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Hundreds of revellers turn out for Santacon in London

By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline

Published: 09:33 EST, 9 December 2017 | Updated: 20:25 EST..

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By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline

Published: 09:33 EST, 9 December 2017 | Updated: 20:25 EST, 9 December 2017

Hundreds of drinkers descended on London dressed as Father Christmas for SantaCon as the annual American pub crawl hit the UK once more.

Describing itself as 'non-profit, non-political, non-religious and non-sensical', the parade that originated in San Francisco invites people to 'join the naughty list' and down drinks in the capital's bars and open spaces.

But today's festive frivolities weren't restricted to indoor venues, as Santas were spotted pouring themselves drinks outside – with one unloading a large bottle of gin into a plastic bottle.

One of St Nick's elves was pictured grappling with another little helper in the dirt while another reveller relieved himself in a bush.

Attendees are also invited to bring carol sheets to the parade for drunken sing-a-longs as they walk between bars.

Some seemed content with climbing on frames in children's play areas and drinking cans of lager on park benches while one honoured comedian Sacha Baron Cohen by fusing a traditional take on Santa with the character Ali G.

London's SantaCon festivities carried on well into the night and revellers were pictured dancing in the streets following the Christmas-themed pub crawl that took place in cities across the world

London's SantaCon festivities carried on well into the night and revellers were pictured dancing in the streets following the Christmas-themed pub crawl that took place in cities across the world

Dozens of Santas gathered in Trafalgar Square and many of the hardy revellers were still clutching cans of lager several hours after the pub crawl kicked offDozens of Santas gathered in Trafalgar Square and many of the hardy revellers were still clutching cans of lager several hours after the pub crawl kicked off

Dozens of Santas gathered in Trafalgar Square and many of the hardy revellers were still clutching cans of lager several hours after the pub crawl kicked off

Defying the cold weather, this elf braved the freezing cold of London wearing little more than a jumper and mittensDefying the cold weather, this elf braved the freezing cold of London wearing little more than a jumper and mittens

Defying the cold weather, this elf braved the freezing cold of London wearing little more than a jumper and mittens

A group of Santa costume-clad revellers down a variety of drinks as the SantaCon pub crawl in London dragged on into the nightA group of Santa costume-clad revellers down a variety of drinks as the SantaCon pub crawl in London dragged on into the night

A group of Santa costume-clad revellers down a variety of drinks as the SantaCon pub crawl in London dragged on into the night

A right old mess: After the party goers had left, London's Trafalgar Square was left covered in rubbish. Discarded drinks containers, a deck chair and even a traffic cone were dumped near to Nelson's ColumnA right old mess: After the party goers had left, London's Trafalgar Square was left covered in rubbish. Discarded drinks containers, a deck chair and even a traffic cone were dumped near to Nelson's Column

A right old mess: After the party goers had left, London's Trafalgar Square was left covered in rubbish. Discarded drinks containers, a deck chair and even a traffic cone were dumped near to Nelson's Column

Has Santa had one too many? A Father Christmas was pictured lying on the pavement while a friend appeared to be trying to help them during the SantaCon pub crawlHas Santa had one too many? A Father Christmas was pictured lying on the pavement while a friend appeared to be trying to help them during the SantaCon pub crawl

Has Santa had one too many? A Father Christmas was pictured lying on the pavement while a friend appeared to be trying to help them during the SantaCon pub crawl

SantaCon - which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world - invited revellers to 'join the naughty list'. These Bad Santas did their best to make the list and were pictured downing cans of lager in a London parkSantaCon - which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world - invited revellers to 'join the naughty list'. These Bad Santas did their best to make the list and were pictured downing cans of lager in a London park

SantaCon – which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world – invited revellers to 'join the naughty list'. These Bad Santas did their best to make the list and were pictured downing cans of lager in a London park

Bad Santa: Revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on a playground in Tower Hill, London following the SantaCon event. Clutching bottles of alcohol, they stood in a circle and watched as one Santa performed the limboBad Santa: Revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on a playground in Tower Hill, London following the SantaCon event. Clutching bottles of alcohol, they stood in a circle and watched as one Santa performed the limbo

Bad Santa: Revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on a playground in Tower Hill, London following the SantaCon event. Clutching bottles of alcohol, they stood in a circle and watched as one Santa performed the limbo

Clutching a can of beer and perched precariously on some scaffolding, this Father Christmas seemed to be inviting an accident to happenClutching a can of beer and perched precariously on some scaffolding, this Father Christmas seemed to be inviting an accident to happen

Clutching a can of beer and perched precariously on some scaffolding, this Father Christmas seemed to be inviting an accident to happen

These rowdy St Nicks were piled into a Tube station on Saturday evening following SantaCon. One of the revellers jumped onto the shoulders of a friendThese rowdy St Nicks were piled into a Tube station on Saturday evening following SantaCon. One of the revellers jumped onto the shoulders of a friend

These rowdy St Nicks were piled into a Tube station on Saturday evening following SantaCon. One of the revellers jumped onto the shoulders of a friend

A group of rowdy Father Christmases were pictured squeezing onto a Tube train on Saturday evening following the SantaConA group of rowdy Father Christmases were pictured squeezing onto a Tube train on Saturday evening following the SantaCon

A group of rowdy Father Christmases were pictured squeezing onto a Tube train on Saturday evening following the SantaCon

One Santa - perhaps relying on his experience squeezing down chimneys - squeezed himself down a children's slide with the help of an elfOne Santa - perhaps relying on his experience squeezing down chimneys - squeezed himself down a children's slide with the help of an elf

