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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."

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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.

Boris Johnson applies to be west London MP

Boris Johnson has applied to be the Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, according to a website
Boris Johnson has applied to be the Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has applied to be the Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2015 general election his spokesperson confirmed this afternoon.

Website GetWestLondon says the Mayor of London submitted his name to Conservative Campaign Headquarters this morning, just 48 hours before the deadline.

A committee of five members of the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association will whittle the candidates down to three or four on September 5 before announcing their winning candidate on September 12.

Read: Boris Johnson says he will try to get elected as MP

Former police community support officer faces prison

A former police community support officer with the Metropolitan Police is facing a prison sentence after admitting he contacted the Sun to say a supermodel was attending a police station accused of assault.

Paul Randall - who is 49 years old - was told by a judge at the Old Bailey: "This reveals a serious breach of trust and a prison sentence is likely."

Randall, of south west London, admitted one count of misconduct in public office.

He will be sentenced on September 18.

Campaigner sets up camp on minister's roof

New Fathers 4 Justice campaigner
Martin Matthews on Chris Grayling's roof in Surrey Credit: New Fathers 4 Justice

A protester has set up camp on the roof of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in Ashtead in Surrey. Martin Matthews unrolled a banner saying: “No rights? Go MAD”

Martin Matthews
Martin Matthews is believed to have food, water and a mobile phone Credit: New Fathers 4 Justice

Martin Matthews says he has enough supplies to keep him going for five days. Surrey Police say they're monitoring the situation.

Martin Matthews
Police are at the scene after being called to reports of a trespasser Credit: New Fathers 4 Justice

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'Hackney Heroine' quits national Lib Dem campaign

A woman who was dubbed the Hackney Heroine for standing up to rioters in 2011 has announced she is stepping down from the race to be Liberal Democrat president over the party's "Neanderthal views on diversity".

Pauline Pearce, 48, posted a video statement on her Facebook campaign page accusing the party of "underhand racism" and claiming senior party figures would not support her because of her criminal record.

She said she would remain in the party but was resigned to remaining "the token person who sits and smiles in the background" rather than being able to take on prominent roles.

The party said it was saddened by the decision and would look into her claims "as a matter of urgency".

Theatre backs down in UK Jewish Film Festival row

London's Tricycle Theatre has backed down on objections to funding for the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF), which saw the venue refuse to host the event.

The theatre announced it could not support the event while the crisis in Gaza was ongoing, as it is sponsored by the Israeli government.

The festival will not go ahead as originally planned in November, but it is hoped it can return next year.

The Tricycle Theatre has withdrawn its objections
The Tricycle Theatre has withdrawn its objections Credit: PA

A joint statement from the UKJFF and the theatre admits the decision provoked "considerabe public upset", and said they joined forces to tackle that.

Following lengthy discussions, the Tricycle has now withdrawn its objection and invited back the UK Jewish Film Festival on the same terms as in previous years with no restrictions on funding from the Embassy of Israel in London.

The UKJFF and the Tricycle have agreed to work together to rebuild their relationship and although the festival is not able to return in 2014, we hope to begin the process of rebuilding trust and confidence with a view to holding events in the future.

We both profoundly hope that those who take differing views on the events of the last few weeks will follow our lead and come together to acknowledge that dialogue, reconciliation and engagement will resolve points of difference and ensure that cultural diversity thrives in all communities.

– UKJFF and Tricycle Theatre

Read: Protest outside Tricycle Theatre

Thousands take part in protest march

Palestinian Solidarity march on London
Marchers on the route of the demonstration in support of Gaza Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Thousands of demonstrators marched along London's streets today to protest at the bombing of Gaza, calling the Israeli offensive a "massacre".

Many of those taking part waved placards and the black, white, green and red flag of Palestine, as they converged on the BBC's Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus this afternoon.

Chants of "Free, Free, Palestine" were shouted across London's busy West End as marchers made their way to Hyde Park for a rally.

Accompanied by a samba band, families, students and others from across Britain marched to call for an immediate halt to the killing in Gaza.

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