Well-off Britons splash out on trips of a lifetime as Covid restrictions ease

More families are splurging lockdown savings on longer, more luxurious breaks often topping £50,000, say high-end travel agents

Wealthy people are “blowing the bloody doors off” on extravagant holidays costing as much as £100,000 to celebrate the easing of coronavirus travel restrictions with extended families.

Sally Donaldson, a store manager of high-end travel agent Kuoni, said she was recently left trembling when a couple with two children spent more than £50,000 on a trip to the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Well-off Britons splash out on trips of a lifetime as Covid restrictions ease”

MPs attack ministers’ ‘nonsensical’ refusal to make firms reveal race pay gap

Tory chair of Commons committee says government lacks will to foster fairer society

A group of MPs has accused the government of lacking the “will or care” to create a fairer and more equal society, after it rejected calls to force companies to reveal the pay gap between white employees and others.

On Friday the government stated its intention to instead accept the recommendation of its controversial report on racial disparity, which was widely condemned by MPs, unions and equality campaigners as “divisive” and a missed opportunity for systematic change when it was published in March 2021.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “MPs attack ministers’ ‘nonsensical’ refusal to make firms reveal race pay gap”

Wakefield Labour executive resigns accusing Starmer of byelection stitch-up

Members quit en masse over ‘arrogant’ handling of candidate selection process

The 16-strong executive of Wakefield constituency Labour party (CLP) has resigned en masse, accusing Keir Starmer of stitching up the selection of a candidate for the forthcoming byelection.

Party members in Wakefield claim the leader’s office has failed to abide by Labour rules, by allowing the local party only one seat of five on the panels for longlisting and then shortlisting candidates.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Wakefield Labour executive resigns accusing Starmer of byelection stitch-up”

Birds, beavers and microparks: experts plan to rewild London

Group commissioned by mayor Sadiq Khan in early stages of move to bring nature back to capital

London will be “rewilded” with new nature reserves, pocket parks and a mass community movement to bring nature back to the capital, the Guardian can reveal.

A group of rewilding experts commissioned by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, are in the early stages of drawing up the proposal. The idea came from Ben Goldsmith, a financier and environment campaigner who is on the board of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Birds, beavers and microparks: experts plan to rewild London”

‘Cultural inspiration’: contemporary artists mark Queen’s jubilee

Mixing classical and urban styles, works reflect 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s cultural influence

Corgis and horses are out; tattoos and shades are in. Portraits of the Queen by 52 contemporary artists to mark her platinum jubilee depict the monarch in ways rarely seen since the days of the Sex Pistols.

Among the works are Queen of the Hood, by ballpoint artist James Mylne, which shows a “majestic and stunning” young Elizabeth in regal Order of the Garter robes accessorised with designer sunglasses.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “‘Cultural inspiration’: contemporary artists mark Queen’s jubilee”

Sewage dumps into English rivers widespread, criminal inquiry suspects

Environment agency says initial investigation into all 10 water firms suggests possible ‘serious non-compliance’ with law

A criminal investigation into water companies in England has uncovered suspected widespread illegal sewage discharges from treatment plants, the Environment Agency has revealed.

The investigation into more than 2,200 water treatment plants run by all 10 water companies is examining whether the firms breached legal regulations about when and how frequently they are allowed to release raw sewage into waterways.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Sewage dumps into English rivers widespread, criminal inquiry suspects”

Rishi Sunak says technical problems stopped him raising benefits more

Chancellor blames DWP computers that allow uplift only once a year, in claims labelled ‘pathetic’ by Jonathan Ashworth

Rishi Sunak has claimed he was prevented from raising benefits more at the spring statement because of the old computer system used by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Acknowledging that technical problems “sounds like an excuse”, the UK chancellor told Bloomberg he had discussed a higher rise than the 3.1% given across the board but was told there could be an uplift only once a year for people on some benefits.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Rishi Sunak says technical problems stopped him raising benefits more”

What now for Northern Ireland as Stormont assembly grinds to halt?

