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Michelle Obama to meet pupils at East London school

Michelle Obama waves as she arrives at Stansted Airport on Monday. Credit: Chris Radburn / PA Wire/Press Association Images

America's First Lady Michelle Obama will host an event at a school in East London today.

She will meet pupils at the Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets to discuss joint work between America and Britain to boost education for adolescent girls across the world through the Let Girls Learn initiative, championed by her and US president Barack Obama.

Pupils at the single-sex comprehensive will get the chance to grill the first lady - along with former prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard, who chairs the board of the Global Partnership for Education.

It’s fantastic that the First Lady chose to visit one of our borough’s excellent schools today. Following a major transformation programme, our schools are now internationally recognised and delivering some of the best results in the country. I am sure the First Lady welcomed the chance to meet some of the inspirational young people our borough is rightly proud of and I know they will have found her visit an incentive for further success, in school and in life.

– John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets


Quarter of tickets for NYE fireworks went to Londoners

Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations. Credit: Yui Mok / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A quarter of tickets for the New Year's Eve fireworks display went to Londoners last year, figures released by the Mayor of London show.

Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross said they showed the new ticketing system had led to "Londoners missing out on the iconic NYE celebrations."

She has called for half of tickets to be reserved for Londoners this year.


Man who survived Lawrence attack honoured with OBE

Duwayne Brooks has been honoured with an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Credit: Toby Melville / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The man who survived the race-hate attack in which Stephen Lawrence was murdered has been honoured with an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Duwayne Brooks, who was at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, when the pair were set upon by a gang in April 1993, has been awarded an OBE for public and political service.

Since that day Mr Brooks has launched a career in local politics with much of his work focusing on safer communities.

He has been a Liberal Democrat councillor in the inner city region of Lewisham in south east London and hopes to be the Party's candidate for London mayor.

Turnout for Tower Hamlets mayor race 37%

The newly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said he thought the turnout of 37% for the elections was "not bad". Speaking after his win, he said clearly he would have liked more people to have voted - and to have voted for him. He won 27,255 votes in the first round, whilst Rabina Khan, a former member of Lutfur Rahman's Tower Hamlets First party, who stood as an independent came second with 26,763 votes.

The Conservatives won 5,940 votes. The vote used the single transferable vote system where voted can nominate a second candidate if their first candidate is knocked out in the first round. Mr Biggs and gained an extra 5,449 votes in the second round, whilst Mrs c

Labour's victory in the rerun was heightened when it took a council seat from independent in the Stepney Green ward in a related by-election contest.

This gives Labour a majority on the council, where it now has 23 seats, against 17 for independents and five for the Conservatives.

Labour's John Biggs wins Tower Hamlets election

Labour's John Biggs has been elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, winning 32,754 votes on a second preference vote to take the position previously held by Lutfur Rahman.

Labour's John Biggs, winner of the Tower Hamlets election. Credit: Press Association

Mr Biggs was runner-up last year to Rahman, who was removed from office in a high-profile Election Court case in April for corruption. Last year's campaign was marred by allegations of vote-rigging and voter intimidation.

Scotland Yard said before the vote it was assessing 16 complaints of electoral malpractice this time around.

Last year's election was marred by allegations of vote tampering and intimidation at polling stations.

Rahman was barred from office for five years in April after Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey, sitting as an Election Court judge at the High Court, found him ''personally'' guilty of wrongdoing and ''guilty by his agents''.

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