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London Bridge attack: Convicted murderer Steven Gallant ‘did not hesitate’ to tackle knifeman

Steve Gallant, left, with Jack Merritt, right, shake hands

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Jack Merritt, right, who died in the London Bridge attack, worked with Steve Gallant, left, on the Learning Together rehabilitation course

A convicted murderer has said he “did not hesitate” to join the fight against the London Bridge knifeman in November.

Steven Gallant, 42, told how he began to tackle Usman Khan armed only with a chair during the attack which began at a nearby prisoner rehabilitation event.

Gallant, who was out on licence to attend the event, is serving a minimum of 17 years for killing ex-firefighter Barrie Jackson in Hull, 15 years ago.

Khan, who killed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, was later shot dead by police.

Three others were injured in the attack which began at Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29.

Gallant is the last of three people who were filmed restraining Khan on the bridge to be identified.

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Media captionVideo footage shows moment London Bridge attacker was apprehended

In his first interview since what he called “that tragic day”, Gallant said he went to investigate after he heard noises from a lower floor of the building.

“I could tell something was wrong and had to help,” he told PA news agency.

“I saw injured people. Khan was stood in the foyer with two large knives in his hands.”

“He was a clear danger to all, so I didn’t hesitate.”

Last month, civil servant Darryn Frost described how a man – now identified as Gallant – used a wooden chair to keep the knifeman at bay, before throwing it at Khan when he revealed his suicide belt, which was later shown to be fake.

Mr Frost said he then handed Gallant a narwhal tusk, which he had found on a nearby wall display, as Khan “started running towards him (Gallant) with knives raised above his head”.

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South African born Londoner Darryn Frost, left, rushed to find a second tusk with which he tackled Khan, right, on London Bridge

Gallant has offered “special thanks” to Mr Frost. “Had he not passed me the narwhal tusk at that crucial moment, not only could I have been killed, the situation could have been even worse,” he said.

He also described reformed ex-prisoner John Crilly, who used a fire extinguisher to help subdue Khan, and a chef – known only as Lukasz – who was stabbed five times when he stepped in to help, as “extremely brave”.

Gallant was jailed, alongside his accomplice James Gilligan, in 2015 for carrying out a fatal attack on 33-year-old former firefighter Mr Jackson.

During their trial, Hull Crown Court heard the attack was carried out because Gallant wrongly believed Mr Jackson had attacked his girlfriend.

“Nobody has the right to take another’s life and I offer my sincere apologies to my victim’s family for the hurt caused,” Gallant said.

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Barrie Jackson was killed by Steven Gallant and James Gilligan in an attack outside of a pub in Hull

“I can never bring that life back, and it is right that I was handed a severe penalty for my actions.

“Once I’d accepted my punishment, I decided to seek help.

“When you go to prison, you lose control of your life. Your own future relies on the decisions of others.

“Bettering yourself becomes one of the few things you can do while reducing the existing burden on society.”

Since going to prison, Gallant, who will be eligible for parole in 2022 subject to approval, has “vowed never to turn to violence again”.

He has since learned to read and write, is studying for a business studies degree and was taking part in the Learning Together rehabilitation project, which was hosting the event at which Khan struck.

He said the deaths of course co-ordinators Mr Merritt, who he met in 2016, and Miss Jones were an “unbearable blow” and the “sense of loss is immense”.

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Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed during a conference to rehabilitate offenders

Gallant described Mr Merritt as “role model and friend”.

He said: “Jack didn’t care who you were: he cared about you and your future; he saw who you could become and did not define you by your past. I will miss him badly.”

Miss Jones he said was “highly respected and loved” by those involved with the course.

He added that he and was “certain” the pair would wish for the Learning Together programme to continue.

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Derby County 2-1 Charlton Athletic: Jason Knight gives 10-man hosts much-needed win

Jason Knight’s first senior goals came in his 15th appearance for Derby

Jason Knight’s first goals in professional football were enough to give 10-man Derby a much-needed win over Charlton.

