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Mahad Ali: Teenager stabbed to death by gang of armed attackers at warehouse party was talented boxer

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DANIEL O’MAHONY, JUSTIN DAVENPORT

A teenager stabbed to death at a warehouse party in west London was a talented boxer, it emerged today.

Mahad Ali, 18, was set upon by a gang of armed attackers as more than 200 people spilled out of the event on an industrial estate in Park Royal at 2.30am yesterday.

The student was rushed to hospital with multiple stab wounds but was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Mr Ali is the 13th teenager to be murdered in London this year and the tenth young person to die of knife wounds. He is also the tenth fatality from knife crime so far this month.

His parents are said to be inconsolable with grief, with a relative saying: “They are crying and crying for their child”.

Friends today paid tribute to Mr Ali, who was a former pupil of Highbury Grove School and member of the Islington Boxing Club.
A picture of the teenager with British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua Joshua was shared on social media.

School friend Claudio Bellezza, 18, said: “Mahad was unique. He never spoke ill of anyone behind their backs, always kept his promises and was never deceitful, which makes it even harder to believe he’s gone.

“He had ambition, he was a hard worker and a great boxer, he showed empathy to those in difficult positions.”

A fellow classmate at Highbury Grove who lived on the same road as Mr Ali in Islington, said: “Mahad was the kindest person you will ever meet in your life. He was always smiling and wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Another friend said: “He was a loving person. I met him and we were instantly family. He was just an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’m sorry for his poor mother and family. She loves him to bits, he was a great son to her.”

Islington Boxing Club paid tribute online saying they were saddened to hear of his death. The teenager had been a member for a few years and had progressed through through the junior academy to compete for the club.

The statement said : “Mahad has become another victim to knife crime that is plaguing the streets of London and affecting so many. It is sad that young people are losing they lives so frequently for no reason. Too many young people are caught up in this and it really needs to stop.

“Thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. “

The warehouse party was “hijacked” by violent gangs towards the end of the night, according to one of the promoters.

He said: “Around 250 people attended the event yesterday around 2.50am (the event would have finished at 3am) numerous fights started happening, loads of people hijacked the event from outside.

Tribute: victim Mahad Ali pictured when he met boxing champion Anthony Joshua

“Whilst the brawl occurred I was stabbed in the face whilst helping someone who was heavily outnumbered getting attacked.”

It is understood to have been held in the premises of the Wanasah Lounge, which closed in April 2016 following a planning dispute with Ealing Council.

Former owner Amira Al-Shamaa said: “When we were there, there were none of these problems.”

Mr Ali’s killing came two days after Sadiq Khan announced new measures to combat London’s knife crime epidemic, including a £625,000 funding boost for projects to tackle gang activity.

Detective Chief Inspector Luke Marks, who is leading the investigation, said: “At some point an altercation began inside, and then may have spilled outside, which resulted in the victim being stabbed.

“Another man was treated at the scene for a head injury and it may be that others were injured too – we would appeal for those people to come forward.”
There have been no arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8358 0300 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sports

Looking back on my Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace | Mo Farah

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I recently had the honour of being knighted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. When I came to the UK from Somalia aged 8, not speaking any English, who would have thought that my running would eventually lead me here? This was another very special gold medal for me and I am so honoured to have received it. Here’s a little glimpse of how the day went for me.

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Crime

Police bid to trace stolen VW car used in shotgun killing in west London

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A man shot dead in a “cowardly” execution-style attack in west London was murdered by killers using a stolen VW car with cloned number plates, police revealed today.

Khalid Abdi Farah, 26, was blasted to death by a gunman armed with a shotgun as he sat in a car outside a convenience store in Southall.

Detectives say the killer was a passenger in a first generation Tiguan car which pulled up alongside Mr Farah’s Ford Focus in Lady Margaret Road in the early hours of last Saturday.

The gunman walked up to Mr Farah’s car and pushed the shotgun through the window, firing twice at close range.

The 26-year-old, who worked as a courier, suffered critical injuries to his chest and died later in hospital.

The charity Crimetoppers today announced a £10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the killers and appealed to anyone who saw the Tiguan with the number plate ‘VK 61 EEG’ being driven in the Southall area around the time of the murder.

The plates were cloned form a legitimate Tiguan owner who recently purchased a car and the stolen vehicle was found burnt out in West Drayton after the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge, who is leading the murder inquiry, said : “We believe the VW Tiguan found burnt out in Knowles Close was the car used by the suspects who shot Khalid. This car had been stolen from the Uxbridge area on 15 October and was using cloned plates between then and Khalid’s murder.

“I am making a very specific request for assistance from the public who live in the Southall and West Drayton areas of west London for sightings of the Tiguan bearing the cloned plates ‘VK 61 EEG’.

“Our work indicates this car was being used and stored around these areas during that time.”

He also appealed to petrol station employees about anyone buying a green petrol container on November 11 to contact them.

