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Boris Johnson to give ‘his version of events’ in Commons this week – live

Boris Johnson to give ‘his version of events’ in Commons this week - live

Eddie Marsan talks about John Darwin role and makes veiled jab at Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will “have his say” on partygate in Parliament this week, a minister said today, as Labour tore into fresh revelations that a gathering at Downing Street turned into a leaving party only after the prime minister allegedly started pouring drinks.

The Sunday Times reported the prime minister’s official photographer had captured Mr Johnson holding a beer at the gathering, and chancellor Rishi Sunak with a soft drink, at the event on 13 November 2020.

“He said he wanted to say a few words for Lee [Cain] and started pouring drinks for people and drinking himself,” a source told the newspaper.

Energy minister Greg Hands confirmed Mr Johnson will be speaking to Parliament this week about the scandal and “will outline his version of events and face questions from MPs.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “While the British public was making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law.”

“If the latest reports are true, it would mean that not only did the prime minister attend parties, but he had a hand in instigating at least one of them. He has deliberately misled the British people at every turn,” she added.


It is ‘madness’ to expect migrants to stay in Rwanda after they try to reach the UK, says Labour MP

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones has said it is “madness” to expect migrants to stay in Rwanda after they try to reach the UK.

The Labour MP claimed the government is merely “moving” the people smuggling problem, rather than “fixing” it.

Speaking to Times Radio, she said: “The Government hasn’t even said how much this is going to cost – the £120 million is just an upfront payment to the Rwandan government. The actual admin of the scheme, they don’t even know how much that’s going to cost.

“Sending people 4,000 miles before they’ve made a claim and expecting them to stay in a country they don’t want to be in is madness.

“We are just moving the people smuggling problem, we are not fixing it, which is what the Government claims to try and do.”

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 09:09


How Nick Brown’s Law saved Boris Johnson – you can’t beat somebody with nobody

The collapse of the chancellor’s standing means that the prime minister is first among unequals, writes John Rentoul.

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 08:48


Minister ‘shares frustration’ over delayed Sue Gray Partygate report

Greg Hands said he shares the “frustration” over the wait for the Sue Gray report into the Partygate saga.

Put to him that the senior civil servant is “a little cross” about the delay to the publication of her full report while the police conduct their enquiries, Mr Hands told LBC: “Well, I share the frustration, but I think it’s right that we wait for the police investigation to reach its conclusion.

“Then Sue Gray will have a look at what’s come out of the police investigation before doing her final report.”

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 08:36


Boris Johnson will ‘outline his version of events’ in the Commons, says minister

Energy minister Greg Hands said Boris Johnson will “have his say” on partygate in Parliament this week.

He told Sky News: “The Prime Minister will be speaking to Parliament … this week.

“Parliament returns tomorrow and the Prime Minister will have his say in Parliament, and will outline his version of events and face questions from MPs.”

Put to him that this was “not exactly a full-throated backing” of Mr Johnson, and asked if it would be right for the PM to resign if pictures of him “pouring drinks” at a party were to emerge in the coming days, Mr Hands said: “I do strongly back the Prime Minister.

“I think the Prime Minister is getting on with the job, he’s delivered, and the Government has delivered, in anything from the vaccination programme through (to) the strong support for Ukraine.

“There is a police investigation going on and we’ll have to see what develops, but as I say the Prime Minister will be in Parliament this week, explaining and facing questions from MPs about what has happened.”

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 08:18


Rwanda plan critics need to reveal what their solution would be, says minister

Energy minister Greg Hands has denied that the UK is outsourcing its responsibilities by sending migrants to Rwanda, after religious leaders criticised the move.

Put to him that this is the case, he told Sky News: “No, we’re not. This is an agreement between two sovereign countries: the UK and Rwanda.”

Mr Hands also echoed home secretary Priti Patel’s challenge for critics of the plan to come up with a better idea to tackle small boat crossings.

Asked if the Archbishop of Canterbury was wrong to call the plan “ungodly”, he said: “I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is to show what their solution would be.”

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 08:05


New polling reveals most commonly used word about Boris Johnson is ‘liar’

A new poll commissioned by The Times has revealed what the public think about Boris Johnson, amid the partygate scandal.

Researchers asked 2,000 people to give their views on the beleagured prime minister and the results will not make happy reading in No10.

Comments from 72 per cent of people were negative, with only 16 per cent positive. The most commonly used word to describe the prime minister was “liar”.

The survey was undertaken by J L Partners, co-founded by James Johnson, Theresa May’s former pollster.

In a tweet, Mr Johnson concluded: “Overall, partygate dominates views of Boris over Ukraine. Fury has not receded. Many negative comments are by people who liked him previously but have now changed their minds.

“When Johnson first took power, only Labour voters would call him a liar. It is now widespread.”