The hosts took an early lead when teenager Knight bundled home at the back post but soon found themselves reduced to 10 men when Krystian Bielik was sent off for a poor challenge on Conor Gallagher.

Knight looked to have made the points safe for the Rams, who went into the game on the back of seven matches without a victory, with a composed finish from Max Bird’s cross.

The Addicks pulled one back from the penalty spot through Lyle Taylor, after Curtis Davies felled Gallagher in the area, and Derby were then indebted to a great double save by goalkeeper Ben Hamer from Ben Dempsey and Taylor.

Victory moved Phillip Cocu’s men up to 17th in the table, two points and two places above Charlton.

It was a timely boost for the Rams, who will be able to call on the services of England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney for the rest of the season.

Despite playing against 10 men for over 70 minutes the Addicks only really threatened in the final 10 minutes of the game, and have won just once in 13 matches to slip to seven points above the relegation zone.

Derby could give a debut to Rooney in Thursday’s home game against strugglers Barnsley, while Charlton visit play-off hopefuls Swansea on the same night.

What the managers said

Derby boss Phillip Cocu: “I am extremely proud of how we performed. The discipline, how we defended and how we still played football with 10 men, we showed great character. The players stepped up today.

“Jason Knight had a fantastic game. Max Bird played like he’s been in the team for five years. It’s fantastic to see. Morgan Whittaker came on too and he made an impact.

“Rooney has so much quality and experience, so I am glad he is here. He is fit and would be ready to go, but needs a few games to build his minutes up.”

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer told BBC Radio London: “We were poor from start to finish. We were out-battled and out-fought. We were second to all the second balls.

“We got what we deserved – nothing from the game. We weren’t good enough. It’s as simple as that.

“We got in to so many good areas but our quality with our final ball was very, very bad. We kept hitting the front man.

“Too many people were hiding. It wasn’t good.”



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Tottenham appeal against Son Heung-min’s red card in defeat by Chelsea

It is the second time this season Son has been sent off, although his first dismissed was overturned on appeal

Tottenham have appealed against the red card shown to Son Heung-min in the loss to Chelsea on Sunday, manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

The South Korean was sent off in the second half of the 2-0 defeat after VAR ruled he had kicked out at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

Spurs are waiting to find out if Son will be available for the Boxing Day game with Brighton.

“I hope Son is not punished five times,” Mourinho said.

“One time was the foul that Rudiger did on him. The second is to be sent off. The third would be not to play against Brighton. The fourth not to play against Norwich and the fifth not to play against Southampton.

“So I hope to be punished twice is enough, he doesn’t deserve for the third the fourth or the fifth.”

It is the second time Son has been sent off this season after he was dismissed in the 1-1 draw with Everton on 3 November.

Son was dismissed in that game for a tackle that led to Everton midfielder Andre Gomes suffering a serious ankle injury but it was overturned by the Football Association.

However, Mourinho thinks it should be Rudiger’s reaction to Son’s challenge that is coming under scrutiny, and not Son’s action.

“I hope the Premier League is still the Premier League and will always be the Premier League and I think the focus should be on Antonio Rudiger and not on Son,” Mourinho said.

“I’m not speaking about the racism incident, this is another thing. I am speaking about that incident, the red card.

“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.”

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London Fire Brigade ‘slow and wasteful’, according to inspectors

Firefighters attend a fire in premises on the Walworth Road

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Inspectors found some London firefighters had not received essential training in years

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been “wasteful” and “slow to implement changes” needed after the Grenfell Tower fire, a watchdog has said.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found firefighters missed training and attended too many false alarms.

The LFB saw the report six weeks ago and commissioner Dany Cotton stood down earlier than had been planned.

Essex and Gloucestershire were also found to be underperforming.

Of 15 fire services to be inspected, London, Essex and Gloucestershire were the three to be rated as requiring improvement.

Matt Parr, HM Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), said of the LFB: “Many of its projects are wasteful, projects get started and stalled. The organisation as a whole is slow to learn.