One Santa – perhaps relying on his experience squeezing down chimneys – squeezed himself down a children's slide with the help of an elf

Cheeky! One scantily-clad SantaCon goer appeared to flash her underwear as she braved the freezing temperatures in a short skirt and thigh-high stockingsCheeky! One scantily-clad SantaCon goer appeared to flash her underwear as she braved the freezing temperatures in a short skirt and thigh-high stockings

Cheeky! One scantily-clad SantaCon goer appeared to flash her underwear as she braved the freezing temperatures in a short skirt and thigh-high stockings

One punter wearing a Santa hat was pictured enjoying the pub crawl while downing a bottle of wineOne punter wearing a Santa hat was pictured enjoying the pub crawl while downing a bottle of wine

One punter wearing a Santa hat was pictured enjoying the pub crawl while downing a bottle of wine

All I want for Christmas: Love was in the air for this amorous couple who were caught in a passionate clinch during SantaConAll I want for Christmas: Love was in the air for this amorous couple who were caught in a passionate clinch during SantaCon

All I want for Christmas: Love was in the air for this amorous couple who were caught in a passionate clinch during SantaCon

Hundreds of revellers descended on the streets of London on Saturday for this year's SantaCon pub crawl. This young lady appeared to be enjoying herselfHundreds of revellers descended on the streets of London on Saturday for this year's SantaCon pub crawl. This young lady appeared to be enjoying herself

Hundreds of revellers descended on the streets of London on Saturday for this year's SantaCon pub crawl. This young lady appeared to be enjoying herself

This Santa was just one of hundreds enjoying themselves in London today during the SantaCon pub crawlThis Santa was just one of hundreds enjoying themselves in London today during the SantaCon pub crawl

This Santa was just one of hundreds enjoying themselves in London today during the SantaCon pub crawl

Hundreds of revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on the streets of London today for SantaCon. One of the festive  partygoers let off a red flare while his fellow santas videosHundreds of revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on the streets of London today for SantaCon. One of the festive  partygoers let off a red flare while his fellow santas videos

Hundreds of revellers dressed as Father Christmas descended on the streets of London today for SantaCon. One of the festive partygoers let off a red flare while his fellow santas videos

One of the female Santas was pictured clutching a bottle of cheap alcoholic drink Lambrini as she braved London's plunging winter temperatures wearing just a red Father Christmas dressOne of the female Santas was pictured clutching a bottle of cheap alcoholic drink Lambrini as she braved London's plunging winter temperatures wearing just a red Father Christmas dress

One of the female Santas was pictured clutching a bottle of cheap alcoholic drink Lambrini as she braved London's plunging winter temperatures wearing just a red Father Christmas dress

Alcohol was a running theme of the day and this Father Christmas knocked back rum from a can while taking part in festivitiesAlcohol was a running theme of the day and this Father Christmas knocked back rum from a can while taking part in festivities

Alcohol was a running theme of the day and this Father Christmas knocked back rum from a can while taking part in festivities

The police were on hand to make sure no-one was making the naughty list as the crowd gathered on the streets of LondonThe police were on hand to make sure no-one was making the naughty list as the crowd gathered on the streets of London

The police were on hand to make sure no-one was making the naughty list as the crowd gathered on the streets of London

Rein it in: Revellers were not just dressed as Santa - some came in costume as Rudolph the Red Nose ReindeerRein it in: Revellers were not just dressed as Santa - some came in costume as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Rein it in: Revellers were not just dressed as Santa – some came in costume as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

One of the Santas appeared to be drinking from his shoe. The reveller lifted the dirty Converse trainer to his mouth while his friend did the same in the backgroundOne of the Santas appeared to be drinking from his shoe. The reveller lifted the dirty Converse trainer to his mouth while his friend did the same in the background

One of the Santas appeared to be drinking from his shoe. The reveller lifted the dirty Converse trainer to his mouth while his friend did the same in the background

This Father Christmas wannabe held a a bottle of Jägermeister. He was just one of hundreds of people on the streets of London for this year's SantaConThis Father Christmas wannabe held a a bottle of Jägermeister. He was just one of hundreds of people on the streets of London for this year's SantaCon

This Father Christmas wannabe held a a bottle of Jägermeister. He was just one of hundreds of people on the streets of London for this year's SantaCon

Santa's new ride: As the sun went down and temperatures plunged even further across the capital, a group of Santas climbed onto the famous lions in Trafalgar SquareSanta's new ride: As the sun went down and temperatures plunged even further across the capital, a group of Santas climbed onto the famous lions in Trafalgar Square

Santa's new ride: As the sun went down and temperatures plunged even further across the capital, a group of Santas climbed onto the famous lions in Trafalgar Square

Two Father Christmases lounged on the iconic lions in Trafalgar Square on SaturdayTwo Father Christmases lounged on the iconic lions in Trafalgar Square on Saturday

Two Father Christmases lounged on the iconic lions in Trafalgar Square on Saturday

Hundreds of people dressed as Santa took to the streets of London today for the parade, which originated in San FranciscoHundreds of people dressed as Santa took to the streets of London today for the parade, which originated in San Francisco

Hundreds of people dressed as Santa took to the streets of London today for the parade, which originated in San Francisco

One drinker enjoying SantaCon was spotted urinating in a bush as others carried on drinking in the capital's pubs and open spaces One drinker enjoying SantaCon was spotted urinating in a bush as others carried on drinking in the capital's pubs and open spaces 

One drinker enjoying SantaCon was spotted urinating in a bush as others carried on drinking in the capital's pubs and open spaces

