07/12/2017 London News


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07/12/2017

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Join me now on BBC Two.

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Here on BBC One it's time

for the news where you are.

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Good evening and welcome to BBC

London News with me,

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Louisa Preston.

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It was a day that changed

lives in Croydon.

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A tram travelling at speed derailed,

killing seven people

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and injuring dozens more.

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Today the findings of an official

report into the crash

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were published, which found:

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that the driver had probably dozed

off moments before it happened.

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The speed warning signs

for drivers weren't

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appropriately positioned.

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And there was a "culture of fear"

among staff which meant

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incidents weren't being reported.

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One of the survivors,

who broke her neck after being

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thrown from the carriage,

says "things must change".

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She's been speaking to our

Transport Correspondent Tom Edwards.

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All I could feel, my head

was pounding, my neck was hurting,

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I couldn't breathe.

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I was just...

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All I could think of

was pain, pain, pain.

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Christine fractured her neck and

broke ribs

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in the Croydon tram rush.

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She was thrown through

one of the windows.

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I was sitting through the window,

because the window had

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completely broken out.

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And I was sitting, I could see

the tram tracks and the stones.

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She was rescued from this wreckage

and spent over three weeks in

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hospital.

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She's lost her job,

and her old life is gone.

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I'm in constant pain all the time.

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I can't sleep, I don't even

know what eight hours'

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sleep is like any more.

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I'm suffering.

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I'm alive and I thank God

for that, but I'm suffering

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and struggling as well.

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Constant pain all the time.

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My life has changed completely.

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Today's report found a broken

reporting system at the tram

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operator run by First Group.

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Nine drivers told investigators

they were going so fast they used

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the emergency brake,

on the same sharp corner

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where the tram later derailed,

but they didn't feel

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they could report it.

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And just days before the crash

a tram nearly toppled over taking

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the same corner too fast,

and a passenger complaint

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from Chantelle Singh

wasn't acted on properly.

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I was thinking - this is it,

that's the end of my life,

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because when I looked up and looked

through the window, there

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was another tram waiting there -

I think it was a Beckenham Junction

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tram, just at the junction -

and I was just thinking

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that I was going to die.

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Just thinking I was going to die.

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I believe that, and any other driver

could potentially have been put

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in the same position,

and therefore I think that the tram

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operator needs to come out

and explain why that previous event

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was not properly investigated,

and what steps they will take

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to make sure that any near-misses

such as this are properly reported

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and properly investigated.

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Christine isn't sure who to blame,

but she wants the authorities

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to make changes so the same thing

doesn't happen again.

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They do need to really really

get their staff to be able to talk

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to them if there is a problem,

because negligence causes lives

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to be ruined, you know.

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You can't just have your staff

and your staff can't come

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to you if there is a problem,

because we are putting our

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lives in their hands.

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Well, Transport for London has

offered its condolences

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to the families affected and today

they told our Political Editor,

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Tim Donovan, that all 15

of the recommendations made

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were already being acted upon.

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Immediately we lowered the speed

limit on the tram system totally.

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Where the speed goes from a higher

speed to a lower speed

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with quite a difference,

we staged those down,

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so down from 70 to 60,

to 40 to 20 kilometres per hour.

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We have changed the signage

on the sharp corners in order

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to make sure that the drivers

are fully aware of the approaching

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corner, and we have fitted a device

in the cab of the tram,

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a driver protection device,

which is designed to

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guard against fatigue.

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It is widely used in the trucking

industry, and also in coaches,

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especially overseas,

and this detects whether the driver

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perhaps is suffering

from a distraction, maybe a fatigue,

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sets off an alarm and also shakes

the seat to make sure the driver's

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always vigilant at all times.

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But it took this tragedy

for you to do this,

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when it shouldn't have

done, should it?

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Because there were other

incidents that were reported.

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There was one other incident

just a few days before

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which wasn't reported -

alarming.

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The system has had a very good

safety record, but sadly

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on the 31st October,

just a few days before

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this tragic incident,

a member of the public did send

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in a report that a tram, she felt,

had been travelling too fast.

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This report went straight to the

operator, Tram Operations Limited,

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and was in the process

of being investigated.

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And only a few days

later, of course, we had

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the terrible tragedy.

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Now, this report took far too

long to investigate.

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One of the things that we have done

now is to make sure that those

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reports come through us at Transport

for London so we have

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visibility of them straightaway,

because we want to make sure

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that these investigations,

when there are reports like this,

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are acted on immediately.

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Do you accept that if it had

been acted on faster,

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that actually these lives

could have been saved?

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The report does say that that

particular incident was not a causal

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factor of this incident,

but it has to be the case that

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anybody who has any concerns

about anything to do with safety

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on our transport system in London

feels able to report it

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and we should act on it as soon

as possible in order to prevent any

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sort of safety incident.