“We are absolutely not criticising every firefighter in London – there are lots of people who are very dedicated.

“But what it doesn’t leave you with is the impression that the organisation is well-run and where value for money is top of their agenda.”

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Dany Cotton will stand down as London’s fire chief at the end of this month

Ms Cotton had been due to retire in April but brought her departure forward and will stand down at the end of the year.

The report said LFB had “clearly learned lessons from the Grenfell Tower incident”.

However, it “has been slow to implement the changes needed, which is typical of the brigade’s approach to organisational change”, it added.

The report found some fire engine drivers had not received refresher training for up to 20 years, despite national guidance recommending this took place every five years.

There has been no systematic training programme for firefighters tasked with responding to terror attacks in the capital.

Many frontline officers did not have suitable personal protective equipment and “lacked the confidence” to respond, the report found.

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Inspectors said London fire crews attended too many unnecessary false alarms

LFB response times – some six minutes and 39 seconds on average as of the year 2017-18 – were “excellent”, but the report said about 48% of its call-outs were to false alarms and not enough was being done to reduce unnecessary call-outs.

In another finding, relevant to the Grenfell disaster, inspectors found LFB was the only service in the country not follow national operational guidelines.

Mr Parr said: “I don’t think there’s any justification for having a ‘we do it our way’ approach in London at all.”

Andy Roe, who will replace Ms Cotton as London Fire Commissioner from January, said: “I recognise that what’s been highlighted in the report isn’t good enough and as the new commissioner I am committed to making the necessary improvements when I take on the position in January.

“We are already delivering some of the key improvements they have highlighted and doing everything we can to provide the best possible service to the people of London and keep them safe.”

What did inspectors say elsewhere?

HMICFRS carried out a root and branch examination across one third of the country’s 45 fire services.

Six of the 15 fire services were deemed good in effectiveness and efficiency of their services, as well as how they treated people.

The report found Essex Fire Brigade required improvement in preventing fires and other risks and promoting promoting diversity.

Essex’s Chief Fire Officer and chief executive, Jo Turton said: “There are no surprises in these findings; the feedback echoes what we told the inspectorate, and reassures us that we are self-aware and that our focus is in the right areas.”

Gloucestershire Fire’s report said it was “one of the worst” services and highlighted issues leading up to the resignation of former chief Stewart Edgar.

The report mentioned “distressing examples of previous bullying and harassment by senior leaders”, which included staff being “humiliated” in front of peers.

Those managers, the report added, threatened “demotion for temporary promoted managers if they didn’t carry out certain leaders’ wishes”.

But it also highlighted positives, including that the service had “by quite a margin, the biggest proportion of female firefighters in England”, though attempts to recruit more BAME firefighters had fallen much shorter.

The watchdog also carried out inspections of 12 other fire and rescue services. It found:

  • Concerns over some aspects of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Cleveland Fire Brigade was performing to a good standard
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service was performing to a good standard
  • Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service was performing to a good standard
  • Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service rated as good by inspectors
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service needed to make improvements
  • A mixed picture for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
  • North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service needed to make improvements
  • Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was performing well
  • Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was rated good
  • South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was rated good
  • West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was performing to a good standard

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West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners gain first win under Freddie Ljungberg

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored 11 Premier League goals this season and 13 in all competitions

Arsenal came from behind to end their nine-match winless streak as Freddie Ljungberg enjoyed his first victory as interim manager at the expense of his former club West Ham.

Eighteen-year-old Gabriel Martinelli marked his full Premier League debut by side-footing an equaliser which cancelled out Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected first-half opener at London Stadium.

Within nine minutes, Nicolas Pepe had curled a magnificent second into the top corner and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a third.

The salvo turned the game on its head and piled the pressure on West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have taken four points from their past nine league games and conceded three times in three successive home games.

The Hammers remain a point above the relegation zone in 16th and face a trip to third-bottom Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal move up two places to ninth.