A female Santa unloads a big bottle of gin into a plastic bottle during the parade, in which drinkers dressed as St Nick took to the streets of LondonA female Santa unloads a big bottle of gin into a plastic bottle during the parade, in which drinkers dressed as St Nick took to the streets of London

A female Santa unloads a big bottle of gin into a plastic bottle during the parade, in which drinkers dressed as St Nick took to the streets of London

Crowds squeeze through streets in the capital. Participants are invited to 'join the naughty list' in the annual walk and can download carol sheets for the parade Crowds squeeze through streets in the capital. Participants are invited to 'join the naughty list' in the annual walk and can download carol sheets for the parade 

Crowds squeeze through streets in the capital. Participants are invited to 'join the naughty list' in the annual walk and can download carol sheets for the parade

A man drinks a can of lager on a park bench while another holds a Santa sack and other revellers congregate on the grassA man drinks a can of lager on a park bench while another holds a Santa sack and other revellers congregate on the grass

A man drinks a can of lager on a park bench while another holds a Santa sack and other revellers congregate on the grass

SantaCon attendees took over children's playgrounds, climbing up frames and drinking alcohol as they paraded through London for the annual celebrationSantaCon attendees took over children's playgrounds, climbing up frames and drinking alcohol as they paraded through London for the annual celebration

SantaCon attendees took over children's playgrounds, climbing up frames and drinking alcohol as they paraded through London for the annual celebration

Father Christmas pour Baileys into a flask at this year's London SantaCon, which saw hundreds dress up as St Nick for the pub crawl parade. These drinkers are pictured at King's Cross  Father Christmas pour Baileys into a flask at this year's London SantaCon, which saw hundreds dress up as St Nick for the pub crawl parade. These drinkers are pictured at King's Cross  

Father Christmas pour Baileys into a flask at this year's London SantaCon, which saw hundreds dress up as St Nick for the pub crawl parade. These drinkers are pictured at King's Cross

A men dresses as Father Christmas riding Rudolf in the absence of his trusty sleigh as he and two other SantaCon enthusiasts stroll through London A men dresses as Father Christmas riding Rudolf in the absence of his trusty sleigh as he and two other SantaCon enthusiasts stroll through London 

A men dresses as Father Christmas riding Rudolf in the absence of his trusty sleigh as he and two other SantaCon enthusiasts stroll through London

This convention-goer fused Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy creation Ali G with Father Christmas, complete with a drawn-on beard This convention-goer fused Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy creation Ali G with Father Christmas, complete with a drawn-on beard 

This convention-goer fused Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy creation Ali G with Father Christmas, complete with a drawn-on beard

A group of Santas record two workshop elves wrestling in the dirt as they enjoy a drink in the park for London's 2017 SantaConA group of Santas record two workshop elves wrestling in the dirt as they enjoy a drink in the park for London's 2017 SantaCon

A group of Santas record two workshop elves wrestling in the dirt as they enjoy a drink in the park for London's 2017 SantaCon

Hundreds of red-clad pub crawlers paraded through the capital in this year's SantaCon, which mirrors the yearly US celebration of the same name Hundreds of red-clad pub crawlers paraded through the capital in this year's SantaCon, which mirrors the yearly US celebration of the same name 

Hundreds of red-clad pub crawlers paraded through the capital in this year's SantaCon, which mirrors the yearly US celebration of the same name

Father Christmases take a break from walking to try out a playground's see-saw while non-participants appear undisturbed on park benches Father Christmases take a break from walking to try out a playground's see-saw while non-participants appear undisturbed on park benches 

Father Christmases take a break from walking to try out a playground's see-saw while non-participants appear undisturbed on park benches

Three women climbed to the top of a frame in playground while enjoying a drink of alcohol during today's London SantaConThree women climbed to the top of a frame in playground while enjoying a drink of alcohol during today's London SantaCon

Three women climbed to the top of a frame in playground while enjoying a drink of alcohol during today's London SantaCon

Santas descend on a playground in London to test out a swing as hundreds marched through the capital in festive costume Santas descend on a playground in London to test out a swing as hundreds marched through the capital in festive costume 

Santas descend on a playground in London to test out a swing as hundreds marched through the capital in festive costume

SantaCon fans drink on top of a children's climbing frame as they enjoy the annual parade through London in fancy dressSantaCon fans drink on top of a children's climbing frame as they enjoy the annual parade through London in fancy dress

SantaCon fans drink on top of a children's climbing frame as they enjoy the annual parade through London in fancy dress

The parade saw hundreds descend on playgrounds, parks and other public spaces while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual event The parade saw hundreds descend on playgrounds, parks and other public spaces while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual event 

The parade saw hundreds descend on playgrounds, parks and other public spaces while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual event

Parks were packed with drinkers dressed as Father Christmas for the annual SantaCon parade through the capitalParks were packed with drinkers dressed as Father Christmas for the annual SantaCon parade through the capital

Parks were packed with drinkers dressed as Father Christmas for the annual SantaCon parade through the capital

A cyber-punk take on Father Christmas sees a man wearing Dr Martens boots stroll through London while dressed up for this year's SantaConA cyber-punk take on Father Christmas sees a man wearing Dr Martens boots stroll through London while dressed up for this year's SantaCon

A cyber-punk take on Father Christmas sees a man wearing Dr Martens boots stroll through London while dressed up for this year's SantaCon

This Santa swapped his sack for cylinders full of beer as another parade enthusiast enjoys a cigarette at London's pub crawl parade This Santa swapped his sack for cylinders full of beer as another parade enthusiast enjoys a cigarette at London's pub crawl parade 

