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Covid-19: Rule-breakers ‘increasingly likely’ to be fined – Cressida Dick

Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick

wrote in the Times that Londoners have been hosting raves, house parties and gambling events.

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Premiership: Newcastle Falcons & Bath awarded wins after Covid-19 cancellations

Kingston Park
The match scores of Newcastle v Leicester and Bath v London Irish will be recorded as 0-0

Newcastle and Bath have each been given four points after their Premiership games on 26 December were cancelled due to opposition coronavirus cases.

Falcons and Bath were due to host Leicester and London Irish respectively but players from the visiting teams had to isolate because of the virus.

The points – equivalent to a win – lift Newcastle to second and Bath to sixth.

Tigers and Irish have been deemed to have lost their respective games but have been awarded two points each.

The decision was made by a Premiership Rugby panel of chairman Andy Higginson, chief executive Darren Childs and rugby director Phil Winstanley in line with a newly-implemented points system for such instances.

“The health and safety of players, staff, management, officials and supporters is our only priority, so the correct decision was taken to call the game(s) off,” said a Premiership statement.

Both Leicester and Irish closed their training grounds to prevent a significant outbreak, with the Exiles reopening their facilities on Monday for further testing.

As well as positive cases at the clubs, other players have had to self-isolate due to contact tracing or experiencing symptoms of the virus.

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Saracens’ England stars will not play before Six Nations after Championship unveils March start date

Jamie George (left), Elliot Daly (centre) and Owen Farrell
Jamie George (left), Elliot Daly (centre) and Owen Farrell will not have a competitive game until England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on 6 February

Saracens’ England internationals will not play a competitive game before the Six Nations after the new Championship season was delayed until March.

It leaves players including captain Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers without a game before England face Scotland on 6 February.

Saracens were relegated from the Premiership earlier this year after breaching salary cap rules.

English rugby’s second tier has not had a game since March due to Covid-19.

It had been suggested that the 2020-21 Championship season would start in January, but it will now not get under way until the weekend of 6 March.

The 12-team league will be split into two conferences with the winners of each playing a two-legged final for the right to earn promotion to the Premiership.

Saracens will be in Conference A and will face Cornish Pirates, Ampthill, Jersey Reds, London Scottish and Hartpury University.

Conference B is made up of Ealing Trailfinders, Coventry, Nottingham, Bedford Blues, Doncaster Knights and Richmond – who come up from National One in place of relegated Yorkshire Carnegie.

Each side will play their opponents in their respective conferences on a home and away basis.

Last season’s competition was ended early with Newcastle Falcons promoted to the top flight after the 2019-20 season was decided on a “best playing record formula”.

This season clubs are hoping they will be able to stream their fixtures online should they be unable to welcome supporters into their grounds because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“As a result of Championship clubs having little or no income for the last nine months the majority do not have the financial ability to meet the costs of Covid testing required under the elite sport framework,” a Rugby Football Union statement read.

“The clubs have chosen not to return to play under adapted laws and the March start date allows time for clubs to gain clarity from Sport England regarding the Sport Winter Survival Package before starting pre-season training.

“All Championship clubs are unanimously behind the intended competition as outlined, but require some weeks of full training, to make squads ‘match ready’, subsequent to the long absence of competitive rugby.”

The RFU also said clubs can continue to arrange pre-season friendlies, as Saracens have already done.

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Covid: London likely to move to tier 3 amid rising rates

Coronavirus: ‘London must enter tier 3 now’ warn experts

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Koko Camden: Fire engulfs famous music venue

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Media captionOne third of the roof of Koko in Camden was on fire at one point, the London Fire Brigade says

One of London’s most famous music venues has been badly damaged in an overnight blaze.

The dome on the roof of Koko in Camden has been destroyed by fire, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Sixty firefighters helped fight the flames after the blaze broke out just before 21:00 GMT on Monday and no injuries have been reported.

The venue which began life as the Camden Theatre in 1900 has hosted stars including Madonna, Coldplay and Prince.

Station commander Jon Lewis said the fire was brought under control at about 02:30 on Tuesday, adding: “Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building.”

Koko owner Olly Bengough said he was “deeply saddened” by the blaze, adding: “We’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track.”

Image caption

The fire in the building’s roof was brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday

Crews will remain at the scene throughout the day and have warned people to stay away from the area.

Koko which was closed for refurbishment, was also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome and has been one of the capital’s most iconic live music venues for decades.

The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Ed Sheeran are among other star names to have performed at the venue, which is close to Mornington Crescent underground station.

Image copyright
Oliver Cooper

Image caption

About 60 firefighters helped tackle a fire at Koko in Camden High Street

It was reportedly the last venue where AC/DC’s Bon Scott was seen drinking before his death from alcohol poisoning in 1980.

In the early 80s it served as a major venue for the punk and New Romantic scene, with singer Steve Strange of the band Visage holding club nights.

Image copyright
UniversalImagesGroup/Getty

Image caption

Opening night at Camden Palace 1981 with Steve Strange (left)

Members of the public have been sharing their Koko memories on Twitter.

Marc Rustic was “absolutely gutted” having seen his first grime gig at Koko.

“MoStack was performing and it was honestly the best night of my life,” he added.

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn who held his legendary soul nights Shakatak also tweeted about the fire.

Koko and the nearby Roundhouse effectively “bookended” Camden’s music scene, according to music writer Carl Allen.

In between the two are 60 music venues including the Dingwalls and Electric Ballroom, as well as restaurants and pubs.

On Twitter the Roundhouse said it was “really sad” to hear the news about our Camden neighbours.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace/Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan thanked the fire brigade for its quick response.

The venue was set to reopen in the spring after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.

Image caption

The venue hosted the BBC’s Electric Proms in 2007

Image copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Koko has hosted some of music’s biggest names including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Prince


Do you have memories of attending gigs at Koko? Share your experiences by emailing .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:



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Norwich City v Crystal Palace

Norwich boss Daniel Farke saw his side draw with Spurs despite leading twice. The Canaries are the only club not to have won a Premier League point from a losing position this season.

TEAM NEWS

Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean is a doubt to face Crystal Palace because of a foot problem.

Josip Drmic is not expected to return until the weekend, while Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose are long-term absentees.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is again expected to be without a host of first-team players.

Christian Benteke, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are all on the sidelines.

Hodgson has revealed that Martin Kelly played with a muscle strain against Southampton, while Cheikhou Kouyate has said he has a groin issue.

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