13/03/2018 London News


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13/03/2018

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A not-so-special night

for the so-called Special One.

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John Watson, BBC News.

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Good evening.

I'm Riz Lateef.

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It was the news that

leaseholders in two tower blocks

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in Croydon were dreading.

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Today, they were told they will have

to pay to remove and replace

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flammable cladding similar

to Grenfell - a potential bill of up

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to £2 million.

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They'd argued that it was

the building owner's responsibility.

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The tribunal ruling could have

implications for thousands

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of people across the capital.

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Our Political Editor

Tim Donovan explains.

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Somehow we managed to

get legal support...

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Anuj is on to his lawyer

because the news isn't good,

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a tribunal judgment has gone

against him and other residents.

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The cladding was

removed when it failed

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tests after Grenfell,

since then fire marshals have been

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patrolling 24/7.

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Together its cost £500,000 so far

and that is a bill to

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be shared between the 95

leaseholders here after the ruling

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the landlords were entitled

by the terms of their leases

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to recover it in service charge.

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We are already paying

£2,000 service charges and

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this year it will increase up

to £20,000 for some people.

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I have to pay £4,000,

I'm not sure how I will

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get that to repay it on one month.

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But that's only up until now,

new cladding could take the

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bill to £2 million.

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We cannot plan our lives,

people's work is

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suffering, they are stressed,

it's affecting our lives on a

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daily basis.

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The Mayor said the Government

should end that anxiety.

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The Government should

be stepping in to

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make these buildings safe,

then there is a discussion to be had

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about the cost and the removal.

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Noticeable in this ruling, the judge

says it is foreseeable leaseholders

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may have further legal claims

against a number of parties.

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The manufacturers of the cladding,

Barratt Homes which installed it,

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and the local council, Croydon,

which provided the certification.

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Finally the Government itself.

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If it's building

regulations are found to

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have been not up to scratch.

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It's possible many

other leaseholders

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could be affected in a similar way.

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We think up to 50,000 leaseholders

in London could be liable for paying

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costs up to £30,000

per flat or beyond, simply

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because they bought a flat in good

faith that the cladding

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on the outside of it was safe.

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They believed that

because the Government

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told them it was safe, we now know

the Government was wrong.

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The Government must

take responsibility

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for taking the cladding down

and stop abandoning leaseholders to

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their fate.

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The Government must pay for this

work to be done, nobody else.

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The landlords said

today they would work

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to minimise the costs

of cladding and they too urged

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the Government to offer support.

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Marc Ashdown has more on this -

this judgement could have

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far reaching consequences?

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Well it could. There is no doubt

this feels like a major judgment,

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but today all we had was hints at

what could happen next. The judge

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hinting people affected and as we

heard it could run to tens of

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thousands. People's homes are

blighted. The judge hinted that

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possibly the Government could look

at compensation, underwriting cases

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to make sure that lease holders who

have bought in good faith are not

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stung with huge costs.

What about

the Government.

The Government say

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ministers have made it clear they

want private landlords to follow the

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social sector and not pass on the

costs of essential cladding. They

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drop a hint, saying we will consider

the implication of today's judgment.

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How about that for loaded comment?

This could be big, we are just not

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sure how yet.

Thank you.

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Two victims of the serial sex

attacker John Worboys have begun

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a High Court challenge

to the decision to

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release him from prison.

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The former taxi driver has served

ten years for attacks on 12 women.

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Tom Burridge was in court.

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John Worboys tricked

and drugged young women.

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Just eight years ago,

he was jailed indefinitely for one

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rape and several assaults

in the back of his taxi.

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When the Parole Board

announced earlier this year

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that he was to be released, it

caused outrage, especially among

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his victims.

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Now, two women he attacked

are hoping to overturn

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that decision.

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One of them was in the High Court

today - with Worboys

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appearing by video link -

as we learned why the

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Parole Board thought

he was fit for release.

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It believed Worboys had

become open and honest,

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that he had taken full

responsibility for his offences and

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had, the Parole Board thought,

shown insight into factors that

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could cause him to reoffend.

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But the case put

forward by the victims'

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barrister painted a very

different picture.

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Philipa Kaufman QC said John Worboys

had still only admitted

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the attacks on 12 women

for which he was convicted.

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She presented graphic evidence

to back up the police's

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assertion that he actually raped

and assaulted more than 100 women.

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And according to these court

documents, as recent as September,

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prison officials decided to keep

Worboys in a Category A prison,

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because he was deemed

of sufficient risk.