West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners ‘worked their socks off’ for win – Freddie Ljungberg

Arsenal recover from dismal start

Arsenal’s victory was all the more remarkable because until Martinelli added to the seven goals he has scored in cup competitions this season, the visitors had been utterly woeful.

Club officials had spoken before kick-off about the improved atmosphere triggered by Ljungberg’s appointment as Unai Emery’s replacement but it appeared this game would end in frustration, just as the previous two had done under the Swede.

The visitors were bereft of confidence and mild boos from the travelling support accompanied the end of a first half in which their side failed to have a shot on target and went behind when Ogbonna’s header bounced in off Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

True, they did not have much luck. Hector Bellerin was injured in the warm-up and when Kieran Tierney was helped off in obvious pain with a shoulder injury sustained in a seemingly innocuous tangle with Michail Antonio, Ljungberg had lost both his first-choice full-backs in the space of half an hour.

Nevertheless, it was pitiful stuff and when Aubameyang surged down the right wing and sent over a cross that flew over everyone and straight out for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch, it was symptomatic of a club apparently heading nowhere fast.

West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Manuel Pellegrini rues Hammers defensive mistakes

‘Nerveless’ Martinelli rewards Ljungberg’s faith

It was 1977 when Arsenal last went 10 matches without a win. With an away Europa League game against Standard Liege followed by a home encounter with Manchester City to come, at the interval it was not beyond the realms of possibility that the 12-game barren sequence from 1974 was going to be threatened.

With Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz on the bench, it was two of Arsenal’s most inexperienced players who sparked the change in fortune.

Ljungberg had obviously seen enough of Martinelli in two substitute appearances to trust the Brazilian with his first league start. The reward was a nerveless finish when his side needed it most. Sead Kolasinac provided the cross but there was still a lot to do for the Brazilian, who steered a first-time effort into the corner.

Emery paid a club record £72m for Pepe in August. With one league goal all season, the Frenchman has not really lived up to his billing but his goal here, a curling shot into the right-hand corner of David Martin’s net, was perfect in its execution.

Aubameyang made certain of a win few would have anticipated 10 minutes earlier when his clinical finish took his tally for the season to 13. It disguised the fact he had been a virtual spectator for the first hour.

At the final whistle, Ljungberg ran to applaud the visiting fans, knowing he had given his own chances of replacing Emery a significant boost.

What now for the unhappy Hammers?

Angelo Ogbonna also scored in West Ham’s last home match – a 3-2 loss against Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham

When they beat Chelsea 1-0 nine days ago to end their own winless sequence, it appeared West Ham were on an upward curve.

The combination of boos and thousands of empty seats that accompanied the final whistle on Monday underlined the truth of the matter.

West Ham are perilously close to dropping into the relegation zone, something the club cannot countenance after moving to the 60,000-capacity London Stadium.

Even if Pellegrini survives this defeat, if West Ham lose again at Southampton on Saturday the calls for his dismissal will become piercingly loud.

This was the third home game running in which they had conceded three goals.

The Hammers were not particularly convincing when they were in front. Once they lost the advantage, the lack of confidence so clear in Arsenal’s play transferred to theirs.

Record signing Sebastien Haller was left on the bench and even when he was introduced 20 minutes from time, he made no noticeable impact.

Man of the match: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)

At 18 years 174 days, Gabriel Martinelli is the youngest player to score for Arsenal on his first Premier League start for the club.

‘Like a Duracell battery’ – what they said

Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg told BBC Sport: “The players have belief and tried to move the ball with more tempo. West Ham got tired.

“The players ran their socks off and fought. I believe in them. When I could see them put their shift in, I could see the quality. I thought ‘it is here for the taking’.

“Martinelli did amazingly. He is like a Duracell battery, he keeps going. Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] is a tremendous player but I had to make a tough decision.”

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini told BBC Sport: “For 60 minutes there was just one team on the pitch. But football can be like this.