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 07:44


Brexit has ‘brought problems’ for Falkland Islands’ fishing industry, former Labour MP claims

Brexit has “brought problems” for the Falkland Islands’ fishing industry, a Labour former defence minister has warned.

Derek Twigg, chairman of the Falkland Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), said there had “been a lot of concern” over the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on Falkland Islands fishing exports, such as squid.

Speaking to PA as parliamentarians mark 40 years since the Falklands War, the MP for Halton said: “Brexit has brought problems for the islands in terms of the fisheries, because their fishery… is a very much large part of their economy, particularly squid, particularly the type of squid they have which is exported to Europe.

“Work is going on with the Falklands government and countries like Spain and the EU to try and ease those challenges around that because it’s such a big exporter.”

His comments were echoed by Falkland Islands government representative to the United Kingdom and Europe Richard Hyslop, who said: “When it comes to Brexit, as things stand, there are no obvious benefits to the Falkland Islands. There are however a number of challenges.”

Mr Hyslop said the EU is the main market for the Falkland Islands’ fishery exports, with exports accounting for “more than 50% of our GDP”, and “was an important market for meat exports”.

However since the end of the transition period in January 2021 the Falkland Islands’ exports to the EU have been subject to tariffs, he added, with an average of 42% for meat and between 6% and 18% for fisheries exports.

The “very high tariff” on meat exports has “resulted in the loss of the market as it is just not viable to export to the EU any more” while exports of fishery products to the EU are “now less profitable”.

Mr Hyslop said the Falkland Islands government was “exploring a wide range of options” looking at “how we have these tariffs removed”.

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 07:33


ICYMI: Archbishop of Canterbury criticises Rwanda policy during Easter message

Archbishop of Canterbury criticises Rwanda policy during Easter message

Joe Middleton18 April 2022 07:23


Genocide orphans ‘told to leave hostel to make room for UK asylum seekers’

Those orphaned by the 1994 Rwandan genocide have reportedly been told to leave a hostel they lived in for years to make way for asylum seekers in the UK to stay.

Some said that they don’t know where next they will go after being issued eviction notices.

One woman who has lived at the shelter for eight years told the Sunday Mirror: “I barely know any other home. I was only told about moving out a few days ago. I have not figured out where I will go.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 April 2022 07:08


Home Office staff could walkout in protest over Rwanda plan, warns union

Home secretary Priti Patel could face a mutiny from Home Office civil servants protesting plans to send asylum seekers thousands of miles away to Rwanda.

Home Office staff who oppose the policy on legal or ethical grounds could stage mass walk-outs, request transfers, or leave the civil service entirely, a union has warned.Ms Patel had to issue a ministerial direction – a formal instruction from ministers to proceed with a spending proposal, despite facing opposition.

The Rwandan government will be paid an initial cost of £120m as part of the deal, with reports suggesting each person sent to Rwanda is expected to cost British taxpayers between £20,000 to £30,000.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 April 2022 07:00

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Apple expected to launch new low-cost 5G iPhone at event on Tuesday

Apple expected to launch new low-cost 5G iPhone at event on Tuesday

Apple Inc AAPL-Q will likely announce a new low-cost version of its iPhone SE with 5G capabilities at its annual spring product launch event on Tuesday, analysts say.

The iPhone maker is also expected to launch a new version of the iPad Air and a high-end Mac Mini at the event.

Apple’s iPhone SE is currently priced at $399. CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino said Apple could attract more price-sensitive consumers if the price remains the same for the new version.

“It could potentially provide upside to our unit iPhone estimate for 2022 if they keep that price point unchanged,” Zino said. “The iPhone SE really caters well to a lot of first-time buyers on the iPhone ecosystem that may be younger individuals, where their parents are going out there buying that device.”

The new phone would be the first update to the iPhone SE model in two years and is rumoured to come with an improved camera and a faster processor.

The United States, Japan and Western Europe have been the top markets for iPhone SE sales in recent years, said analyst Ryan Reith of IDC. Reith said these regions will likely remain the top markets after the anticipated launch of the third-generation iPhone SE.

“We probably won’t see big geography shifts,” Reith said, adding that he expects the new iPhone SE to account for 10 per cent of iPhone shipments globally after the launch.

IPhones with 5G capabilities have been a big part of Apple’s focus for its flagship product, with its latest-model iPhone 13 showing off custom 5G antennas and radio components for faster speeds as customers look for powerful devices with better connectivity.

But some analysts still point to the limitations of 5G technology globally.

“Currently in most countries in the world, that (5G) technology simply isn’t good enough to create a unique and differentiated experience … the fact that the iPhone SE comes with 5G is more a way to enable users to leverage 5G when that technology evolves over the next year or two,” Canalys research analyst Runar Bjørhovde said.