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That was just three months before

the Parole Board decided he

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should be released.

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Those campaigning

on behalf of Worboys'

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victims say vital

evidence was ignored.

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We heard in court today that

the Parole Board haven't listened

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to the women who had been raped

by John Worboys, they didn't look at

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any evidence from the trial,

or from the judge's finding

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that he was a risk to people.

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It looks like the Parole Board

decision was completely

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irrationsal to release John Worboys

and it is good that we're able to

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review that decision now.

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Tomorrow, the Parole

Board will present it

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case over why this convicted rapist

was ready for release.

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The reasoning behind

such decisions is

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normally kept secret.

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This case has already

raised questions over

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whether that should change.

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While no-one knows

for sure what Brexit

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will mean for the capital.

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There is though a small group

of Londoners in the heart of Belgium

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who know exactly what it will mean

for them - the loss

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of their jobs as our MEPs

in the European Parliament.

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Katharine Carpenter has been

speaking to two of them about life

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in Brussels since the vote to leave.

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For 18 years, Labour MEP

Mary Honeyball has made

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this journey from

London to the European

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Parliament once a week.

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She's one of the longest serving

MEPs, still believes Brexit can be

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stopped and denies it's having

an impact on her work here, yet.

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Obviously, everybody here is aware

of Brexit, but we are still

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in the European Union and we're

all still getting on with our jobs.

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But for one of the two London MEPs

who voted to leave the EU,

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things have been

more tense at times.

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I thought perhaps one of the things

that went through my mind is -

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actually will I have to resign?

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Will I lose my job as group leader,

and I was prepared for that.

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I said, I thought I shouldn't put my

own position ahead of my decision.

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The UK has 73 MEPs, eight of them

represent London and they earn just

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over 100,000 euros a year before

taxes, with generous

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pensions and allowances.

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Mary Honeyball admits perhaps

they could have done more to counter

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the perception by some that they're

living the high life in Brussels.

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One of the consequences

of Brexit is that Europe,

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the European Parliament,

what the EU does, has suddenly shot

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up the political agenda.

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So now I think we are getting a lot

of exposure and people do know

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who we are and what we do.

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For Mary, that involves meetings

like this Brexit briefing

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by the Shadow Health Secretary.

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She thinks her party's position

is still a work in progress,

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even raising the possibility that

MEPs will have a role to play

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beyond March next year.

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No chance, says her colleague.

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My job will come to an end,

end of March 2019.

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At that time the UK will leave

and there will be no British MEPs.

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Will you feel sad about

it despite your vote?

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Of course I'll feel sad.

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I mean, I've made many good

friends and it's been

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a large part of my life.

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As for the future, he hasn't

ruled out another attempt

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to become London's Mayor.

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If my party decides to select too

early and I'm still involved

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in helping in negotiations,

then that won't work for me.

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Probably when that role

starts to wind down,

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when we get closer to an agreement,

towards the end of the year,

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early next year, then I'll have

to start seriously looking

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for a new role.

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What's next for you

now after Brexit?

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I'm not really sure, actually.

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I've had a long career in politics,

which has been good.

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I should take time

to reflect, I think.

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Katherine Carpenter,

BBC London News.

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She made recently made global

headlines with a speech

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about 'a new day on the horizon

for women and girls'.

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Tonight Oprah Winfrey

was in London for the European

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premiere of her latest film

and we asked her whether the film

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industry was at a watershed moment

in addressing gender and racial

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equality.

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Well I think it's the beginning,

I think everybody gets all excited

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when there is something

new on the horizon,

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which is what I talked

about in the Golden Globes speech.

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This is the new, but we have

to continue the new.

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So you can't do this and then

wait ten years before

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you do something else.

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And you can see more

of that interview

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on our Facebook page.

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That's it for now from me, but let's

find out what the weather's

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up to with Louise Lear.

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Good evening, if you're off to bed,

a promising day in store tomorrow.

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But no two days the same this week.

Make the most of tomorrow. This rain

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is on the way. But a light southerly

wind will strengthen. But we will

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see clear blue skies, a lot of

sunshine and temperatures up to 14

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degree. And that will feel quite

spring-like. All change into

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Thursday morning. A spell of wet

weather will continue to push north

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and east. Clearing by lunchtime.

Into the afternoon some showers,

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some could be heavy. Possibly

thundery. Top temperatures 10 to 12.

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We keep the showers going on Friday.

But I did say at the start, no two

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days the same. I will live you a

summary at just look at what happens

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at the weekend. Things will get cold

we are a cold easterly

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