“We made mistakes in moments of defending. The problem was a lack of patience and quality to decide the game with a second goal and we made important mistakes in defence.

“The pressure for me is exactly the same if we win or lose. When you don’t have results things are more difficult. If I had not seen the team play the way they did in the first 65 minutes, I might have doubts [about his ability to turn things around].

“After Southampton at the weekend we have a break. We must try to recover as quickly as we can and we must try to win those three points.”

Rare Arsenal recovery away from home – the stats

  • West Ham have lost three in a row at home in the Premier League for the first time since August 2015.
  • Arsenal came from a half-time losing position to win a Premier League away game for the first time since October 2011 (5-3 v Chelsea).
  • Gabriel Martinelli is Arsenal’s fourth-youngest scorer in the Premier League (18 years 174 days), after Cesc Fabregas, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
  • Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been involved in 12 goals in his past 11 Premier League London derbies (nine goals, three assists).
  • Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, Aubameyang has scored 43 goals in the competition, a joint-high along with Jamie Vardy.

What’s next?

Arsenal conclude their Europa League group phase campaign at Standard Liege on Thursday (17:55 GMT), still needing a draw to be sure of qualification before entertaining Manchester City at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday (16:30). West Ham visit Southampton on Saturday (17:30).



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Arsenal: Freddie Ljungberg should not get manager’s job on long-term basis – Chris Sutton

Freddie Ljungberg played 328 times for Arsenal in a nine-year spell at the club, helping them win the Premier League twice and the FA Cup three times

Freddie Ljungberg is not the right man to manage Arsenal on a long-term basis, said former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton.

Ex-Gunners midfielder Ljungberg, 42, is in interim charge of the club after they sacked Unai Emery last month.

“Freddie said he was 100% sure they would get into the top four but based on what? It’s fantasy,” said Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

“They need to get someone in place that they are going to get a reaction from.”

Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007, had been Emery’s assistant after working with their under-23 side but has no previous managerial experience.

In his only game in charge so far, the Gunners twice fell behind to a Norwich City side in the bottom three before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice equalised in a 2-2 draw.

That result left Arsenal eighth in the Premier League, 21 points behind leaders Liverpool and seven behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Norwich 2-2 Arsenal: Freddie Ljungberg says first few days have been steep learning curve

“Did you expect them to be much different?” added Sutton, a Premier League title winner with Blackburn in 1994-95. “It has been the same for the last decade and it’s still the same problem.

“They need to change the model, the recruitment. Over the summer they brought in [winger] Nicolas Pepe [for £72m] but the issues were at the back.”

Former Aston Villa and Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend agreed with Sutton and said: “I don’t think it’s the right time for Freddie to take over, not the right time for someone who is inexperienced at this level.

“Arsenal need someone to come in and teach them about defending.

“Calum Chambers has been around long enough to see if there’s been an improvement but there hasn’t been. I don’t think he’s good enough to be an Arsenal regular.

“Sokratis is nowhere near good enough. I don’t think he would get into any Premier League side.”

‘If you rely on Sokratis you will be changing manager every six months’

Arsenal have conceded 21 goals in 12 Premier League matches – no side in the top 12 has conceded more

Emery’s sacking by Arsenal came 10 days after Tottenham dismissed Mauricio Pochettino, although Spurs acted decisively by bringing in Jose Mourinho the next day.

“At Tottenham they sacked the manager, it was a bit harsh but the time had come, and they had a manager six hours later, that’s how Arsenal should’ve done it,” said former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam.

“Whoever comes in, it’s a short-term fix and in January he will need two centre-halves but there’s no money.”

Townsend added: “Jose Mourinho, when he looked at the Spurs team and the players he was working with, he has Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and thought ‘we have half a chance’.

“With Arsenal you will think ‘I can win games with these players but I’ve got to sort out a team’. You will never stop Sokratis making mistakes. If you rely on him you will be changing manager every six months.”