The DUP has moved to stall power sharing by refusing to back the election of a new speaker

Follow all today’s political developments – live updates

The Democratic Unionist party has chosen not to back the election of a new speaker for the Northern Ireland assembly as members gathered for the first time after last week’s elections.

The move, which leaves the assembly unable to function, marks an escalation after the party previously indicated it would not nominate for the position of deputy first minister because of its hostility to the post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “What now for Northern Ireland as Stormont assembly grinds to halt?”

Rebekah Vardy says News of the World made up quotes about Peter Andre

Vardy tells ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial that paper fabricated elements of 2004 story about one-night stand

Rebekah Vardy has claimed that quotes attributed to her by the News of the World in an interview about Peter Andre were made up by the tabloid newspaper.

Vardy told the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial that the now defunct news outlet fabricated and exaggerated unspecified elements of her conversation. “There’s a lot of things that didn’t come out of my mouth, that were misrepresented,” she said.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Rebekah Vardy says News of the World made up quotes about Peter Andre”

Crumpled trumpets and state-sponsored psychedelia – the week in art

Cornelia Parker is crushing it at the Tate, the artist better known as Vic Reeves exhibits his moving bird paintings, and Jake and Dinos Chapman split up – all in your weekly dispatch

Cornelia Parker
This retrospective of the surrealistic shed exploder and musical instrument crusher should be full of fun.
Tate Britain from 18 May until 16 October

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Crumpled trumpets and state-sponsored psychedelia – the week in art”

UK sanctions target Putin’s financial network including rumoured girlfriend

Liz Truss says move is aimed at exposing ‘shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle’

Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates

The UK has issued sanctions against a dozen members of Vladimir Putin’s family and inner circle including his long-rumoured girlfriend, arguing that given the Russian president officially owns only modest assets, these are the people who help support his lavish lifestyle.

The Foreign Office announcement means asset freezes and travel bans will be imposed on, among others: Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Putin’s former wife; Alina Kabaeva, a media executive and the Russian president’s presumed partner; and Anna Zatseplina, Kabaeva’s grandmother.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “UK sanctions target Putin’s financial network including rumoured girlfriend”

‘Groundbreaking’: NHS advised to offer women tablet for fibroids

Nice recommends alternative to injections or surgery for treating non-cancerous growths in womb

Thousands of women in England and Wales with fibroids are to be offered a new tablet to ease their symptoms as an alternative to injections or surgery.

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb. About one in three women develop them at some point in their life. They most often occur in those aged between 30 and 50.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “‘Groundbreaking’: NHS advised to offer women tablet for fibroids”

New £5.8m tree disease lab sends out SOS for public to report pests

Hi-tech UK laboratory launched to save trees from threats including oak processionary moth, emerald ash borer and citrus longhorn beetle

The public are being urged to keep an eye out for any signs of disease in local trees, as the UK launches a hi-tech, £5.8m tree laboratory to fight the spread of pests and diseases.

The UK is especially vulnerable to the growing spread of plant pathogens because of warmer, wetter winters, and because it is a hub for global trade. The new research laboratory is set to address these threats by clamping down on pests in the UK and abroad, including the oak processionary moth, emerald ash borer and citrus longhorn beetle.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “New £5.8m tree disease lab sends out SOS for public to report pests”

Jeremy Hunt suggests he may run for Tory leadership again

Hunt says now is not right time for leadership change but Johnson has ‘mountain to climb’ to win another term

Today’s politics news – live updates

The former Conservative leadership contender Jeremy Hunt has suggested he could run for the top job before the 2024 election as he warned Boris Johnson he had “a big mountain to climb” to win another term.

Amid the fallout from the Partygate scandal and after bruising losses in last week’s local elections, Hunt told the Times Magazine it was not the “right time” for a leadership change due to the war in Ukraine.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Jeremy Hunt suggests he may run for Tory leadership again”

UK should not fear EU trade war, says Frost as he backs ripping up protocol

Former Brexit minister says UK ‘cannot be defeated’ by Brussels in provocative Telegraph column

Follow all today’s political developments – live updates

The former Brexit minister David Frost has said the UK should not fear a trade war with the EU.

