Botanist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation he formed has said.
London-born Bellamy, who became a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist, died on Wednesday, according to the foundation.
His colleague, David Shreeve, described him as a “larger-than-life character” who “inspired a whole generation”.
In later life Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.
In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.
Bellamy worked in a sweet factory and as a plumber before embarking on his broadcasting career.
His scientific career began when he got a job in the biology department of a technical college in Surrey, he told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme in 1978.
It was there that he met his future wife, Rosemary.
But it was on a trip to Scotland where he discovered his love for plants, he told the programme.
“I got really turned on by plants and I found out that if somebody told me what a plant was, I just couldn’t forget it,” he said.
He gained public recognition for his work as an environmental consultant over the Torrey Canyon oil spill, when a tanker was shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall in 1967.
He went on to present programmes such as Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.
And in 1979 he won Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award, for best presenter of factual programmes.
His distinctive voice also inspired comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s catchphrase “grapple me grapenuts”.
BBC arts correspondent David Sillito described Bellamy as “the enthusiastic face of botany on television” for more than 30 years.
In 2003, he told BBC News that he was sceptical about mankind being responsible for rising temperatures and suggested that they might be part of the Earth’s natural cycles.
He said: “We have got to get this thing argued out in public properly and not just take one opinion.”
Ten years later, he told the Independent newspaper: “It (global warming) is not happening at all, but if you get the idea that people’s children will die because of CO2 they fall for it.”
Well-known figures have paid tribute to Bellamy, including fellow naturalist and broadcaster Bill Oddie who described him as a “first-class naturalist, with boundless skills to convey his enthusiasm”.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster and character”, in a tribute posted on Twitter.
Comedy writer and broadcaster Danny Baker, who described him as a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.
The Walking Dead actor David Morrissey tweeted that Bellamy “cared about nature and our environment deeply.”
And former England footballer Stan Collymore called him a “childhood icon”, adding that he “learnt about botany and shrubs and trees as a kid because of this man’s love and infectious enthusiasm.”
Bellamy’s wife Rosemary died last year.
Manchester United moved up to sixth in the Premier League as Tottenham suffered their first defeat under Jose Mourinho on his return to Old Trafford.
The result, almost a year on from Mourinho’s last home game as United manager, sees his former club move back into the top six for first time since September, while Tottenham drop to eighth.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for the hosts with a low drive that beat Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, at his near post.
The England forward then struck the bar as United missed a succession of chances to extend their lead.
While Dele Alli drew Spurs level with a clipped finish, after he had flicked the ball away from Fred and Ashley Young, the hosts were good value for their win.
And that was confirmed by Rashford, who rolled in a second-half penalty to register his ninth goal in his last 10 appearances for the club.
More to follow.
Middlesex have re-signed Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for next season’s Twenty20 Blast campaign.
The 18-year-old took seven wickets in 10 games last season and will be available for all 14 of their group stage matches in 2020.
Mujeeb made his debut for his country at the age of 16 and featured in this year’s World Cup.
“I enjoyed my time at Middlesex so much, so I am very pleased to be coming back,” he said.
Meanwhile, the club have awarded England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan a testimonial year in 2020.
The 33-year-old made his debut for the county’s first XI in 2005.
A man was stabbed to death in a fight outside a block of east London flats in a “particularly vicious attack”.
The 19-year-old was found by police responding to reports of a disturbance outside Owen Waters House, in Fullwell Avenue, Ilford, on Tuesday night.
The victim died at the scene and his next of kin have been informed.
No arrests have been made but the Met said “the possibility that the murder is gang-related is a very strong line of inquiry”.
Police are establishing if the stabbing is linked to a fire at some nearby garages where a car was found burnt out.
The Met said fire crews had been called to the blaze at about 22:20 GMT while traces of blood had also been found around the vehicle.
Det Ch Insp Chris Soole described the killing as a “particularly vicious attack” and appealed for witnesses.
A Section 60 Order – giving police stop-and-search powers – was put in place for the whole of the Redbridge borough until 06:30.
There have been five murder investigations in the borough in 2019 – three of which have been as a result of fatal stabbings.
Homicides in London since 2008
Annual homicides in the Met Police area
So far this year, almost 130 murder investigations have been launched in the capital.
Three investigations have been carried out by British Transport Police and 124 have been investigated by the Met.
At the scene – Greg McKenzie, BBC London
A forensic tent is outside the tower block marking the spot where the teenager died.
Residents have been telling me about rising tensions in the last few weeks. The block – just off a main road in Ilford – is known as a meeting point for drug dealers and people said the issue is “rampant”.
They have also described a lot of “youth disturbance and violence” in the area and expressed their fear, anger and shock.
Officers have been coming in and out of the flats and they are trying to work out whether a burnt-out car is linked to the fatal stabbing.
Images of 10 people the Met want to find after violence broke out at a “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration in central London have been released.
More than 20 officers and members of the public were injured as protesters blocked roads and threw missiles during the march in Whitehall on 9 June, 2018.
Detectives had to trawl through hundreds of hours of CCTV and videos to identify those involved.
Fourteen people have already been jailed over the violent disorder.
Referring to the incident where scaffolding and glass bottles were thrown at police, Det Sgt Matt Hearing said: “We are extremely keen to identify these individuals, who were involved in serious disorder which resulted in a number of police officers getting injured.
“Whilst we will always facilitate lawful protest, the actions of some individuals on that day showed a total disregard for the law and it is important that all those involved are brought to justice.”
Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in currently serving a nine month sentence after being found guilty of interfering with the trial of a sexual grooming gang at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.
The nine month sentence includes six months for the Leeds Crown Court offence last year and another three months for contempt of court, following a suspended sentence given at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.
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.
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.”
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”.
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.”
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”.
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.”
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Read Becky’s full report here.
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?
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.