Rodgers the ‘perfect fit’ for Arsenal – Adam

On Monday, Brendan Rodgers, manager of second-placed Leicester, dismissed speculation linking him with the Arsenal job, although on Sunday he had revealed there was a release clause in his Foxes contract.

“If Arsenal make the phone call and offer whatever that buy-out clause is, £15-£20m, that’s nothing to Arsenal. That sort of money they should find in a heartbeat,” added Townsend.

“They would spend it on a player and throw it away in 10 games. They spent £72m on Pepe and he does not get a game. To spend £25m on Brendan Rodgers, if he is the one they want then why wait?

“We’ve all enjoyed the Leicester story. It has been one of incredible highs and they are a great watch but they’re not on the same level globally as Arsenal are – to be back at Arsenal would be him back up among the elite.”

Why would I want to leave Leicester? – Brendan Rodgers

Adam described Rodgers as “the perfect fit” for Arsenal but doubted whether it would be the best decision from the former Liverpool and Celtic boss to leave Leicester for Arsenal.

“I don’t think it would be a good move for Rodgers,” said Adam. “At Leicester you have a new £100m training ground, four or five players at the top of their game – players like Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy, James Maddison.

“I would want my manager to say ‘I’m not interested in any other job’. If you don’t want to get it out there you don’t admit you have a buy-out clause. I think he wants the job.”

What about the other contenders?

Townsend believes Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who won the Championship in 2017-18 and guided them to seventh in the Premier League last season, is the right man at Emirates Stadium.

“When I see the job he’s done at Wolves, getting them promoted, making them a seriously good team to watch, Nuno would be great,” said Townsend.

“He looks like a coach who wants to get into a player’s head and turn them around and some of the Arsenal players need that.”

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are currently sixth in the Premier League and drew 1-1 away at Arsenal in November

Townsend also mentioned former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez as another strong contender, but did not think Pochettino would move and join Tottenham’s fiercest rivals after more than five years in charge of Spurs.

“I wonder what the Arsenal fans would think of Benitez,” added Townsend. “He has been successful and managed at big clubs and has a history of trying to organise a team – and Arsenal need that.

“It’s too early for Mauricio Pochettino, he needs a breather instead of bouncing out of one job and into another.

“He was gone at the end. Have Christmas off at home and enjoy time with his family and friends. Pochettino can get a better job than Arsenal.”

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Uber loses licence to operate in London

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Media captionJamie Heywood, who manages Uber’s UK operation, says the firm will appeal

Uber will not be granted a new licence to operate in London after repeated safety failures, Transport for London (TfL) has said.

The regulator said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations.

Uber initially lost its licence in 2017 but was granted two extensions, the most recent of which expires on Monday.

The firm will appeal and can continue to operate during that process.

London is one of Uber’s top five markets globally and it has about 45,000 drivers in the city. Overall, there are 126,000 licensed private hire and black cabs in the capital.

If its appeal is unsuccessful, some think Uber drivers would move over to rival ride-sharing firms such as Bolt and Kapten.”There would be competition that would fill that void quite quickly,” Fiona Cincotta, a market analyst at City Index told the BBC.

Why won’t Uber get a new licence?

TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” in London that placed passenger safety at risk.

These included a change to Uber’s systems which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

It meant there were at least 14,000 fraudulent trips in London in late 2018 and early 2019, TfL said.

The regulator also found dismissed or suspended drivers had been able to create Uber accounts and carry passengers. In one example, a driver was able to continue working for Uber, despite the fact his private hire licence had been revoked after he was cautioned for distributing indecent images of children.

Helen Chapman, director of licensing at TfL, said: “While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe.”

‘I feel safe using Uber’

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Donna Stevens says her experiences of using Uber in London have “always been positive”.

In her job as a carer she often works late, so regularly uses the service. “The drivers are friendly, courteous and professional. I can’t afford to get a metered taxi.”

She says that if Uber were to go, she would probably have to go back to using public transport late at night, which does not make her feel safe.

However, another reader, Kay, says she would not be sad to see Uber go.