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And do you accept that that has not

happened and you should be really

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concerned about that?

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Because people have talked

about a culture of fear,

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an inability to report,

or a worry about reporting

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to this operator?

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What do you say about that?

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Well, nobody should have any fear.

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Members of staff...

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But they did have.

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Well, they shouldn't have,

because they have a number

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of ways of reporting.

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Of course, the right thing to do

was to report it to their manager.

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If they feel unable to do so,

people are able to report

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it to the trade union.

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There is a confidential

whistle-blowing service

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provided by the operator.

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People can report any safety

concerns, and so we say

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to all of the staff,

if there's anything that concerns

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you about safety on the network,

you can report it without fear.

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You can report it confidentially

if you wish to, and it's my job

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to make sure that those reports

are acted on immediately

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and we satisfy ourselves that

safety is paramount.

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TfL's Leon Daniels

speaking to our Political

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Editor, Tim Donovan.

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In other news, the Mayor of London

says he has no interest in becoming

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the next leader of the Labour Party

or Britain's first

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Muslim Prime Minister.

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Sadiq Khan was speaking ahead

of a meeting with Pakistan's Prime

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Minister in Islamabad.

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From there, our Political

Correspondent, Karl Mercer,

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sent this report.

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It's the sort of reception leaders

of countries usually get.

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The highest of security,

the best of welcomes.

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Pakistan's leading politicians

opened their doors to the Mayor,

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if not entirely to the

chasing British press.

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Today, for Sadiq Khan, a meeting

with Pakistan's Prime Minister.

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It's an honour many visiting British

ministers haven't even been given.

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I'm very proud that

you are the Mayor.

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They call these grip and grins,

it's what politicians do a lot of.

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This, the commerce minister...

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This man, Pakistan's

Foreign Secretary.

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Could you help us understand how

it is that the mayor of a humble

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city in the United Kingdom gets

to meet such high-ranking officials

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in Pakistan such as yourself,

and later the Prime Minister?

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It's an honour for me that

Mr Sadiq Khan has been

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the Mayor of London,

it's a matter of pride for us,

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a great honour for us.

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And we are proud of the values

and traditions of British people

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that a person from the subcontinent

of Pakistani regions

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could rise to that level.

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When Boris Johnson travelled

the world when he was mayor,

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people criticised him.

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They said he was putting his

own political ambitions

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ahead of those of London.

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So what about this man?

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Here, in the ambassador's garden,

meeting and greeting

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dignitaries from overseas.

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Are you saying you don't have

those grander ambitions?

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Let me be quite clear.

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I love being the mayor, I think I've

got the best job in the world.

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I've no intention of being whatever

Boris Johnson wanted to be.

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You don't even want to be

the leader of your party?

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I do not want to be leader

of the Labour Party.

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Ever?

Ever.

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You don't want to be Prime Minister?

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I do not want to be Prime Minister.

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Ever?

I think I've got a great job.

Ever.

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I've got a great job

as the Mayor of London.

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I get to help the city that

I was born and raised in, and love,

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but also I get to meet people whose

lives have been improved by some

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of our policies from City Hall.

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I love being the mayor of my city,

I have no intention of running

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for the leader of the Labour Party,

no intention of seeking

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to be the Prime Minister.

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Absolutely ruling it out?

I'm ruling

it out.

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Even if the ball comes free

from the back of the scrum?

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If the ball comes free from the edge

of the box, and I get a chance

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to shoot in the top right-hand

corner and score a glory goal,

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I wouldn't do that, because I've

already got a great job.

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I'm playing a different game -

I'm busy playing cricket when you're

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offering me a job playing football.

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For now then, he says the job

he's actually sticking

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to is that of being mayor.

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That's it for now from me

so I'll say goodnight,

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but let's find out

what the weather's up

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to with Darren Bett.

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to with Darren Bett.

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How is it looking? Thank you very

much. We have sunshine today

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eventually after the rain. There

will be more sunshine around

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tomorrow but you've probably noticed

the change already. Much colder,

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although for most parts tomorrow it

should be dry. Overnight we'll have

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largely clear skies. There are some

showers that are trying to come down

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from the north-west. Still quite

blowy out there and it'll feel

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colder. Temperatures not far away

from freezing by the morning.

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Probably a bright start with some

sunshine tomorrow. For the most part

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it will be a dry day with sunny

spells but there will be more cloud

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at times and we could see one or two

wintry showers from the north-west.

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Steered down on a brisk wind. Temp

touring 3-5 but feeling colderp

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given the strength of thep wind.

Into the weekend, looking at

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generally dry and sunny but cold

weather on Saturday. Briefly on

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Sunday there may be snow before it

turns back to rain but the threat of

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heavy rain on Monday. A lot to

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