Saadallah pleaded guilty to three murders and three attempted murders in jihadist attack in June https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/11/reading-attacker-khairi-saadallah-given-whole-life-prison-sentence
The UK and EU have given contrasting assessments of the chances of a Brexit trade agreement with Michael Gove suggesting it was “more likely” there would be no deal.Hopes of a deal have been raised in recent days after Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen gave the green light for talks to resume on Sunday.But time is running out to finalise an agreement by January 1 to avoid the UK defaulting to no deal World Trade Organisation terms for trade with the EU, predicted to be the most damaging outcome.Despite a sense of optimism in recent days, Gove said the chances of a deal are now “less than 50%”.The Cabinet Office minister also said the “most likely outcome” was that the current transition period would end on December 31 without a deal.“I think, regrettably, the chances are more likely that we won’t secure an agreement. So at the moment less than 50%,” he told the Commons Brexit committee.But he appeared at odds with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who described “good progress” in the talks with his opposite number from the UK, Lord Frost, while acknowledging the “last stumbling blocks remain”.Barnier briefed European Parliament leaders about the state of the talks, which he said were in the “final stretch”.He said: “We will only sign a deal protecting EU interests and principles.”Gove similarly spoke of protecting the principles that people voted for in the 2016 EU referendum, with talks thought to be stuck on the issues of how much the UK and Brussels match each other’s standards, and punishments for divergence, as well as fishing rights.“The process of negotiation has managed to narrow down areas of difference,” the Tory minister said. “It is certainly the case that there are fewer areas of difference now than there were in October or indeed July.“The areas of difference are still significant and they do go to the very heart of the mandate which the country gave the government in 2016.”Gove also ruled out returning to negotiations in 2021 if no deal could be reached by the end of the year.December 31 was a “fixed point in law,” when the transition must end, he said.“That would be it. We would have left on WTO terms.“It is still the case of course that there would be contact between the UK and European nations and politicians as one would expect.“But what we would not be doing is attempting to negotiate a new deal.”The Commons breaks up on Thursday for Christmas recess but MPs have been put on notice that they may be recalled to ratify any Brexit deal.The European Parliament has also said it will refuse to debate anything that is agreed after this Sunday.But Downing Street said it would not be necessary to require MPs to sit on Christmas Day.“Obviously we wouldn’t be looking for the House to sit on Christmas Day and the bank holidays around it. We would obviously try to avoid those days,” the prime minister’s official spokesperson said.Related... Ports Firm Advised By Chris Grayling 'Wins £35m' Brexit Cash As Others Get 'Next To Nothing' Parliament Could Be Recalled 'As Early As Next Week' To Vote On Brexit Deal How Boris Johnson Still Wants To Have His (Christmas) Cake And Eat It
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Using dressings on wounds can be painful if you don't choose the right type of dressings.People using conventional dressing forms to heal their wounds have reported to experience dryness, irritation, and many other problems.
Labour has jumped to a five-point lead over the Conservatives, according to a poll published on Friday.The Ipsos MORI survey put Labour on 42% with the Conservatives on 37%. The Lib Dems trail in third with 8% while the Green Party was fourth on 5%.It is the first time Labour has been ahead of the Tories in poll conducted by the firm since Boris Johnson became prime minister in July 2019.Johnson also scored the worst rating as PM he has received, with 33% satisfied, 59% dissatisfied, a net satisfaction rating of -26%.Keir Starmer meanwhile has held onto a net positive satisfaction rating of +15, with 45% satisfied and 30% dissatisfied.According to Ipsos MORI, of opposition leaders going back to Michael Foot, who led Labour between 1980 and 1983, only Tony Blair had better net satisfaction ratings at this stage of his leadership (+26).The poll, for the Evening Standard, was conducted between October 22 and October 28 as Boris Johnson faced a huge backlash over his refusal to fund more free school meals for hungry children.It also comes as the death toll from the coronavirus second wave started to mount, with experts warning the UK is now at a “critical stage” with infections doubling every nine days. This week, the daily death figures topped 350, meaning the UK has shot past an earlier warning by chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance that the country could see 200 coronavirus deaths a day by mid-November.Almost a fifth of England’s population will soon be living under the country’s toughest Covid-19 rules.Starmer’s political director, Jenny Chapman, said the poll was “encouraging” for Labour.But the results were gathered before the Labour was plunged into a new civil war following the publication of an Equality and Human Rights Commission report into anti-Semitism in the party.It found Labour has been responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.Jeremy Corbyn was dramatically suspended from Labour on Thursday, after he rejected some of the equality watchdog’s findings and claimed the issue had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by his critics.This put him at odds with Starmer, who had warned that any suggestion allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour while Corbyn had been leader were exaggerated would not be tolerated. And speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Friday, Starmer said it was possible Corbyn’s suspension from the party could be escalated to an expulsion.“I’m deeply disappointed in that response from Jeremy Corbyn yesterday” the Labour leader said. “I don’t want a civil war in the Labour Party, I don’t think there is any need for one.”Allies of Corbyn have rallied to his defence. Unite union boss Len McCluskey called the suspension an “act of grave injustice” which could “create chaos within the party” and put any chance of election success in jeopardy.Ex-shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the suspension as “profoundly wrong”.Ipsos MORI conducted 1,007 interviews by telephone October 22 and October 28.Related... How Labour's Day Of Reckoning On Anti-Semitism Unfolded Keir Starmer Says He Does Not Want A Labour 'Civil War' The Key Reactions To The Labour Anti-Semitism Report Jeremy Corbyn Suspended From Labour Party Over Anti-Semitism Comments
The family who drowned after the sinking of a refugee boat in the English Channel have been pictured – as a search for their missing 15-month-old baby continues.The bodies of Kurdish-Iranian Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, have been found and identified, the BBC reports.Their 15-month-old son, Artin, is believed to be still missing. The family is believed to be from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, close to the border with Iraq.Rasoul’s brother told the channel he had sold all of his belongings and paid more than £20,000 to smugglers in a bid to secure a better future for his family.Pictures of the family have been shared publicly by a human rights organisation. تصاویری از اعضای خانوادە سردشتی کە در آبهای فرانسە غرق شدەاند https://t.co/KrHDJrFBLOpic.twitter.com/d4VN376ejb— Hengaw Human Rights Organization (@HengawO) October 28, 2020The tragedy is believed to be the single biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis.More than a dozen people from the boat have been taken to hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk, according to the Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.Charities say there is “no excuse for failing to act now” and called on the UK Government to create a legal route for refugees. Refugees charity Care4Calais said it was “utterly devastated”.Bertrand Ringot, the mayor of Gravelines, south-west of Dunkirk, described the deaths as “tragic”.He added that as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, he will call for more security resources in the area around the port.Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: “News that a child has died at sea while trying to reach safety in the UK is the horror that we dreaded would come.“Where is the decency and common humanity of the UK government?“How can they allow our children to perish in this way? It would be easy to create a legal route for refugees who reach northern France to seek asylum in the UK; there is no excuse for failing to act now.”Home secretary Priti Patel was strongly criticised earlier this year for suggesting sending in the Navy to stop refugees crossing the Channel, despite the fact the UK’s resettlement scheme has been closed since March – meaning there is no safe, legal route for refugees to reach the UK by other means.Mariam Kemple Hardy, head of campaigns at Refugee Action, said the incident was “absolutely heartbreaking”.She added: “Our thoughts are with the people caught up in this horrible tragedy, their families, and the rescuers.“No one wants to see people make dangerous crossings but the government’s hostile rhetoric does nothing to help.“It must stop trying to look tough and urgently create more safe and legal routes for people to seek sanctuary in the UK.”Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds tweeted: “This is an absolute tragedy. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and people who have been injured.“It is a heartbreaking reminder of the human cost of this crisis.”Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “This is truly awful news – and it is even more distressing that children should be involved in this tragedy.“The thought of children ending up in the cold waves is terrible.“These boats are incredibly dangerous. The criminal gangs who organise journeys in these precarious dinghies are profiting from putting lives at risk and from other people’s desperation.“The Home Affairs Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into Channel crossings and into the work that is urgently needed to prevent more lives being lost.”Related... Two Young Children And Two Adults Die After Refugee Boat Sinks Off French Coast Opinion: Priti Patel Has Blood On Her Hands. Her Condolences Mean Nothing Exclusive: Child Refugee Resettlement Plummeted After Boris Johnson Became PM
Bristol Council has unveiled new measures to control the local rise in Covid-19 cases – and created a whole new sub-tier of lockdown for itself in the process.England is currently under a three-tier system, with alert levels set at medium, high and very high – translating to tier 1, 2 and 3 of restrictions. But that wasn’t enough for Bristol, where there are currently 340.7 new cases per 100,000. Home to around half a million people, the city declared it is now under “tier 1+”, an entirely new sub-tier altogether. "We regard ourselves now as being in Tier 1+" Ms Gray said— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020The government’s tiered system, announced on October 12, was intended to improve the functioning of test and trace (which isn’t exactly going brilliantly) and clear up some of the confusing public health messaging.But with Bristol City Council going rogue by putting itself in a new tier all of its own, we’re not sure things are getting any simpler. So let me get this right: Tier 0 (Scotland only)Tier 1 (UK)Tier 1+ (Bristol only)Tier 2 (UK)Tier 3 (UK)Tier 4 (Scotland only)Tears (Me)— Conrad Quilty-Harper (@Coneee) October 28, 2020Inventing a whole new subtier for Bristol is very Bristol. https://t.co/GkTd5unhRu— Rachael Krishna (@RachaelKrishna) October 28, 2020Tier 1 plus you know. Business class Covid. https://t.co/VRHa5TBCmy— TransJamaican (@Whitb_xx) October 28, 2020explaining how Tier 1 Plus fits into the system pic.twitter.com/OcfAB9M6Gk— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) October 28, 2020What does tier 1+ actually mean? It’s important to note that tier 1+ isn’t a national strategy – it was created locally by leaders in the South West but implemented first by Bristol City Council, explained the city’s director of public health Christina Gray. Ms Gray said the Tier1+ concept was a local one, and not a national one. She said it had been discussed by local authorities throughout the South West but Bristol was the first one to try it— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020She added: “The tier 1+ is because we recognise the importance of maintaining people’s livelihoods, and the hospitality sector is the most difficult to manage safely.