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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.

Loads on the show, as usual, but in terms of a start a middle and an end...try these stories.

First up, we'll let you know what happens to the BNPs representative on the London Assembly... as I write, he's facing a six-month ban after making up stories of murders to increase fear of knife crime in Barking and Dagenham - an area where, according to police, the number of murders has actually come down. Richard Barnbrook is accused of bringing the authority into disrepute and faces suspension. His comments appeared in a video on his website and on YouTube and he later claimed that he'd simply got his words jumbled up. His opponents have accused Mr Barnbrook of lying to 'whip up fears in the London community'. But he claims he's the victim of a witchunt. Simon Harris has this one covered for us.

Also on the programme, with complaints against our police officers reaching an all-time high we'll have Kit Malthouse, London's Deputy Mayor for Policing, facing up to questions about the performance of the Met. The Metropolitan Police are facing a record number of complaints and complaints against Essex Police have jumped by an astonishing 44 per cent in the last year alone. According to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, complaints against the Met are going up at twice the national average. So, just three weeks after Mr Malthouse said the Mayor's office had 'their hands on the tiller' of the Met, we'll ask him if they're finding the steering of it harder than they thought.

Now, Lucy - as a girl (I'm perceptive!) might not be able to comment on this, but I have many fond memories of playing armies as a young un'. I was brought up in the countryside and we'd spend hours playing in the woods at the back of our house. It's classic boy stuff, the sort of thing my 4-year-old does now, either using a stick as your weapon of choice, or just taking out the enemy with a lightning fast finger point! We'd generally either be cowboys or soldiers or as 80's tv took hold, our favourite member of The A-Team (I always fancied myself as 'Face' - the good looking one, but usually ended up having to play the part of 'B.A. Baracas' on account of my slight heftyness) Anyway, a nine-year-old boy has been forced to apologise to all of his schoolmates after pointing an imaginary gun at a friend and saying he wanted to 'shoot the German Army' shortly after being taught about the World Wars. Now - and I say this without having yet seen Sharon Thomas's piece yet - this sounds utterly daft to me. The school say his behaviour was 'inapproprate' but deny the mother's claim that they said her son's actions were 'racist'. Sharon will fill us in at six, but if this story is how it's just been described to me in the afternoon meeting, then I think the school has gone completely overboard. What do you think? Email in later.

We'll have a bit of entertainment for you, as ever, and one of our most acclaimed directors is back in the West End. In movies, Stephen Daldry has brought us some crackers: 'Billy Elliot', 'The Hours' and 'The Reader' -- all of which he received Oscar nominations for. But he is also credited as the architect of the most sucessful British theatre revival in history with his production of 'An Inspector Calls' in 1992 leading to tours around Britain and the globe. Ben Scotchbrook went to meet him for us and will report back later, as will we!

Matt and Lucy.

Weather blog

Good evening,
I drove into London this morning. This was not done willingly as the commute by train at least provides a chance to do admin/read the papers/sleep, whereas I can't help but think of a car journey as wasted time at best & stressful & claustrophobic at worst. However, I drew comfort from the fact that it was a glorious morning. I went cross country as much as I could & stayed calm & positive as I made steady progress across a landscape bathed in early autumn sun.
I even remembered to offer up silent prayers of thanks to keep the Gods of traffic happy & was enjoying the ride & also beginning, if I'm honest, to feel a little smug. Until I reached West Hill in Wandsworth on the A3. This spot is usually a bit of a bottleneck, but this morning it was a car park. Nothing seemed to be moving other than the vehicles grinding to a halt in the queue behind me. As my shoulders started to rise & my heart rate increased I tried to occupy my mind by guessing what could be the cause; accident/roadworks/burst water main etc. etc.
Eventually things started to move & after what felt like an eternity (probably no more than 15 minutes) I was at the source of the problem. A census. 'Please pull in if directed' said the signs. Of course I was 'directed' & when I stopped - yet again - was handed a questionnaire to be completed later.
A traffic census. From Tfl.
I was sorely tempted to methodically tear it into a million tiny pieces in front of them but I didn't. I didn't have the time. I needed to continue my drive to work....
Hope to see you at 6,