In a provocative newspaper column, he said the UK “cannot be defeated” by Brussels and needed to “make sure it is ready” for the consequences of a unilateral move to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “UK should not fear EU trade war, says Frost as he backs ripping up protocol”

Expect the Queen to perform more virtual duties as other royals step up

Analysis: But while Charles stood in at Queen’s speech, sources say she has no plans to relinquish head of state duties

The Queen is likely to perform more virtual engagements and any future official physical engagements will continue to be jointly diaried with other members of the royal family as part of ongoing adjustments due to her “episodic mobility problems”.

While she will continue to perform her constitutional role as head of state, her role as head of nation, which is not part of her formal constitutional duties, is increasingly being shared amongst other senior royals.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Expect the Queen to perform more virtual duties as other royals step up”

Ministers are ‘picking number out of air’ for civil service job cuts, says union

Headcount reduction of 90,000 civil servants is ‘unrealistic’ and poor way to manage government, says FDA union chief

Follow all today’s political developments – live updates

Ministers are “picking a number out of the air” when setting civil service staffing targets amid reports the government wants to reduce its headcount by about 90,000, the head of a union has said.

The prime minister is understood to have given the cabinet the task of cutting staff by a fifth, saying every bit of cash saved on government spending could be better used elsewhere.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Ministers are ‘picking number out of air’ for civil service job cuts, says union”

‘Forgotten’ Syrian interpreter attempts suicide after UK asylum delays

The man, who has been awaiting a Home Office decision for almost two years, says the anxiety has had a significant impact on his wellbeing

A Syrian interpreter who has worked for the British government and the White Helmets has tried to kill himself after waiting nearly two years for a decision on his asylum claim.

Ali [not his real name] worked as an interpreter and translator for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in Istanbul, and for Mayday Rescue, a humanitarian organisation that supported the work of the White Helmets (officially known as the Syria Civil Defence) across Syria.

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here

Continue reading…

Continue reading “‘Forgotten’ Syrian interpreter attempts suicide after UK asylum delays”

Jacob Rees-Mogg denies that cutting 90,000 civil service jobs is a return to austerity – UK politics live

Latest updates: minister for government efficiency says cuts would mean people were being used ‘efficiently’

PM ‘picking number out of air’ for civil service cuts, says unionBoris Johnson calls for 90,000 civil service jobs to be cutDUP vows to paralyse Stormont as NI protocol row deepensBlair tells Starmer to drop ‘woke’ politics and focus on economyRussia-Ukraine war: latest updates

Earlier this morning the Tony Blair Institute published a report that analyses the impact of class on voting in the 2019 general election and beyond.

The Guardian’s political editor, Heather Stewart, reports:

Tony Blair urged Keir Starmer to reject “woke” politics and present a programme for government that is “radical without being dangerous”.

Based on analysis by the veteran pollster Peter Kellner, it points to particular problems for Labour with two groups: the 26% of voters who fit into the formal definition of middle class; and the 12% who would be defined as working class by pollsters but consider themselves middle class.

Who’s paying for his fare? Is that a good use of taxpayers’ money?”

“The precept for the GLA [Greater London Authority] goes up and up and he goes swanning off around the world. It’s all hunky dory for him but it’s a bit tough on taxpayers.”

