One of London’s most famous music venues has been badly damaged in an overnight blaze.
The dome on the roof of Koko in Camden has been destroyed by fire, according to the London Fire Brigade.
Sixty firefighters helped fight the flames after the blaze broke out just before 21:00 GMT on Monday and no injuries have been reported.
The venue which began life as the Camden Theatre in 1900 has hosted stars including Madonna, Coldplay and Prince.
Station commander Jon Lewis said the fire was brought under control at about 02:30 on Tuesday, adding: “Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building.”
Koko owner Olly Bengough said he was “deeply saddened” by the blaze, adding: “We’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track.”
Crews will remain at the scene throughout the day and have warned people to stay away from the area.
Koko which was closed for refurbishment, was also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome and has been one of the capital’s most iconic live music venues for decades.
The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Ed Sheeran are among other star names to have performed at the venue, which is close to Mornington Crescent underground station.
It was reportedly the last venue where AC/DC’s Bon Scott was seen drinking before his death from alcohol poisoning in 1980.
In the early 80s it served as a major venue for the punk and New Romantic scene, with singer Steve Strange of the band Visage holding club nights.
Members of the public have been sharing their Koko memories on Twitter.
Marc Rustic was “absolutely gutted” having seen his first grime gig at Koko.
“MoStack was performing and it was honestly the best night of my life,” he added.
Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn who held his legendary soul nights Shakatak also tweeted about the fire.
Koko and the nearby Roundhouse effectively “bookended” Camden’s music scene, according to music writer Carl Allen.
In between the two are 60 music venues including the Dingwalls and Electric Ballroom, as well as restaurants and pubs.
On Twitter the Roundhouse said it was “really sad” to hear the news about our Camden neighbours.
Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace/Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden.”
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan thanked the fire brigade for its quick response.
The venue was set to reopen in the spring after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
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A professor specialising in human “body-clocks” had been suspended from medical practice after receiving full-time salaries from two universities.
Prof Akhilesh Reddy, a medical doctor, was paid by University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge.
He made a £50,000 mortgage repayment, saying he thought the extra money was a salary “overlap”.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal suspended him from the medical register for misconduct.
In December 2016, UCL became aware Prof Reddy may have two salaries and raised concerns with the University of Cambridge.
The neurologist and researcher gave inconsistent statements about the money, claiming he only noticed the salary issue when he checked his account in February 2016, five months after starting at UCL, the tribunal heard.
He said he thought the universities were “sharing his salary”, that there was an “overlap” in his salaries and also that he thought the large sum was just his salary from UCL.
However, the tribunal dismissed his claims, saying he was a “financially aware man”, as shown by his making the £50,000 repayment in February 2016 and his negotiation of a UCL salary nearly double that of his Cambridge one.
In a statement read to the tribunal, Prof Reddy said he thought “all necessary people were fully aware of the position.”
Prof Reddy has moved to Pennsylvania to continue his research following the allegations.
He has since repaid the “large amount of money” and the tribunal said he had showed remorse for his actions.
A UCL spokesman: “UCL immediately took action as soon as we became aware that Akhilesh Reddy was drawing two salaries and he is no longer employed by UCL.
“This was a unique set of circumstances that involved the complex transfer of an academic group who remained for a period of time at their previous university before moving to a laboratory separate from UCL’s campus.
“The behaviour of the individual involved fell seriously below the standards of behaviour we expect from members of UCL’s academic community.”
A University of Cambridge spokesman said it was “profoundly disappointed” by Prof Reddy’s actions.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has defended Antonio Rudiger after he was criticised for his part in Tottenham forward Son Heung-min’s red card on Sunday.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was unhappy with the Blues defender’s reaction to Son’s challenge in Chelsea’s 2-0 win.
Lampard said it was “disappointing” to question Rudiger’s integrity while an investigation into alleged racial abuse directed at the German is ongoing.
“I do defend Toni firmly on it,” said Lampard.
Tottenham have appealed against the red card shown to Son in the second half after VAR ruled he had kicked out at Rudiger.
However, Mourinho thinks it should be Rudiger’s reaction to Son’s challenge that is coming under scrutiny, and not Son’s action.
“I’m not speaking about the racism incident, this is another thing. I am speaking about that incident, the red card,” he said on Monday.
“In the Premier League I love there is no space also for what Rudiger did. Stand up and play man. This is the Premier League.”
Lampard responded: “With Toni, in this incident when he’s having to post after the game about something we know is a huge deal [racism], I think to question his integrity in that time is disappointing for sure.
“Pretty universally, certainly what I heard in the commentary and the post-match reflection was that the Son incident was a red card.
“It wasn’t brutal but it was instinctive that warrants a red card in the modern day. It was pretty clear that was the case. I wouldn’t question Toni’s integrity on that.”