DCI Partridge added: “It is early in the investigation and we are still keeping an open mind about what lies behind this attack. If anyone has any information which might give us a reason for this then please let us know.

“From what I understand the victim was sitting in his car minding his own business on a night out, he was targeted in a cowardly fashion.

A family has been left devastated by Khalid’s murder and I would urge anyone who has information that could assist this investigation, please call police or the charity Crimestoppers.”

Mr Farah’s family issued a statement saying : “Khalid was such an amazing son, brother and nephew. We can’t stress enough how distraught we are that our beautiful boy was taken away from us.

“He was a kind and lovable soul that made an impression with everyone he would meet. We as a family will never come to terms with this. If you know even the tiniest of details please come forward. Khalid will only rest in peace when this killer is brought to justice.”

There have been no arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police through incident room on 020 8358 0300 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.

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UK

It makes me livid that the Labour Party assumes black people must support it

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Apart from the London mayoral elections, I have never voted Tory, but I know many black and brown people who have. My beautiful younger brother is one such person. Not only is Mohammed a proud Tory but he is also the chair and founder of the Somali Conservatives and will be standing for the party in 2018 local elections.

So when a 2010 blog by Kensington Labour MP Emma Dent Coad surfaced, referring to Shaun Bailey a “token ghetto boy”, I took offence. No, actually I was livid. Like my brother, Shaun is black and a Tory. My brother and many of those I love and respect, who are proud Conservative members, are not tokens. They are brave, bright people who have chosen to vote for and back a party they believe in. They also want to help it change.

As a child, Mohammed, like me, saw our grandfather dragged out of his bed in Hargeisa, now the capital of Somaliland, in the middle of the night for speaking out against a dictator. As a result of this and the civil war my family were forced to flee.

Something like that shapes your life. For my family it meant we became very political and some of us joined political parties.

None is perfect — I am a member of the Women’s Equality Party — but there is a prevalent idea that Labour owns black and minority ethnic (BAME) people, which I reject. That was the undertone of Dent Coad’s statement, and a toxic reminder of why Labour has lost me and many of my peers.

To me, the Labour Party is all talk and no action. I get trolled by its members and I have even been blocked on Twitter by members of the shadow cabinet — I think because I work with Tory MPs to end female genital mutilation.
Many on the Left still believe that FGM is a cultural issue and that we should be “talking” to abusers and prefer to “respect” differences rather than saving girls like me.

One senior Labour figure once told me they would have to see “how it plays out with the mosques” when I asked him to back me in my fight.

During my campaigning on FGM I have been open to working with anyone in power, but in my experience the Labour Party has shown little interest, while those in the Conservative Party have been quick to respond.

From David Cameron to the current Prime Minister, Conservative politicians have demonstrated that they care about ending FGM. For me and 200 million women across the world who have been cut this is crucial.

Today there is a real possibility that FGM can and will end within our lifetime and that is thanks to some very white and posh men who saw me and listened.

As Kemi Badenoch — a rising star and very black Tory MP — said, the attitude that black people cannot be Tories “traps many black children within imaginary boundaries they believe they aren’t allowed to cross. They end up living less than the very best lives they can.”

Seeing MPs such as Badenoch and James Cleverly in the House of Commons means that my niece and little cousins can see people like themselves in positions of power.

The BAME population of this great country is diverse, and as such, we have the constitutionally-given right to join and support whichever party we wish. Dent Coad and her party would do well to remember that.

I did not need Jeremy Corybn to unlock my talent in order to get three law degrees and I am not waiting for him and his band of Lefty loons to set me free.

Hijab Barbie is not for children to play with

I’ve never played with a Barbie doll and I don’t intend to buy one for any of the girls in my family. I totally get that the makers of Barbie want to sell more of them in the run-up to Christmas but I would not buy my six-year-old niece Sofia a make-up-wearing Barbie, and for the same reason I would not buy her a hijab-wearing one.

The hijab, like make-up and other things meant for adults, is not for children to play with. Instead I would love a world in which girls have strong female icons to admire in many industries — and not have dolls marketed to them by a company such as Mattel.

My homeland is leading the way in outlawing FGM

On Monday Somaliland held its fifth multi-party presidential election, though the results are not in yet. Despite the lack of international recognition, Somaliland is leading the way in the region on so many fronts. Last week, in the final days of the election campaign, I visited Hargeisa, the city of my birth, to lobby for legislation to ban FGM.

Somaliland has the world’s highest incidence of FGM. Like me, 98 per cent of women and girls in the country have undergone FGM — but there is hope. Not only did all three of the men seeking to be the next president agree with me on the subject, they and their party chairmen agreed to table legislation on FGM in their first 100 days.

I know politicians will say anything to get elected but sitting down with these men, I believed them.

I hope to travel back to Somaliland in February with Zac Goldsmith, who has played a significant role in supporting this work. Ending FGM within a generation is something I believe we will achieve. I am proud that Somaliland is leading the way.

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