This Santa swapped his sack for cylinders full of beer as another parade enthusiast enjoys a cigarette at London's pub crawl parade

The SantaCon fans descend on a park in London during today's parade, which is based on an annual American pub crawl that started in San Francisco The SantaCon fans descend on a park in London during today's parade, which is based on an annual American pub crawl that started in San Francisco 

The SantaCon fans descend on a park in London during today's parade, which is based on an annual American pub crawl that started in San Francisco

Some brought drums for the parade in which participants are invited to sing carols from a sheet that can be downloaded at the SantaCon London website Some brought drums for the parade in which participants are invited to sing carols from a sheet that can be downloaded at the SantaCon London website 

Some brought drums for the parade in which participants are invited to sing carols from a sheet that can be downloaded at the SantaCon London website

Santa appears to be sipping from a bottle of sparkling white wine as other convention-goers join in the festivities around himSanta appears to be sipping from a bottle of sparkling white wine as other convention-goers join in the festivities around him

Santa appears to be sipping from a bottle of sparkling white wine as other convention-goers join in the festivities around him

Santa snaps a selfie during the parade through London as others gather round a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in the capitalSanta snaps a selfie during the parade through London as others gather round a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in the capital

Santa snaps a selfie during the parade through London as others gather round a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in the capital

Santas stroll through King's Cross in central London for the convention, which saw hundreds gather for festivities across the capital todaySantas stroll through King's Cross in central London for the convention, which saw hundreds gather for festivities across the capital today

Santas stroll through King's Cross in central London for the convention, which saw hundreds gather for festivities across the capital today

A woman in full fancy dress - complete with Dr Marten boots - drinks a can of gin and tonic on a bench in King's Cross, LondonA woman in full fancy dress - complete with Dr Marten boots - drinks a can of gin and tonic on a bench in King's Cross, London

A woman in full fancy dress – complete with Dr Marten boots – drinks a can of gin and tonic on a bench in King's Cross, London

SantaCon-goers pose for a group selfie in central London as they enjoy a drink during today's annual Christmas-themed parade SantaCon-goers pose for a group selfie in central London as they enjoy a drink during today's annual Christmas-themed parade 

SantaCon-goers pose for a group selfie in central London as they enjoy a drink during today's annual Christmas-themed parade

Revellers don Father Christmas costumes while drinking beer as hundreds more gathered for the 2017 SantaCon in the capitalRevellers don Father Christmas costumes while drinking beer as hundreds more gathered for the 2017 SantaCon in the capital

Revellers don Father Christmas costumes while drinking beer as hundreds more gathered for the 2017 SantaCon in the capital

A woman drinks a can of lager near as other SantaCon fans stand on a bench and gather around a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in King's Cross A woman drinks a can of lager near as other SantaCon fans stand on a bench and gather around a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in King's Cross 

A woman drinks a can of lager near as other SantaCon fans stand on a bench and gather around a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree in King's Cross

The non-profit, non-political and non-sensical parade drew hundreds out to London's public spaces and pubs for the annual SantaConThe non-profit, non-political and non-sensical parade drew hundreds out to London's public spaces and pubs for the annual SantaCon

The non-profit, non-political and non-sensical parade drew hundreds out to London's public spaces and pubs for the annual SantaCon

SantaCon fans pour through a London park for this year's parade as hundreds turned out for the 2017 celebration in the capitalSantaCon fans pour through a London park for this year's parade as hundreds turned out for the 2017 celebration in the capital

SantaCon fans pour through a London park for this year's parade as hundreds turned out for the 2017 celebration in the capital

One SantaCon fan opts for pink while he is surrounded by other revellers dressed in a more traditional red as they drink in London One SantaCon fan opts for pink while he is surrounded by other revellers dressed in a more traditional red as they drink in London 

One SantaCon fan opts for pink while he is surrounded by other revellers dressed in a more traditional red as they drink in London

Rudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag amid a crowd on Santas carrying supermarket bags as they drink in one of London's parks at the 2017 SantaConRudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag amid a crowd on Santas carrying supermarket bags as they drink in one of London's parks at the 2017 SantaCon

Rudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag amid a crowd on Santas carrying supermarket bags as they drink in one of London's parks at the 2017 SantaCon

Father Christmas appears to throw something across a crowd of revellers while another waves at the camera from the backgroundFather Christmas appears to throw something across a crowd of revellers while another waves at the camera from the background

Father Christmas appears to throw something across a crowd of revellers while another waves at the camera from the background

SantaCon participants scream at each other as Rudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag and others keep up the drinking in a London parkSantaCon participants scream at each other as Rudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag and others keep up the drinking in a London park

SantaCon participants scream at each other as Rudolf waves an Ulster Rugby flag and others keep up the drinking in a London park

These SantaCon enthusiasts opted for reindeer costumes at the annual celebration and were seen drinking with the amassed crowds in LondonThese SantaCon enthusiasts opted for reindeer costumes at the annual celebration and were seen drinking with the amassed crowds in London

These SantaCon enthusiasts opted for reindeer costumes at the annual celebration and were seen drinking with the amassed crowds in London

Today's SantaCon brought hundreds to celebrate across the capital while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual paradeToday's SantaCon brought hundreds to celebrate across the capital while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual parade

Today's SantaCon brought hundreds to celebrate across the capital while dressed as Father Christmas for the annual parade

A man dresses as Mrs Claus while two Santas check out his legs as they walk through London for this year's SantaCon drinking celebrationA man dresses as Mrs Claus while two Santas check out his legs as they walk through London for this year's SantaCon drinking celebration

