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 was 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 Saskia Jones, 23.
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 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.
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
- 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, where 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”.
Fulham’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic is available to return for the visit of Derby County after serving a ban.
Aboubakar Kamara, who scored two goals in Friday’s win over QPR while deputising for the Serb, may drop out.
Derby will check on midfielder Graeme Shinnie (hamstring) and forward Mason Bennett (ankle), who were both forced off during their win over Preston.
Matt Clarke, Scott Malone and Tom Huddlestone (all knee) and Ikechi Anya (calf) remain sidelined.
- Fulham have lost just one of their past 14 home league matches against Derby County (W7 D6 L1), a 1-0 defeat in April 1969.
- Six of the past seven league meetings between Fulham and Derby at Craven Cottage have ended as draws.
- Fulham have a higher possession figure (66.6%) and high percentage of short passes (90.2%) than any other team in the Championship this season.
- Derby have not lost four consecutive away league matches since March 2017 under Steve McClaren.
- Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara has scored doubles in each of his last two Championship starts at Craven Cottage, doing so in January 2018 against Ipswich and in their last home game against QPR.
- Derby have won none of their past 11 away league visits to London (D7 L4) with their last win in the capital in December 2016 away at QPR.
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.
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.
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.
The general election date is set and most MPs are entering campaign mode. Others, however, are clearing out their desk for the last time.
The House of Commons will lose over 1000 years of parliamentary experience with more than 50 incumbents preparing to stand down – and there may be more to come.
Here are the ones we know about so far:
Ken Clarke, is the longest serving MP in the House of Commons, known as the father of the house, having served his Rushcliffe constituency for almost half a century.
A long-time supporter of the UK’s membership of the EU, he was expelled from the Conservative Party by Boris Johnson, after he rebelled against the government over Brexit.
Sir Oliver Letwin, the former Conservative minister and West Dorset MP, who was recently at the forefront of Parliamentary attempts to delay Brexit.
Former Education Secretary and Brexit rebel Justine Greening (Putney), who said she can “achieve more positive change outside Parliament” and will now focus specifically on improving social mobility.
One-time Conservative leadership candidate and walking enthusiast Rory Stewart (Penrith and the Border), who is focusing on trying to beat Sadiq Khan in next year’s London mayoral election, as an independent candidate.
Former Home, and Work and Pensions, Secretary Amber Rudd, MP for the ultra-marginal Hastings and Rye seat, who resigned from the cabinet and surrendered the Tory whip over Brexit in September. She was not among those who had the whip restored by the PM on Tuesday.
Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), another Brexit rebel kept out in the cold by Boris Johnson – and so unable to stand as a Conservative candidate. Likewise Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford).
Nicky Morgan (Loughborough), the current culture secretary, surprised Westminster watchers by announcing her departure, citing the “clear impact” on her family and “the other sacrifices involved in and the abuse for doing the job of a modern MP”.
Claire Perry (Devizes), a former energy minister and president of COP26, a UN climate change conference.
Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), grandson of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill, who was among those kicked out of the party by Boris Johnson over his opposition to a no-deal Brexit.
He has now been welcomed back into the fold, but is standing down.
Readmitted rebels Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire), Richard Harrington (Watford), Richard Benyon (Newbury).
Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon who has been the MP for Sevenoaks since 1997 and before that MP for Darlington.
Sir David Lidington (Aylesbury) de-facto deputy PM under Theresa May wants to spend more time with his family while he is “still in active and good health”.
Former miner – and former minister – who has been in Parliament for 33 years – Sir Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire Dales).
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden), who cited “the intensity of abuse arising out of Brexit” in her resignation statement.
Jo Johnson (Orpington), the PM’s brother, who resigned from the cabinet over Brexit.
Other Tory MPs leaving the green benches will be:
- Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
- Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)
- Keith Simpson (Broadland)
- Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
- Mark Prisk (Hertford and Stortford)
- Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
- Sir Hugo Swire (East Devon)
- David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
- Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster)
- Seema Kennedy (South Ribble)
- Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth)
- Mims Davies (Eastleigh)
- Sir Alan Duncan (Melton and Rutland)
- Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon)
- Margot James (Stourbridge)
- Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North)
- Ross Thomson (Aberdeen South)
Of the Labour MPs who have announced their intention to step aside, a good number are either Brexiteers or against a second referendum.