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Jacob Rees-Mogg denies that cutting 90,000 civil service jobs is a return to austerity – UK politics live”

Calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment, employment tribunal rules

Tony Finn, who worked at West Yorkshire manufacturing firm for 24 years, is in line for compensation

Calling a man “bald” is sexual harassment, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Hair loss is much more prevalent among men than women so using it to describe someone is a form of discrimination, a judge has concluded. Commenting on a man’s baldness in the workplace is equivalent to remarking on the size of a woman’s breasts, the finding suggests.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Calling a man ‘bald’ is sexual harassment, employment tribunal rules”

DUP vows to paralyse Stormont as Northern Ireland protocol row deepens

Refusal to nominate speaker will derail legislature and raise stakes in London’s dispute with Brussels

The Democratic Unionist party (DUP) has vowed to paralyse the Stormont assembly and block the formation of an executive in a dramatic escalation of its campaign against the Northern Ireland protocol.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said his party would refuse to nominate a speaker when the assembly meets for its inaugural session on Friday afternoon, a move that will derail the legislature and raise the stakes in a dispute over the protocol between London and Brussels.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “DUP vows to paralyse Stormont as Northern Ireland protocol row deepens”

Sotheby’s debut of Robbie Williams’ art puts Sharon and Trish on show

Paintings produced in collaboration with Ed Godrich are titled with ‘names that define the 1980s’

Trish has never been seen in public before. Nor have Sharon, Janet, Debbie, Denise, Donna, Jacqui, Joanne, Kim, Lorraine, Mandy, Paula, Sandra or Tina.

But for the next two weeks, these 14 artworks by the pop star Robbie Williams and his creative partner Ed Godrich will be on display at Sotheby’s in central London.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Sotheby’s debut of Robbie Williams’ art puts Sharon and Trish on show”

Tony Blair tells Starmer to drop ‘woke’ politics and focus on economy

Former PM says Labour leader needs to win back remainers who voted Tory in 2019 election

Tony Blair has urged Keir Starmer to reject “woke” politics and present a programme for government that is “radical without being dangerous”.

A report published by the Tony Blair Institute analyses the impact of class on voting in the 2019 general election and beyond. Based on analysis by the veteran pollster Peter Kellner, it points to particular problems for Labour with two groups: the 26% of voters who fit into the formal definition of middle class; and the 12% who would be defined as working class by pollsters but consider themselves middle class.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Tony Blair tells Starmer to drop ‘woke’ politics and focus on economy”

Pollen levels prompt warning to UK asthma and hay fever sufferers

Met Office is predicting high pollen levels across England and Wales and medium levels elsewhere

With high temperatures and high pollen levels forecast this weekend, millions of people with lung conditions or hay fever in the UK are being urged to take precautions.

The Met Office is predicting high pollen levels across every area of England and Wales on Friday and Saturday, with medium levels in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Pollen levels prompt warning to UK asthma and hay fever sufferers”

The fight for the right to roam in the English countryside – podcast

A campaign to widen access to the English countryside is gathering momentum. However, as Helena Horton reports from a mass trespass event in Devon, there is little sign the government is willing to budge

As the days lengthen and spring turns to summer, millions of people in England begin to head for the great outdoors to soak up the tranquility of the countryside. Since Covid lockdowns ended, people have been encouraged to make the most of the physical and mental health benefits of getting active in England’s green spaces.

However, as the environment reporter Helena Horton tells Michael Safi, they might be surprised to learn that they have no legal right of access to most of the country. Only about 8%, in fact.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “The fight for the right to roam in the English countryside – podcast”

Rare UK seabirds put at risk by ‘alarming loophole’, say campaigners

Ministers accused of ‘giving up’ on birds as they explore exemptions from duty to protect the animals

The government has given itself an “alarming loophole” to avoid protecting seabirds including puffins and gannets, a leaked document shows.

Campaigners have accused ministers of “giving up” on the UK’s seabirds as they plan to apply for an exemption to a legal duty to protect the rare species.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Rare UK seabirds put at risk by ‘alarming loophole’, say campaigners”

Cancer campaigner and podcast host Deborah James awarded damehood

Downing Street said the Queen was ‘pleased to approve the honour of damehood’ for Deborah James for her work helping others with cancer

The cancer campaigner and podcaster Deborah James is set to receive a Damehood as her fundraiser for Cancer Research tops £3.5m.

