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Man admits to trying to rob Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac

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Media captionFootage posted online showed Sead Kolasinac fighting off an attacker

A second man has admitted trying to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac in a moped ambush.

Jordan Northover, 26, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to steal watches from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.

His co-accused Ashley Smith, 30, of Archway in North London, admitted his role in the crime in October.

CCTV footage showed Bosnian defender Kolasinac chasing off the two masked attackers on 25 July

In the video, that circulated on social media, 26-year-old Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.

He can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.

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Arsenal Football Club said both Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were fine after the incident

In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at full-back Kolasinac.

World Cup winner Özil can also be seen in his black Mercedes G class jeep before he reportedly took refuge in a Turkish restaurant.

Kolasinac and Germany midfielder Özil were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the incident.

Judge Rosa Dean said Smith would be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

Northover will be sentenced at a later date.

Özil told the Athletic sports site that he was scared for his wife Amine as the attackers pursued his car.

“Sead’s reaction was really, really brave because he attacked one of the attackers,” he said.

“I tried to move the car, block them, escape, but each time they would be there. My wife was extremely scared.”

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Grenfell Tower fire: Response must be ‘national emergency’, say survivors

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Media captionWhat do survivors and bereaved families want from the inquiry?

A survivors’ group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire, calling for the government to treat its response as “a national emergency”.

The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.

It was critical of the London Fire Brigade’s response and said the tower did not meet building regulations.

The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.

Campaign group Grenfell United said the report showed “the immediate and real dangers” of “highly combustible cladding and insulation”.

“Lives are at risk and the government need to treat this as a national emergency,” the group said.

The report made 46 recommendations, including improvements in training for fire brigade staff and the development of national guidelines for evacuating high-rise buildings.

Grenfell United called for the recommendations to be implemented in full, saying they would save lives.

The report condemned the LFB for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.

Grenfell United responded: “It is heartbreaking to read that more of our loved ones could have been saved that night if the building was evacuated earlier.”

At an emotional press conference, relatives of 20 victims of the fire called for an overhaul of the LFB, saying its leadership should resign and even face prosecution.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the fire, said some firefighters displayed a “serious lack of common sense” and failed to see “what was so vivid in front of them”.

“If a fire happened tonight the same thing would happen again,” she said.

‘Too little too late’

The report said evidence from London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton that she would not have changed anything about the brigade’s response was “insensitive”.

Ms Cotton said many of the recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully considered”.

She expressed her “deepest sorrow at not being able to save all those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire”.

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Media captionLFB chief Dany Cotton: “We are truly sorry we couldn’t save everyone’s life that night”

She added: “We welcome the chairman’s recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night, but we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.”

However, Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United who was rescued with her six-year-old daughter from the 11th floor, said Dany Cotton’s statement was “too little too late”.

“She stood up in the inquiry, in a room full of bereaved and survivors and said there’s nothing she would do to change that night,” she told the BBC.

“If she’d expressed that sorrow that day in that room, that potentially would have washed with us today.”

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White doves were released at a memorial service earlier this year to mark two years since the tragedy

Grenfell United expressed concern at the report’s finding that the LFB were “at risk of not learning the lessons from Grenfell”, adding that firefighters were “let down by their training, procedures, equipment and leadership”.

Other issues highlighted in the report included:

  • A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
  • Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
  • Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
  • An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
  • Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
  • A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”

In the House of Commons, MPs held a minutes’ silence to remember victims of the fire, before a debate on the inquiry.

Boris Johnson told MPs that survivors and the bereaved had been “overlooked and ignored” before the fire and “shamefully failed” afterwards.

The second phase of the inquiry will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.

While this was not the focus of the first phase, the report found there was “compelling evidence” external walls of the building failed to comply with building regulations and “actively promoted” the spread of fire.

It said the principal reason the flames shot up the building so fiercely was the combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene cores which acted as a “source of fuel”.

Grenfell United said the second phase of the inquiry “must now focus on where responsibility for the devastating refurbishment [of the building] lies”, with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the tenant management organisation and the companies involved facing “serious questions”.

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Glyn Hodges: AFC Wimbledon appoint caretaker boss as permanent manager

Glyn Hodges scored two goals in 18 appearances for Wales

League One side AFC Wimbledon have appointed caretaker boss Glyn Hodges as their new permanent manager.

The ex-Wales midfielder, 56, has been in charge since Wally Downes was suspended by the club last month, after being charged by the Football Association over bets placed on games.