“In order to keep open, we need to drive down infections.” Tier 1+ doesn’t actually mean there will be any new restrictions for members of the public to follow – up to six members of different households will still be able to meet indoors, unlike in tier 2 where this is forbidden. What it does mean, however, is that the council will enforce the current rules more effectively, with eight Covid marshals targeting busy areas of the city especially in the evenings and at weekends. Bristol Live reported that tier 1+ boiled down to three main components – “using data to provide messages on how to safely use public spaces, taking on parts of Test and Trace, and ensuring compliance.” Bristol City Council is also using £3 million in funding from government to boost local resources for test and trace, which Rees said was “failing” on a national scale, as well as concentrating on more targeted approaches to reducing transmission – particularly amongst 30- to 60-year-olds, where case numbers are on the rise.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has clarified that it is not introducing a plus system.“There are three local Covid alert levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a ‘plus’ system,” a spokesperson said. “Bristol is currently at medium and local leaders have the authority to bring in some additional measures for their area, and we welcome local efforts to break chains of transmission.”So... what happened to the three-tier system? When Boris Johnson announced the three-tier system it was billed as a way of simplifying the local lockdowns and boosting the effectiveness of test and trace. Millions of people across some of England’s biggest cities are now living under heightened restrictions under tier 2 and 3, with the government already facing significant backlash from Manchester’s leaders over “disgraceful” financial support.Inconsistencies between different cities have also been pointed out, with Liverpool told gyms had to shut under tier 3 while they stayed open in Lancashire under exactly the same tier – a move Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson described as an “inconsistent mess”.But with cases and deaths rising, there is some concern that even tier 3 doesn’t go far enough – with calls reportedly being made for tier 4, or tier 3+. Leicestershire Live reported on Tuesday that Whitehall officials were discussing a fourth tier of restrictions, and local circuit breaker lockdowns, in regions where tier 3 restrictions hadn’t brought the virus under control. Under tier 4, or tier 3+, restaurants and non-essential retail such as clothes shops could also be forced to close – similar to the current “firebreaker” lockdown across the whole of Wales. The three-tier system only applies in England, but Nicola Sturgeon was met with some accusations of complication Westminster’s public health messaging after introducing a five-tier system in Scotland earlier in October. The Scottish first minister said the additional two steps, 0 and 4, “sensibly add” to the English system – with 0 being the “closest to normality we think we can safely get to”. Tier 4 is stricter than the English tier 3, and is closer to a full lockdown involving the closure of non-essential shops. Schools would remain open under all tiers, even under the toughest restrictions.Related... Boris Johnson Urged To Impose Stricter Lockdown After Worst Death Toll Since May Opinion: Paying For A Boots Covid Test Is Morally Indefensible Victoria Derbyshire Apologises After Saying She Would Break Rule Of Six At Christmas
Clothing giant Gap says it is considering closing all of its stores in the UK next year.The US retailer this week revealed it is “reviewing options” for its Europe business at the end of the second quarter in 2021. The move could potentially put thousands of jobs at risk.As of July, there were 129 Gap-branded stores in Europe.Stores in France, Ireland and Italy could also close next summer under the plan, which would leave Gap with none of its own stores, just franchises in other shops, across Europe.On Thursday the company said it would be closing 220 stores (equivalent to one third of all branches) in north America by early 2024. It reported a £740m loss in the three months to May due to disruption caused by Covid-19.Mark Breitbard, CEO of the Gap brand – which was founded in 1969 – said: “As we conduct the review, we will look at transferring elements of the business to interested third parties as part of a proposed partnership model expansion. “Franchise partnerships are a strong and cost-effective way to amplify the brand. Through franchise, Gap brand reaches customers in 35 countries with more than 400 stores and 14 e-commerce sites.”He added: “We’ve been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores.”The moves come as Gap and other clothing retailers are trying to reinvent themselves during the pandemic, which forced many non-essential stores to temporarily close in the spring and early summer. The lockdown of the economy led many shoppers to shift more of their spending online, which many experts believe will be permanent.Related... 24,000 Jobs In The Balance As Peacocks And Jaeger Owner Appoints Administrators
Most minority ethnic groups continued to earn less than white British employees in 2019, new data has shown.The ethnicity pay gap differs across regions and is largest in London at 23.8% and smallest in Wales at 1.4%, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate.The pay gap between white people and minority ethnic groups is larger for employees aged 30 and over than for those in the 16 to 29 age bracket.Overall, the gap between between these groups has narrowed to its smallest level since 2012 in England and Wales.CORRECTION: Most minority ethnic groups continued to earn less than White British employees in 2019.However, those in the Chinese, White Irish, White and Asian, and Indian ethnic groups earned higher average hourly pay than White British employees https://t.co/XBEKjprbyIpic.twitter.com/fEGsTeIZuD— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) October 12, 2020All data were collected before the impact of the Covid-19 on the UK economy.Dianne Greyson is the director of Equilibrium Mediation Consulting Ltd – a HR consultancy advises the public and private sector on equality and diversity.In 2018, she established the #EthnicityPayGap campaign for awareness around the issue, which has since been backed by the Fawcett Society, Equality Trust and Good Governance Institute. “I have been campaigning for over two and a half years to get the ethnicity pay gap addressed. The #EthnicityPayGap campaign continues to raise issues about the disparity between ethnic minorities and their white counterparts,” she said.“What continues to surprise me is the lack of debate about this issues. If organisations can hold debates about the gender pay gap, why can they not discuss the ethnicity pay gap?” Greyson feels that the issue has not been given the attention it warrants because decision makers invariably fail to prioritise the interests of ethnic minority communities.A petition calling for the government to mandate ethnicity pay gap reporting for individual companies garnered over 100,000 signatures – but has yet to be debated in parliament despite meeting the consideration criteria. In an official response published via the page on July 30, the government said it ran a consultation from October 2018 to January 2019 on the introduction of mandatory ethnicity pay reporting. It is currently analysing these and will respond by the end of this year.“The government has yet to demonstrate their desire to make ethnicity paygap reporting mandatory,” said Greyson. “This has slipped far down the agenda.“While I appreciate the times we are currently living in has caused the government to focus their attention on the important issue of Covid, I do hope they will debate it in parliament given that there has been over 100,000 people who have signed the petition to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory.”The call for more data around the ethnic pay gap has been ongoing. Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, a Conservative peer and former chief executive of outsourcing group Mitie, authored an independent review into racial disparities in the British workplace in February 2017.She recommended that the government force companies to introduce ethnic pay gap reporting. However, three and a half years later, none of the key recommendations from her report has been implemented. On the other hand, organisations with more than 250 employees have had to publish data on their gender pay gaps since 2018.The same year, think-tank Resolution Foundation revealed that Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees are losing out on £3.2bn a year in wages compared to white colleagues doing the same work. Related... Opinion: Brits Still Have To Learn To Appreciate Black People As Much As Their Music Chadwick Boseman Took Pay Cut To Give Sienna Miller Salary She 'Deserved' Women Who Started A Business During Lockdown On How They Made It Work
You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening.It was only a matter of time. When Rishi Sunak set out his ‘Winter Economy Plan’ just a few weeks ago, many (including this newsletter) warned that it was inadequate to the sheer scale of the looming problems threatened by the Covid second wave.Back then, he delighted some Tory MPs and newspapers with his bullish rhetoric that “we must learn to live with it and live without fear”. Well, fear is stalking the land among those who can see their jobs and businesses disappearing across the north, and it now seems the Treasury has finally been scared enough by the political consequences that he is doling out some extra support.Of course the chancellor will never admit that this is a U-turn on his plan to withdraw furlough, even though local furlough is exactly what this looks like. The government will pay two thirds of the salary of each employee (up to £2,100 a month) in any pub, bar or restaurant forced to shut down in the new local lockdowns expected next week. The 67% is less generous than the 80% of full furlough however. Exactly what people should do to cope with the loss of a third of their income remains unsaid.Although the help is welcome, it’s no surprise that several local council leaders have already suggested it’s too little, too late. They were distinctly underwhelmed by the presentation given them tonight, confirming the earlier warning from the mayors of Greater Manchester, the Sheffield and Liverpool city regions and North Tyne that the plan did not “appear to have gone far enough to prevent genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter”.And it wasn’t just last month that many warned Sunak that he should go for a targeted version of furlough, it was many months ago. In his rushed announcement today (a Tweeted video clip is hardly a statement on the floor of the Commons), he said his expanded Jobs Support Scheme would be “for closed businesses”. But what about all those closed sectors of the economy, such as aviation and creative industries, effectively shut down by government regulation?As the Resolution Foundation put it this afternoon: “The delay in putting [the scheme] in place will have come at a high price in jobs lost.” It rightly says that the Job Support Scheme itself needs further reform to persuade bosses to cut hours rather than jobs. Another U-turn may well be on its way in a few weeks if employers simply go for the bottom line.What makes the government’s position all the more politically dangerous is the latest growth news, with this morning’s GDP figures showing that the hoped-for ‘V-shaped’ recovery now looks like a stuttering spike on the nation’s economic electrocardiogram. Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme may have done too little on consumer spending and too much in spreading the virus.The bigger problem is that these local lockdowns look like they are going to slowly creep across the entire country. The three-tiered system of controls may well leave most areas in the top two most serious categories and only a shrinking handful in the lowest one. Only today, on a call to MPs, I’m told Matt Hancock made clear things were getting worse everywhere.The south has so far escaped much of this, but with London due to get new curbs, the counties around it could follow very quickly. I understand public health officials in Essex, for example, are pushing for tier-two restrictions that would mean a ban on household mixing.The lack of grip on the virus or from both No.10 and No.11 Downing Street is what will worry their MPs most. The PM suggested last week he would hold weekly press conferences from now on, but he failed to do a single one this week. Sunak too appeared so afraid of scrutiny that he didn’t make this announcement in a No.10 press briefing, but via pooled broadcast clips.There will probably be a Johnson address to the nation next week, but voters in the north can be forgiven for thinking they are being treated like fools this weekend. If the virus spreads south, that may be a perception that spreads more widely among the electorate too.Related... Workers At Locked Down Firms Will Get Two-Thirds Of Wages Paid, Rishi Sunak Announces Who Is Allegra Stratton, The Face Of No 10's New TV Press Briefings? Northern Mayors React With Fury To Prospect Of Pub Closures And Further Restrictions
