Commuters try to get on a train on the District Line of the London Underground during the 48-hour tube strike at London’s Earl’s Court tube station. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Follow live updates from the first of two 48-hour strikes »

Gherkin’s salad days over amid financial pickle for London tower

The Gherkin, voted London’s favourite tower, has been put into receivership 10 years after its completion helped transform the capital’s skyline.

The 41-storey City landmark is likely to be put up for sale shortly and is expected to attract offers of more than £550m from Middle East sovereign wealth funds and other potential buyers. Read more »

Photograph: David Sillitoe/The Guardian 

North Koreans complain to London hairdresser about Kim Jong-un poster

Seeking an arresting image to promote a special offer, a hairdressers in west London attracted more than just extra customers when it used a large poster of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in its window.

When M&M Hair Academy in south Ealing put up the 1-metre-by-1.2-metre poster featuring Kim’s distinctive short back and sides with longer centre parting and the words “Bad hair day?”, they received a visit from disgruntled North Korean officials. Full story

Photograph: M&M Hair Academy/PA

Weekend readers’ best photographs: chic

From suits to wellies, your best pictures on this week’s theme, chic. See more.

“Yes, London is an unfriendly city – and long may it stay that way”

What is it like to live on Britain’s most expensive street?

London’s Kensington Palace Gardens is the most expensive address in the UK - the average property value of £41m. Its vast mansions are a symbol of the growing gulf between ordinary people and the super-rich. Our reporter tries to meet the locals

Pictured: Kensington Palace Gardens … so quiet you can hear birdsong. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Correction: The average property value is £41m, not a cheap £14m as previously stated. 

London is the billionaire’s preferred European residence, study says

The typical billionaire holds £50m or more in real estate and has four homes. A property portfolio would typically include a £22.3m mansion in London; an £18.6m holiday home on the French Riviera and a £12.1m estate in Tuscany, alongside another luxury pad. Read more

Pictured: Billionaire’s favour London’s ‘platinum triangle’ comprising Mayfair (above), Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Photograph: Beauchamp Estates

Royal Mail to open Mail Rail to the public – in pictures

The Post Office underground railway – Mail Rail – ran under the streets of London largely unnoticed for more than three quarters of a century. Since 2003, the electrified railway has been dormant, with just a handful of engineers to maintain it. Under new plans developed by the British Postal Museum & Archive, that could all be about to change. See more

Photos courtesy of BPMA

How ghost gazumping is haunting London housebuyers

  • Name: Ghost gazumping.
  • Age: As new as London's latest housing bubble; or conversely, as old as greed.
  • Appearance: A number, followed by five or more noughts.
  • I've heard of gazumping, but what's "ghost gazumping"?: OK, so you understand how gazumping works ...
  • I didn't say that, I just said I'd heard of it: Gazumping is when an offer on a property has been agreed, but a rival buyer comes in at the last minute with a higher offer.
  • And if that rival buyer also happens to be a poltergeist, then: Not quite. Ghost gazumping – as coined last weekend by the Financial Times – is when the seller asks the buyer for more money at the last minute, even though there is no rival offer.
  • It's not as scary as I'd imagined, but it sounds damned cheeky. How does anyone get away with it?: Thanks to London's overheated, under-supplied housing market. Prices in the capital rose 15% last year, and sellers think their properties are worth more at the time of exchange than they were upon offer. In short, they do it because they can.