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Refurbishment completed on Speaker's Corner

A protestor at Hyde Park's Speaker's Corner Credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

London's famous Speaker's Corner will be officially reopened to the public today following refurbishment. The area is one of the capital's most famous gathering points for demonstrators to gather and for speakers to protest.

Large trees have been planted on the site near one of Hyde Park's entrances to reduce noise from the nearby traffic. Grassy areas on the corner have also been extended and more plants have been introduced.

Libertines to reform with Doherty for Hyde Park festival

The Libertines featuring front-man Pete Doherty are to reform to headline London's Hyde Park festival this summer.

The band mates last reunited in 2010 where they performed at Reading/Leeds Festival after splitting in 2004 so co-frontmen Doherty and Carl Barat could pursue their own careers.

Pete Doherty (left) and Carl Barat of the Libertines performing on stage at the HMV Forum in Highgate, London Credit: PA

The reunion will not come as a complete surprise to fans of the band as Doherty hinted a show was on the cards in a recent interview, and the band's Facebook page featured an image of Hyde Park.

The Libertines, will play at Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time in Hyde Park on July 5, with the Pogues, Spiritualized and McBusted also set to perform at the festival.

Tickets go on sale on Friday May 2nd.

Police find body of man in his 20s in Serpentine

Police searching for man who went missing in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park have recovered a body.

Police tape around the boating lake today Credit: ITN

At 16:43, police were called to a person in the water in the Serpentine **in Hyde Park. At approximately 11:50 today, officers from the Met's Marine Policing Unit recovered the body from the lake.

A police officer at the scene Credit: ITN

Officers believe they know the identity of the man, who is in his 20s, but formal identification is yet to take place.


Hyde Park bomb suspect cancels celebration

A party to mark the release of the Hyde Park bomb suspect has been cancelled.

John Downey, a Sinn Fein member accused of planting the 1982 explosive, said he has called off the gathering in a village pub in north Donegal over concerns it was being turned into a media circus

The 62-year-old former oyster farmer, who denied any involvement in the bombing, said the party had been planned as a simple family get-together, friends and neighbours who supported him after his arrest:

He said: "Some elements of the media are portraying the event planned for tonight as triumphalist and insulting to bereaved families. That was never what it was about."

John Downey arrives at court last week Credit: ITN C3

His trial for the IRA attack spectacularly collapsed in London during the week.

A judge ruled he could not stand trial as he'd been given assurances by the PSNI he wasn't wanted for questioning or prosecution in the UK despite the Met police holding a warrant for his arrest.

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500 expected to attend John Downey homecoming

Up to 500 people are expected to attend a homecoming party for former Hyde Park bomb suspect John Downey at a Donegal restaurant on Saturday.

John Downey pictured outside the Old Bailey earlier this month. Credit: ITN

Senior Sinn Fein politicians including Gerry Kelly are expected to join Downey's friends, family at the event in the village of Termon to celebrate his return after being imprisoned for the last nine months while awaiting trial in England.

Jim Allister, leader of the hardline Traditional Unionist Voice party branded the event a "ghoulish celebration" while Kenny Donaldson, who represents 11,000 terrorism victims in Northern Ireland, said: "The victims are going to feel totally and absolutely disgusted."

However, Seamus O'Domhnaill, a Fianna Fail councillor said Mr Downey was an "unassuming" man who should never have been arrested.

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'There was never a guarantee of immunity for anyone'

David Cameron said that in letters sent to so-called on-the-run republicans (OTRs) "There was never any amnesty or guarantee of immunity for anyone, and there isn't now."

David Cameron, pictured today outside Downing Street Credit: PA

Repeating his view at a Downing Street press conference that the John Downey case involved a "dreadful mistake made by the PSNI", he went on: "It is right that we take swift action but let us also remember that Northern Ireland has made great strides forward as a result of the peace process.

"It is vital that we deal properly with the events of the past but make sure this never undermines our determination to build a shared and prosperous future for the next generation so that we never again return to the horrors of the past," he added.

The judge appointed to investigate the operation of a Government scheme to deal with OTRS will be given "full access to government files and officials" and will report by the end May, Mr Cameron said, with the findings being published.

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