On Tuesday, Tottenham said they had banned a supporter for throwing a cup at Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but their investigation into the alleged racist abuse of Rudiger “remains ongoing”.
‘I support all my players in this situation’
Both players were subject to alleged racist abuse during the fixture.
Rudiger said he heard monkey noises from the crowd, while police arrested a Chelsea fan for a racially aggravated public order offence against Spurs’ Son.
Lampard says he has only spoken briefly to Rudiger, who informed Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta of what he had heard and he told referee Anthony Taylor.
However, Tottenham say their initial findings after the alleged racist abuse of Rudiger are “inconclusive”.
“I saw Toni’s social media post, I thought it was well put, from the heart and something that he feels very strongly about,” said Lampard.
“I’ll speak to him today when I see him. I would like to think the players know I am with them on anything like this.
“I’ll have the same conversation with Toni that I had with Tammy after the incident earlier this year.
“And I will tell them and take the time to make sure he knows I support him, and that I support all my players in this situation.”
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.”
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 dragged along the road later messaged the singer “to just say he was OK,” she added.
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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London’s tallest landmark has been lit up in the lead up to the end of 2019.
Between 16:00 and 01:00 the next morning until 30 December, the top 20 floors of The Shard will be illuminated as part of three nine-minute sequences.
The designs have been created by the school children.
An American academic has given a graphic account of the moment the London Bridge stabbing attack began, saying it “felt like a warzone”.
Bryonn Bain told the BBC that victim Jack Merritt had been the first person to confront Usman Khan when he launched his knife assault during a prisoner rehabilitation conference on Friday.
“I saw people die, I saw things that I will never be able to unsee,” he said.
Vigils have taken place for Mr Merritt, 25, and second victim Saskia Jones, 23.
Three other people were also injured in the attack before Khan was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge – two are still in hospital in a stable condition.
Prof Bain said former offenders attending the University of Cambridge-linked conference “stepped up and intervened” to tackle Khan, and people at Fishmongers’ Hall owed their lives to the actions of those who had previously spent time in jail.
He said two men from his performance poetry workshop immediately ran towards shouts from elsewhere in Fishmongers’ Hall in the City of London as the attack began, and as shouts grew louder he also went to assist.
“That’s when I ran down and saw the scene unfolding there,” he said. “I was able to see the attacker.”
He added: “It felt like a warzone… it felt like total chaos.”
Prof Bain said course co-ordinator Mr Merritt was “the first line of defence”.
“I want to honour him,” Prof Bain said of Mr Merritt. “I want to honour his father’s wishes which have been explicit to not have his life be used for political purposes to ramp up draconian policies, because that’s not what he was about.”
Mr Merritt’s father criticised newspaper coverage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to review the early release of convicted terrorists.
Writing in the Guardian, David Merritt says his son “would be seething at his death, and his life, being used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against”.
The article calls for a justice system that focuses on rehabilitation, rather than revenge, and criticises indeterminate sentences, saying his son worked for “a world where we do not lock up and throw away the key”.
Prof Bain added: “I want to make sure that as much as possible that we uphold the heroes of the day, were formerly incarcerated people, some of the folks who are often easiest to dehumanise.
“They stepped up and many of the folks in that space would not be here today if it weren’t for these guys who did time in prison and literally saved lives.”
In other developments on Monday:
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended his response to the attack after Mr Merritt’s father criticised newspaper coverage of Mr Johnson’s pledge to review the early release of convicted terrorists
- Mr Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a vigil at the Guildhall near London Bridge to honour those caught up in the attack
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the best way to defeat the hatred shown in the attack was to focus on the values of hope, unity and love
- BBC News learned the attacker, Usman Khan, 28, had been under investigation by the security service MI5 since his release from prison last year, but given one of the lowest priorities. He had been convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012
- As part of his release conditions, Khan was obliged to take part in the government’s desistance and disengagement programme – which aims to rehabilitate those involved in terrorism
Vigils for the victims of the attack were also held in Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University, which Ms Jones had previously attended.
Mr Merritt and Ms Jones both studied for masters degrees at the University of Cambridge’s institute of criminology and had been taking part in an event for its Learning Together programme – which focuses on education within the criminal justice system – when they were killed.
Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, was a co-ordinator of the Learning Together programme and Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, a volunteer
The victims’ families paid tribute to their loved ones at the weekend.
Ms Jones’s family said their daughter had a “great passion” for supporting victims of criminal justice.
In a statement, Mr Merritt’s family described him as a “talented boy” who “died doing what he loved”.
Toby Williamson, chief executive of Fishmongers’ Hall, praised the bravery of his staff who intervened to stop the attacker, hailing their actions as “extraordinary things done by ordinary people”.
Mr Williamson told how Polish chef Lukasz suffered five wounds to his left-hand side as he fended off the knifeman with a narwhal tusk during “about a minute of one-on-one straight combat” – allowing others time to escape danger.