Jim Fitzparick (Poplar and Limehouse) and Sir Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) have all voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal at some stage. Veteran trade unionist Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) and Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) backed leave in the 2016 referendum. John Mann (Bassetlaw) has already left and now sits in the House of Lords.
Ex-shadow justice minister Gloria De Piero (Ashfield), who expressed concern over the “lack of tolerance for different viewpoints” within her party in her resignation speech.
One-time leadership challenger Owen Smith (Pontypridd).
Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley), who at 82 is the oldest woman to sit in the House of Commons.
Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) – who quit Labour over anti-Semitism within the party – and Joan Ryan (Enfield North) and Ann Coffey (Stockport) now of Change UK. Suspended ex-Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) is retiring.
Other Labour MPs stepping down are:
- Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
- Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby)
- Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
- Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West)
- Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead)
- Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
- Albert Owen (Ynys Mon)
- Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)
- Ian Lucas (Wrexham)
- Helen Jones (Warrington North)
- Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)
Former party leader – and cabinet minister in the coalition government – Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham).
Former coalition government minister Sir Norman Lamb (North Norfolk), who is leaving Westminster to focus on setting up a fund for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.
Former Conservative and Change UK MP Heidi Allen (Cambridgeshire South), who only joined the Lib Dems a few weeks ago, said she had suffered “utterly dehumanising abuse” as an MP in a letter to her constituents announcing her future intentions.
In addition to being the House of Commons referee, former Conservative John Bercow is the MP for Buckingham, which he has represented since 1997.
Before he announced his decision to step down, the Conservative Party said it intended to break convention and run a candidate against him at the next election.
More on the election
The death of a woman in a fire in a north London maisonette is being treated as murder, police have said.
The victim was discovered by fire crews on the second floor of the building after they were called to Mingard Walk in Islington at 12:40 BST on Saturday.
A man, thought to be aged in his 30s, is in a critical condition in hospital having been rescued from the property.
The Met said it was treating the blaze as suspicious. No arrests have been made.
Police said formal identification of the woman and a post-mortem examination were due to take place.
About 25 firefighters and four fire engines were deployed to the four-storey block.
Part of the maisonette was damaged in the blaze.
A London flight to Philadelphia has been diverted to Dublin after reports of a “chemical spillage” on board.
American Airlines said two crew members and one passenger went to hospital “for evaluation” after flight AA729 from Heathrow landed at 13:15 GMT on Monday.
Airbus A330-300 landed due to an odour “caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley”, it added.
One passenger wrote on Twitter that the spillage “led to sickness outbreak and an emergency landing”.
Another passenger wrote that he and dozens of others had been left “standing around” Dublin Airport.
A spokeswoman for Dublin airport said the flight was diverted “for a medical emergency”.
“As per standard operating procedures there was a full turn-out of Dublin Airport’s emergency fire services,” she added.
A second American Airlines flight was met by emergency vehicles after it also was diverted to Dublin on Monday.
The airline said flight 787, from Paris to Charlotte in North Carolina was diverted after a passenger fell ill.
The passenger was taken from the plane for treatment and the flight is scheduled to depart later on Monday, a spokeswoman added.
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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.
“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.
Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was a man who used his car as a weapon to attempt to kill as many people as possible, spreading fear and terror.
“It was our view that this attack was carried out with a terrorist purpose and the sentence confirms this,” he added.
More than 130 people have been arrested in London at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Organisers have planned to shut down key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Activists barricaded themselves to vehicles in Westminster early on Monday as the demonstrations got under way.
Police were seen cutting two protesters from a car that had blocked Victoria Embankment, while campaigners also locked themselves to a mock Trident missile outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
Activists were also pictured on a barge on the Thames, according to BBC reporter, Bruce Thain.
Meanwhile, hundreds of campaigners have filled Trafalgar Square and blocked Lambeth and Westminster bridges.
A string of celebrities including fashion model Daisy Lowe, actress Juliet Stevenson and comedian Ruby Wax, joined campaigners at Trafalgar Square.
Ms Stevenson said the protests were “a very wonderful action”, revealing her son was attending them as a worker for Extinction Rebellion.
She told the Press Association (PA): “We can’t any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.
“There’s a long tradition in this country of people saying governments are not acting, we have to make them realise how urgent this is.
“I’m optimistic about the energy there is amongst people to act but I’m not hugely optimistic about government stepping up to the plate… We need to make them realise that time is not on our side at the moment.”