When Amanda Litman first heard the words: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy,” she was at Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. It was October 7, 2016, a Friday afternoon, and The Washington Post published a bombshell: Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee, had boasted about sexual assault in 2005. And it was on tape. “It was almost a feeling of: ‘Oh my god, we just won the election,’ complicated by the fact that so many of the women on our staff were deeply traumatised,” Litman said. She remembers female staffers listening to the audio over and over again, then leaving the office for 10-minute walks around the block. When they came back, they looked as though they had been crying.The audio, taken from an “Access Hollywood” shoot, seemed like a turning point in the election. Republican politicians quickly condemned Trump, many of them noting that as fathers of daughters, they had to speak up. Then-House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly urged the party’s chair to get the nominee out of the race. Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly pleaded with him to offer a full apology. Karen Pence, the wife of Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, was reportedly livid, but her husband decided it was too late to leave the ticket. In the 20 days that followed, 15 women came forward to say Trump had sexually abused them. Democrats thought this might be their shot to cement the election for Clinton, who would have been the first female president in US history.But come November, Trump won nonetheless.The same Republican politicians who claimed they couldn’t abide his words continued to back him. Then-congressman Jason Chaffetz, who said after the tape’s release that he couldn’t look his 15-year-old daughter in the eyes and still endorse Trump, announced 19 days later that he still planned to vote for the nominee. Once Trump became president, Ryan and other Republicans helped push through his priorities, which they shared. Trump went on to appoint Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault, to the Supreme Court.Four years later, the “Access Hollywood” tape is buried under Trump’s record in office, including mishandling the coronavirus pandemic, dismantling the immigration system, derailing climate change efforts and much, much more. This September, when former model Amy Dorris accused Trump of sexually assaulting her at the 1997 US Open, the charge was simply added to the list. Few, if any, Republicans spoke out, and the news cycle moved on.But women haven’t forgotten. Activists and former Clinton staffers say that the “Access Hollywood” tape (and Republicans’ subsequent inaction) helped lay the groundwork for a seismic national shift in both the dialogue surrounding sexual abuse and the political mobilisation of many women who had previously been passive observers.“It’s one of the reasons why the Women’s March was such a galvanising thing,” said Litman. “[Trump] didn’t just beat a woman candidate; he did so while denigrating women, which lays the cultural groundwork – along with the work Tarana Burke had been doing for years – for the Me Too movement.”At Least He’s Not ClintonWhen David Fahrenthold, the Washington Post reporter who first uncovered the “Access Hollywood” tape, reached out to the Trump campaign before publishing, they at first thought the transcript wasn’t real.“This doesn’t sound like me,” Trump said, according to a retelling of the weekend by Politico’s Tim Alberta. Then the campaign received the audio, and it was clear that it was Trump speaking. The campaign went into spin mode. “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” Trump said in a statement to the Post, before quickly turning to his opponent’s husband. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologise if anyone was offended.”That non-apology didn’t quell the public outrage after the story was published, and Trump appeared on video later that night to try again. In a markedly un-Trump-like performance, he said he never claimed to be a perfect person. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologise,” he said, before claiming the video was “a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today” and attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton for the former president’s sexual misconduct and alleged assaults, as well as accusing the former first lady of having bullied her husband’s victims. One person faced swift consequences: Billy Bush, the “Access Hollywood” host who laughed along with Trump on tape, was suspended from his job at the “Today” show and fired a week and a half later. It looked like Trump might face consequences too. Republican after Republican issued statements condemning him. “As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday,” Pence said in a statement, notably emphasising that the remarks were made a long time ago. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Trump’s comments “repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance”.Speaker Ryan uninvited Trump from a campaign event set to take place the next day. During a call with House Republicans on October 10, he told the lawmakers that he would not campaign with Trump or defend him. If others wanted to, that was up to them. “I’m going to spend the next 28 days working hard with all of our members to get re-elected because we need a check on Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t win the presidency,” Ryan said at the time, according to audio later published by Breitbart News.Some House Republicans agreed. Others didn’t – and the ones who wanted to defend Trump were some of the loudest voices. On the call, member after member said, “I don’t care how bad this is, you can’t let Hillary Clinton win,” according to a then-Republican aide. “It was very clear that everyone was still thinking in highly political terms.” That was the calculus: sure, what Trump said was bad. But at least he wasn’t Clinton.“It demonstrated what was to come in terms of being able to rationalise anything as long as you compare it to Democrats,” the former party aide said. Outrage, Pain And MotivationThe next episode of “Saturday Night Live” featured a sketch about the “Access Hollywood” tape that cut to Clinton campaign headquarters, where the candidate, played by Kate McKinnon, and her staff pop champagne.But in reality, learning about the tape wasn’t a gleeful moment for the Clinton team. “I was like: ‘Wow, they don’t usually get that wrong,’” said Jess McIntosh, who was a senior communication adviser to the campaign.Today, McIntosh likens the moment to learning last week that the president had been diagnosed with Covid-19: a pre-election shock that might impact the race, but certainly nothing to cheer over.In fact, for many Democrats, the tape was a sobering reminder of just how much was at stake in the election. Both Clinton and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine responded swiftly to the audio. On October 7, Kaine told reporters that Trump’s words made him “sick to my stomach,” adding: “I’m sad to say that I’m not surprised.” Clinton tweeted the Washington Post story along with the comment: “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to be president.” Two days later, Trump and Clinton were in St Louis facing off at the second presidential debate. When the tape came up, Clinton attempted to hammer home the idea that Trump’s denigration of women made him unfit to hold the highest office in the nation. “With prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them, politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve,” she said. “Donald Trump is different.” During the same debate, Trump stood behind Clinton and followed her across the stage – a physical posturing that many compared to stalking.Democrats and activists alike were also grappling with the larger cultural implications of a Republican nominee for president who bragged about sexual assault. At 7.48pm on the night the audio was published by The Washington Post, author Kelly Oxford tweeted, “Women: tweet me your first assaults. They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘pussy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.” Women began responding, many using the hashtag #NotOkay. According to NPR, within a day, a million women had responded to Oxford’s callout.For so many, Trump’s words felt sickeningly familiar. They felt personal.Jess Morales Rocketto, who was working on the Clinton campaign in 2016 and is now the civic engagement director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the executive director of Care in Action, told HuffPost that the Trump tape – and working with fellow Clinton staffers to make people see the enormity of the moment – pushed her to grapple with her own sexual assault.“Engaging in that work [...] is what enabled me to understand what had happened to me,” Rocketto said.“And to make it something that was not just about what had happened to me, and instead use it as fuel and transformation for keeping myself safe, and keeping other women like me safe.”For Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, and other activists who focus on women’s and survivors’ issues, the “Access Hollywood” tape was a loud, clear and “rude awakening” to the ways that “American society continues to degrade women and reward people who abuse them.” Thomas also saw an opportunity for a larger conversation to come out of Trump bragging so brazenly about sexual assault. Because, as many pointed out in the days and months after the “Access Hollywood” tape dropped, sexually abusive “locker-room talk” was reflective of a cultural rot much larger than Donald Trump.“I remember thinking, like, that this was a pivotal exposure of what we knew was likely true about him and about his attitudes, but also the attitudes and the beliefs and behaviour of so many men like him,” said Thomas. “And that it was a hugely important opportunity for having a national conversation about why that attitude and behaviour is so toxic [and] so damaging.” ‘But Her Emails’ Takes OverBut the Trump campaign had a secret weapon. Trump and the campaign, via unofficial adviser Roger Stone, knew as of August that WikiLeaks had obtained hacked emails from Democratic Party staffers, including Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report published in August of this year. The hack was unrelated to Clinton’s previous email controversy, which had to do with her use of a private server for some official business as secretary of state. But given the sensitivity of “email” and “Clinton”, it could still be highly damaging. According to US intelligence, the hack was carried out by Russians, whom Trump had openly courted to find Clinton’s “missing” emails.On October 7, Stone learned about the “Access Hollywood” tape before its release and called Jerome Corsi, an infamous conspiracy theorist, to ask him to get in touch with WikiLeaks, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report. Stone “[w]anted the Podesta stuff to balance the news cycle,” Corsi told the committee.“According to Corsi, Stone also told him to have WikiLeaks ‘drop the Podesta emails immediately,’” the committee report states. Later that day, WikiLeaks did. McIntosh, the former Clinton adviser, was dismayed at how quickly the media seized on the hacked emails even amid the news that Trump had admitted to sexual assault. The media’s focus on the “Access Hollywood” tape “only lasted until everybody got into John Podesta’s risotto recipe,” McIntosh said. “They played journalists so perfectly with that release. They had that in their back pocket for their ‘break glass in case of emergency’. This was clearly the emergency. They broke the glass and everybody scattered for it.”In the following weeks, even as multiple women accused Trump of sexual assault, reporters continued to question him on other matters, which McIntosh found disappointing. “I am pretty sure if Hillary Clinton had been accused of assaulting somebody, that would be the last time someone asked her about her climate change plan,” McIntosh said. “The only questions would be: ‘When are you going to drop out of the race?’ And that was simply not what happened.” They had that in their back pocket for their ‘break glass in case of emergency.’ This was clearly the emergency. They broke the glass and everybody scattered for it.Jess McIntosh, a former Clinton staffer, on the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emailsAbout a week before the election, then-FBI Director James Comey released a letter saying the agency was examining more of Clinton’s emails – an announcement that Clinton blames, in part, for her ultimate loss. The Democratic candidate’s emails remained in the news. The same Republicans who had condemned Trump’s remarks continued to back him.And then, a month and approximately a million news cycles later, Trump won. Despite the polls, despite the “Access Hollywood” tape, despite the allegations of 15-plus women. The man who openly denigrated women, immigrants and people of colour was going to ascend to the highest office in the nation. Litman remembers thinking about Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” comments on election night as she watched the returns come in from the Javits Center in New York City. “I could not stop thinking about: what does this tell little girls and what does this tell little boys,” said Litman.