A man dresses as Mrs Claus while two Santas check out his legs as they walk through London for this year's SantaCon drinking celebration

Drinkers descended on the capital's streets to participate in the 2017 SantCon, a celebration which originated in the USADrinkers descended on the capital's streets to participate in the 2017 SantCon, a celebration which originated in the USA

Drinkers descended on the capital's streets to participate in the 2017 SantCon, a celebration which originated in the USA

A woman smokes a cigarette and holds a can of cider while another waves a bottle in the air during today's parade through London  A woman smokes a cigarette and holds a can of cider while another waves a bottle in the air during today's parade through London  

A woman smokes a cigarette and holds a can of cider while another waves a bottle in the air during today's parade through London

Santas were spotted enjoying drinks as they walked through central London for the mass pub crawl known as SantaConSantas were spotted enjoying drinks as they walked through central London for the mass pub crawl known as SantaCon

Santas were spotted enjoying drinks as they walked through central London for the mass pub crawl known as SantaCon

Crowds gather in Granary Square, London, with a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree as they participate in SantaCon 2017Crowds gather in Granary Square, London, with a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree as they participate in SantaCon 2017

Crowds gather in Granary Square, London, with a giant, multi-coloured Christmas tree as they participate in SantaCon 2017

Drinkers march through London's streets carrying bottles of booze for the annual festive pub crawl parade that started in the USADrinkers march through London's streets carrying bottles of booze for the annual festive pub crawl parade that started in the USA

Drinkers march through London's streets carrying bottles of booze for the annual festive pub crawl parade that started in the USA

A Father Christmas addresses the crowds gathered for SantaCon in London's Granary Square as participants gather for the annual festivities A Father Christmas addresses the crowds gathered for SantaCon in London's Granary Square as participants gather for the annual festivities 

A Father Christmas addresses the crowds gathered for SantaCon in London's Granary Square as participants gather for the annual festivities

A red-face Father Christmas shouts as another carries a beer bottle while parading through the streets of London for the pub crawlA red-face Father Christmas shouts as another carries a beer bottle while parading through the streets of London for the pub crawl

A red-face Father Christmas shouts as another carries a beer bottle while parading through the streets of London for the pub crawl

Santas stop traffic in Euston Road, London, as one carries a miniature Christmas tree during the drinking parade through the capitalSantas stop traffic in Euston Road, London, as one carries a miniature Christmas tree during the drinking parade through the capital

Santas stop traffic in Euston Road, London, as one carries a miniature Christmas tree during the drinking parade through the capital

Drag queen Santa complete with a string of pearls and platform boots walks with other parade enthusiasts, bringing roads to a standstill Drag queen Santa complete with a string of pearls and platform boots walks with other parade enthusiasts, bringing roads to a standstill 

Drag queen Santa complete with a string of pearls and platform boots walks with other parade enthusiasts, bringing roads to a standstill

Father Christmas complete with fishnet stockings strolls through the capital with hundreds of others for this year's SantaConFather Christmas complete with fishnet stockings strolls through the capital with hundreds of others for this year's SantaCon

Father Christmas complete with fishnet stockings strolls through the capital with hundreds of others for this year's SantaCon

SantaCon fans funnel through the streets of London today as hundreds joined for the festivities of drinking dressed up as Father Christmas, elves and reindeer SantaCon fans funnel through the streets of London today as hundreds joined for the festivities of drinking dressed up as Father Christmas, elves and reindeer 

SantaCon fans funnel through the streets of London today as hundreds joined for the festivities of drinking dressed up as Father Christmas, elves and reindeer

The celebration quite literally gives a new meaning to Christmas as one reveller marks the big man's birthday while joining the crows in the capitalThe celebration quite literally gives a new meaning to Christmas as one reveller marks the big man's birthday while joining the crows in the capital

The celebration quite literally gives a new meaning to Christmas as one reveller marks the big man's birthday while joining the crows in the capital

A drag queen Santa downs a can of Stella while sporting a pearl necklace, garish make-up and baubles as earrings for today's festivities in LondonA drag queen Santa downs a can of Stella while sporting a pearl necklace, garish make-up and baubles as earrings for today's festivities in London

A drag queen Santa downs a can of Stella while sporting a pearl necklace, garish make-up and baubles as earrings for today's festivities in London

A man sports a suit covered in Santa Claus, elf and reindeer cartoons while walking with other revellers in London during today's parade A man sports a suit covered in Santa Claus, elf and reindeer cartoons while walking with other revellers in London during today's parade 

A man sports a suit covered in Santa Claus, elf and reindeer cartoons while walking with other revellers in London during today's parade

Elves are spotted walking out of an alleyway clutching cans of lager during today's parade pub crawl through LondonElves are spotted walking out of an alleyway clutching cans of lager during today's parade pub crawl through London

Elves are spotted walking out of an alleyway clutching cans of lager during today's parade pub crawl through London

Santa takes a selfie among a crowd of drinkers dressed as Father Christmas during the parade through London todaySanta takes a selfie among a crowd of drinkers dressed as Father Christmas during the parade through London today

Santa takes a selfie among a crowd of drinkers dressed as Father Christmas during the parade through London today

Santas stack on top of one another in a pyramid formation during today's drinking in London as a miniature Christmas tree sits decorated in beer cans Santas stack on top of one another in a pyramid formation during today's drinking in London as a miniature Christmas tree sits decorated in beer cans 

Santas stack on top of one another in a pyramid formation during today's drinking in London as a miniature Christmas tree sits decorated in beer cans