Downes left Wimbledon on Sunday, two days after being given a four-week FA suspension for admitting the charge.

Former Wimbledon player Hodges had been assistant to Downes at Kingsmeadow.

“To have been at Wimbledon as a young apprentice at 16 years of age, then to return and actually get the job, and now to have an opportunity to take the club back to Plough Lane, is what dreams are made of,” he said.

“I’m absolutely delighted and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve enjoyed the last month, it’s been fantastic. I will be giving it my all.”

Hodges won four of his six matches in temporary charge, with Wimbledon 21st in League One, one point from safety.

Until joining the club in December Hodges had worked under Mark Hughes at Wales, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City.

His only previous managerial stint came in an interim spell in charge of Barnsley, during the 2002-03 campaign.

“It feels fantastic, but I’ve got to pay tribute to Wally, as we go back a long way,” he added. “I’ve got to thank him for bringing me here to take this opportunity.”

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Nightclub rapists ‘high-fived’ after Soho attack

Ferdinando Orlando and Lorenzo Costanzo

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Ferdinando Orlando (left) and Lorenzo Costanzo (right) were filmed ‘bragging’ about ‘attackin

Two men who high-fived each other after raping a woman in a nightclub have been found guilty of the attack.

Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, led the victim into a store room and assaulted her.

After leaving her in the ladies’ toilets the pair appeared to celebrate the attack inside the club, on Argyll Street, Soho, police said.

Italian nationals Orlando and Costanzo will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on 1 November.

The Met Police said the 23-year-old woman required surgery after the attack on 25 February 2017.

Lewd gestures

CCTV showed both defendants dancing with the woman and attempting to kiss her, officers said.

They were then seen breaking a lock on the maintenance room door before escorting her inside.

The men took turns to rape the woman before carrying her to the toilets after the attack, officers said.

She was found by staff an hour later, struggling to walk and in “extreme pain”.

Further footage showed Orlando and Costanzo run up the stairs to the nightclub exit, where they were seen high-fiving each other and making lewd gestures as they re-enacted the attack on a mobile phone.

Det Sgt Rebecca Woodsford described the rape as a “truly traumatic experience for the victim”.

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Police said the victim was ‘visibly drunk and unsteady on her feet’

Costanzo returned to Italy hours after he had carried out the attack,

On 15 March 2018, Costanzo returned to the UK to watch a football match in London and he was arrested at Heathrow Airport and charged the following day.

Orlando, who was also convicted of one count of GBH, left around a week later than his friend.

After Costanzo’s arrest, Orlando contacted police and flew back to the UK, where he was arrested upon his return.

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Extinction Rebellion: Police order activists to move or face arrest

Police removing a protester

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Demonstrators who refuse to move to a specified area of Trafalgar Square face arrest

Extinction Rebellion activists intending to continue protesting in central London “must” go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest, police have warned.

Police enforced a Section 14 notice to stop “serious disruption” to communities, after officers removed those camped out in Westminster.

Police have made 531 arrests over the two days of protests.

The prime minister has described the activists as “uncooperative crusties”.

But campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham said they are “the concerned people of the world.”

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.

Protesters say they are occupying 11 sites in central London and people have travelled from across the UK to take part in the demonstrations.

Activists glued themselves to a government department and to the underside of a lorry outside another.

A protester who attached himself to the top of a trailer with a bike lock for more than 28 hours in Trafalgar Square was arrested and removed from the area by five police officers.

The Metropolitan Police said at 17:30 BST on Tuesday there had been 531 total arrests over the two days, including 212 on Tuesday.

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Police have made 531 total arrests over two days of protests

Police have enforced a Section 14 Notice of the Public Order Act 1986, forcing those who wish to continue protesting to move to the pedestrianised area around Nelson’s column in Trafalgar square.

Anyone suspected of breaching the condition – which has no time limit – could be arrested and prosecuted, police said.

A Section 14 order allows the police to impose conditions on a static protest – where campaigners are gathered in one place, rather than marching.

To impose the condition, police must have evidence that serious disruption is being caused to communities.

Activists have attached themselves to the underside of a lorry, which is blocking the road outside the Home Office.

The vehicle is parked on Marsham Street, where hundreds of protesters set up camp overnight. One activist climbed on top of the lorry and set up a tent.

There was a large police presence in the area on Tuesday, with pictures showing officers removing activists from the lorry.

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Media captionBoris Johnson’s comments came as he attended a book launch

Protesters have also glued themselves to the Department for Transport building – a tactic used in similar protests in April.