“[For little girls], you can be talked about this way, you can be treated this way, you can be assaulted this way, and there will be no punishment. For little boys, you have to behave this way to gain power. What a horrible message.”The Birth Of The ‘Pussy Hat’However, after the initial shock and grief subsided, something else happened. Lots of American women who had once observed politics from the sidelines were angry. Furious, even. And they started organising. Within four weeks, thousands of women had signed up for programmes designed to help people run for political office.Litman sees the mass, sustained effort as a response to the obvious lack of consequences for egregious behaviour, like openly bragging about sexual assault, coupled with more than 15 women telling the country that this man had assaulted them.“He did this and then he got rewarded,” said Litman. “There were tapes. It wasn’t just a ‘he said, she said’. He bragged about [assault] and then he got the highest office in the land. There’s no sense of justice.” On November 8, just hours after Trump was elected, retired attorney Teresa Shook posted on Facebook suggesting that women march on Washington. The post lit a spark that turned into the Women’s March – the largest single-day protest in US history. Thanks to seasoned organisers Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, who stepped in early to help, the Women’s March brought an estimated 500,000 people to DC on January 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration. (The New York Times reported that crowd scientists thought the march drew a crowd three times larger than that on Inauguration Day.) Sister protests happened around the nation and the world. Many of the participants showed up wearing handmade pink “pussy hats”, a direct response to the president’s “grab ’em by the pussy” comment.Less than three months later, organisers showed up again, this time to protest the continued employment of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, after news broke that the network had settled five separate sexual harassment lawsuits on his behalf since 2002. On April 19, 2017, O’Reilly was officially ousted from Fox.“There was a [new] opportunity for holding people in positions of power accountable for abusing or harassing their staff,” said Thomas. “We were ready. The survivors came forward, the evidence was overwhelming, but it was also Fox News. It was an important moment to demonstrate the public lack of patience and disinterest in continuing to see institutions protecting abusers from accountability.”Trump’s Republican Party TakeoverThe opposition from women didn’t seem to greatly affect Trump, who soon after his election began to suggest to Republican senators and other allies that the tape wasn’t real, The New York Times reported in 2017.Trump went on to push policies that harmed women and to back powerful men in spite of allegations that they had harmed women. He supported Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore of Alabama in 2017 as Moore faced allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, including against teenage girls. Trump stuck with Kavanaugh when the now-Supreme Court justice was accused of sexual assault. He defended his former aide Rob Porter after Porter resigned from the White House due to accusations he had abused his ex-wives. All three men have denied the allegations against them.The “Access Hollywood” tape continued to come up. UltraViolet Action played the tape on loop outside the Capitol in 2018 to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination.Activists stress that there isn’t one straight line from the “Access Hollywood” tape to a movement, but that it is all connected.“There’s no way of knowing all the ways this stuff ripples out,” Rocketto said. If the Trump tape hadn’t been exposed by The Washington Post, she’s not sure if she would have ultimately organised against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “I wouldn’t have confronted Senator [Ted] Cruz in an elevator,” Rocketto said. “You don’t have Christine Blasey Ford coming forward [about Kavanaugh] without Me Too. And you don’t have a wave of women being elected.”During the 2018 midterm elections, 125 women were elected in House, Senate and governor races. And not only did women run for elected office, they also spoke out about their own experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. Litman, who is now the executive director of Run for Something, an organisation that helps recruit and support young Democrats running for office, told HuffPost that the shift in candidates’ openness about surviving sexual abuse has been significant. “We work with these candidates who incorporate their experience as survivors into their campaigns,” Litman said. “I don’t think that would have happened before four years ago.”Four years after the “Access Hollywood” tape was revealed, Trump remains president and Republicans still control the Senate, where they are fighting to confirm a new Supreme Court justice who could put abortion rights at risk. Except now, we are also in the midst of a global pandemic, in which more than 200,000 Americans have died, millions have lost their jobs, and women – especially women of colour – have been hit especially hard.There’s still plenty to fight for.“If you were scared by that tape, you should be really scared right now,” said Rocketto. “And if you’re scared, the only way to get past that is to do something about it.”
Keir Starmer has demanded Boris Johnson publish the scientific evidence behind the 10pm curfew ahead of a crunch Commons vote next week on the law.Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, the Labour leader gave a strong indication he may withhold his support.If Labour joins Tory rebels, there is a chance the government could be defeated in any bid to keep the curfew in place.“One question is now screaming out: is there a scientific basis for the 10pm rule?” Starmer said.“If there is, why doesn’t the government do itself a favour and publish it? If not, why doesn’t the government review the rule?”He added: “Will the prime minister commit to publishing the scientific basis for the rule before this House votes on it?”Johnson sidestepped the call for any science behind the curfew to be published and told MPs the point of the law was “to reduce the spread of the virus”.The government has been under increasing pressure to scrap the curfew from Tory MPs and the hospitality industry.Steve Baker, the leading backbench rebel, told HuffPost UK: “It is not clear what the evidence is to support the 10pm curfew or that it is effective.”Kate Nicholls, the CEO of UK Hospitality, said the curfew and other restrictions had a “severe and devastating” impact on pubs, restaurants and other venues.Pub giant Greene King said on Wednesday it plans to cut around 800 jobs and shut dozens of pubs and restaurantsLocal Labour leaders have also warned the curfew is counter-productive as it has led to people all leaving bars at the same time, gathering together outside, holding more house parties and cramming on to public transport.Read more: Pub Bosses Explain Why 10pm Curfew Isn’t WorkingHuffPost UK revealed today ministers are considering shifting the curfew back an hour, with supermarkets being ordered to stop selling alcohol after 11pm.The plan would transplant the rules operating in Northern Ireland to England, which see last orders being called at 10.30pm.During PMQs, Starmer also said Labour analysis showed 19 out of 20 areas in England that have been under restrictions over the last two months have seen an increase in infection rates anyway.Bolton, which has been under restrictions since July 30, has seen its infection rate increase almost 13 times from 20 to 255 per 100,000.Burnley, which has been under restrictions since July 31, has seen its infection rate increase over 20 times from 21 to 434 per 100,000.Bury, which has also been under restrictions since July 31, has seen its infection rate increase over 13 times from 20 to 266 per 100,000.An analysis of government data by HuffPost UK also showed there are now only seven areas of the UK with levels of Covid-19 under the government’s own threshold for foreign countries that require travel restrictions.People visiting countries with more than 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day average are required to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK.Related... Northern Leaders Rage At 'Disastrous' Covid Measures That Will Deepen North-South Divide 11pm Pub Closing Time In England Could Return, Ministers Believe Greene King To Shut 79 Pubs And Restaurants Due To Slump Caused By 10pm Curfew
Families of people who have died in police custody have expressed serious concerns about a new policy which gives anonymity to officers linked to the deaths.Campaign groups and relatives say it will be harder to hold police accountable under the ramped up policy, which came into force in July.They believe it is misguided for forces in England and Wales to take extra steps to protect anonymity at a time of global calls for greater transparency following the killing of George Floyd in the United States.The new guidance gives officers involved in custody deaths the same level of anonymity as firearms officers following a fatal shooting.Leading campaigner Tippa Naphtali, whose cousin Mikey Powell died whilst in the custody of West Midlands Police in 2003, said: “At a time like this, in the limelight of racial issues and the Black Lives Matter issues, it’s appalling.“It’s really disrespectful that they should even be thinking of a policy of this type, which is basically to afford police even more protection than they currently have, which makes them almost untouchable.”The new “Death or Serious Injury Authorised Professional Practice” policy was announced on the Police Federation website in July.A statement on the site said: “Officers involved in deaths or serious injuries will be given protection in College of Policing policy – akin to colleagues who carry firearms.”The policy sets out clear steps that should be taken by forces to “protect officers legally, ensure their welfare is looked after as well as assist with the investigation that follows”.But the charity Inquest said the new guidance “could undermine the integrity of investigations into police related deaths”.Naphtali, who runs the 4WardEver UK and Friends of Mikey Powell campaigns, said the system is already heavily weighted against bereaved families.His cousin Powell died aged 38 of asphyxiation shortly after being arrested by police in Birmingham in 2003 while suffering a psychotic episode. His death has parallels to that of George Floyd, the family say.Ten officers were charged with criminal offences after Powell’s death, but all were cleared of wrongdoing in 2006.Naphtali pointed to the fact that there has been no conviction of a police officer related to a death in custody for more than five decades in this country.“The first recorded death in custody was David Oluwale in 1969,” he said.“That’s the last time ever, in 1969, that a police officer was actually imprisoned in the UK for a death in custody. That’s disgraceful.” There have been 1,755 deaths in police custody or otherwise following police contact in England and Wales since 1990, according to Inquest.While the risks faced by officers are acknowledged, as witnessed with the fatal shooting of Sgt Matt Ratana at Croydon Police Station last month, families argue that people who die in police custody should have the same access to justice.Acclaimed poet Benjamin Zephaniah, the brother of Naphtali and cousin of Mikey Powell, said: “We just ask for the same amount of consideration when civilians die at the hands of police.”“When I see the outpouring of compassion and feeling for those officers, I want the same to happen for people that die at the hands of police, because the police should be subject to the same laws.”Debbie Whelan, of the Justice for Cameron Whelan campaign, also condemned the changes, saying equivalent support is not available to families of the dead.“[They] slipped that one in under the radar didn’t they,” she said, speaking to the 4WardEver UK campaign. “It’s a shame they don’t afford the same to the families of the people they kill.” Her son Cameron, 26, was pursued by Warwickshire Police in May 2018 and entered the water of the River Avon before his body was found four days later.The Independent Office of Police Conduct investigated the force’s contact with Cameron prior to his drowning and a jury inquest into his death found no critical findings in relation to police, despite the serious concerns of the family.The Angiolini Report In 2017, a report on deaths in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini QC, made 110 recommendations to minimise the risks of future deaths.Commenting on the new policy, Dame Elish told HuffPost UK she “had no difficulty” with officers having access to legal advice and anonymity was not unusual in the UK at the early stages of an investigation.But she expressed concern about “the persistence of the practice” of bringing officers together following an operation, a practice that has been criticised because of the risk of testimony becoming tainted or collusion occurring.