With the general election only days away, every party has been making big commitments on NHS spending.
Among other things, the parties have offered more funding, extra GPs, more nurse training and upgraded facilities.
But critics say that in addition to more spending, politicians should focus on better long-term planning for the NHS to ensure its survival.
Commuters are facing disruption as workers on South Western Railway (SWR) begin a 27-day strike.
It comes after talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and SWR over a long-running dispute over guards on trains broke down.
The operator called the action “unnecessary” and said “more than half” of weekday trains would run, but warned of queues at stations.
The union said the strike is “in defence of passenger safety”.
The RMT said SWR had “point-blank refused” to show any serious movement at talks held at the conciliation service Acas.
The union has been demanding that guards should oversee the operation of doors and perform other safety functions in dispatching trains.
It said the company’s proposals would leave guards as “glorified porters” without any safety responsibilities.
As the strike got under way earlier, disruption was compounded when a man seen carrying an air rifle led to a train being evacuated.
Elsewhere, Sophia Griffiths, who travels from Earlsfield station into central London, said: “Usually when they strike the station is not too bad but today was just nuts.
“I saw the queue outside and thought ‘no way’ – I’ve never seen it that long so I took the bus to Tooting and got the Tube from there.”
She said she was supportive of the striking workers and said it was “crazy they (SWR) would let it get to this”.
The communications officer at Nuffield Council on Bioethics said she was considering cycling to work during the prolonged action and working from home more.
Charlotte Burnell said it took almost an hour to travel from Claygate, Surrey, to Waterloo – a journey which usually takes 34 minutes.
“You can manage a couple of days of strike action but the thought of it going on for 27 days is pretty overwhelming,” she said.
“It’s physically uncomfortable. I was forced to stand awkwardly and my back was killing me.”
Steve Nagioff described passengers “rammed” into a carriage on his commute from Whitton in south west London.
“A woman next to me said that she couldn’t breathe. The train stopped at Richmond and I fell out – luckily other passengers got off the train so I got back on it again.
“It’s just not right – I pay full ticket prices. If the service is going to be like this then it should be free,” he added.
Becky Bartlett, from Wokingham in Berkshire, said she was an hour late for work in London after her regular train was cancelled.
“I have various theatre and gig plans for the month, plus Christmas parties and events, which I have either had to cancel, some at loss of the ticket price, or I’m going to have to pay for a £30+ taxi from Reading just to get home.
“This whole experience is going to be horrific. I’m one day in and I’ve already had enough.”
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said members were “absolutely furious” with SWR following the Acas talks.
“Of course our members don’t want to lose a month’s money running up to Christmas but they’re prepared to do that to show that safety and accessibility for disabled people is non-negotiable.”
Regional organiser Mick Tosh said the union would consider financial support for any members who suffered particular hardship because of the strike.
SWR said it had offered “a guard on every train, and a safety critical role for that guard”.
Managing director Andy Mellors said the action was “unnecessary” and the issue needed to be settled before a new fleet of modern suburban trains was introduced next year.
“Our assessment is that by having drivers opening and closing doors, that will actually optimise the performance of the network by getting more trains to Waterloo on time.
“We’ve been very clear that we’re committed to keeping a guard on our trains and those guards will have safety critical competencies. Our proposals will make guards more customer facing and improve safety, security and accessibility.”
By Paul Clifton, BBC South transport correspondent
At Chandler’s Ford station this morning, the ticket office door was locked. The platform was empty and all the signs were blank.
It’s going to stay that way for a month. The next train isn’t due until 2 January 2020.
It’s the same story at Swaythling, Millbrook, Dean, Dunbridge and a few other small stations popular with children heading to school as well as daily commuters.
The two sides are trading insults and blaming each other. They haven’t budged in more than two years of strikes.
I don’t think many passengers have any goodwill left at all for either the RMT or South Western Railway – because this month-long strike is going to cause real hardship for hundreds of thousands of people each day.
SWR released a revised timetable and said it would provide longer trains to increase capacity where possible.
The operator runs services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth as well as Reading, Exeter and Bristol. It also operates suburban commuter lines in south-west London, Surrey, Berkshire, and north-east Hampshire.
Strike days are as follows:
- From 00:01 GMT on Monday 2 December until 23:59 on Wednesday 11 December
- From 00:01 on Friday 13 December until 23:59 on Tuesday 24 December
- From 00:01 on Friday 27 December 2019 until 23:59 on 1 January
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Jose Mourinho says signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Tottenham “doesn’t make sense” because he has the “best striker in England” in Harry Kane.
Ibrahimovic, who played for Mourinho at Inter Milan and Manchester United, is available after his two-year spell at LA Galaxy ended.
The new Tottenham manager said he has “more than a connection” with the former Sweden forward.
But he said: “Amazing player, amazing guy, but I would say no chance.”
