04/01/2018 London News


04/01/2018

The latest news, sport and weather from London.


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Here on BBC One, it's time

for the news where you are.

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Welcome to BBC London News,

with me, Victoria Hollins.

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The Metropolitan Police has asked

the Government to pay almost

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£40 million for its investigation

into the fire at Grenfell

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Tower in West London.

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Scotland Yard says it's one

of the biggest and most complex

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inquiries in the history

of the force.

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Around 200 officers are working

on the inquiry into the blaze,

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which claimed the lives

of 71 people.

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Our political correspondent

Karl Mercer reports.

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They're starting to cover

the remains of Grenfell tower,

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sheeting now up around half

of the first eight

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floors of the building.

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The rest stands as a stark reminder

of what happened here nearly seven

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months ago and the political fall

out from the fire continues.

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Grenfell led to one of the biggest

police investigations ever

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mounted by Scotland Yard,

with around 250 officers involved.

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Now Scotland yard has said

it needs help to pay.

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It's put in a big bill

to the Home Office, asking

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for £11.1 million to cover the cost

of the investigation

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this year, and a further

£27 million for next year.

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It says it expects to have more

than 200 officers still on the case

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over the coming 12 months.

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We don't that think it's

reasonable for us to pick up

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those sort of full costs.

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As we know, that sort

of investigation will

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go on for some time.

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There are worries, too,

that the Met simply can't

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afford extra spending,

as it's already having to make cuts.

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We are still absolutely

facing savings and cuts

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for London that we are very,

very worried about.

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We are really worried that police

officer numbers are going to dip

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significantly below 30,000

if this continues.

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The police, though, aren't the only

emergency service facing

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a big bill in the wake

of the Grenfell disaster.

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London's Fire Brigade has

also seen costs rise.

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It's in the process

of buying new equipment.

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And in the wake of the fire,

its inspectors last summer made 520

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visits to check the safety

of other buildings.

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What we also learned today

at the London Assembly meeting

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was that 188 cases in the capital,

those buildings failed the

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Government's cladding safety test.

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That's more than the rest

of the country put together.

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No wonder, then, that

London Assembly Members

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were asking for government help

for the Fire Brigade, too.

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Can you just update us?

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Have you exhausted all your

conversations with government around

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any monies that they wish

to allocate to you?

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Particularly mindful

of what you heard this

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morning from the police,

it feels as if the police are having

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some success then there's no reason

why fire should also not have that

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same criteria relaxed.

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The Home Office told us today that

given the unique and tragic

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circumstances of the Grenfell fire,

it would consider any application it

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received for funding

from the Metropolitan Police

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as a matter of priority.

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A 95-year-old woman who knocked down

and killed a man after mistaking

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the accelerator in her car

for the brake has been given

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a suspended prison sentence.

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Gertrude Lister, who had been

tending her husband's

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grave in Maidenhead,

careered into 47-year-old Paul Mills

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on Valentine's Day last year.

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Joe Campbell reports.

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Gertrude Lister was

driven to court today.

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She's not got behind

the wheel since she killed cemetery

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worker Paul Mills and returned her

licence to the DVLA.

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A man escorting the 95-year-old

carried a suitcase.

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She'd been warned there was a very

real possibility she would be

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going straight from court to prison.

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Mrs Lister's barrister said

it was hard to think of more tragic

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circumstances than what happened

in this cemetery on Saint

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Valentine's Day last year.

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One moment, his client had been

tending her husband's grave.

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Just a few seconds later,

she was responsible for the death

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of somebody else's loved one.

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It was as she left the cemetery

that she hit the accelerator,

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rather than the brake.

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The car, rather than slowing down,

sped up, hit a verge

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and became airborne.

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It crashed through a hedge.

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Mr Mills was working

on the opposite side.

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He died in hospital less

than an hour later.

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The court heard so-called unintended

acceleration was a recognised factor

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in accidents like this,

especially involving automatic cars

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driven by elderly motorists.

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In actual fact, the over-70s

are statistically the safest group

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of drivers on our road, done by age,

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in terms of how many collisions

they have that cause injury.

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They're frail, so if they do have

one, they tend to be

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injured themselves.

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Events like this one, that

are tragic, as all these things are,

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are actually really unusual.

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Judge Paul Dugdale said these were

wholly exceptional circumstances.

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Gertrude Lister's mistake

in pressing the accelerator harder

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and harder, thinking

it was the brake, had had

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a devastating effect, he said,

on Paul Mills's family.

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As his widow, Tracey,

realised Mrs Lister wouldn't be

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going to prison today,

but her 16-month sentence

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was going to be suspended,

she stormed out of court.

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Mrs Lister herself left

without commenting.