“My concern is about a group of officers being kept together for several hours after the incident is over but before they have provided their own independent account of the circumstances,” she said.“That practice in England is wholly contrary to the guidance issued by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and is often not in the longer term interests of all the officers involved.”  Inquest director Deborah Coles echoed the concern saying “conferral and separation of police officers, and preservation of the scene” were both raised as critical issues in the Angiolini review.There has been a heightened global focus on deaths in police custody, particularly the disproportionate deaths of Black people, since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.Floyd died aged 46 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes as he cried out “I can’t breathe”.Inquest, which carries out casework and monitoring on custody deaths in England and Wales, says its data shows Black people die disproportionately as a result of the use of force or restraint by police.The Police Federation did not comment when approached by HuffPost UK in relation to criticism of its new policy.But Steve Hartshorn, Police Federation of England and Wales’ post incident procedure lead, said at the time the policy was announced: “There has been a deaths or serious injury policy in place for firearms for many years which has been tested through the courts and has set a standard that protects officers and assists with the provision of best evidence.“I am pleased to say this new policy from the College of Policing will afford those same protections to all our officers and staff.”Related... 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This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.“I am sorry. When you’ve made a mistake you should apologise. But most important of all, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes…” Sound familiar? Yes, Nick Clegg’s words on tuition fees (apologies but it’s hard to get autotune in print) hang in the air these days as ministers try to show some kind of remorse for the failures on coronavirus.Ahead of the Tory party “conference” and a possibly grim winter, Boris Johnson seemed to be getting his excuses in first in a series of regional TV interviews today. Given that he’s treating Covid as a series of separate local incidents rather than a national crisis, that PR tactic was at least consistent. A cynic would point out that “divide and rule” isn’t quite the “levelling up” narrative he was elected on.Anyway, it was in his interview with BBC London that the PM finally came up with his very first apology for the state of the NHS Test and Trace service. Three long weeks since the public first started complaining in large numbers about delays, Johnson said: “I apologise for the bad experiences that people have had with NHS Test and Trace..”There was of course the inevitable “but”. “..but it is a fact that we are conducting more tests than any other European countries, 20 million people have been tested.” He may or may not have still be suffering from Covid, but the PM certainly has the Gordon Brown Disease of rattling out big numbers that have zero relevance to individual complaints.In his interview with ITV Granada, Johnson finally also gave some clue as to what would free local areas from lockdown, though it was not totally helpful. He said the R number would have to fall below 1, though it’s not entirely clear how that would work, given that R so far seems to be measured for a whole region rather than individual council areas. There was another hint of contrition too: “I totally understand people feel things are inconsistent.” Hmmm.Johnson’s clear fear that the public will hammer him if Christmas is cancelled is also still preoccupying him. Despite having said the Rule of Six is in place for six months, he today even denied to ITV Anglia that families of five would be banned from having two grandparents round for Xmas lunch. “We are not saying that at all. We will do everything we can to make sure that Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible.” More confusion seems to beckon, all because the PM loves to be loved.Perhaps aware of his backbenchers’ growing love for Rishi Sunak’s own line on Covid, the PM also talked about “people learning to live without fear, as the chancellor says”. As it happens, Sunak has had his own attempt at regret in recent days, telling the Daily Express/Blue Collar Conservative conference that he has “apologised to those people” who have “fallen through the cracks” of his policies.“We haven’t been able to help everyone in exactly the way they would have liked,” he said. But there was a “but”, again. “Sometimes it’s just practically very difficult to do. We need to make sure we also protect the taxpayer...What I would say is, even if you haven’t been helped in exactly the way you want, there’ll almost certainly something that we’ve done that could benefit you.” That may not be quite the comfort the self-employed or those losing furlough were looking for.Labour knows it needs to target Sunak as much as Johnson these days (hence those attack ads, and today Bridget Phillipson ridiculing his ‘ego’), not least because if the PM really mucks up the pandemic, the chancellor may be the guy that Keir Starmer faces at the next election.As for the big question of what Labour’s economic policies will look like in 2024, we at least got a bit more clarity today after my interview with Starmer. The Labour leader is famously hard to pin down (as Goggleboxers made plain last week) and on his tax policies there has been more than a bit of fog of late.His characteristic refusal to give a yes or no answer to a question initially seemed to be in evidence. I asked him whether Lisa Nandy was right to suggest last week that his leadership pledge to increase income tax for the top 5% had now been dropped because of the party’s wider opposition to any tax rises during the pandemic.His first answer made me think Nandy was right. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.”We don’t know the full impact on the economy. And the next general election is 2024, so I don’t think it’s prudent at this stage to set out tax arrangements for 2024..” Not exactly a denial of Nandy’s words. So far, so worrying for Labour leftwingers.I asked a second time, had that 5% pledge been overtaken by events? Again, he gave the impression it had. “I don’t think anybody could really say that the last six months hasn’t changed the nature of the challenge but if anything, it’s a bigger challenge now...so the nature and scale of the challenges we now face were not even contemplated in 2019.”It felt like nailing jelly to a wall. Now, I’m a fair journalist and naturally never want to misrepresent anyone (I know, old fashioned habit) so I asked a third time. “So just to be clear, those [Labour members] who voted for you because you pledged the top 5% would be taxed, that was your priority, you’re saying actually look, events change and my response to it needs to change too?” I said.His reply solidified the jelly. “No, they were important pledges, very important pledges in terms of the approach I would take and the priorities I would have as leader of the labour party, and they remain my priorities,” he said. “What I’m saying is, the work and the challenge now is so much more profound than we thought it was in 2019. Or even this year before the pandemic hit. It actually means we might have to be bolder than we might have imagined.”So, that income tax rise for the top 5% remains a priority and is “very important” “in terms of the approach I would take”. And his reference to being even “bolder” leaves open the door for possibly some kind of wealth tax that hits the super rich even harder.That whole policy direction may yet prove surprisingly popular or worryingly toxic. But on a day of half apologies and further obfuscation on Covid, I guess the public may welcome a bit more political clarity on tax.Related... Boris Johnson Finally Apologises For NHS Test And Trace Failings Starmer: Raising Taxes On Top 5% Earners Remains My 'Priority' UK Coronavirus R-Rate Jumps Again To Between 1.3 and 1.6
Friday’s breaking news alerts and headlines have generated shockwaves across the world, but a positive Covid-19 diagnosis is just yet another piece of bad news for Donald Trump in his bid to secure a second term in the White House. Just 32 days to the US elections, and the president has been forced to cancel all his upcoming rallies and engagements. It’s unclear whether or not he will be able to attend the second presidential debate due to take place on October 15.Here are all the ways Trump has had a very, very bad month.He could face prison over taxesNew bombshell tax revelations about Trump and his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, first reported in the New York Times, show how the president managed to avoid taxes for much of the past decade and a half. According to the report, Trump paid only $750 in income tax in the year he was elected president. The newspaper also claimed he had not paid taxes in 10 of the 15 years they obtained records for, with his businesses taking on substantial loans and suffering massive losses.Trump has denied any wrongdoing, but a former federal prosecutor has said there is “no question” some of these revelations could qualify as tax fraud and not tax avoidance, in which case they could ultimately send him to prison.He was caught referring to American war dead as “losers”Trump was roundly condemned by the families of fallen US service members for reportedly referring to Americans who died fighting in the First World War as “suckers” and “losers”, first reported in The Atlantic. He is said to have uttered the belittling remarks during a 2018 visit to France, where he cancelled a visit to a WWI cemetery, allegedly saying to his staff: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Trump has been criticised in the past for making disparaging remarks about veterans and military families, including famously once denigrating the late senator and war veteran, John McCain. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 of McCain. “I like people who weren’t captured.”A poll released following the publication of his alleged comments showed support for Trump had fallen among active-duty officers and troops.He refused to condemn the Proud BoysDuring the presidential debate on Tuesday night, Trump chose not to condemn the violent far-right hate group the Proud Boys, instead telling them to “stand by”. Responding to a question from moderator Chris Wallace, who asked if he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups that have showed up at some protests, Trump said: “Sure, I’m willing to do that. But I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.”On the Proud Boys’ account on the messaging app Telegram, members of the group celebrated the apparent endorsement. “Trump basically said to go fuck them up,” said one of the Proud Boys’ leaders in a chat on the right-wing social media app Parler. “This makes me so happy.”He claimed “virtually nobody” gets Covid-19At a campaign rally in Ohio last week, Trump attempted to downplay the coronavirus pandemic by saying it affects “elderly people with heart problems and other problems”.“That’s what it really affects. That’s it,” he told supporters. “In some states, thousands of people, nobody young... they have a strong immune system, who knows,” he said. “But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”His comments were criticised for being callous and wildly inaccurate – according to official US figures, more than 400,000 people under the age of 18 have been infected with the coronavirus. Cases of the virus have been on the rise in the US, with 55,000 new positive cases last Friday – marking the highest single-day increase since August 14.The US death toll from Covid-19 is also by far the highest in the world – more than 208,000 people have died after contracting the disease, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University....and then tested positive for itJust days after one of his closest advisers who had Covid-19 travelled with him aboard Air Force One, Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus. Trump is currently said to be “well at this time” and “remains healthy”, but the fact that the president is 74 and considered obese means that he faces an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus.His presidential rival Joe Biden has tested negative for the illness despite the pair's shouty debate on Tuesday.Related... The Trumps Have Coronavirus. Here’s What Happens Now How Trump's Age And Weight Make Him Vulnerable To Coronavirus These Are The People Trump Has Been In Close Contact With This Week