She admitted she was “blown away” by the honour, adding: “I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.”

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Cancer campaigner and podcast host Deborah James awarded damehood”

Boris Johnson plans to axe 90,000 civil service jobs to fund tax cuts

Ministers told to reduce staff in their departments by a fifth overall to free up cash to ease cost of living crisis

Boris Johnson has tasked ministers with cutting about 90,000 civil service jobs to free up cash for measures to ease the cost of living crisis with possible tax cuts.

The prime minister was understood to have told his cabinet on Thursday that the service should be cut by a fifth.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Boris Johnson plans to axe 90,000 civil service jobs to fund tax cuts”

Sheku Bayoh inquiry shown 3D image of scene where police restrained him

Reconstruction presented alongside visual and audio recordings of events leading up to death of man in Kirkcaldy in 2015

A 3D image of the scene where Sheku Bayoh was restrained by police has been shown at a long-awaited inquiry into his death while in custody.

The reconstruction was presented along with visual and audio recordings taken from CCTV, witnesses’ phones and emergency calls in a public hearing led by the retired appeal court judge Lord Bracadale.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Sheku Bayoh inquiry shown 3D image of scene where police restrained him”

No mere trifle: amateur baker creates ‘platinum pudding’ fit for the Queen

Seven decades on from the birth of coronation chicken, a swiss roll-based dessert wins jubilee contest

A copywriter’s recipe for a lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle will become part of British food history after it was awarded the title of “platinum pudding” for the Queen’s jubilee celebrations.

Jemma Melvin, 31, from Southport, beat off competition from four other finalists in the Fortnum & Mason platinum pudding competition to take the title. Her trifle follows in the footsteps of coronation chicken, serving as a long-lasting reminder of the 96-year-old monarch’s reign.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “No mere trifle: amateur baker creates ‘platinum pudding’ fit for the Queen”

Levi Bellfield: Raab says granting marriage request ‘inconceivable’

Justice secretary says safeguarding concerns must be addressed, and criticises Human Rights Act

Granting Levi Bellfield’s request to get married in prison is “inconceivable” unless serious safeguarding concerns are addressed, Dominic Raab has said.

Bellfield, who murdered Marsha McDonnell, Amelie Delagrange and Milly Dowler, is engaged and has requested a prison wedding, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Levi Bellfield: Raab says granting marriage request ‘inconceivable’”

US congressmen to fly to London as Northern Ireland protocol concerns grow

Exclusive: Influential delegation likely to underline Biden’s commitment to defend Good Friday agreement

A delegation of influential US congressmen will fly to London within days amid growing concern in the White House about spiralling tensions over the Northern Ireland protocol, the Guardian can reveal.

With the UK government poised to table legislation next week which could revoke parts of the protocol, arrangements are being made for at least half a dozen representatives from the US Congress to fly to Europe for a series of meetings in Brussels, Dublin, London and Belfast.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “US congressmen to fly to London as Northern Ireland protocol concerns grow”

How the UK may try to override the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol

The foreign secretary has a few legal arguments to consider, says a professor of EU law

The UK government is threatening to write new laws to allow it to unilaterally override parts of the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol due to concerns over “peace and stability”.

But what options are open to the UK, given the protocol was part of a legally binding international treaty co-signed with the EU?

Continue reading…

Continue reading “How the UK may try to override the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol”

Artist who ‘reclaims black experience’ wins Deutsche Börse photography prize

Judges praise Deana Lawson’s portraits, which depict familiar domestic scenes containing an unsettling element

An artist whose staged portraits reflect the language of the family photo album has won one of the most prestigious prizes in photography, with judges saying her work “reframes and reclaims the black experience”.