Two activists have attached themselves to the doors of the building, while others demonstrate outside.

Meanwhile, a group have placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament, in Old Palace Yard, as they call on the government to plant billions of trees across the UK.

Trees have been dedicated to MPs, and protesters hope they will use them to reforest the country.

Sean Clay, 36, from Newcastle, told the BBC: “Planting trees would go a long way to restore the habitats we have lost as well as absorbing carbon emissions.”

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Activists have created a “fledgling forest”

Asked about Boris Johnson’s description of demonstrators, Packham told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I was there yesterday. I met farmers, I met teachers, I met scientists, I met lawyers, I met grandparents, I met mothers and fathers, and I met children.

“These are the concerned people of the world.”

Mr Johnson had suggested while attending a book launch on Monday that the demonstrators should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads.

Protester Claudia Fisher, 57, from Brighton said campaigners would like to discuss their views with the prime minister.

Responding to his description of activists as “uncooperative crusties”, Ms Fisher said: “We are a little bit crusty, I’ll put my hands up to it, after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not uncooperative.

“We’re actually very co-operative. We… would really like to hear what he has to say, and we’d really like him to… hear what we have to say.”

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Activists set up tents throughout Westminster, including Horseferry Road

John Curran, a 49-year-old former detective sergeant for the Metropolitan Police, was one of the protesters who camped overnight.

Mr Curran, who has a three-year-old daughter, says he was arrested while protesting with Extinction Rebellion in April, and is willing to be arrested again.

He said: “Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the government.

“Take action, and we won’t have to be here.”

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A food van served porridge to protesters who stayed near to Parliament Square overnight

Activists camped at Smithfield Market overnight, but say they allowed traders to operate.

‘This is a last resort’

By Becky Morton, BBC News

There is a festival atmosphere in Westminster as Extinction Rebellion activists emerge from their tents to stage a second day of protests in central London.

The roads around Parliament – normally full with traffic – are instead dotted with encampments of tents, gazebos and makeshift food points, where hundreds of protesters from across the country spent the night.

Volunteers serve bowls of porridge from a truck, while others bang drums and join sing-alongs.

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Activists camped overnight and glued themselves to buildings, roads and lorries over two days of protests in central London

Read Becky’s full report here.

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Activists erected tents in Trafalgar Square on the second day of protests

In an update at 17:44 BST on Tuesday, Transport for London (Tfl) said road closures included the Strand in both directions between Lancaster Place and Trafalgar Square; Trafalgar Square itself and Whitehall in both directions.

Also closed are Parliament Square; Marsham Street; Horseferry Road; and Millbank in both directions between Parliament Square and Horseferry Road.

All bridges remain open, however there is no access from Westminster Bridge into Parliament Square.

Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Man holding a Extinction Rebellion placard


Extinction Rebellion facts

  • 2025year when the group 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.

Read more here.

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Banksy shop featuring Stormzy stab vest appears in Croydon

Gross Domestic Product exhibition

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The shop appeared overnight at a disused retail outlet in Croydon

Elusive artist Banksy has set up a shop in south London featuring the stab vest he designed for Stormzy’s headline act at the Glastonbury Festival.

A re-imaging of Tony the Tiger and a cradle surrounded by CCTV cameras are also on show as part of the venture, at a disused retail outlet in Croydon.

The shop appeared overnight on Church Street.

“I’m opening a shop today,” the artist said on Instagram. “Although the doors don’t actually open”.

He said he was going to sell products online and that people could visit the shop for the next two weeks.

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Items that will be available to buy are on display in Croydon

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Inside the “shop” in Croydon

He added he was being “forced” to launch the online shop – called Gross Domestic Product – because a greeting cards company was attempting to legally trade off of his name.

The artist is being advised that opening a shop which sold his merchandise would help him protect the trademark on his art.

In a statement, Banksy said: “A greetings cards company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art, and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.

“I think they’re banking on the idea I won’t show up in court to defend myself.”

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The stab vest worn by Stormzy is on show

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The grime artist is from Croydon

Items being sold in the shop include welcome mats made from life vests salvaged from the shores of the Mediterranean, which have been hand-stitched by women in detainment camps in Greece.

There are also disco balls made from police riot helmets and a toddler’s counting toy where children are encouraged to load wooden migrant figures inside a haulage truck.

Banksy said proceeds would go towards buying a new migrant rescue boat to replace one allegedly confiscated by Italian authorities.