Keir Starmer has called for council chiefs and mayors in England to be urgently given new powers over both local lockdowns and NHS Test and Trace.Amid a growing revolt among local leaders at fresh restrictions imposed by the Tory government, the Labour leader told HuffPost UK that it was now time for them to be “put in the driver’s seat” in the battle against coronavirus.Starmer said that health secretary Matt Hancock should share decision making with council leaders and metro Mayors, offer cash packages for businesses locked down and end the confusing public health messages.In an exclusive interview, he also demanded a radical overhaul of NHS Test and Trace to prevent it from damaging the reputation of the NHS itself, with local public health teams leading the service rather than Tory peer Dido Harding or private firms like Serco and Deloitte.On Thursday, Hancock unveiled a new ban on different households mixing in pubs or homes in Liverpool City region, Warrington, Teesside and Hartlepool from Saturday.Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said he would “defy the government and we do not accept these measures”, and he was backed up by Hartlepool council leader Shane Moore.Some 57 different areas of the UK, making up a third of the population, are now under tougher restrictions than the rest of the country.Starmer said: “The message to the government is: involve local local leaders, whether it’s council leaders or mayors, much more intensely, and much earlier. Because what’s going on is sometimes consultation, sometimes not.“There’s a massive frustration if you talk to the mayors in Manchester or Liverpool, they’ve not been properly brought into the process and listened to. The same in the northeast with the leader of Newcastle Council, a sense that the decision is being made centrally in London, when they should be in the room as part of the process.“And this isn’t just about another layer of bureaucracy, bringing someone else in. These are people who know their communities. And not only do they know their communities, they’re in very regular contact with the police, with the hospitals and their community groups, and they can put messages across their communities. So they need to be in the driver’s seat, much more central to the process.”He added: “The other part of this is that there’s a huge mismatch now between local restrictions and economic support. So instead of saying, here’s the package of restrictions, here’s the support that goes with it, the second bit isn’t there. Local leaders are a mess of tearing their hair out about what’s going to happen to jobs and businesses on their own patch.“It should be shared decision making. I don’t think local mayors and leaders should have a veto. I don’t think they should make decisions on their own. But they should be a proper part of the process.”On Thursday, NHS Test and Trace again posted worsening contact rates for those who have been close to people who tested positive for Covid.Just 64.3% of contacts were reached in cases handled either online or by private sector outsourced call centres. But the figure was 97.6% for cases handled by council-run local health protection teams.In one of his biggest breaks with government policy since he became leader, Starmer called for the first time for a complete overhaul of the system and that he agreed with Manchester metro Mayor Andy Burnham that it had to now be “locally led”.Labour wants the English system to resemble that in Wales, where the Welsh government meets with council chiefs, shares evidence on cases and positivity rates and where test and trace is not run as a “privatised enterprise”.“I completely understand the concerns that the NHS brand is being associated with test and trace when in fact, it’s been parcelled out, often with contracts to Serco and other companies,” Starmer said.“What the government should have done is to put it locally, months and months ago. Local authority leaders were saying to the government ’they should let us lead on test, trace and isolate.“‘We can do it, we can do it locally, we know our communities, and we’re up for the responsibility’. The government nearly went down that track and did start bringing them in a bit, but still insists on putting the big contracts elsewhere. Big mistake. Compare that with Germany, where they have done it from the local up and you’ve got a much better system.”Asked if that meant the end of a role for firms like Serco and Deloitte, Starmer said: “It should be locally led. I’m not going to say that you should be no involvement of others, but nobody could look at the test, trace and isolate arrangements and think that they’re working, let alone effective, let alone world class.“In a Zoom summit with Labour council chiefs, Starmer was later told by Burnham that the government had just a couple of weeks to give local leaders to put “contact tracing in hands of local authorities” or face a winter of rising ill-health and joblessness.Burnham said “local restrictions must have local support”, adding that “local control of test and trace” was essential. “This is a tough time for any government but to have made mistakes and keep on making them, that is arrogant,” he said.He pointed out that northern areas had been ignored when the “London-centric” decision was made to lift the national lockdown this summer.“We were in a different position and yet they lifted it. From our point of view we’ve never been in a position to keep cases low, they were too high and then we were already in a difficult position, then people were being encouraged to eat out to help out and god knows what.”Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes added that NHS Test and Trace, which this week announced it was replacing an NHS official with a former head of Sainsbury’s, was “privatised and centralised”.Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed agreed that the system now needed “to be local by default” because “the centralised Serco system hasn’t worked”.Welsh government health minister Vaughan Gething said that because its test and trace service was focused on the public sector, it was achieving a high level of contacts, with 91% of cases reached and 83% of their close contacts.Related... 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Boris Johnson’s test-and-trace service has seen another fall in its contact-tracing rate as the number of people testing positive soared across England.The figures for the week of September 17 to September 23 showed that just 71.6% of “close contacts” of Covid cases were reached by the system.For the 14th week running, the figure is below the 80% figure that the government’s scientific advisers have said is needed to make the entire policy viable.In line with the September surge in cases, NHS Test and Trace reported 31,373 people testing positive for the first time – a 61% week-on-week increase and four times as high as the number at the end of August.But the service’s performance has gone backwards on the percentage of people it reached, dropping to 71.3% from 80.8% the week before.And on the key proportion of the “close contacts” of those fed into the system – defined as someone who was less than two metres from someone with Covid for more than 15 minutes – just 71.6% were reached, down from 76.3% the previous week.The news came as it emerged that Deloitte, a private firm used by NHS Test and Trace, was trying to sell its services to local councils. Testing turnaround times did improve, although they remain well short of the 100% target set by the PM for the end of June.In the week to September 23, 38.1% of in-person tests – from local test sites, mobile testing units and regional test sites – were received within 24 hours compared to 28.2% in the previous week.That still means that only four in 10 of such tests get results within the timeframe set by Johnson.For all routes combined, 16.9% of tests from all test sites were received within 24 hours of a test being taken compared to the record low of 10.3% in the previous week.Figures for home testing kits continue to be low, with just 2.9% of people in England receiving their result within 24 hours, up slightly from 1.8% in the previous week.The stark difference in public sector and private sector contact tracing rates was once again highlighted.For cases handled by local health protection teams, 97.6% of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate, whereas the figure was 64.3% for cases handled either online or by private sector outsourced call centres.Government insiders say that the low contact trace figures are explained partly by the shift from hospital and care home cases – termed “complex cases” – towards community transmission, where it is more difficult to identify and trace people.The latest figures don’t take into account the launch of the NHS Covid-19 App, which aims to improve contact rates among people who don’t know each other.Ministers prefer to use a different definition for contact tracing than Sage (the scientific advisory group for emergencies), highlighting those cases “where communication details were available”. On this measure, 83.7% were reached and asked to self-isolate up to September 23.Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “For the proportion of people being contacted to drop by nearly 10% in a week is appalling and really should not be happening at this point.“Whilst some areas have improved, we are still a million miles away from the promise made by Boris Johnston back in June that the majority of people would have their test results back within 24 hours.“And on the day it is revealed Deloitte, who are contracted by the Government to run test and trace, are trying to sell their contact tracing services to local councils, it is clearer than ever that their time would be better spent improving the huge issues in the existing system.”However, health secretary Matt Hancock defended Deloitte, saying they “have done an incredible job in helping us to put together the contact tracing and the backward contact tracing that we have”. “Of course they should offer their services to local councils too,” he said.29,037 people were transferred to the contact tracing system betweenSeptember 17 and September 23, a notable increase of 37% compared to the previous week.The Department of Health and Social Care said the number of people transferred has been “notably increasing” since the beginning of August with over six times as many people being transferred in the most recent week compared to the beginning of August.NHS Test and Trace boss Dido Harding revealed this week that former Sainsbury’s supermarket chief executive Mike Coupe is to take over as director of testing at the service from late October.Sarah-Jane Marsh, an NHS official who apologised for delays to the public earlier this month, will step aside to make way for Coupe.Related... NHS Test And Trace Appoints Sainsbury’s Boss To Run Testing, Leaked Email Reveals More Than 170 People Test Positive For Coronavirus At Cornwall Meat Packing Plant Long Covid Isn't Just Leaving People Sick – It's Taking Everything They've Got This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Since Downing Street refused to deny suggestions that the government is looking at plans to ship asylum seekers to offshore locations to process their claims, the newspapers have been chock-full with leaks about what officials have been proposing. With plans ranging from floating asylum centres in old ferries to sending migrants more than 8,500 miles away to have their cases heard, some of the proposals seem more likely than others. On Thursday, Matthew Rycroft – the most senior civil servant in the Home Office – claimed the civil service had purely been answering ministers’ questions about how other countries deal with migration.“We have been leaving no stone unturned in doing that,” he said. “We’ve been looking at what a whole host of other countries do in order to bring innovation into our own system. [But] no decisions have been taken.