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Met Police told to become more diverse

The Metropolitan Police must do more to increase its diversity- according to a new report by the London Assembly. The latest figures show that only 11 per cent of Met officers are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background- compared with around 40 per cent of the population.

Met Police told to better reflect the city it serves Credit: PA

The report makes a number of recommendations to further increase the Met's diversity, including: - Targeting BME women as a specific group and creating 'champions' to increase diversity. - Supporting flexible working to plug the rising numbers of female officers leaving the force. - Consider the legal implications of lessons from New York and Northern Ireland in the next two years, if other efforts to increase diversity prove unsuccessful.

In 2013, 11% of Met's officers were from a BAME background Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images
The Met has been recognised for making some progress Credit: PA

The Committee recognises that the Met has made some progress, including targeted recruitment activities at BAME and female groups. But Joanne McCartney AM, Chair of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee, said: "All Londoners would benefit from a police service that thinks, looks and acts like our city. "There is much more that can be done, such as expanding flexible working and targeting BAME women as a specific group for recruitment, which would speed up diversifying the Met. "When the Met is more representative of the city it polices, we will have a force to be reckoned with. A police force that understands and meets the needs of Londoners."

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Strike ballot closes for 20,000 London bus drivers

A strike ballot will close today for over 20,000 bus drivers in London in dispute over pay. They're voting on whether to take action in the new year over what they call 'disparities' in pay and conditions across the capital's bus operators.

Ballot closes for bus drivers today Credit: PA

Unite London regional officer Wayne King said: "Pay on London buses has become a farce. You have drivers doing the same work, driving the same routes at the same time of day, but being paid different rates. "Rather than one set of negotiations covering all of London's bus drivers we have 18. It is not only inefficient but it is leading to pay inequality and resentment among the men and women who keep London on the move 24 hours a day."

Judge turns to Shakespeare to decide million-pound divorce battle

Nigel Hawthorne played King Lear in a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Credit: PA

A High Court judge turned to one of Shakespeare's most famous characters as he determined a divorce settlement between a wealthy couple from Putney. Mr Justice Mostyn used a quote from King Lear to make a point about how "needs are exceedingly hard to reason":

O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous.

– King Lear, Act 2 Scene 4

The case was between a Pilates instructor and her ex-husband who is a wealthy banker. The judge eventually decided she would receive £1.2m but noted her bitterness towards him, adding that her statement appeared to have been "written with a pen dipped in vitriol".

Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh announces he wants to take over from Boris

Stephen Greenhalgh (left) is currently Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. Credit: PA

One of Boris Johnson's deputies Stephen Greenhalgh has announced that he hopes to be the Conservative candidate at the next mayoral election. With Mr Johnson standing down in 2016, Mr Greenhalgh said he hopes to make London a less expensive city to live in:

The people who keep our city alive can no longer afford to live here. I have the track record and expertise to deliver for them.

– Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor

Mr Greenhalgh used to lead Hammersmith and Fulham Council where he reduced the council tax. If he became mayor, he's promising to cut transport fares and create new homes for essential workers. Mr Johnson has backed his decision to stand:

We need the strongest possible field and I am very pleased that Stephen Greenhalgh has decided to contest the nomination after an outstanding career in London government and in his current role as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
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