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James Cracknell to stand against Boris in Uxbridge?

James Cracknell
James Cracknell pictured at a photocall ahead of the Virgin London Marathon Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/ Empics Entertainment

James Cracknell has thrown his hat into the ring for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, according to The Evening Standard The paper reports that his name is among dozens that have been put forward to become the Conservative contender for the west London constituency following the announcement by Sir John Randall that he's standing down.

A shortlist of three or four names is being prepared, with the winner being announced next Friday.

Revealed: Mandela and Winehouse shared joke

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse performs at Glastonbury in 2007 Credit: Reuters

Nelson Mandela had a soft spot for London singer Amy Winehouse after a quip she made about his time in prison - former prime minister Gordon Brown has revealed.

The ex-Labour leader said the pair met at former South African president Mr Mandela's 90th birthday party, at which singer Winehouse made a joke comparing the anti-apartheid campaigner to her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

In an interview with the Guardian's G2 magazine, Mr Brown said: "The person he (Mr Mandela) most liked was Amy Winehouse.

"She said to him: 'You and my husband have a lot in common'. "He said, 'Oh, what is that?' "She said, 'You've both spent a long time in prison'."


Appeal to find missing Berkshire man

Samuel Tuck
If you see Samuel Tuck please do not approach him but instead call Thames Valley Police Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information to trace a man who was last seen in Berkshire.

Samuel Tuck, aged 40, was last seen using a green canoe at Hurley Lock near Maidenhead on Wednesday. Police believe Samuel might have been fishing or camping in the area.

Samuel has brown hair, brown eyes, is between 5ft 8in to 10in tall, with a three to four inch scar on one of his forearms. He has lost weight since the attached photo was taken.

It is believed that Samuel was last seen wearing a long green jacket, jeans and white trainers.

Samuel has links to the Camberwell area of London.

Samuel’s family is extremely concerned for his welfare and desperately want him to come home.

If you are reading this Samuel, please get in touch with your family or police so we know you are safe and well.

– PC Graeme Guthrie, Thames Valley Police

Mayor waits for decision on estuary airport

The mayor is awaiting the decision of the Airports Commission on short-listing an estuary airport.

It is the only credible option and the only one that gives us both the global and national connectivity we need in the medium and longer term.

– Spokesperson for Boris Johnson

Heathrow bosses have called on Boris Johnson to support a third runway if plans for the so-called "Boris Island" are shelved by the Airports Commission

Rewards for recycling your rubbish

Rubbish Collection
You could get shopping vouchers for recycling your rubbish Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of households will be given shopping vouchers if they recycle more under a £5 million fund to promote weekly bin collections.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles says that people should be rewarded for recycling more instead of being punished with "draconian" fines.

He highlighted a successful pilot scheme in Windsor where the council weighs each household's recycling and rewards them with vouchers for national and local retailers worth up to £135 a year.

It is a myth that fortnightly bin collections or unfair bin fines are needed to increase recycling. Rewards for recycling show how working with families can deliver environmental benefits without the draconian approach of punishing people and leaving out smelly rubbish. This Government is protecting the local environment by supporting recycling, as well as championing weekly collections which protect local amenity and public health. Councils with fortnightly collections will not receive government funding and are short-changing their residents with an inferior service.

– Eric Pickles MP, Communities and Local Government Secretary

Heathrow Boss wants Boris Johnson's backing

Bosses at Heathrow want to build a third runway Credit: PA

Heathrow's chief executive has urged Boris Johnson to back expansion at London's biggest airport should plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary be scrapped.

Airports Commission could exclude plans for the so-called "Boris Island" from its list of options for new runways in the South East.

The Mayor of London has announced he's seeking the Conservative candidacy at Uxbridge and South Ruislip at next year's general election.

John Holland-Kaye has published an open letter he has written to Mr Johnson quoting the mayor's former thoughts on airport capacity. Boris Johnson is opposed to expansion at Heathrow.

John Holland-Kaye
John Holland-Kaye has written an open letter to Boris Johnson Credit: PA

Mr Holland-Kaye said Heathrow would be "the only option left in the race" should the estuary plan be ditched.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip borders Heathrow, with many people in the constituency depending on the airport for employment.

Boris Johnson and David Cameron
Boris Johnson hopes to be the new MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip Credit: PA


Basketball star launches academy in Brixton

NBA All Star and former Croydon resident basketball player Luol Deng launching the Luol Deng Academy in Brixton today
NBA All Star and former Croydon resident basketball player Luol Deng launching the Luol Deng Academy in Brixton today Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

NBA All Star and former Croydon resident basketball player Luol Deng was in the capital today to launch the Luol Deng Academy, based at the Evelyn Grace Secondary school in Brixton.

Luol, who captained the Team GB squad at the 2012 Olympics and who has just signed for the Miami Heat in the US, was born in South Sudan which his family fled, settling in South London.

The Academy has been set up in reaction to the British government cutting all funding to the game in the UK. Deng wants to give talented young kids a proper path way into the professional game by offering professional training and for some of the most promising kids, scholarships into the US high school system.

Luol Deng in action against Russia's Victor Khryapa in the Basketball Arena in London in 2012
Luol Deng in action against Russia's Victor Khryapa in the Basketball Arena in London in 2012 Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

In 2013 Luol sent an open letter to David Cameron asking him to reconsider pulling all funding, the letter got a large amount of media coverage but alas funding was completely cut.

Sadiq Khan MP: "Tories just offer more of the same failure"

Sadiq Khan MP: Tories are out of touch
Sadiq Khan MP: Tories are out of touch Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

Labour's London spokesman and MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan said:

"Boris Johnson's announcement is confirmation of how weak David Cameron is and how out of touch the Tories are.

"When millions of people are struggling under a cost of living crisis, the Tories are turning inwards, jockeying for position in a future leadership contest.

"What Britain needs is a change of direction. For all their squabbles over who leads them, all the Tories offer is more of the same failure."

Johnson will complete Mayoral term if elected MP

Boris Johnson says that if he's elected as MP he will still serve out his term as Mayor
Boris Johnson says that if he's elected as MP he will still serve out his term as Mayor Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Mr Johnson has said that if he is elected to the Commons next May he will still serve out his term as Mayor, which ends in 2016.

In his Telegraph newspaper column at the weekend he called for tougher anti-terrorism laws - including a presumption that Britons travelling to Iraq and Syria without notifying UK authorities are engaged in criminal behaviour.

"The law needs a swift and minor change so that there is a “rebuttable presumption” that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose."

– Boris Johnson

But Downing Street has poured cold water on the idea, stressing that police and security services are not "pushing" for such measures.

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