Deana Lawson from Rochester, New York, was awarded the £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize 2022 at the Photographers’ Gallery in London for her solo exhibition Centropy, held at Kunsthalle Basel two years ago.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Artist who ‘reclaims black experience’ wins Deutsche Börse photography prize”

‘Wagatha Christie’ trial: Rebekah Vardy accused of throwing friend ‘under bus’

Lawyer for Coleen Rooney suggests Vardy is trying to shift blame for leaking of information to Sun newspaper

Rebekah Vardy has been accused of throwing her former agent and friend “under a bus” in a last-ditch attempt to save her reputation in the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial.

The footballer’s wife was accused – during the third day of a libel trial at the high court on Thursday – of deliberately destroying evidence, habitually leaking stories to the Sun newspaper, and trying to shift the blame on to her adviser Caroline Watt.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “‘Wagatha Christie’ trial: Rebekah Vardy accused of throwing friend ‘under bus’”

Officer said Gaia Pope’s family ‘taking the piss’ with pleas for help, jury hears

Recordings of calls to Dorset police played at inquest into death of 19-year-old in 2017

A police officer dismissed relatives of the Dorset teenager Gaia Pope as “taking the piss” when they made a series of desperate calls for help on the day she vanished, an inquest jury has heard.

Pope’s mother and aunt spoke to Dorset police in an attempt to confirm an appointment for the young woman to make a complaint over indecent images she had been sent. They explained that the images had triggered a severe mental health episode in Pope, 19, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after reporting being raped at the age of 16.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Officer said Gaia Pope’s family ‘taking the piss’ with pleas for help, jury hears”

Too many first-class degrees awarded in England, regulator says

Minister calls for universities to restore pre-pandemic award levels by next year

Universities in England have been for rebuked for awarding “excessive” numbers of first-class degrees during the pandemic, with ministers and regulators accusing the sector of undermining its own reputation.

The Office for Students (OfS) regulator published analysis claiming that more than half of first-class degrees awarded in 2021 could not be explained by “observable factors” such as prior results or social background of students.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Too many first-class degrees awarded in England, regulator says”

Experts scorn UK government claim it can ditch parts of NI protocol

Lawyers reject Liz Truss’s claim that UK is able to dump parts of treaty with EU without its agreement

Claims that the UK government has discovered a legal justification for tearing up large parts of Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland have been greeted with scorn by expert lawyers.

The attorney general, Suella Braverman, has reportedly approved overriding the Northern Ireland protocol on the grounds that it is being unfairly enforced by the EU. Her submission, understood to be based on external advice, claims the EU’s “disproportionate and unreasonable” implementation is undermining the Good Friday agreement (GFA), according to the Times.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Experts scorn UK government claim it can ditch parts of NI protocol”

‘An insult to the whole community’: MP’s food bank comments ‘out of touch’ in Sutton-in-Ashfield, say locals

Constituents react to Lee Anderson’s suggestion that food poverty and food bank use comes down to people not being able to cook and budget properly

In a church hall in the market town of Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, a group of local residents are busily cooking up an array of meals from scratch, using skills they’ve learned over a 15-week community cooking course.

They never expected to be thrust into the national spotlight this week, when their local Conservative MP, Lee Anderson, said food poverty in the country was down to people not being able to cook and budget properly.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “‘An insult to the whole community’: MP’s food bank comments ‘out of touch’ in Sutton-in-Ashfield, say locals”

A windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas: what have ministers said so far?

Despite Labour’s idea being criticised as ‘disastrous’, Rishi Sunak has said nothing is off the table

Officially, the government’s position on Labour’s idea of a windfall tax on the profits of North Sea energy companies has not changed – ministers believe it is not the right idea overall, but all options remain possible. However, it is fair to say that in recent weeks the messaging on the idea has been somewhat inconsistent.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “A windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas: what have ministers said so far?”

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry found guilty of embezzlement

Jury finds she took almost £25,000 from women’s pro-independence group and local party branch

The former MP Natalie McGarry has been found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from the pro-independence group she helped set up and from her local Scottish National party branch.