On Saturday Ms Lowe, 30, hosted a dinner to “celebrate and be educated” by Extinction Rebellion activists, and encouraged followers to join the protests.
She wrote on Instagram: “It is a terrifying reality we live in, but we have the power to change the course of history and save our planet.”
Sir Mark Rylance, the Oscar-winning actor joined a blockade in the Mall, and said “urgent action” was needed, The Times reports.
He told the newspaper: “We want a much deeper discussion and more urgent action.
“I’m a storyteller and this story dwarfs everything else.”
He added that he would not rule out being arrested, saying it was “worthwhile” for certain things.
“That depends on what situation arose. XR is here because the democratic process has failed.”
“I do think there are things that it’s worthwhile being arrested for and you can look back at many of the things that have changed in the past, people have been arrested.
“Notorious people like me who write letters and be arrested that’s not it, it’s many little changes in people’s hearts.”
In June, Sir Mark resigned as an associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) over its partnership with BP, which the theatre company has since vowed to end.
Meanwhile, activists from Animal Rebellion, a movement allied to Extinction Rebellion, began marching from Russell Square to Smithfield Meat Market on Monday afternoon.
Organisers said they plan to stage an overnight occupation of the market to share their “vision of a future plant-based food system”.
Fiona Oakes, the world record holding England long-distance runner and vegan campaigner, joined the action.
In an update shortly before 13:00 BST, organisers said several thousand people had blocked locations across Westminster, including Whitehall and the Mall.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said there were 135 arrests in connection with the protests as of 12:30 BST.
Extinction Rebellion said this included Sarah Lasenby, 81, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford.
Ms Lasenby, who the group says was part of efforts to block Embankment, said: “It is imperative that the government should take serious actions and put pressure on other states and global powers to radically reduce the use of fossil fuels.”
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
Extinction Rebellion organisers say they are expecting up to 30,000 people to take part in the fortnight-long demonstrations in the capital, which form part of an “international rebellion”.
Similar protests in the UK earlier this year brought major disruption to London and resulted in more than 1,100 arrests.
Up to 60 other cities around the world may also be disrupted in simultaneous events, according to a spokesperson for the group.
Activists will call on government departments to detail their plans to tackle the climate emergency.
Police in Australia and New Zealand have already arrested dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists on Monday.
Some 30 campaigners in Sydney were charged with committing offences after hundreds of protesters blocked a busy road.
The latest arrests in London come after the Met police arrested 11 people during the weekend.
A spokesperson for the force said eight people were arrested on Saturday after previously reporting 10. They have all been released under investigation.
One woman and two men were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. The men remain in custody while the woman has been released under investigation.
More than 1,000 people attended an “opening ceremony” at Marble Arch on Sunday night, which featured meditation and dancing.
Boris Johnson has insisted allegations about his personal conduct are not overshadowing the Tory conference.
Journalist Charlotte Edwardes has accused the PM of touching her thigh, and that of another woman, at a lunch in 1999, which he denies.
Rumours were circulating at conference that Mary Wakefield – who is married to the PM’s chief adviser – was the second woman, but she has rejected that.
The PM said people wanted to hear about his plans to “improve their lives”.
The row erupted after Ms Edwardes’ wrote a column in the Sunday Times on the eve of the Conservative conference in Manchester, describing the alleged incident.
The PM was already facing questions over his ties to a US businesswoman, Jennifer Arcuri, during his time as London mayor – he insists he acted with “full propriety”.
The Conservatives are trying to focus this week on their key conference message – “Get Brexit Done” – and a raft of policy pledges.
In her first column for the paper, Ms Edwardes said the incident took place in 1999. She said she was seated on Mr Johnson’s right at the lunch, held at the Spectator magazine’s offices – he 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.”
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.”
When it was put to him that the row was overshadowing everything else at the conference, he replied “not at all”.
“I think what the public want to hear is what we are doing to bring the country together and get on with improving their lives,” he added.
Ms Edwardes said another woman at the lunch later told her Mr Johnson had done the same to her.
Spectator magazine commissioning editor Ms Wakefield, who is married to the prime minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings, 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.”
Earlier, ex-Tory minister Justine Greening said Ms Edwardes’ story was “deeply concerning”.
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.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid, however, backed the PM.
“The prime minister has said that this is completely untrue,” he said. “I have full faith in the prime minister and I don’t doubt that and what he has said for a second.”
On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “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.”