Mourinho, appointed Tottenham manager last Wednesday after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, added: “We have the best striker in England. It doesn’t make sense to sign him when we have Harry Kane.”
England captain Kane scored last Saturday as Tottenham won 3-2 at West Ham in the Premier League.
He now has 175 goals in 269 games for Spurs, overtaking Martin Chivers to move third on the club’s all-time top scorer list.
But while Kane is central to his new manager’s plans, Mourinho said that the selection of Christian Eriksen – a substitute at West Ham – will be based on a “perspective of the future”.
The Denmark midfielder, 27, is out of contract next summer and has been the subject of intense transfer speculation since the club’s Champions League final defeat by Liverpool in June.
While dealing with Eriksen’s future, Mourinho also has to concentrate on the perceived hangover from that loss to Liverpool in Madrid.
“If Mauricio says that [losing the final affected the players] then he’s been here and he’s sharing his feelings. It’s like landing on the moon but you don’t do it,” he said.
“Look at Liverpool; they had the frustration of not winning and then the next season they reached the final and won it.”
Alli accepts Mourinho comment
Before Saturday’s win, Mourinho said he had asked midfielder Dele Alli “if he was Dele or Dele’s brother”, as the 23-year-old has been struggling with injury and poor performances.
Alli revealed that training-ground joke was the first thing Mourinho said to him after becoming Tottenham manager but accepted the criticism.
“A lot of people have been saying that, so it was nothing new,” Alli said. “In that sense, to have it honestly said to your face was nice because a lot of people would prefer to say it behind your back.
“It didn’t shock me. Playing in the Premier League, you expect it when you are not performing – to be criticised.
“It is just important you listen to the right people. I am my own biggest critic. I know what I need to work on.”
Two teenagers have been jailed for life for murdering a 17-year-old girl in an east London park.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back as she sat with friends in Harold Hill on 1 March.
Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and Arron Isaacs, 17, of Barking, were both convicted earlier this month after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Ong-a-Kwie, of Romford, will serve a minimum of 26 years while Isaacs was detained for at least 18 years.
Explaining the sentences, Judge Wendy Joseph QC told the court she was “satisfied” Ong-a-Kwie had stabbed Jodie while Isaacs was a “willing supporter”.
“When that knife was driven into Jodie, that intention was to kill,” she said.
She added that her death “was part of a series of tit-for-tat attacks” which had been “increasing in ferocity”, and “although the target was not Jodie… there was a degree of planning”.
During the trial, each of the defendants blamed each other for the attack but a jury took less than six hours to find them both guilty of murder.
In an impact statement read before sentencing, Jodie’s father Peter Chesney said the death of his daughter “has destroyed my life”.
The 39-year-old, who was not in court, described how a year ago he had started a new job as a salesman in the City “and I was about to take over the world in a promising career.
“Now I sit here in the cabin in my garden writing this statement. I have left that job, the relationship with my wife has fallen apart and we are now getting divorced. I must sell my house, and above all, I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know,” he said.
Following the stabbing, Jodie collapsed into the arms of her boyfriend Eddie Coyle who told the court he had been “completely changed” by the events of that night.
“I find it hard to sleep most of the time. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD from this, and it keeps me up most nights so I don’t sleep,” he said.
The court had heard drug dealer Ong-a-Kwie and his runner Isaacs had been looking to take revenge on rivals but had killed Jodie by mistake.
She had been socialising with friends that evening when two figures emerged out of the dark and one plunged a knife in her back.
The two defendants fled in another drug dealer’s car but were arrested together days later as they fled from a house linked to Isaacs, the jury were told.
Ong-a-Kwie had convictions for possessing and supplying drugs and had admitted being in breach of a six-week suspended sentence for handling stolen jewellery.
Two other people – Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Romford, and a 16-year-old boy – were both cleared of murder and manslaughter.
Met Police officer Det Insp Perry Benton described the investigation as “one of the hardest I’ve ever dealt with”, adding that the defendants “have shown no remorse from day one”.
Speaking following the sentencing, Jodie’s uncle Terry Chesney said the family were “happy” with the jail terms and would now “try” to get on with their lives.
“Today was justice. We’ll never get her back, but we’ve got justice,” he said.
The Green Party has stood down its candidate to help Labour try to unseat former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Mr Duncan Smith has been MP for Chingford and Woodford Green since 1997, and has a majority of 2,348.
The Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru formed an electoral pact earlier this month. Supporting Labour in Chingford does not form part of that pact, the Greens said.
The Conservatives have been contacted for comment.
In a statement the local Green Party said the decision for John Tyne not to contest the election was made with the “ultimate hope of favouring the campaign of the Labour candidate” Faiza Shaheen.
A Green Party spokesperson it “was a decision taken by the local party”.
However, they added: “If Labour were serious in their concern for the environment they should reconsider their isolationist position on arrangements.”
Ms Shaheen, head of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, said she was “so grateful” for the decision.