“No final proposals have been put to ministers or to anyone else.”He added: “This is in the realm of the brainstorming stage of a future policy and, I think as ministers have said in the House, everything is on the table, and so it should be at this stage of the policy-making process.” Rycroft refused to say which offshore proposals had been discussed. With that in mind, here are five proposals officials have reportedly floated that have been leaked to newspapers in recent days.Creating floating asylum centres off the coast According to the The Times, one of the many plans being considered by Downing Street is to process the cases of people seeking asylum in the UK on disused ferries off the coast of the UK.The government is considering buying retired ferries and converting them into floating asylum processing centres, the paper reported. It said that the Home Office had also held discussions about taking asylum seekers to decommissioned oil platforms in the North Sea – but that ministers had dismissed the suggestion as a “no-go”. Pushing migrant boats back to French waters with boat pumps Asylum processing centres on ferries is apparently not the only plan involving boats that have been floated by officials. In a “blue-sky thinking” session about how to deal with the increasing number of people illegally crossing the Channel in dangerous conditions, the option of using boats with pumps to create waves that would force migrant boats back to French waters was discussed, the Financial Times revealed. While this was eventually considered too dangerous, with concerns raised that it could capsize boats carrying hundreds of vulnerable migrants, the possibility of linking small boats together to form a barrier to stop people being able to come ashore was also spoken about. Sending asylum seekers to Ascension Island – a  volcanic island 4,000 miles away Before Wednesday, you may never have heard of Ascension Island.But the Financial Times’ astounding scoop that Patel asked officials to explore building an asylum processing centre on the remote volcanic island – which is more than 4,000 miles away from the UK – means the name is probably imprinted on your brain now. According to the newspaper, Home Office officials were told to look into the feasibility of transferring asylum seekers arriving in the UK to a centre on the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic.It is understood that Patel eventually scrapped the idea, which refugee charities slammed as “immoral and inhumane”. On Thursday, the Home Office’s top civil servant refused to confirm to MPs whether the idea was considered as a “serious suggestion”.Matthew Roycroft told parliament’s Public Accounts Committee: “The civil service is here to give ministers impartial, fearless, honest, expert, independent advice and that is what we do. And the system works when we do that in private.”Stephen Hale, chief executive of Refugee Action, said it was “deeply troubling” that Patel even considered such a plan. “Our asylum system is descending into chaos,” he said. “The government must stop its unconscionable race to the bottom and work sensibly towards creating a fair and effective asylum system based on humanity, compassion and the rule of law.”Building asylum detention centres in Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea According to The Guardian, it’s not just Ascension Island that has been considered as a possible location to send asylum seekers. The newspaper reported it had seen documents suggesting the government has been working on “detailed plans” calculating how feasible it would be to build asylum detention camps in Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea. Like Ascension Island, all three of these locations are thousands of miles away from the UK.Moldova is just under 2,000 miles away, Morocco is around 2,220 miles from the UK, and Papua New Guinea, which is off the coast of Australia, is more than 8,500 miles away. The documents reportedly outline how the government would relocate asylum seekers to these places after they had already arrived in the UK. But Tory backbencher Adam Holloway said that, while it was “completely right” for the Home Office to look at ways of deterring asylum seekers from coming to the UK, any solution should be “civilised”.Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “Talk of oil rigs and Moldova and Papua New Guinea, to me, is somewhat bizarre.“The Home Office is completely right to look at other options so there is some sort of deterrent, but not the Australian model where you have poor welfare standards and everything else.“We’ve got to find a civilised version of that.”‘Migrant hostels’ on the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man or the Shetland Islands There could be asylum processing centres closer to home, according to the Daily Mail. A government source told the newspaper that officials were looking into the possibility of “offshoring” migrants in centre in the Shetlands, the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man. “There are also lots of little islands up by Scotland,” the source said. “This is all fairly down the track and it’s not going to be an overnight thing. It will also require changes to legislation. And if we were going to build anything at any of these places we would have to ensure there are appropriate services and provisions for asylum seekers who are sent there.” They can rest assured that any proposal to treat human beings like cattle in a holding pen will be met with the strongest possible opposition from me. https://t.co/qhfxQMSRxG— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 1, 2020Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said that any proposal to “treat human beings like cattle in a holding pen” would be met “with the strongest possible opposition from me”. Related... 4 Reasons The Plan To Send Asylum Seekers To Ascension Island Was Absolutely Ridiculous Priti Patel 'Wanted To Send Migrants To Remote Atlantic Island'
The suspect in the fatal shooting of Sergeant Matt Ratana remains in critical condition and detectives have not yet been able to speak to him, the Met Police have said.Ratana died in hospital after being shot by a handcuffed suspect at a custody suite in Croydon, south London, on Friday. In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, the Met Police said they were carrying out “detailed searches” at an address in Southbrook Road, Norbury and another address off Park Road, Banstead, Surrey. Police said the second location includes access to several derelict buildings and more than 30 acres of land, with the “complex” search expected to take days.A suspect, named as Louis De Zoysa, 23, remains in critical condition in hospital. Police said they have not yet been able to speak to him.A second suspect remains in custody after being arrested on Sunday in Norwich, Norfolk, on suspicion of supplying a firearm.The murder of Sergeant Ratana has sent shockwaves through the Met. Nevertheless, his colleagues are determined to find justice for him and his family.DAC Cundy: "It is four days since the murder of our colleague and our work continues at a high tempo."https://t.co/uetGFzHfsg— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) September 29, 2020Deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation, said: “It is four days since the murder of our colleague and our work continues at a high tempo.“We have traced a number of witnesses who have been able to contribute significant information about the events leading up to the shooting.“We continue to pursue multiple lines of inquiry and consider the results of initial forensic examinations, including of the gun recovered from custody.“The murder of Sgt Ratana sent shockwaves through the Metropolitan Police Service. Nevertheless his colleagues are determined to find justice for him and his family.”The statement came after Sgt Ratana’s partner, Su Bushby, paid tribute to the 54-year-old, saying: “There aren’t really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved and was so close to in such a tragic manner.“I know Matt touched many, many people’s lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.“I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love.“Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.”Related... Croydon Police Shooting: Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Supplying Firearm Croydon Police Shooting Suspect Had Hands Cuffed Behind His Back Met Officer Killed At South London Police Station Is Named As Sgt Matt Ratana
At 2.45am one night in 2016, Tracy’s father was woken up by torch lights darting around his garden. Then there came an urgent thumping on the front door. He went downstairs to find police officers on his porch. They were looking for Tracy. They said they wanted to arrest her for harassment.It was not the first time Tracy had been arrested, she said.This was the latest in a series of incidents she feels her ex-partner had sought to orchestrate, using his position as an officer with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), to intimidate her by getting her in trouble with police. She sees this as a form of coercive control only available to a police officer.“I’d sent something like 10 messages in seven days,” Tracy, whose name has been changed, told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.She had been texting her ex-partner, an officer with GMP, because he had not been allowing her any contact with their young daughter. When the police called at her parents’ house, Tracy was in fact staying with her sick grandmother more than 50 miles away. So the following night, officers from GMP paid that house a visit instead. They arrested Tracy just after midnight. Her grandmother collapsed soon after and had to be seen by paramedics, Tracy believes due to shock.“I believe his use of the law and the system, and his knowledge of police procedures, has made him able to do things, and the police have taken him more seriously because he was a police officer,” Tracy said. When she once threatened to report her ex-partner to the force over concerns about his behaviour, she said he replied, “I am the police”. It is breathtaking that victims in this position are often sure, as this one is, that they have been treated badly by police for complaining against one of their own.Vera Baird, Victim's CommissionerTracy feels some police officers responded to her ex-partner’s allegations against her with undue severity because he was a police officer. She said she was arrested 10 times in four years. Two of these occasions led to convictions. GMP later failed to take disciplinary action against him, she believes.The force found in a misconduct investigation that he had given “factually incorrect” and incomplete information to courts and to police, knowing it would likely lead to Tracy’s arrest, but the force said he had no misconduct case to answer because he had not been acting in the course of his job as a police officer when the events occurred.The Victims’ Commissioner, Vera Baird, said GMP’s reasoning was not acceptable. “Stories such as this one bring the police into disrepute,” she said. “It is breathtaking that victims in this position are often sure, as this one is, that they have been treated badly by police for complaining against one of their own. They see their adversary protected, as in this case, where the police hierarchy failed to impose even a disciplinary penalty ... A victim has nowhere else to go for help but their local police force.”Tracy’s story follows the Bureau’s reporting on the experiences of those abused at home by police officers. Multiple women told us their abusive officer partners had misused their professional positions to further intimidate or harass them. Accounts included the stalking of an ex-girlfriend in a marked police car; threats of police loyalty and getting the women “put in prison”; and provoking and then recording the women at home, suggesting it would later be used against them. Nearly 100 women from around the UK have come forward to share experiences of domestic abuse by partners in the police. In an attempt to force action, lawyers from the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) have launched an official “super-complaint” about forces’ handling of such allegations, covering all forces in England and Wales. The complaint, which police regulators are now investigating, calls for changes in forces’ procedures, such as appointing another force to investigate allegations and automatically bringing in the Independent Office for Police Conduct for oversight. There is no suggestion Tracy reported her ex-partner to any police force for domestic abuse. Yet she feels his use of legal and policing systems against her was a form of emotional abuse – only available to a police officer – from which she is only now starting to recover.The Bureau shared her case with CWJ’s lawyers who in turn alerted the Greater Manchester deputy mayor for policing, Bev Hughes. She told us she had raised concerns with GMP’s chief constable and that discussions about the case were ongoing.Hughes said she had also asked GMP to review the wider issues raised in the nationwide super-complaint and that the force has since developed a detailed action plan in response. “Retrospective examination of criminal investigations has also taken place to scrutinise investigations, decision-making and to identify any learning that can be done,” she said. Commenting on the super-complaint, Hughes added: “I am very clear that allegations of police perpetrated domestic abuse must be effectively and appropriately investigated, just the same as for any other member of the public. I understand that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will commence an investigation into the super-complaint shortly and I welcome that investigation.”‘The beginning of hell’ Tracy told the Bureau her saga began in 2013 when she and her ex-partner were still together. “He called me a ‘fat bitch who couldn’t even get having a baby right’,” she said of an argument after their daughter’s premature birth. “So I slapped him across the face. He rang the police because he said I needed teaching a lesson.” GMP arrested her for the first time and kept her in a cell overnight, then released her with no action, she said. “That was the beginning of hell, a situation I thought I would never get out of.”The couple split up and their young daughter lived with her father. Soon after, Tracy said, she was served with her first court order.“At 6am there was a knock on the door, and a man from the court handed me a ‘non-molestation order’,” Tracy said. It transpired her ex-partner had taken the injunction out against her, and it meant she could be arrested if she contacted him.