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He was the man accused of "a sweetheart deal"
with the Government to scrap plans to raise council tax by 15%
which would have triggered a local referendum.
Today, an attempt to oust David Hodge, the leader
of Surrey County Council, failed. Helen Catt has the story.
It was the backroom row that became embarrassingly public
Could the Prime Minister explain the difference between a sweetheart
The substance of what he is asking is, has there been a particular deal
with Surrey County Council that is not available
Today, the man who caused his leader to squirm was unrepentant.
In Surrey, he faced down a vote of no confidence
Liberal Democrat opponents pointed to miss-sent text messages
which sparked rumours of a sweetheart deal,
and to a secret recording leaked to this programme.
I think talk of secret deals and gentlemen's agreements doesn't
In the end, his fellow councillors backed David Hodge 47-8,
his future, it seems, secure, although he didn't
want to speak to us this evening after the meeting.
This was the last full meeting of Surrey council before
elections on May 4th, and as several councillors
observed this morning, that is when we will get the final
verdict on this episode from the voters.
Scotland Yard is facing two separate investigations tonight.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has been asked
to look into how the Met handled allegations of electoral fraud
and malpractice in Tower Hamlets, while a whistleblower is claiming
the force used hackers in India to spy on campaigners.
Remind us what this relates to? Remember these chaotic scenes in
Tower Hamlets, when Lutfur Rahman was re-elected as mayor? There has
been criticism since then that the Met failed to get involved in
investigations of fraud in the run-up to polling day for this
election. In 2015, Lutfur Rahman was removed from office. He was found
guilty of electoral fraud at a special High Court hearing, but no
one has faced any woman or prosecution. Just last month, the
London Assembly accused the Met of major failings and today, the deputy
mayor for policing has written to HMI sea and asked them to look into
the Met's own investigation. That has been welcomed by some in Tower
Hamlets. Up to 2014 and the immediate
aftermath, the police We saw, far too often,
letters ignored, letters unopened, requests for action,
nothing being done. We need justice to be seen to be
done and we need justice delivered and we need
closure on this matter. We mentioned another investigation,
allegations that the Met hacked e-mails of environmental
campaigners? That's right, the IPCC is looking into claims that the Met
used hackers in India to target campaigners including some from
Greenpeace. This came to light rather mysteriously in an e-mail
sent to Baroness Jenny Jones. She explained what was said.
The letter alleged that the Metropolitan Police had been
hacking illegally into e-mails of people who were not criminals,
were not serious criminals by any stretch of the imagination,
It struck me that it was something we really don't expect
our police force to do, and that we have to stop.
So very serious stuff, and if true, this hacking would be unlawful.
Azman communications can only be hacked to combat major crime or
terrorism and then you'd express permission from the Home Secretary.
Scotland Yard tonight told us these allegations are deeply troubling.
The Met says it will provide the IPCC with its fullest possible
support. It's a move welcomed by motorists,
but one that's angered They're facing a ban on overtaking
along stretches of the M11 in Essex. The restrictions, being introduced
next week, are to improve the flow of traffic,
especially around Stansted Airport. Our transport correspondent
Tom Edwards has the story. As we found out today on the M11,
it does not take long to get stuck It can be frustrating
for others and cause Now, on a section of the M11
just outside London, overtaking by lorries
will be banned. The lorry ban will take place
on this section of the M11 between 7am and 7pm
on the uphill sections. What is really interesting
is the wider picture and what it Congestion is a huge issue.
This is the M25, where they are using the hard shoulder
to try and reduce delays. With more vehicles on our roads,
the authorities are now looking at cheaper solutions
to free up capacity. The overtaking ban on the M11
will be between junctions eight at Stansted Airport
and junction nine. If you get stuck behind a massive
queue of trucks all going at 40 mph, it makes quite an impact and there's
going to be a long queue of traffic. All lorries do 56 miles an hour, and
some are slower. You are going to have a long queue of traffic which
will make it worse. You have different weights
and loads, and if there's a slight incline, it can slow you down
and you can probably get stuck Motoring groups have
welcomed this ban. It should start by the end
of the month, and it probably A whirl of cream with unusual
toppings - and a recreation That's what we can expect
to see in one of London's Today, the latest commissions that
will grace the fourth plinth were announced -
and Alice Bhandhukravi has been It's quite literally one
of the biggest platforms an artist can get in one of London's
most famous sites. The fourth plinth in
Trafalgar Square has been home to many exciting projects over
the years, from the ship in the Today, it was revealed the current
thumbs up will be replaced by two A reproduction of an ancient Iraqi
treasure destroyed by Isis, and a dollop of cream
with a cherry on top. Trafalgar Square is a special place,
a place of heritage, a place where democracy,
happens and it is a bold move for the city to place
in that space a piece People have responded
to the idea of it. The winning entries are both
in their own way political statements on the era
we are living in. I've been reconstructing the
artefacts looted from the museum. Unfortunately, that project has
grown to include the archaeological sites destroyed in the
aftermath of the Iraq war. Thinking of cream as this
celebratory but unstable substance, and then adding the cherry,
you know, it has this very jubilant thrust into the air that maybe harks
back to Nelson's Column somewhere There are also elements creeping
in that perhaps suggest something more malevolent,
something more sinister. Both artists have plenty of time
to complete their full scale works. The ancient Iraqi treasure
will replace the huge thumbs up next March,
followed by the giant dollop Finally, how George Clooney
surprised an 87-year-old fan He unexpectedly turned
up at her care home in Sonning with flowers
for her birthday. Staff had written to the actor,
who lives nearby, saying it would make her dreams come true
if he popped in. They wrote a letter,
I believe, and sat and waited, I know the flowers won't last
for ever, but the card will. That's it for now from me,
but let's find out what We had probably the best day of the
week today in terms of sunshine. For the rest of this week, it is staying
chilly and I will be when times. The low pressure is spending a few days
with us. It will lead in later tonight. For the time being, we have
dry and clear conditions, with a bit of a breeze blowing again. You might
just get to work without the use of the Bromley, but keep one with you
because this rain pushes up from the south-west of the north as we go
through the day -- keep a brolly with you. Feeling chilly tomorrow,
temperatures resolutely in single figures. When you factor in the rain
and wind, it will feel quite chilly. A murky start to Thursday. But on
the outlook, you can see things gradually improve through Friday and
Heavy rain, snow and ice are all in the forecast once again. It was
quite a wintry scene today, especially in Scotland. Some very
cold looking winter skies here, and we had some snow falling at times in
West Lothian. For a while earlier today, there were quite a few
showers running through central Scotland, all in that cold air.
Right now, we have two areas of cloud, one in northern Scotland and
this deepening area bringing heavy rain into south-west England and
Wales overnight, with snow over the hills. That wetter weather will move
into the cold, icy weather in Scotland, so we could see snow over
the hills in Scotland. Eastern parts of England will be dry, clear and
chilly. The lowest temperatures will become Scotland, especially where we
have that covering of snow. Quite icy conditions overnight and into
the morning. Further south, if we get some snow moving