She said: “I will continue to fight hard for climate policy and democratic reform.”
The Liberal Democrats have selected Dr Geoffrey Seeff as their prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Mr Duncan Smith has been MP for the area since 1992, representing Chingford until 1997 when the boundaries were re-drawn to include Woodford Green.
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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is back in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H game with Ajax.
Kante, 28, has made just five starts in an injury-hit season, most recently suffering a groin problem.
“We’ve been able to get some work into him, he’s in the squad and he’s available,” said manager Frank Lampard.
Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also in training after injury lay-offs last month.
Victory at Stamford Bridge would see Chelsea go three points clear of Ajax in Group H and put them in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals, with games against Valencia and Lille remaining.
“I said at the start that this group would be tight because all the teams could take points off each other. That has been proved to be correct,” said Lampard.
“After losing the opening game against Valencia, which was disappointing, we have shown a great reaction from that.
“I have to accept it’s expected of Chelsea to go through and that is no disrespect to any other teams. I have said already how hard the group is but it is more about our own expectations.
“That is maybe why we had that reaction. We wanted to prove ourselves, we wanted to go to Ajax and Lille and get results, and we did.
“But we won’t get carried away with ourselves in this group.”
Can Chelsea maintain 100% record against Dutch sides? – the stats
- Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side.
- Chelsea have a 100%-win record in Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999-2000 season and Ajax this season.
- Ajax have won their last five away Champions League matches – prior to this run, the Dutch side had won just four of their previous 38 away games in the competition (W4 D13 L21).
- Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition – Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).
- Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) – the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax’s last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).
One of the men convicted of murdering soldier Lee Rigby has admitted assaulting a nurse at the high-security Broadmoor Hospital.
Michael Adebowale, 28, punched a healthcare assistant while being held in the secure hospital on July 20 last year, Reading Crown Court heard.
Adebowale was serving a 45-year term for the 2013 killing of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London.
He was jailed for eight months to run consecutively to his sentence.
Adebowale, who now uses the name Ismaail Kuti, along with Michael Adebolajo, drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before hacking him to death.
The court heard Kuti had been a patient at Broadmoor when health assistant Jason Kaplin asked him to turn down music he was playing through his MP3 player on the TV in the day ward.
Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC said Kuti had returned to his room “upset and annoyed” before reappearing and attacking Mr Kaplin, who was doing paperwork at his desk.
The nurse was taken to hospital for an injury to his left jaw which took six weeks to heal, the court heard.
Haringey’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie with Yeovil, which was abandoned amid reports of racial abuse, is to be replayed on 29 October.
Saturday’s game was halted when Haringey boss Tom Loizou took his players off the field following reports of racist abuse from Yeovil fans.
The FA Challenge Cup committee have told the sides to replay next Tuesday, at Borough’s Coles Park ground.
Both teams are in Monday’s first round draw, live on BBC Two from 19:00 BST.
Yeovil’s National League away game against Chesterfield, due to be played on 29 October, will now be rescheduled.
Police are continuing to investigate after Haringey’s Cameroonian goalkeeper Valery Douglas Pajetat was reportedly spat at and struck by an object thrown from the Yeovil supporters’ section.
The visitors had just taken a 1-0 lead through Rhys Murphy’s 64th-minute penalty.
It was announced earlier on Monday that two men, aged 23 and 26, had been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
An FA statement read: “Following the incident in the original tie and the two arrests already made, the FA’s investigation is ongoing.
“We continue to work with the relevant authorities on our investigation into the matter.”
The FA also announced that, should the rearranged tie finish in a draw, 5 November has been set aside as a replay date.
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.
A whale has been spotted swimming in the River Thames, following on from the visit of “Benny the beluga” a year ago.
The mammal was first spotted over the weekend, with sightings of it either side of the Dartford Crossing.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), who saw it surfacing off Greenhithe on Sunday, said it was “definitely a humpback” and did not appear to be in any distress.
Ships have been advised to proceed with caution through the area.
“Benny the beluga” spent about three months in the busy waterway at the end of last year, although the new whale is not the same species as it is dark coloured and has a dorsal fin.
Julia Cable, the BDMLR’s national coordinator, said a group of volunteers had observed the mammal surfacing repeatedly over a three hour period.
She told the BBC that it “seems to be fine” and was likely to have arrived because of a navigational error, possibly during the recent high spring tides.
“It really shouldn’t be there but hopefully it’ll find its way out,” she said.
The Port of London Authority (PLA) said “numerous sightings” had been made from passing boats either side the Dartford Crossing, while there have also been reports of it off Rainham and Erith Pier.
A spokesman said people who had seen it had estimated it was five or 10 metres in length.
He added that its behaviour would be monitored by experts while it remained in the river and ships had been told to “proceed cautiously” when travelling through the area.
“Essentially it is a natural animal in a natural environment and we wouldn’t intervene with that at this stage,” he said.