Zino said he does not anticipate services or accessories launches at the Tuesday event, though an unexpected announcement in the services sector is still possible.

Apple usually hosts three events every year to launch new products, starting in spring and announcing the launch of its latest iPhone range just before the holiday shopping season.

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Apple said on March 1 it has paused all product sales in Russia. The company also said it has stopped all exports into its sales channels in the country and limited Apple Pay and other services in Russia.

The Russian state media, RT News and Sputnik News, are no longer available for download from the Apple Store outside Russia.

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CCTV footage did not uphold hospital’s version of events

CCTV footage did not uphold hospital's version of events

Enda Craig was taken by ambulance to Letterkenny University Hospital at around 1am on May 11, 2019. He was suffering from atrial fibrillation, a condition that induces an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm. The condition can lead to blood clots. When it strikes, the impact of the faster heartbeat can be extremely frightening. It was his fourth time being admitted for this condition. Mr Craig is 74. At the hospital, he was placed on a trolley in a cubicle behind a curtain to await examination.

Various tests were taken while he was in the cubicle. After thirty-eight minutes, he says the curtain was “pulled back by a female uniformed staff member who entered the cubicle and addressed him aggressively”. This was the clinical nurse manager (CNM) on duty. She told him the cubicle was required for another patient. Mr Craig said he was a patient waiting to be examined. The CNM, according to Mr Craig, asked if he was refusing to leave. He agreed to relocate to a row of seats near the nurse manager’s station. The CNM insists she acted entirely professionally in the exchange.

He was moved to a row of seats near the nurse manager’s station. 

A report compiled by the hospital on what happened thereafter described how Mr Craig “walked up and down the treatment area of the ED (Emergency Department) on a number of occasions passing close to where the CNM was sitting at her desk”. He “stood and leaned towards the CNM and pointed his finger into her face for 34 seconds.” 

CCTV footage

The report, based on CCTV footage stated that the CNM “is seen to recoil backwards and lift her hands in a defensive manner.” There was no audio with the CCTV footage, but the report stated that Mr Craig walked past the nurse’s station nine times over the following 15 minutes which “caused a sense of anxiety among members of the clinical staff present in the ED at that time.” 

The CNM stated: “I was very anxious and upset at the verbal abuse and the intimidation I had felt while [we were] trying our best within our limited resources to care for the patients and others.” 

Mr Craig went home later that morning, his condition having been diagnosed as “low risk”. He made a complaint to the hospital over how he had been treated. The hospital appointed an emergency medicine consultant to investigate the complaint. The consultant compiled a twenty-five page report based on CCTV footage and interviews with a number of witnesses. Mr Craig’s complaint was not upheld and the report presented him as being unreasonable and aggressive. Mr Craig denied this and said that some witnesses had not been interviewed.

There followed a protracted process in which Mr Craig requested a whole raft of documents, many through Freedom of Information. At one point, he received a copy of the CCTV footage. 

“I was later told that I never should have got that,” he says. “But I had put in for a lot of stuff and that came back in some of it.” 

The footage did not correlate with how it had been analysed and presented in the complaint investigation.

Complaint to ombudsman

Mr Craig complained to the Ombudsman over how his case had been dealt with. After another protracted period, the Ombudsman reported back to him last December. “We are not entirely convinced that some of the key comments in the hospital’s initial complaint response to you could be supported by the relevant recorded CCTV footage,” investigator Willie O’Doherty reported to him.

In addition, in response to a number of questions, the hospital informed us that it is unclear as to which witnesses were consulted and on what basis they were chosen. Furthermore, it has emerged that a number of key witnesses were not consulted about the complaint.

The letter went on: “Your calm tenacity – and patience – in pursuing matters and seeking improvements has achieved a positive outcome, not just in terms of you receiving an apology, and the retraction of the initial report, but also in the fact that your complaint has provided an opportunity to put things right for other patients and families.” 

Enda Craig received an apology and his complaint was praised for providing an opportunity to put things right for other patients and families.
Enda Craig received an apology and his complaint was praised for providing an opportunity to put things right for other patients and families.

A spokesperson for the Saolta Hospital group, of which Letterkenny is a member, said that on foot of the Ombudsman’s request, the group is undertaking a review of the hospital’s complaint handling processes.

“Listening to the experiences of those who use our services can provide unique insights into standards of care and offers opportunities to improve the quality and safety of health services in a way that will deliver measurable benefits for patients and service users.” 

Mr Craig has received his apology. His condition has seen him return to the hospital since the fateful night of May 2019.

“I got on fantastic,” he says of the visit. 

Members of staff came in to take a look at me. They must have heard I was the boy who made the complaint, they were tripping over me to look after me. 

“I sent a letter to the hospital afterwards thanking them.”