Mapped: Islington fire engine response times increase in 2014

Figures released by the London Fire Brigade this week show that average fire engine response times increased this year in 371 of the city’s 649 wards.

The news is particularly relevant in Islington, where a strong campaign was fought to prevent the closure of the 140-year-old Clerkenwell fire station in January. I’ve mapped out the data across the borough below to show how first fire engine response times changed between Jan-Aug 2014 and 2012-13.

Clerkenwell ward saw the largest increase, with an 87 second jump from 3:59 to 5:28. Read my full story for Islington Now here.


Damian Green speaks to City journalism students

Photo: UK in Italy (Flickr)
Photo: UK in Italy (Flickr)

Damian Green, a Home Office minister until July this year, spoke to City journalism students this morning. Donald Macintyre of The Independent interviewed, before questions were taken from the floor. Here are some of the more notable points made…

Norman Baker’s resignation: “Not a huge blow…he was probably slightly worried about his seat.”

Drug legalisation: “Respectable arguments on both sides.”

Coalition: “Expect Coalition to hold out till polling day…but there’s an election coming up where we’ll be trying to kill each other.”

Home Office: “Left to my own devices I would recreate something like the old Home Office. But it’s not likely to happen.”

Police criticism: “If public attitudes turn negative against them [the police] then things have to change.”

2008 arrest: “The first person to call to help after the arrest was Tony Benn.”

RIPA: “Wasn’t designed for that kind of thing [accessing journalists’ sources].”

Conservatives leaving the EPP: “I wouldn’t have done it, but government to government relations are more important.”

Police commissioners: “A good idea…shame about the turnout. People didn’t know what they were, so haven’t got into the habit of voting. Some are doing really good work.”

Immigration public opinion: “If someone has formed opinions not based on any facts, they’re quite difficult to dislodge.”

2014 re-shuffle: “Not ideological…aged-based.”

European Arrest Warrant: “An extremely useful tool.”

Farage: “Clearly does pose a threat in some seats.”

Greatest threat to democracy: “Terrorism. There is daily anguish at the Home Office how we balance [liberty and security]. It’s both a direct and indirect threat.”

Sturgeon’s ‘veto’: “The UK is the member of the European Union, not its constituent parts.”

EU referendum: “A strong eurosceptic confessed to me last night that he thought Britain would vote to stay in.”

‘Benefit tourism’: “Not a phrase that ever crosses my lips.”

TV debates: “Personally in favour of having the Greens in one.”

Video: Talking Ukip at St Pancras International station

St Pancras International is Britain’s gateway to Brussels. Thousands of people travel from here to the heart of the European Union every week.

But what do people there think of Nigel Farage’s mission to take the country out of political union with the continent? Is there more to Ukip’s appeal than being anti-EU? And would they vote for the party?

The top 10 least-followed MPs on Twitter

Much is made of Westminster’s most proficient Twitter-using MPs. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all boast six-figure followerships, while the likes of Tom Watson, Tim Farron and Michael Fabricant have adopted it as an invaluable communication tool.

But what about those at the back of the class? Below are the 10 least-followed British MPs on Twitter (though, of course, the true ‘F’ for fail really has to go to those yet to sign up).

10. VALERIE VAZ@Valerie_VazMP

Followers: 888
Party: Labour
Constituency: Walsall South
Verdict: Too many retweets. Not keen on capitalising names.


Followers: 878
Party: Labour
Constituency: Lanark and Hamilton East
Verdict: Links rather than original insight. Best not to have logo as profile picture.


Followers: 842
Party: Liberal Democrat
Constituency: North Devon
Verdict: Reasonable usage but only 67 tweets. Not so “lively”.

7. GRAEME MORRICE@GraemeMorris

Followers: 842
Party: Labour
Constituency: Livingston
Verdict: Hardly the most insightful.

6. TONY CUNNINGHAM@tcunninghammp1

Followers: 796
Party: Labour
Constituency: Workington
Verdict: Lots of links, how about some opinion?


Followers: 784
Party: Conservative
Constituency: Henley
Verdict: Impersonal In Touch newsletter tweet.

4. RICHARD DRAX@RichardDrax_MP

Followers: 695
Party: Conservative
Constituency: South Dorset
Verdict: No tweets. Nul points.


Followers: 680
Party: Conservative
Constituency: Ludlow
Verdict: Verified account. Foreign diplomacy. Impressive.


Followers: 634
Party: Conservative
Constituency: Gainsborough
Verdict: No tweets, no full name, no profile picture, no chance.

1. ADRIAN BAILEY@Adrian_Bailey

Followers: 70
Party: Labour
Constituency: West Bromwich West
Verdict: The cardinal sin – protected tweets.