He said despite trying to defend his artistic rights in this particular case, he had not changed his position on copyright.

“I still encourage anyone to copy, borrow, steal and amend my art for amusement, academic research or activism. I just don’t want them to get sole custody of my name.”

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Rats often appear in Banksy’s work

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Tony the Tiger, a character used on a cereal box, is depicted as a rug

It comes as one of Banksy’s paintings which shows the House of Commons packed with chimpanzees is set to be auctioned at Sotheby’s on Thursday.

Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, owner of street art gallery Rise, said: “It’s incredible that we have this work, very clearly the work of a very famous artist who we all kind of love. It couldn’t be any more authentic.”

A Banksy collector who came to see the display, said: “It’s brilliant. So good that it’s happening.

“I doubt he (Banksy) will turn up and go ‘hello lads, how are ya?’ But he’s obviously around.”

John, another Banksy enthusiast, who is on holiday in the UK from the United States, said: “It has all the earmarks of Banksy’s work. It’s graphic, it’s cheeky, it’s intelligent.”

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County Championship: Rain disrupts Surrey v Nottinghamshire

Surrey added two runs to their overnight score of 246-2 in the two overs possible on Tuesday
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day two):
Surrey 248-2: Borthwick 109*, Pope 79*; Coughlin 2-39
Nottinghamshire: Yet to bat
Surrey 1 pt, Notts 0 pts

Just 12 balls were possible on day two of Surrey’s County Championship match against Nottinghamshire as rain affected proceedings.

After rain for most of the morning and an early tea, play began at 15:45 BST with 36 overs scheduled in the day.

Surrey took a leg bye off the first over of the day from Jake Ball, then Ollie Pope scored a single off Matthew Carter to take the hosts to 248-2.

Rain then returned, forcing the sides off after less than 15 minutes’ play.

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West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United: Hammers too strong for toothless visitors

Andriy Yarmolenko’s second goal of the season opened the scoring at London Stadium

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell earned West Ham their second successive home win against Manchester United, who lost striker Marcus Rashford through injury in the second half.

Yarmolenko opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, sending a low finish past David de Gea following patient build-up play involving Mark Noble and Felipe Anderson.

Cresswell sealed all three points for the Hammers in the second half with a superb free-kick into the top right-hand corner.

Chances were at a premium in a cagey first half at London Stadium, with Noble’s deflected effort from Pablo Fornals’ free-kick the closest either team came to a breakthrough before Yarmolenko’s strike.

Juan Mata should have levelled for the visitors two minutes into the second half but failed to hit the target after connecting well with Andreas Pereira’s low cross.

The result lifts West Ham above the Red Devils in the table, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain three points off the top four and without an away league win since February.

Rashford injury compounds Red Devils’ woes

After making nine changes for the midweek Europa League victory over Astana, Solskjaer fielded the same team that beat Leicester at Old Trafford in their last league game.

Nemanja Matic and Rashford were the sole survivors from Thursday’s win, with teenage striker Mason Greenwood – United’s match-winner against the Kazakh side – unavailable due to tonsillitis.

Rashford, who had gone five matches without a goal in open play before today, looked short on confidence throughout, failing to register a single shot before going off injured just shy of the hour mark.

The injury capped a deeply frustrating afternoon for Solskjaer, whose side looked lacklustre, lethargic and short of ideas in the final third.

Matic’s long-range drive, which was easily held by Lukas Fabianski, was the closest they came to a goal in a forgettable first half.

The visitors improved marginally in the second and should have restored parity when Mata got on the end of Pereira’s delivery, but the veteran midfielder somehow managed to steer the ball wide from point-blank range.

Harry Maguire also went close to bringing the visitors level before West Ham’s second goal, firing straight at Fabianski after the Hammers had failed to clear a corner.

The defeat extends Manchester United’s poor away form – their last league victory on their travels came at Crystal Palace on 27 February.

Yarmolenko stars for Hammers

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were bottom of the table after four matches this season, but Sunday’s result lifts them three points above Solskjaer’s side in the standings – a mark of their progress under the Chilean’s stewardship.

The Hammers have now kept four successive clean sheets in all competitions, while summer signing Sebastien Haller and fit-again Yarmolenko have shown considerable promise up front in recent weeks.

Yarmolenko was a constant menace, breaking the deadlock with a composed finish and registering more shots than anyone else on the pitch.

The Ukrainian nearly set up West Ham’s second midway through the second half, but Felipe Anderson – who endured a disappointing afternoon – fired straight at De Gea.