Even pets were welcome during today's SantaCon parade through London, where hundreds were seen marching through the capitals streets drinking Even pets were welcome during today's SantaCon parade through London, where hundreds were seen marching through the capitals streets drinking 

Even pets were welcome during today's SantaCon parade through London, where hundreds were seen marching through the capitals streets drinking

Drinking continued throughout the day for SantaCon 2017 in London as hundreds turned out across the capital's street for the 'non-sensical' celebrationDrinking continued throughout the day for SantaCon 2017 in London as hundreds turned out across the capital's street for the 'non-sensical' celebration

Drinking continued throughout the day for SantaCon 2017 in London as hundreds turned out across the capital's street for the 'non-sensical' celebration

Santa hitches a ride on a motorbike in East London as crowds cover the capital's streets for SantaCon 2017, which was founded in San Francisco Santa hitches a ride on a motorbike in East London as crowds cover the capital's streets for SantaCon 2017, which was founded in San Francisco 

Santa hitches a ride on a motorbike in East London as crowds cover the capital's streets for SantaCon 2017, which was founded in San Francisco

Santas gather outside an off licence in London to stock up for the parade as a woman with a book looks baffled by the number of St Nicks surrounding her and her pugSantas gather outside an off licence in London to stock up for the parade as a woman with a book looks baffled by the number of St Nicks surrounding her and her pug

Santas gather outside an off licence in London to stock up for the parade as a woman with a book looks baffled by the number of St Nicks surrounding her and her pug

Rudolf falls over in the street, can in hand, while other participants in SantaCon 2017 laugh and a car struggles to find a path through the crowds Rudolf falls over in the street, can in hand, while other participants in SantaCon 2017 laugh and a car struggles to find a path through the crowds 

Rudolf falls over in the street, can in hand, while other participants in SantaCon 2017 laugh and a car struggles to find a path through the crowds

Santa swaps his sleigh for a motorbike, jumping on the vehicle in London as the drinking celebration continued into the late afternoonSanta swaps his sleigh for a motorbike, jumping on the vehicle in London as the drinking celebration continued into the late afternoon

Santa swaps his sleigh for a motorbike, jumping on the vehicle in London as the drinking celebration continued into the late afternoon

Santa blocks the motorbike's way as another rides the vehicle through East London while the driver looks amused Santa blocks the motorbike's way as another rides the vehicle through East London while the driver looks amused 

Santa blocks the motorbike's way as another rides the vehicle through East London while the driver looks amused

Santas cheer as another salutes while taking a ride on a motorbike through East London during today's SantaCon celebrationsSantas cheer as another salutes while taking a ride on a motorbike through East London during today's SantaCon celebrations

Santas cheer as another salutes while taking a ride on a motorbike through East London during today's SantaCon celebrations

A woman dressed as a reindeer performs the splits while carrying a can of cider as crowds continue to drink for the annual paradeA woman dressed as a reindeer performs the splits while carrying a can of cider as crowds continue to drink for the annual parade

A woman dressed as a reindeer performs the splits while carrying a can of cider as crowds continue to drink for the annual parade

Passers-by are confronted with crowds of Santa Clauses as the convention comes to London once more for a day of parades and pub crawls Passers-by are confronted with crowds of Santa Clauses as the convention comes to London once more for a day of parades and pub crawls 

Passers-by are confronted with crowds of Santa Clauses as the convention comes to London once more for a day of parades and pub crawls

A Dr Marten-wearing Father Christmas sits on top of a barrel in Aldgate, East London, as SantaCon 2017 grows more chaoticA Dr Marten-wearing Father Christmas sits on top of a barrel in Aldgate, East London, as SantaCon 2017 grows more chaotic

A Dr Marten-wearing Father Christmas sits on top of a barrel in Aldgate, East London, as SantaCon 2017 grows more chaotic

Santas stock up at an off licence in London as they prepare to hit the capital's streets once more for an afternoon of drinkingSantas stock up at an off licence in London as they prepare to hit the capital's streets once more for an afternoon of drinking

Santas stock up at an off licence in London as they prepare to hit the capital's streets once more for an afternoon of drinking

Two Santas climb on top of a skip in East London and enjoy a dance during today's SantaCon drinking parade through the capitalTwo Santas climb on top of a skip in East London and enjoy a dance during today's SantaCon drinking parade through the capital

Two Santas climb on top of a skip in East London and enjoy a dance during today's SantaCon drinking parade through the capital

Crowds continued to drink as evening approached in the capital during this year's SantaCon as hundreds hit the streets for the paradeCrowds continued to drink as evening approached in the capital during this year's SantaCon as hundreds hit the streets for the parade

Crowds continued to drink as evening approached in the capital during this year's SantaCon as hundreds hit the streets for the parade

Women march through East London while a man sports elf ears and a festive hat during the parade across the capitalWomen march through East London while a man sports elf ears and a festive hat during the parade across the capital

Women march through East London while a man sports elf ears and a festive hat during the parade across the capital

A man walks through the streets of London with hundreds of others while dressed as Santa and drinking cider as SantaCon continues into the late afternoonA man walks through the streets of London with hundreds of others while dressed as Santa and drinking cider as SantaCon continues into the late afternoon

A man walks through the streets of London with hundreds of others while dressed as Santa and drinking cider as SantaCon continues into the late afternoon

Drinkers continue to parade through the capital while drinking for the annual festive celebration, which originated in the USDrinkers continue to parade through the capital while drinking for the annual festive celebration, which originated in the US

Drinkers continue to parade through the capital while drinking for the annual festive celebration, which originated in the US