After a six-week trial at Glasgow sheriff court, the jury found her guilty by majority of a charge of embezzling £21,000 while she was treasurer of the Women for Independence campaign group between 26 April 2013 and 30 November 2015.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry found guilty of embezzlement”

Swati Dhingra to join Bank of England’s monetary policy committee

LSE academic and prominent Brexit critic is first Asian woman to be appointed to role, replacing Michael Saunders

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has chosen an outspoken critic of Brexit as the next member of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee.

Dr Swati Dhingra, an associate professor at the London School of Economics who has previously called on the government to “cancel Brexit”, will join the monetary policy committee (MPC) in August, arriving during one of the most difficult periods faced by the central bank.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Swati Dhingra to join Bank of England’s monetary policy committee”

PM says NI governance has ‘collapsed’ as row over Brexit deal deepens – video

Boris Johnson has said that Northern Ireland’s ‘institutions of democracy … have collapsed’, as the row with the EU over the UK potentially scrapping parts of the Northern Ireland protocol deepens.

The foreign secretary, Liz Truss, had earlier warned the EU  that the UK might revoke some parts of the Brexit agreement and asked for flexibility

UK politics: latest updatesContinue reading…

Continue reading “PM says NI governance has ‘collapsed’ as row over Brexit deal deepens – video”

Scale of police spying on UK leftist party was ‘Orwellian’, inquiry hears

Dozens of officers infiltrated Socialist Workers party for decades, recording personal details of members

At least 24 undercover police officers infiltrated a small leftwing party as part of a surveillance operation criticised as being “Orwellian” and unjustified in its scale, a public inquiry has heard.

Officers were sent to spy on the Socialist Workers party (SWP) in deployments that usually lasted four years. The party, whose total membership fluctuated around a few thousand, was the leftwing group most infiltrated by undercover police.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Scale of police spying on UK leftist party was ‘Orwellian’, inquiry hears”

Vardy admits knowing agent sent private details about Rooney to the Sun

‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial hears Coleen Rooney’s lawyer’s cross-examination at high court

Rebekah Vardy has admitted knowing that her agent was forwarding private information about Coleen Rooney to a journalist at the Sun.

Vardy, who denies leaking stories from Rooney’s private Instagram account to the same newspaper and has brought a multimillion-pound libel case in an attempt to clear her name, made the admission under cross-examination at the high court.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Vardy admits knowing agent sent private details about Rooney to the Sun”

Government refuses to release Lebedev peerage details despite MPs’ instruction

Commons told ministers to publish information after revelations of intelligence service concerns over businessman’s appointment

The government has declined a Commons instruction to release information about the decision to make Evgeny Lebedev a peer, saying this would undermine the confidentiality of those nominated and could degenerate into “political point-scoring”.

Labour called the decision “a cover-up”, and promised more action over what it called a contempt of parliament.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Government refuses to release Lebedev peerage details despite MPs’ instruction”

UK supermarkets recall cooked chicken in salmonella scare

Sandwiches and wraps from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Aldi are among products to be removed

More than 100 products containing cooked chicken – including sandwiches and wraps sold at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi, the Co-op, Pret a Manger and Marks & Spencer – have been removed from sale after a salmonella scare at a major supplier.

Cranswick Country Foods said it had asked its customers to remove all their products containing its ready-to-eat chicken produced during a particular period after “a routine internal inspection” identified the presence of salmonella on a “limited number” of such products at its poultry processing plant in Hull.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “UK supermarkets recall cooked chicken in salmonella scare”

Cross-party MPs call for more action on money laundering and corruption

UK is now ‘the jurisdiction of choice for dirty money’, warns parliamentary group as it launches economic crime manifesto

The UK has become “the jurisdiction of choice for dirty money”, harming both its national reputation and democratic institutions, a cross-party group of MPs has warned as they urged a new government focus on money laundering and corruption.

An economic crime manifesto launched by the group calls for measures including major transparency reforms for company records, a crackdown on tax avoidance in UK overseas territories, and more resources for enforcement.

Continue reading…

Continue reading “Cross-party MPs call for more action on money laundering and corruption”