“I complained a couple of months ago about a driver who made me feel so uncomfortable I abandoned the ride and walked home in the dark at 11 o’clock at night instead of staying in his cab.”

She says Uber gave her a £5 credit but did not apologise. “How is it OK to employ drivers that make women feel unsafe?” she says.

Is this the end of Uber in London?

Uber lovers in London, fear not! The company’s cars will not suddenly disappear from the capital’s streets.

Uber is going to appeal against this decision so a magistrate will have to decide whether Uber is fit to hold a licence in London, or not.

A decision from a magistrates court could take weeks or months and unless the court decides otherwise, Uber will retain its licence during this period too.

When TfL decided not to renew Uber’s licence in 2017, the company addressed some of the issues raised by TfL back then and then a magistrate later granted Uber a new licence.

On the face of it TfL is standing tough against perceived failings by Uber. But in effect it is letting the courts decide, at a later date, whether Uber should have a licence, or not.

What does Uber say?

Uber said the decision was “extraordinary and wrong”. It said it had audited every driver in London over the past two months and strengthened its processes.

Boss Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted: “We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong. Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London.”

According to Uber, 24% of its sales come from just five cities, including London. The others are Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and São Paulo in Brazil.

In a public filing, it said: “Any inability to operate in London, as well as the publicity concerning any such termination or non-renewal, would adversely affect our business, revenue, and operating results.

“We cannot predict whether the TfL decision, or future regulatory decisions or legislation in other jurisdictions, may embolden or encourage other authorities to take similar actions even where we are operating according to the terms of an existing licence or permit.”

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In May, hundreds of Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow staged a protest against the firm over pay and conditions

What do others say?

Business lobby group the CBI said customers valued Uber, and encouraged both sides to find a resolution.

But the Unite union – which believes Uber has unfairly taken business from black cab drivers – welcomed the news.

“Uber’s DNA is about driving down standards and creating a race to the bottom which is not in the best interests of professional drivers or customers,” said Jim Kelly, chair of Unite’s London and Eastern cab section.

Where else has banned Uber?

Uber has faced pressure from regulators around the world over the way it treats its drivers, competition concerns, and fears about passenger safety.

The US firm pulled out of Denmark in 2017 because of new taxi laws that required drivers to have fare meters and seat sensors.

Bulgaria and Hungary both stripped Uber’s right to operate following pressure from local taxi unions.

And in May, the ride-hailing firm pulled its UberXL service in Turkey without saying why.

What happened in London in 2017?

TfL first declined to renew Uber’s licence in September 2017, again over safety concerns. Back then it cited Uber’s approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.

Uber’s use of secret software, called “Greyball”, which could be used to block regulators from monitoring the app, was another factor, although Uber said it had never been used in the UK.

However, TfL granted Uber a 15-month licence extension – later extended by two months – conditional on it making improvements to its business.

TfL can offer licences of up to five years, but it has been more stringent of late.

In July, Indian ride-hailing company Ola got a 15-month agreement for its entry into the London market, while ViaVan got a three-year licence renewal.


Would you be sad to see Uber go in London? Or would you just move on to another ride-hailing app? Share your reactions by emailing .

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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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Unai Emery: Arsenal manager given public backing but ‘things need to improve’

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester leaves Arsenal sixth in the Premier League, eight points outside the top four

Unai Emery has been offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy, but warned results must improve.

Emery’s position is under scrutiny after a run of just two wins from their last 10 Premier League games.

However, Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham say they have no immediate plans to make a change of manager.

“We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting.

“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.

“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season.

“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.

“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”

Xhaka ‘hurt’ by hostile criticism

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says he has been hurt by the “extreme hostility” directed towards him from the supporters, but has promised to prove his worth.

Xhaka, 27, was stripped of the club captaincy after being involved in an angry confrontation with home fans during the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on 27 October.

The Switzerland midfielder has not played for the club since.

“It was very hurtful and frustrating,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick