The UK Independence Party and the Conservatives have both announced their candidates for the Feltham and Heston by-election next month.
Standing for the Conservatives is Mark Bowen, who fought the seat in both 2005 and 2010.
Bowen is leader of the Conservative group on Hounslow Borough Council. Commenting on his selection, Bowen said it was a “privilege” to be the Conservative candidate.
“Having lived in the constituency for the past 13 years, it really is a great honour and I am extremely proud of my local area,” he said. “I have been a councillor for the last 9 years and have fought the last two general elections as the Conservative Candidate.”
Meanwhile, UKIP’s housing spokesman, Andrew Charalambous, will contest the seat for the anti-EU party.
Charalambous, 39, is a London-based property developer. Last year he stood as a Conservative Party candidate in Edmonton. He said: “It is a great honour to be standing for UKIP and I will use every bit of I energy I possess to campaign tirelessly to give UKIP its first MP in Westminster. I have stood for parliament before and I know the effort required. Previously, I stood as a Conservative, but that party has let everybody down which is why I am now standing for UKIP.”
The by-election will be held on 15th December. At the time of writing no other major party has declared its candidates.
First Great Western will add an extra 4,500 seats to commuter trains running into and out of London Paddington starting from early next year.
Extra government funding means a total of 48 carriages will be added to First’s services between London, Reading and the south west. New trains will start operating between Worcester and London Paddington, freeing up capacity for extra seats on Thames Valley commuter services.
Vernon Barker, Managing Director of FirstGroup’s UK rail division, said: “We’re delighted at this announcement by the Department for Transport, which is good news for First Great Western’s customers across the network and will reduce crowding on the most popular peak services.”
A total of 27 peak daily services calling at Twyford, 28 calling at Maidenhead and 23 calling at Slough will receive extra carriages.
Theresa Villiers, Transport Secretary, said: “We are determined to tackle overcrowding and provide better, more comfortable journeys for passengers. These extra carriages will enable existing services to be lengthened which will significantly increase their capacity.
Fifteen carriages being added to the high speed trains operating out of Paddington are ex-British Rail Mk.III buffet cars which will be converted to standard class. 33 carriages will be added to other services across the areas targeted for improvement.These will be phased in between February 2012 and September 2012. The Government hopes the extra carriages will be deployed in time for next summer’s Olympic Games.
The cost of improving capacity on the network will be £28.9m.
A man brandishing a sawn-off shotgun robbed a Wealdstone petrol station last week.
Police were called at approximately 06:20hrs on Thursday, 17 November after a man entered the Total petrol station on Wealdstone High Street.
He threatened staff, hitting one over the head with the weapon before making off with a quantity of cash. No shots were fired.
The man was described as 5’7″ tall wearing dark clothing with his face covered. He reportedly drove off in a white vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Flying Squad on 020 8358 1751 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There has been no arrest and enquiries continue.
A soldier from Northwood will be repatriated to RAF Brize Norton later today after he was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Private Thomas Christopher Lake, 29, from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR), died on Sunday 20 November. He was part of a patrol to reassure the local population in the Jamal Kowi area of the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province when he was caught in an explosion.
Pte Lake, who lived in Northwood, joined the Army in November 2009 and passed out of basic training in May 2010. He joined B Company, 1 PWRR in Germany shortly afterwards.
Upon joining his battalion he attended a number of courses – most notably the Assault Pioneers’ Course and the Team Medics’ Course, and he recently completed part one of the arduous Snipers’ Course in Brecon, Wales.
He deployed to Canada with 4 Platoon, B Company in July 2010, remaining with that platoon during the battalion’s deployment to Afghanistan. He is survived by his mother, Carol. She said: “Tom was a wonderful son and I will miss him more than I can say. He had so many friends who will remember him as a loyal, fun-loving action man who was always the first to try anything new and usually excelled at it. He died doing something he loved and believed in. I will always be proud of my boy.
Pte Lake’s fellow soldiers and officers paid tribute to him after he was killed in action.
Lieutenant Colonel James Coote, Commanding Officer, 1 PWRR, said: “Pte Lake’s untimely death has denied the battalion of one of its brightest soldiers; we are all the worse off for his loss. As ever, the sincerest tribute comes from his friends in his platoon who described him simply as ‘our best bloke’. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his mother Carol and with all those that had the honour to know him.”
Major Ross Noott, Officer Commanding B Company, 1 PWRR, said: “Professional to the end, he died as he had lived: serving his country with mates whose trust, respect and friendship he had earned and shared. An older brother to many in the company, soldiers looked to him for help and encouragement and were never disappointed.”
Second Lieutenant Rob Coates, 4 Platoon commander, 1 PWRR, said: “As both a person and a soldier Private Tom Lake excelled. One of the real characters in the platoon, he was a constant source of entertainment. Hours raced by when I was acting as watchkeeper with Private Lake on ‘stag’, due to his ability to chat endlessly on any topic. Private Lake lived with his mum Carol and he always made sure that he rang home regularly to see how she was.”
2Lt Coates added: “In the field, he proved himself a diligent, hardworking and conscientious soldier. He quickly learned how to build up a rapport with the locals and his sense of humour proved its worth many times over. He was the elder statesman of the platoon and as a result all of the lads looked up to him and sought his advice.
Sergeant Martin Caines, 4 Platoon Sergeant, said: “Private Lake was the best soldier in my platoon without a doubt. Always the first soldier to have his kit on, ready to take the fight to the enemy with his sharpshooter rifle. He and I were planning a trip to the Nürburgring on our bikes after we got back. It was a pleasure to have him under my command. It is a sad loss and he will be missed by me and B Company complete; missed but never forgotten.”
Corporal Oliver Kennedy, Section Commander, said: “Lakey, probably one of the best soldiers within the platoon – liked by everyone. An absolute hardworker and one of those people that would never have to be asked to do anything.”
Cpl Kennedy’s fellow section commander, Cpl Jonathan St Paul, added: “He was funny and always came out with some cracking banter and jokes. He was bright and cheery and morale was high with Tom around. He loved a brew and was always punching them back – the kettle was always on and water boiling with Tom.”
Lance Corporal James Nopps, section second-in-command, said: “He loved to play table tennis, which he was very good at, and some of the games we played out here were pretty tense. I will always remember singing ‘Rocky – Eye of the Tiger’ to him, as I had beaten him, and the way he said he would beat me in our next match.”
Private Zachary Myers, who served alongside Pte Lake, said: “I don’t wish to sound clichéd, but Tom was a top bloke. He always had a smile and a joke at the ready. If anybody needed to do something he would lend a hand. In the checkpoint he helped us waterproof our beds, built a shelter over the kitchen and was a great general handyman.
“He lived life to the full, be it riding his motorbike, sky diving or waterskiing. Anything he could try, he would. Tom was always putting other people before himself. “The night before we flew out he ordered us a curry and we all sat in my room and ate a last meal together. Tom was a great bloke and I’m glad to call him my friend. He will be sorely missed.”
Private William Keough, 4 Platoon, B Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, said: “How do you sum up the life of a close friend into a few paragraphs? Answer, you can’t. What you can do is remember the truly great things about them.
I know it’s a cliché to say that he was the heart and soul of the platoon and the best of the best, but I find myself stuck for any other way to describe him.
“Tom was the easiest guy in the platoon to get along with and he was both funny and smart. To me he was an older brother and someone I could confide in or talk complete rubbish with. He was always the first to lend a helping hand and without doubt the centre of the platoon’s morale.
“My lasting thought of Tom will be him in a bright green duvet jacket, brew in hand and smiling. He will forever be missed and never replaced; a great soldier and one of the best friends anyone could ask for.”
An Ealing man stabbed his 67-yr-old friend to death while out on probation from a previous killing, a court heard yesterday.
Mohammed Khaleel, 38, murdered Michael Zubrot in Perivale after he was released on licence for killing David Sheehan in 2003.
Jurors at the Old Bailey heard Sheehan was found stabbed to death in his flat in Boston Road, Hanwell. Khaleel was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
After he served his sentence, prison authorities released Khaleel on licence. He moved to the probation hostel in April 2010.