A group of hall staff, ex-offenders, prison and probation staff are believed to have drawn Khan out on to London Bridge where he was subsequently shot dead by armed police.
Khan, who admitted preparing terrorist acts in 2012, was released from prison in December 2018 after serving half of his sentence.
The BBC understands Khan was formally under investigation by MI5 as he left jail but placed in the second-to-bottom category of investigations as his initial risk to the public was thought to be minimal.
This was consistent with the grading given to most other people convicted of terrorism offences as they go back into the community under a release licence.
A low level of prioritisation is assigned to offenders such as Khan because their release comes with a strict set of licence conditions.
These conditions theoretically provide suitable monitoring and oversight, such as alerts if they contact other suspects or travel outside an approved area.
Khan, the BBC has learned, was on the highest-level of such community monitoring. The overall package, in theory, relieves pressure on MI5 so the security service can focus on more immediate threats.
Friday was the first time that Khan, who wore a GPS tag, had been permitted to travel to London since he left prison. The BBC has been told that – earlier in the year – Khan was refused permission to travel to Stoke-on-Trent, which is where he grew up, in order to attend a social event.
The prime minister said on Sunday that 74 people jailed for terror offences and released early would have their licence conditions reviewed..
Police said two terror-related arrests following Friday’s incident, in Staffordshire and north London, were not directly connected to the London Bridge attack.
It came after the UK’s terrorism threat level was downgraded on 4 November from “severe” to “substantial”, meaning that attacks were thought to be “likely” rather than “highly likely”.
The Football Association will not investigate Forest Green head coach Mark Cooper after it was alleged he made an “unacceptable” jibe about late Leyton Orient boss Justin Edinburgh.
O’s interim manager Ross Embleton was sent off in Saturday’s defeat by Rovers for throwing chewing gum at Cooper.
He claimed Cooper labelled him “an impostor” and asked: “Who do you think you are, Justin Edinburgh?”
Cooper denied the claim and said he was pleased the FA acted “swiftly”.
“I’m pleased the FA have given such a swift and clear statement on this matter,” Cooper said in a statement on Forest Green’s website.
“I can assure everybody that nothing like that was said – it’s wrong that Justin’s name was dragged into this. We’re now focused on a really important game against Crewe Alexandra.”
Embleton was originally placed in interim charge of Orient following Edinburgh’s death in June. He was re-appointed to the post when the club sacked Carl Fletcher earlier this month after just 29 days in charge.
In a statement following Saturday’s match, Forest Green chairman Dale Vince told BBC Sport that Cooper and Edinburgh were “close friends” and both the referee and fourth official had confirmed to the club that neither had heard any such remarks during the game.
Cooper, who has been in charge of Forest Green since May 2016, made no mention of the first-half incident in his post-match interview, in which he described the atmosphere as “hostile”.
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, of Barking, 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.
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.
She added that her death “was part of a series of tit-for-tat attacks” which had been “increasing in ferocity”, and “although the target was not Jodie… there was a degree of planning”.
During the trial, each of the defendants blamed each other for the attack but a jury took less than six hours to find them both guilty of murder.
In an impact statement read before sentencing, Jodie’s father Peter Chesney said the death of his daughter “has destroyed my life”.
The 39-year-old, who was not in court, described how a year ago he had started a new job as a salesman in the City “and I was about to take over the world in a promising career.
“Now I sit here in the cabin in my garden writing this statement. I have left that job, the relationship with my wife has fallen apart and we are now getting divorced. I must sell my house, and above all, I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know,” he said.
Following the stabbing, Jodie collapsed into the arms of her boyfriend Eddie Coyle who told the court he had been “completely changed” by the events of that night.
“I find it hard to sleep most of the time. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD from this, and it keeps me up most nights so I don’t sleep,” he said.
The court had heard drug dealer Ong-a-Kwie and his runner Isaacs had been looking to take revenge on rivals but had killed Jodie by mistake.
The girl scout had been socialising with friends that evening when two figures emerged out of the dark and one plunged a knife in her back.
The two defendants fled in another drug dealer’s car but were arrested together days later as they fled from a house linked to Isaacs, the jury were told.
Ong-a-Kwie had convictions for possessing and supplying drugs and had admitted being in breach of a six-week suspended sentence for handling stolen jewellery.
Two other people – Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Romford, and a 16-year-old boy – were both cleared of murder and manslaughter.
Met Police officer Det Insp Perry Benton described the investigation as “one of the hardest I’ve ever dealt with”, adding that the defendants “have shown no remorse from day one”.
Speaking following the sentencing, Jodie’s uncle Terry Chesney said the family were “happy” with the jail terms and would now “try” to get on with their lives.
“Today was justice. We’ll never get her back, but we’ve got justice,” he 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.”