A woman twerks on a taxi in London as Santas take over the capital's streets as onlookers are greeted with hundreds of revellersA woman twerks on a taxi in London as Santas take over the capital's streets as onlookers are greeted with hundreds of revellers

A woman twerks on a taxi in London as Santas take over the capital's streets as onlookers are greeted with hundreds of revellers

Santa downs spirits from a hip flask as crowds stop traffic in London during the annual parade, which was founded in San Francisco Santa downs spirits from a hip flask as crowds stop traffic in London during the annual parade, which was founded in San Francisco 

Santa downs spirits from a hip flask as crowds stop traffic in London during the annual parade, which was founded in San Francisco

Traffic was forced to a standstill in some parts of the capital as SantaCon fans took to the streets for an annual parade fuelled by alcohol Traffic was forced to a standstill in some parts of the capital as SantaCon fans took to the streets for an annual parade fuelled by alcohol 

Traffic was forced to a standstill in some parts of the capital as SantaCon fans took to the streets for an annual parade fuelled by alcohol

A woman climbs onto a taxi in London as crowds flocked to fill up the capital's streets with a festive celebration of drinking in this year's SantaConA woman climbs onto a taxi in London as crowds flocked to fill up the capital's streets with a festive celebration of drinking in this year's SantaCon

A woman climbs onto a taxi in London as crowds flocked to fill up the capital's streets with a festive celebration of drinking in this year's SantaCon

Cars struggled to find a path through the chaos caused by Santas who were seen climbing in skips during today's celebrationCars struggled to find a path through the chaos caused by Santas who were seen climbing in skips during today's celebration

Cars struggled to find a path through the chaos caused by Santas who were seen climbing in skips during today's celebration

A woman raises a can of Stella above her head while sitting on top of her friend's shoulders amid a sea of Santas during the parade through LondonA woman raises a can of Stella above her head while sitting on top of her friend's shoulders amid a sea of Santas during the parade through London

A woman raises a can of Stella above her head while sitting on top of her friend's shoulders amid a sea of Santas during the parade through London

A Santa raises a Christmas tree topped with a festive hat above his head while surrounded by a sea of drinkers in London A Santa raises a Christmas tree topped with a festive hat above his head while surrounded by a sea of drinkers in London 

A Santa raises a Christmas tree topped with a festive hat above his head while surrounded by a sea of drinkers in London

A Santa raises his fist above his head while siting on top of one of Trafalgar Square's lion statues in central LondonA Santa raises his fist above his head while siting on top of one of Trafalgar Square's lion statues in central London

A Santa raises his fist above his head while siting on top of one of Trafalgar Square's lion statues in central London

As SantaCon continued in the evening, one drinker was spotted after climbing on top of a coach in London as part of the parade As SantaCon continued in the evening, one drinker was spotted after climbing on top of a coach in London as part of the parade 

As SantaCon continued in the evening, one drinker was spotted after climbing on top of a coach in London as part of the parade

Climbing on objects increased as the parade continued as this year's SantaCon hit the streets of LondonClimbing on objects increased as the parade continued as this year's SantaCon hit the streets of London

Climbing on objects increased as the parade continued as this year's SantaCon hit the streets of London

Father Christmas sits on top of a barrel after suffering a split to his costume in this year's SantaCon parade through the capitalFather Christmas sits on top of a barrel after suffering a split to his costume in this year's SantaCon parade through the capital

Father Christmas sits on top of a barrel after suffering a split to his costume in this year's SantaCon parade through the capital

A Santa on top of a snowman on top of a van is pictured alongside others outside Aldgate Station in London as SantaCon hit the capital todayA Santa on top of a snowman on top of a van is pictured alongside others outside Aldgate Station in London as SantaCon hit the capital today

A Santa on top of a snowman on top of a van is pictured alongside others outside Aldgate Station in London as SantaCon hit the capital today

The Santas help others onto the van outside Aldgate Station as a bus passenger looks on at the carnage in London today The Santas help others onto the van outside Aldgate Station as a bus passenger looks on at the carnage in London today 

The Santas help others onto the van outside Aldgate Station as a bus passenger looks on at the carnage in London today

A group ended up scaling the van outside Aldgate Station in London where SantaCon revellers descended on the capitalA group ended up scaling the van outside Aldgate Station in London where SantaCon revellers descended on the capital

A group ended up scaling the van outside Aldgate Station in London where SantaCon revellers descended on the capital

Hundreds hit the streets dressed as Father Christmas as part of this year's SantaCon, a parade that originated in the USAHundreds hit the streets dressed as Father Christmas as part of this year's SantaCon, a parade that originated in the USA

Hundreds hit the streets dressed as Father Christmas as part of this year's SantaCon, a parade that originated in the USA

A woman is seen downing a can of beer amid a sea of Santas during today's parade as hundreds gathered in the street and climbed on structures A woman is seen downing a can of beer amid a sea of Santas during today's parade as hundreds gathered in the street and climbed on structures 

A woman is seen downing a can of beer amid a sea of Santas during today's parade as hundreds gathered in the street and climbed on structures

Santa stands on top of a bollard in Brick Lane, East London, as hundreds pile into the streets to celebrate this year's SantaConSanta stands on top of a bollard in Brick Lane, East London, as hundreds pile into the streets to celebrate this year's SantaCon

Santa stands on top of a bollard in Brick Lane, East London, as hundreds pile into the streets to celebrate this year's SantaCon

Santa Clauses pose next to a statue outside Aldgate Station in London as hundreds hit the streets to celebrate SantaCon 2017 Santa Clauses pose next to a statue outside Aldgate Station in London as hundreds hit the streets to celebrate SantaCon 2017 