In May that year he met 67-year-old Zubrot near Walpole Park, the jury was told. Zubrot was last seen alive at a bus stop on Ealing Broadway, west London, with Khaleel, said prosecutor Duncan Penny.
The pensioner’s decomposing body was found at his home in Buckingham Avenue on 9th September last year after friends raised concerns about his welfare.
Khaleel pleaded not guilty to murder. The trial continues.
Police have issued a witness appeal after a woman was sexually assaulted in Beddington Park, Wallington, on Sunday.
The victim, a white female wearing dark clothing, was attacked on the A237 London Road between 10.30pm and 11.15pm. She was attacked from behind near The Grange restaurant, before being forcibly taken into the park.
Detective Inspector Neil Matthews of Sapphire Command at Sutton Police Station said: “This was an appalling vicious attack on a vulnerable individual. It is essential that anyone who may have seen the incident at any stage come forward.”
Police took the unusual step of issuing a description of the victim in order to help any passing drivers who may have seen her with her attacker to come forward. There is no description of the attacker at present.
A forensic tent was reportedly visible in the park on Monday morning, along with police conducting searches of the area.
Witnesses are asked to contact Sapphire Command on 020 8721 4106. If you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A pair of wallabies have been murdered at Brent Lodge Park a month after one animal was found beheaded at the same location.
It is not yet known if the attack, which happened last Wednesday, is linked to the October slaying.
Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Council member for transport and the environment condemned the attack and vowed to find the people responsible. He said: “Three new wallabies were brought in this week to keep Rolph company after his companion died in the previous attack. It’s awful to think that within days of arriving in their new enclosure they have been attacked.
“We are installing CCTV at the site and in the meantime we have introduced additional overnight security patrols. The surviving wallabies are being moved to an alternative location overnight to keep them safe.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are increasingly concerned regarding the incidents in the Park. It is visited by many families and they will be upset about this second attack. These sorts of incidents are very unusual and we are determined to find the person or persons responsible.”
If you have any information in relation to this incident, please contact wildlife officer PC Sara Lowe at Ealing Police on 020 8721 7135 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
A stabbing and a fire occurred within an hour of each other at Brunel University this evening.
Witnesses reported a man who claimed to have been stabbed near to Cleveland Road, which runs through the middle of the university’s campus in Uxbridge.
Edward Whitaker, a Brunel University student, saw the aftermath.
“Me and Jane were walking past the arts centre,” he says, “and saw some guys having a fight. Then one of them started running towards the Hamilton Centre shouting ‘I’ve been knifed’ and holding his side!”
Police were called at about 8.30pm, arriving on the scene in force. A spokesman described the victim’s injuries as a “slash wound to the body” whilst other eyewitnesses commented how “calm” he was. He was taken to a West London hospital with what police described as “non life-threatening” injuries.
University officials denied that an incident had taken place on campus, whilst police were seen apparently removing bags of evidence from the scene. At the time of writing the police could not confirm whether an arrest had been made.
About an hour after the stabbing, fire alarms in the university’s Heinz Wolff building went off. Campus security evacuated the building just before four fire engines from Hillingdon and Hayes fire stations arrived.
Details about the cause of the fire had not been released at the time of writing but university sources confirmed that works were being carried out on underground tunnels carrying electricity, gas and water supplies to the building. An eyewitness claimed to have seen evidence of a fire from the outside of the building.
No smoke or flames were visible from outside, although a small number of firefighters entered the building with a hose.
editor’s update 2nd Nov: A university source who does not wish to be identified confirms that the fire started because of a light fitting. We are seeking an official statement from the university.
A woman was rushed to hospital this afternoon after being struck by a car opposite the former RAF Uxbridge.
The incident, which happened at about 5pm, saw a car plough into a group of pedestrians near the A4020 Hillingdon Road junction with Orchard Waye. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to the scene. One woman was rushed to a central London hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said “The male driver, aged in his 30s has been, arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and is in custody at a west London police station. Road closures remain in place.”
Drivers attempting to reach Uxbridge or destinations beyond are advised to turn off at Royal Lane and use the Cowley Road instead.
The A4020 is also known as the Uxbridge Road. Tailbacks are reported as far as Hillingdon.