Gary Johnson: Chelsea's payout was a 'form of abuse'

You just suffer in silence and push it to the bottom of your ladder as such

– Gary Johnson

Ex-Chelsea footballer Gary Johnson joined Good Morning Britain this morning after revealing the club paid him £50,000 to keep quiet about abuse he endured as much as twice a week for four years as a youth.

Johnson, who appeared on the programme alongside his wife Marcye, told us of how the hush money was a "form of abuse in itself" and of how he felt he had no one to talk to about it.

He is due to meet representatives from Chelsea FC in person later today, where they are expected to formally apologise in person.

The official probe into child sexual abuse allegations in football will ensure any failings by the authorities or clubs "are brought to light", the English Football Association has said.

A hotline for footballers who have been the victims of sexual abuse has been launched by the NSPCC. The hotline will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642. You can also visit the following:

Top five headlines you're waking up to

  1. MPs will be challenged by Theresa May to explicitly back her to trigger Brexit by April in the House of Commons today, a Tory MP has revealed. They will vote following a debate on a plan to trigger Britain's exit from the EU. They will also vote on calls for the Government to set out its Brexit plans before Triggering Article 50.

  2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the wearing of full-faced veils should be prohibited in the country "wherever it is legally possible". Today we'll be asking whether there Is there a place for this kind of ban in Britain.

  3. After ex-Chelsea footballer Gary Johnson says the club paid him £50,000 to "keep a lid" on sexual attacks he'll join Good Morning Britain this morning alongside his wife to talk about why he's come out about the abuse after 40 years

  4. One in five women and one in ten men will be victims of stalking in their lifetime. Now, in a move to keep victims safe, the Home Office is introducing Stalking Protection Orders to help protect victims at the earliest possible stage. Anyone found breaching the order could face jail a 5 year jail sentence.

  5. An investigation by Good Morning Britain has found that one in nine vets in the UK have seen puppies they believe were illegally imported in the last year. The news comes amid a surge of smuggled puppies entering the UK in time for the festive period, often with life limiting conditions.

Vegan's petition against new £5 note containing animal fat

A petition to ban the new £5 notes which contain animal fat has reached nearly 130,000 signatures.

The petition was started by Doug Maw, who's been a vegan for 20 years who wants the new £5 notes to be withdrawn because they contain small amounts of tallow.

The Australian inventor of the notes has described the complaints as 'stupid'. Professor David Solomon, who developed the first polymer bank note in circulation in Australia in 1988, said the new £5 notes contain trivial amounts of tallow, a substance made from animal fat.

We were joined by Doug this morning to find out more about his petition.

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Will China and the US go to war? Journalist John Pilger thinks so

This is a great landscape of potential mistakes and accidents

– John Pilger

The White House is seeking to reassure China after President elect Donald Trump risked a major international row by reaching out to Taiwan.

Journalist John Pilger reckons China and the US could easily be headed for war.

"This is a great landscape of potential mistakes and accidents" he said.
"If Trump is not going to have a war with China, he has to control his own people."

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Ian Wright exclusive: 'Prison made me a different person'

Former footballer Ian Wright has told Good Morning Britain being in prison inspired him to be a footballer and get his life straight.

The footballer was put in prison in Chelmsford for two weeks for driving without a licence before becoming professional.

"I did say I would never ever come to a place like that again. I knew i had to start doing the straight and narrow right thing," he said. "That was it."

Wright also stressed the importance of his time playing for Crystal Palace.

"It was the way I came through," he said of his time at the club.
"From 1985 when I got there, the way we moved up and took Palace to that level."

Ian was in studio to discuss his new autobiography 'A Life in Football: My Autobiography'

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The top five headlines you're waking up to

Rail shake-up

  1. Network Rail is to be stripped of its complete control of England's railway tracks under Government plans being announced today. Ministers want the publicly. Ministers want the publicly owned company to share its responsibility with private train operators. A new railway line linking Oxford and Cambridge will be fully privatised - with the track and trains operated by the same company. Network Rail will not be involved.

  2. Port Talbot steelworks rescue plan set for Wednesday. A plan to secure more than four thousand jobs at the plant is expected to be put to workers tomorrow morning. A deal has reportedly been reached between union bosses and Tata Steel, which had previously earmarked the plant for closure.

  3. Children educated at northern secondary schools lag behind their southern counterparts, according to a report from the Children's Commissioner for England. It found a gap opens up by the time pupils reach 16. 34 per cent of students from low-income families in the north achieve at least five A star to C grades at GCSE. That compares to 48 per cent of pupils in London.

  4. Theresa May has arrived in Bahrain for a two-day trade visit to the Gulf states. The Government says 30 billion pounds worth of opportunities for British businesses have been identified in the region over the next five years. The Prime Minister is the first woman - and only the third Western leader ever - to be invited to the Gulf Co-operation Council summit.

  5. A massive sinkhole has opened up in a road in Texas - swallowing two vehicles. An off-duty sheriff's deputy was killed in the 20 foot deep hole in San Antonio, which stretched across the width of the road.

Actress Roxanne Pallett spends 24 hours in isolation for 1 Million Minutes campaign

As part of our 1 Million Minutes campaign, former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett spent 24 hours in total isolation, in order to experience what it's like for some elderly people in the UK who speak to nobody from one end of the day to the next.

The actress was moved to tears during the day spent alone, with just the TV for company.

You can pledge your time in support of our 1 Million Minutes campaign here

New UKIP leader Paul Nuttall: 'You don't need members of parliament to influence'

You don't have to have members of parliament to influence things

– Nuttall is not worried that UKIP only has one MP

We were joined this morning by new UKIP leader Paul Nuttall who stressed that post-Brexit leaves the party with "great opportunities".

Speaking at the start of today's Supreme Court hearing regarding Article 50, he added: "Just because you have backsides on the green leather doesn't mean influence.

"The British people spoke on June 23rd. It was made perfectly clear during the referendum that if you were voting to leave, you were voting to take back control."

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