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Joe Campbell, BBC London News.

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Wreckage from a seaplane

which crashed near Sydney,

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killing five members of a London

family and the pilot,

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has been recovered.

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The aircraft had been submerged

in more than 40 feet of water

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after coming down on New Year's Eve.

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It's emerged that the plane

was rebuilt after it was destroyed

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in a fatal incident more

than 20 years ago.

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The wreckage of the seaplane

should help to explain why

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a routine flight over Sydney,

its waterways and rugged

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bushlands ended in disaster

for a London family.

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The salvage operation

at Jerusalem Bay began

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shortly after dawn.

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Police divers used inflatable bags

to lift parts of the aircraft

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from the river.

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One of the first pieces of the plane

to be recovered was a damaged wing,

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followed by the engine,

and the tail.

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By the time that the wreckage

was boarded on the barge,

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we saw that there was severe damage

to the plane.

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And it appeared that there had

been quite an impact

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on hitting the water.

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Tributes have been paid to the

family from Tooting who were killed

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in the crash.

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Tycoon Richard Cousins,

his two grown-up sons, his fiancee

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and her 11-year-old daughter died.

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Crucial to the investigation

will be the aircraft's

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past history.

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We now know that the seaplane came

down in these waters

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20 years ago.

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It was rebuilt and it was bought

by Sydney Seaplanes in 2006.

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We've got a range of factors

that we look at to fully

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reconstruct the sequence of events

that led up to the accident,

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and hopefully find factors that

contributed to the accident,

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with the ultimate goal of trying

to prevent something

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like this happening again.

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Air-crash investigators plan

to release their initial

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findings within a month,

but a full report could

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take up to a year.

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Now strikes affecting three

different train operators serving

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London are set to go ahead next week

after talks stalled.

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The RMT union has a long-running

dispute over the role of train

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guards, which has led to a fresh

wave of strikes

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starting from Monday.

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Louisa Preston joins me now.

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Only a week into the New Year and

already more train strikes. The RMT

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union has called these 24 hour

strike starting next week. It is

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about the role of guards on trains.

Services run by Southwest and

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wilfully RMT members walking out on

Monday, Wednesday and Friday next

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week. South-western says it will be

able to run 70% of its trains. That

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means 450 trains a day will be

cancelled. So, as you can imagine,

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commuters are not impressed.

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I see the point for

modernisation, I kind of see

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the union's point as well.

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I am annoyed at strikes because that

says to me someone hasn't

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done their job properly.

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I'm absolutely livid about it.

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I mean, come into the New Year,

3% rise and we're confronted

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with the same thing all over again,

so I just think it's appalling.

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I'm not overjoyed about it,

if I'm honest, but I'll try to work

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from home to get around it

because I've got the

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flexibility to do that.

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So, some unhappy people there. There

will be other routes affected, went

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there? Greater Anglia guards will

strike also on Monday, Wednesday and

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Friday next week which will affect

trains in an out of Liverpool Street

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at the company does hope to run a

full service on those lines RMT

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members at Southern will walk out,

just for one day, next Monday. That

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will affect London Bridge, Victoria,

Chang Cross and Cannon Street.

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Sutton thinks it will run 90% of its

services. With increases in fares

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going up, it is not a great start to

the New Year for commuters.

It does

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not sound like it.

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Pregnant women are struggling

with their mental health in higher

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numbers than previously thought

according to researchers.

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The team at Kings College London

found that as many as one in four

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pregnant women could have mental

health issues including anxiety

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and eating disorders.

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Doctors say early diagnosis is key

to help support families.

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It is not yet known what caused the

bricks to fall.

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That is it for now.

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Time for a look at the weather now,

with Tomaz Schaffernaker.

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A very blowy afternoon again

in London with winds in excess

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of 50 miles an hour.

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Tomorrow, thankfully,

the winds will be lighter.

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Through the night, a bit of rain,

the winds easing out there as well

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by the early hours of the morning.

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I think for most of us it's a case

of clearing skies and temperatures

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down to 6 in the city,

3 degrees outside of town -

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a little on the nippy side.

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Friday itself is looking mixed.

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A fair bit of brightness around,

still a bit of a breeze out there,

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but also the chance of catching

a spot or two of rain,

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and temperatures are starting

to drop now, down to 9

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degrees, single figures.

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Here's what Saturday looks like -

a complete change.

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Watch the wind.

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It starts coming in from the North.

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So we've been having winds out

of the South or the West

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for the last few days and now

they're coming in from the North

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and north-east, so it's

going to feel chilly.

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A really significant

wind-chill on the way.

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Here's the outlook.

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Saturday, Sunday, Monday,

a fair bit of dry weather.

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Here's the national outlook now.

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