Video: the riots continue for a third night

Incredible footage of last night's riots shows scenes of chaos, clashes and extraordinary bravery.

A bus blazes in Tottenham, where the riots originated. Police on horses charge through the streets in a futile attempt to gain some control over the situation.

 

A West Indian woman from Hackney makes an extraordinary speech in the streets of East London, telling demonstrators: "This is about a fucking man who got shot in Tottenham, this ain't about having fun on the ride and busting up the place. Get it real black people, get real. Do it for a cause, if we're fighting for a cause let's fight for a fucking cause."

 

A powerful video of scenes in Ealing last night, with protesters and police coming head to head in scenes of violent confrontation.

 

Large fires were seen across London in boroughs including Clapham, Croydon, Hackney and Peckham. Helicopter images from Croydon highlight the extent of the chaos as a building burns ferociously.

 

 

Other cities beyond London including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool were also affected last night as the riots spread across the country. Here, scenes from Birmingham show shops in the aftermath of a night of looting.

Tess Riley is a freelance journalist and social justice campaigner. She also works, part time, for Streetbank, and can be found on Twitter at @tess_riley

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George Osborne's surplus target is under threat without greater austerity

The IFS exposes the Chancellor's lack of breathing space.

At the end of the last year, I noted how George Osborne's stock, which rose dramatically after the general election, had begun to plummet. His ratings among Tory members and the electorate fell after the tax credits imbroglio and he was booed at the Star Wars premiere (a moment which recalled his past humbling at the Paralympics opening ceremony). 

Matters have improved little since. The Chancellor was isolated by No.10 and cabinet colleagues after describing the Google tax deal, under which the company paid £130m, as a "major success". Today, he is returning from the Super Bowl to a grim prognosis from the IFS. In its Green Budget, the economic oracle warns that Osborne's defining ambition of a budget surplus by 2019-20 may be unachievable without further spending cuts and tax rises. 

Though the OBR's most recent forecast gave him a £10.1bn cushion, reduced earnings growth and lower equity prices could eat up most of that. In addition, the government has pledged to make £8bn of currently unfunded tax cuts by raising the personal allowance and the 40p rate threshold. The problem for Osborne, as his tax credits defeat demonstrated, is that there are few easy cuts left to make. 

Having committed to achieving a surplus by the fixed date of 2019-20, the Chancellor's new fiscal mandate gives him less flexibility than in the past. Indeed, it has been enshrined in law. Osborne's hope is that the UK will achieve its first surplus since 2000-01 just at the moment that he is set to succeed (or has succeeded) David Cameron as prime minister: his political fortunes are aligned with those of the economy. 

There is just one get-out clause. Should GDP growth fall below 1 per cent, the target is suspended. An anaemic economy would hardly be welcome for the Chancellor but it would at least provide him with an alibi for continued borrowing. Osborne may be forced to once more recite his own version of Keynes's maxim: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.