further 15 years.

Labour candidates and officials have been paying tribute to Mr Dobson, whose death was announced by his family.

And current Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock also praised his “years of devotion” to the health service.

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Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5.3m for breaching salary cap rules

Saracens have won four of the past five Premiership titles

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.

How the Premiership looks after Saracens’ points deduction

‘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.

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