Santa Clauses pose next to a statue outside Aldgate Station in London as hundreds hit the streets to celebrate SantaCon 2017

An elf and a Santa enjoy a drink at The Prince of Wales during the SantaCon pub crawl, which originated in San FranciscoAn elf and a Santa enjoy a drink at The Prince of Wales during the SantaCon pub crawl, which originated in San Francisco

An elf and a Santa enjoy a drink at The Prince of Wales during the SantaCon pub crawl, which originated in San Francisco

A Santa holds a red balloon in East London as she joins hundreds of others on the parade and pub crawl through the capitalA Santa holds a red balloon in East London as she joins hundreds of others on the parade and pub crawl through the capital

A Santa holds a red balloon in East London as she joins hundreds of others on the parade and pub crawl through the capital

Santa sports a futuristic visor among a sea of drinkers that hit the capital for today's festive celebration in LondonSanta sports a futuristic visor among a sea of drinkers that hit the capital for today's festive celebration in London

Santa sports a futuristic visor among a sea of drinkers that hit the capital for today's festive celebration in London

Hundreds of reindeer, Santas and Christmas trees were seen partying across the capital for the annual pub crawl parade Hundreds of reindeer, Santas and Christmas trees were seen partying across the capital for the annual pub crawl parade 

Hundreds of reindeer, Santas and Christmas trees were seen partying across the capital for the annual pub crawl parade

A Santa sits on top of one of the Trafalgar Square lions in central London as hundreds descended on the capital's streets for the festivities A Santa sits on top of one of the Trafalgar Square lions in central London as hundreds descended on the capital's streets for the festivities 

A Santa sits on top of one of the Trafalgar Square lions in central London as hundreds descended on the capital's streets for the festivities

One Santa puts his can of Stella to one side while a group looks on during today's celebrations across the capital One Santa puts his can of Stella to one side while a group looks on during today's celebrations across the capital 

One Santa puts his can of Stella to one side while a group looks on during today's celebrations across the capital

And it was not just London that saw an army of Santas descend onto the streets. New York also hosted its own SantaCon - and this Father Christmas was pictured holding a giant fishAnd it was not just London that saw an army of Santas descend onto the streets. New York also hosted its own SantaCon - and this Father Christmas was pictured holding a giant fish

And it was not just London that saw an army of Santas descend onto the streets. New York also hosted its own SantaCon – and this Father Christmas was pictured holding a giant fish

Jumping for joy: One Santa was clearly enjoying himself on the snowy streets of New YorkJumping for joy: One Santa was clearly enjoying himself on the snowy streets of New York

Jumping for joy: One Santa was clearly enjoying himself on the snowy streets of New York

This elf looked to be having fun despite the snow and freezing cold temperaturesThis elf looked to be having fun despite the snow and freezing cold temperatures

This elf looked to be having fun despite the snow and freezing cold temperatures

A festive-themed cheerleader defied the snow and plunging temperatures to enjoy herself while perched on top of another reveller's shouldersA festive-themed cheerleader defied the snow and plunging temperatures to enjoy herself while perched on top of another reveller's shoulders

A festive-themed cheerleader defied the snow and plunging temperatures to enjoy herself while perched on top of another reveller's shoulders

The Big Apple is being battered by Winter Storm Benji which could blanket the city in up to four inches of snow. But it did not put off these revellers who braved the white stuff to take part in festivitiesThe Big Apple is being battered by Winter Storm Benji which could blanket the city in up to four inches of snow. But it did not put off these revellers who braved the white stuff to take part in festivities

The Big Apple is being battered by Winter Storm Benji which could blanket the city in up to four inches of snow. But it did not put off these revellers who braved the white stuff to take part in festivities

An army of Santas was pictured marching through the streets of New York - ignoring weather forecasts warning of hazardous conditions as a storm moves into the east coast of AmericaAn army of Santas was pictured marching through the streets of New York - ignoring weather forecasts warning of hazardous conditions as a storm moves into the east coast of America

An army of Santas was pictured marching through the streets of New York – ignoring weather forecasts warning of hazardous conditions as a storm moves into the east coast of America

The Big Apple turned red on Saturday as thousands of revellers took to the streets of New York to celebrate the annual SantaCon eventThe Big Apple turned red on Saturday as thousands of revellers took to the streets of New York to celebrate the annual SantaCon event

The Big Apple turned red on Saturday as thousands of revellers took to the streets of New York to celebrate the annual SantaCon event

The festivities saw a range of weird and wonderful get ups - including this man's unique take on the traditional Father Christmas lookThe festivities saw a range of weird and wonderful get ups - including this man's unique take on the traditional Father Christmas look

The festivities saw a range of weird and wonderful get ups – including this man's unique take on the traditional Father Christmas look

According to its official website, SantaCon takes place in hundreds of cities across 51 countries every yearAccording to its official website, SantaCon takes place in hundreds of cities across 51 countries every year

According to its official website, SantaCon takes place in hundreds of cities across 51 countries every year

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The post Hundreds of revellers turn out for Santacon in London appeared first on News Wire Now.

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Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative

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In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.

The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.

But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.

So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?

‘Just paperwork’

Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.

Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.

The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.

Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.

Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.

Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.

Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.

It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.

“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”

But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.

Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.

But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.

It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.

Critics push for investigation

Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.

But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.

And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.

Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.

Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.

“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.

“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”

The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.

And she says the same transparency is needed here.

The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them

The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.

“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.

“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”

PM defends governor-general

Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.

“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”

Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.

“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.

“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”

A role fit for purpose?

Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.

She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.

“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”

Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.

“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.

“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”

But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.

“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”

 

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62683210

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Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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