The game remained on a knife edge until the 84th minute, when Cresswell’s sublime free-kick – his first goal since April 2018 – sealed the points for the home side.

Pellegrini’s team could end the day in the top four, provided Arsenal and Chelsea drop points against Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively.

More to follow.

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Climate strike: Thousands protest across UK

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Media captionGlobal climate strike: Protests take place across England

Thousands of people are protesting across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day.

Millions are taking part around the world with rallies in British cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging “climate justice”.

Anna Taylor, 18, a co-founder of UK Student Climate Network said it was “very easy” to get people to show up.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said “every child should be in school”.

“They should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and it’s very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so,” he added.

Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.

Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Miss Ahmed said: “School is important but so is my future.

“If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school.”

Demonstrations have also been organised in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.

Students let off alarm bells at 13:00 BST to “raise the alarm” for the climate.

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Pupils left the classroom for the coast in Cullercoats, North Tyneside

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the climate change protest in Westminster, saying: “If we’re going to sustain this planet we need to get to net zero emissions a lot, lot quicker than 2050 [the government’s target].”

He said he wanted every country to sign up to the Paris Agreement and, referring to President Donald Trump, said it was “disgraceful when you get a president of a major country like the US” who says they will walk away.

The Paris deal commits signatory nations to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C.

Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, south-east London, are among those taking part in the capital.

Head teacher Sue Harte said the school had decided to take part because “climate change is clearly a big issue” and “children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest”.

Sebastian, a pupil at the school, said he joined the protests to help fight global warming.

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Sebastian says he knows how important it is to look after the planet

“They, the government, don’t understand that we’re going to go through it and they are not,” he said.

Eight-year-old Sohan and Nayan, five, also from south-east London, joined protesters with their mother, Celine.

Sohan said: “We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help.”

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Sohan and Nayan with their mother, Celine

Hundreds of climate activists – including children in school uniform – have staged a mass “die in” in Belfast, where they lay down in the city centre.

One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.

She said: “Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike.

“We are grieving for our future. I don’t feel happy about having children the way our climate is going.”

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Children hold a similar “die in” in Cambridge

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Children from Terra Nova Secondary in Cheshire are attending the UK Student Climate Network’s strike in Manchester

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Young climate activists in Glasgow think children could “save the planet”

Extinction Rebellion ‘solidarity’

Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.

It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.

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Protesters in Manchester, where at least one clothing store closed to support the strike

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Media captionClimate protest: ‘This is more important than a maths lesson’

Some trade unions, including the TUC, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the “strikes”.

Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.

But in Norwich, protester Tiffany Wallace said her employer declined to give her time off work join demonstrators “because they didn’t think it was important”, she said.

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Tiffany Wallace said her company declined to give her permission to join the protests

“The worst thing they can do do is fire me,” said the 33-year-old.

“I don’t feel I should compromise my own values and integrity and what’s important, so I can make money for a business.”

The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.

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Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg – who inspired the protests – sailed to the US ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York next week

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part in the protests.

But he said he did support “their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously”.

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British Airways pilots call off next week’s strike

British Airways plane

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British Airways pilots have called off the next strike in their dispute, which had been scheduled for 27 September.

Last week, a two-day stoppage called by the pilots’ union, Balpa, forced BA to cancel almost all its flights.

The strike followed failed negotiations between the union and the airline over a pay offer of 11.5% over three years.

Balpa said the strikes on 9 and 10 September had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots.

It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute “escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”, the union said.

British Airways had already started cancelling flights for 27 September. It is not clear if they will now be reinstated.

The airline was forced to cancel 1,700 flights last week during the pilots’ walkout over pay.

Some 200,000 passengers had to change their travel plans because of the strikes.

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Around 200,000 people were forced to change their travels plans because of last week’s pilots’ strike

Balpa said it hoped BA would “now change its approach and negotiate seriously” with a view to ending the dispute.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA, the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.

“In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September.”

However, Balpa said it retained the right to announce further strike dates.

What’s the row about?

BA had offered pilots a 11.5% pay rise over three years in July, but this was rejected.

Balpa said that it members have taken lower pay rises and made sacrifices during tougher times for the airline.

It said that now that its financial performance had improved – its parent company IAG reported a 9% rise in profits last year – pilots should now benefit.

BA said the 11.5% offer is “fair and generous”.

It has already been accepted by Unite and the GMB, whose members include BA cabin crew, ground staff and engineers.

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