“I went to a solicitor who said we’d challenge it. But in the interim I sent him a message saying ‘I’m sorry, please let me see [my daughter]’, because he was withholding her,” she said. “A week later there was a knock at my mum and dad’s door at 7am and it was the police to arrest me for it.” What woman separated from her baby wouldn’t look at a piece of paper and break it to see her baby? I don’t believe any woman on Earth wouldn’t break it.TracyThis, Tracy told us, set the pattern for her ex-partner’s behaviour: in her view misusing his legal and policing knowledge to emotionally abuse her by getting her in trouble with the police. Over the following six months, she said, she was arrested four more times on his reports to the police of her breaking the injunction. “What woman separated from her baby wouldn’t look at a piece of paper and break it to see her baby?” Tracy said. “I don’t believe any woman on Earth wouldn’t break it.”Two of these arrests led to her spending the night in police custody. “Twelve hours. That was a long, long time,” she said. She got so used to time in police cells that she would take some books to read, she said, but this did not eradicate the “feelings of panic, like the walls are closing in”.A few years later, her ex-partner’s pattern of behaviour started all over again. When he was looking after their daughter he would block Tracy’s contact with her, so she would text and email him. He would then report her to GMP for harassment, without telling the police why she was contacting him.This led to the 2.45am visit to Tracy’s parents’ house, and the midnight arrest at her grandmother’s home the next day. The police de-arrested her that night when she said she could not leave her sick grandmother; when she voluntarily attended a police station the next day, they arrested her again. She spent 11 hours in custody before being released with no further action.Tracy told us she never thought she would end up in a police cell. “Before ... I had a good flat, a good job, a good social life, then my life was turned upside down,” she said. “I just felt hunted.”She described how her self-esteem was eroded and she had no voice to push back on the injunctions or allegations being made against her. “I had police and social services all saying ‘you are the abuser and [your ex-partner] is the victim’.” She said she felt they were publicly saying they understand coercive control but not looking adequately at the evidence in this instance.She was in constant fear of the police and said at times she felt suicidal. “Eventually I got to the point where I thought I’m either going to die or I’m going to have to stand up for myself,” she said. “So I started writing the police letter after letter.”‘Honesty and integrity’Tracy’s letters of complaint led to GMP undertaking an internal misconduct investigation. The resulting report stated that her ex-partner had twice failed to tell the police, when reporting Tracy for harassment, that she was contacting him because he had not let her speak to their child. It also said he had “failed” to tell this to a court in a sworn statement, when successfully applying for a second injunction against Tracy for harassment.The report found that Tracy’s ex-partner would have been aware, “with his knowledge of police procedure” that withholding key information from both the court and police would most likely lead to her arrest. The injunction, it said, “had a power of arrest which [Tracy’s ex-partner] would then use … against her … by reporting her to the police”. He did exactly that, which led to what Tracy says was her 10th arrest. GMP concluded, however, that he had no misconduct case to answer. “His actions were carried out in his capacity as a private individual in his own time and not in his capacity as a police officer and although his personal actions might discredit him, they do not discredit the police service as a whole,” the report stated.Kay Neve, a former detective constable with Kent police who worked on professional misconduct and domestic abuse cases, disagrees with GMP’s conclusions. She told the Bureau that she would think a member of the public would be very concerned if they found a police officer had given factually incorrect information in a court statement. She added that in her view continuing as an officer in such circumstances would usually be untenable.“How can you then, with any degree of confidence, allow that police officer to end up in a magistrates’ or crown court and be 100% guaranteed that what they are saying under oath is the full truth?” she continued. “It questions the very integrity of that person to the extent it could potentially bring discredit on the force.”Tracy’s ex-partner eventually resigned while under investigation. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to charge him for perverting the course of justice.GMP told the Bureau it would be inappropriate to comment on the case in detail. “[Tracy’s] complaint was investigated by GMP’s Professional Standards Branch with evidence sent to the CPS for their consideration. The rationale for there being no criminal, or disciplinary action taken against any party can be found in the investigation report sent to [Tracy].”Double standardsTracy believes some officers may have treated her more harshly than usual because the person making the accusations against her was an officer; she feels she was subjected to “nothing short of harassment by the police”.On what Tracy described as the worst day of her life, she was with her daughter at a friend’s house. She had been drinking and told the Bureau she had planned to stay the night, but said she then got a call from her ex-partner asking her to drive their daughter back to him. “He said if I didn’t get her back to the house he would send the police round. There was always the threat of the police believing him,” Tracy said. By this point, she had already been arrested six times – including five times for breaking the injunctions he had taken out against her – and convicted in a magistrates’ court of breaching the orders and assaulting him (which she says she now plans to appeal). “I put her in the car and to this day, I don’t know why I did that… why didn’t I just ring a taxi?” she said. “You can judge me, because this is just the worst thing ever... I don’t ever try to excuse or defend it.” Tracy said when she arrived at his house, officers from Lancashire police were waiting with her ex-partner for her to arrive. They arrested her and she was later convicted of drink-driving. A Lancashire constabulary spokesman said: “Lancashire constabulary expects the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from all our staff. The vast majority of our staff adhere to these standards, including adhering to correct decision-making and legal constraints, no matter who the informant may be. We take great pride in delivering a first-class policing service every day.”Tracy feels her ex-partner’s allegations were handled differently by the police than if he had been an ordinary member of the public. She said GMP made no effort to contact her or ask her to attend a police station voluntarily before officers went to her parents’ house at 2.45am to arrest her. “I don’t believe, if he’d been a civilian, that the police would have taken such a heavy-handed approach,” she said. Neve said the fact the GMP officers de-arrested Tracy that night so she could care for her grandmother suggested they did not need to arrest her in the middle of the night in the first place.“By [de-arresting her] they obviously trusted she would present herself to a police station voluntarily, because their other option would have been to ring round and get somebody else to sit with the grandmother,” she said. The GMP report considered whether there was collusion between Tracy’s ex-partner and other officers “to control and intimidate her”. It concluded the officers had “done nothing wrong”. ‘I have lost that part of her childhood’ Seven years after she was first arrested, Tracy finally lives with her daughter again. She said she is only now starting to recover from her ordeal.“I’ve been arrested 10 times over the course of these events. And I believe one of them I deserved, that was the drink-driving. None of the others I deserved. I slapped [my ex-partner] in 2013 and from then my life just fell away. That has given him so much power.”  There are not many types of psychological abuse worse than not being able to see a child.TracyTracy told us she was separated from her young daughter for a year in total throughout the saga. “I just existed,” she said, claiming that once her ex-partner did not let her speak to the child on her birthday. “She thought her mummy didn’t want to speak to her.”“There are not many types of psychological abuse worse than not being able to see a child.” She said that in her view, “you read over and over again about women being abused by men and the police don’t do anything,” she said. “And there’s a police officer here who, it seems to me, utilised injunctions as a tool to try to abuse me, and the slightest reaction I then had, I got arrested for.”In her eyes, the failure to discipline her ex-partner has left him emboldened to continue discrediting her. Months after GMP closed its investigation, he told a third party through Facebook that she was a domestic abuser with cautions for breaking injunctions but that he, on the other hand, had “never been arrested, cautioned or convicted of any offence”.When the Bureau approached him for comment he vehemently denied all the allegations in this article. He said he had never been arrested, charged or convicted “by the police or any other authority for any of the allegations she has made”, adding that meanwhile Tracy has been convicted of assault, breaching injunctions and drink-driving.He also disputed the GMP report. “I was unhappy with the content of the report as it is factually incorrect,” he said. “I was not found guilty of any offences and not subject to any disciplinary action.” Tracy is planning to try to appeal her assault conviction, and otherwise she is trying to move on with her life, reunited with her daughter. “I don’t have a lot of memories of her. I have lost that part of her childhood, but I try not to dwell on it,” she said.“I just want to be a normal mummy, picking her up from school, giving her her tea.”Tracy’s name has been changed for legal reasons. Related... Majority Of BAME People Support Defunding The Police, Report Finds The Man I Thought Was My Boyfriend Was An Undercover Cop Sent To Spy On Me The Truth Behind Philip Morris International's Smoke-Free Future
An overwhelming majority of business leaders are open to the introduction of a four day working week, a new poll suggests.A total of 79% of more than 500 business leaders said they were either “very open” (47%) or “quite open” (32%) to a four day week, the Survation poll shared with HuffPost UK showed.The survey, commissioned by the 4 Day Week Campaign and the think-tank Autonomy, also referenced concerns that firms could see their wage bills increase if a four day week was introduced without workers having their pay cut.But the positive response to the idea suggested that this is not a major issue for companies, the 4 Day Week Campaign said.Britons work longer hours than almost all other countries in western Europe but its productivity lags behind many EU rivals.Earlier this month, Labour’s shadow employment secretary Andy McDonald said a four day week should be “increasingly trialled with the introduction of more pilot schemes”. Treasury minister Kemi Badenoch met with Labour MP Clive Lewis to discuss the idea at the end of July and agreed to keep a dialogue going on the issue.Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also replaced the coronavirus furlough scheme with a scheme that will see the government support workers doing shorter hours in a bid to help them keep their jobs during the Covid recession.Joe Ryle, a campaigner with the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: “This is exactly the right moment to introduce a four day week with no reduction in pay across the country.“The four day week is no longer seen as a scary idea to business because they are realising that it would boost productivity and give workers a much better work-life balance.“It’s time for business, working with the trade unions and the government, to make it happen.”Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “The four day week is popular with businesses, trade unions and even Conservative voters.“Some businesses have already begun getting on with it themselves post Covid-19 but this added support from business leaders should put the rocket boosters on.“The UK has a unique opportunity to be a pioneer for the four day week and it’s about time we get on with it.”:: Survation polled 515 business leaders on August 26, including owners, partners, CEOs, chairpersons, presidents, CFOs, CTOs, other chief-level executives, and directors.Related... Has Rishi Sunak Done Too Little Too Late To Prevent The Unemployment Tsunami? Rishi Sunak’s Furlough Replacement ‘Will Lead To Job Losses’, Experts Warn Workers Can Have Wages Topped Up If Hours Cut, Announces Rishi Sunak
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