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British airline Flybe ceases all trading and cancels scheduled flights | UK News

British airline Flybe has ceased trading and all scheduled flights have been cancelled.

In a statement posted on its Twitter account Flybe said: “We are sad to announce that Flybe has been placed into administration.

“David Pike and Mike Pink of Interpath have been appointed administrators.

“Regretfully, Flybe has now ceased trading.

“All Flybe flights from and to the UK are cancelled and will not be rescheduled.”

The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s consumer director Paul Smith said: “It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers.

“We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website or our Twitter feed for more information.”

It comes after Flybe returned to the skies in April following an earlier collapse.

It operated up to 530 flights per week across 23 routes, serving airports such as Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Heathrow and Leeds Bradford.

Flybe was pushed into administration in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed large parts of the travel market.

Before it went bust it flew the most UK domestic routes between airports outside London.

Its business and assets were purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.

Thyme Opco was renamed Flybe Limited.

It had been based at Birmingham Airport.

Faction of Tory members feel ‘disconnected’ after being ‘denied a vote’ when Rishi Sunak became PM, ex-party chair says | Politics News

A proportion of Conservative members feel “disconnected” from the party as they were “denied a vote” when Rishi Sunak became prime minister, a former Tory chairman said.

Sir Jake Berry, who was chair under Liz Truss, said Mr Sunak should have held an “endorsement vote” to show he had the support of the membership.

Instead, Mr Sunak automatically became PM after Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the contest to replace Liz Truss and Mr Sunak passed the 100-nomination threshold, leaving him as the only remaining candidate.

As a result, there is a “perception”, Sir Jake said, that Tory MPs are “disconnected from our membership”.

Mr Sunak entered Downing Street just weeks after coming second to Ms Truss in the summer leadership contest after Tory members voted for her over him – despite MPs being in favour of him.

“I actually think it’s a great pity for Rishi Sunak that we didn’t have a vote of members,” Sir Jake told GB News.

“Because in the summer, fine Conservative that he is, he struggled actually to get the support of Conservative Party members – as, funnily enough, did Jeremy Hunt in the previous leadership election.

Minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office Jake Berry during day three of the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Tuesday October 4, 2022.
Sir Jake Berry was party chairman under Liz Truss

“And I think even though he absolutely got the majority of the Conservative members of parliament – and I support him as prime minister in everything he does – the challenge he has is, even if it’s not true, there’s a perception of the Conservative Parliamentary Party now being disconnected from our membership.”

Read more:
Hunt dismisses economic ‘gloom’ as he dashes hopes of tax cuts
Sir Rod Stewart ‘reflected country’s mood’ when he called for Labour government

Sir Jake added that he thinks Mr Sunak “would have won it well” if a vote had gone to the membership.

But, he said a narrative has been allowed to develop about members being “denied that vote”.

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‘War room’ in the dying days of Truss leadership

The former Northern Powerhouse minister revealed what the last days of the Truss premiership were like.

He was part of a “war room” in Number 10, with Ms Truss, ex-chief whip Wendy Morton and former deputy PM Therese Coffey who were all trying to stabilise her leadership after the now-infamous mini-budget.

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Sunak becomes prime minister

Just before Ms Truss resigned, Sir Jake said “two of the most senior civil servants in the Treasury” tried to press him on “why there could be no long, protracted leadership election in the Conservative Party”.

“They asked me at the end of it, ‘Do you agree?’,” he said.

“And I said, ‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me saying, I don’t really think it’s any of your business, as civil servants, about how political parties choose their leader’.”

Firefighter Barry Martin dies after blaze at former Jenners department store in Edinburgh | UK News

A firefighter has died after a blaze at a former department store in Edinburgh, Scottish police have said.

Barry Martin, 38, from Fife, sustained serious injuries while fighting a blaze at the historic Jenners building on Rose Street on Monday.

He had been in a critical condition at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh but died today, Police Scotland said.

Four other firefighters who were also taken to the hospital for treatment and were subsequently released.

Two were treated for burns and two for smoke inhalation.

A police officer was also treated for smoke inhalation at the hospital and later released.

Superintendent David Robertson, of Edinburgh Division, said: “Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Barry at this very difficult time.

“Our enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze, which was reported around 11.30am.

Witnesses saw a soot-covered firefighter being helped from the building by colleagues.

Jenners on fire in scotland

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the death as a “terrible tragedy”.

“This is dreadfully sad news,” she tweeted.

“My deepest condolences go to Barry’s family, friends and colleagues.

“This is a terrible tragedy for all who loved him – but also a reminder of the selfless courage our firefighters demonstrate in the line of duty each and every day.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s interim chief officer said he and his colleagues were “devastated” by the death.

Ross Haggart said: “I speak for the entire service when I say that we are all devastated by the loss of Barry and our thoughts remain with his family, friends and colleagues at this deeply distressing time.

“Both Barry’s family and the service have been overwhelmed with the messages of support we have received and we thank everyone for the time they have taken to share these.

“Barry’s family would also like to thank all the medical staff who have cared for him.”

Mr Martin is the first Scottish firefighter to die while on duty since Ewan Williamson, who died after being injured at the Balmoral Bar in Edinburgh in 2009.

Leeds St James’s Hospital: Student nurse appears in court accused of planning terror attack on RAF base | UK News

A student nurse has appeared in court accused of taking a pressure cooker bomb to a maternity hospital in Leeds and planning a terrorist attack on an RAF base.

Mohammad Farooq, 27, was allegedly inspired by radical Islam and Jihad when he carried out “hostile reconnaissance” of the military base in Yorkshire on 10 January and 18 January after carrying out online research.

He is said to have constructed a viable bomb made from a pressure cooker, 13.7kg of a homemade low explosive mixture and a length of pyrotechnic fuse.

Farooq was arrested in the early hours of last Friday outside the maternity unit of St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where he had been due to work a shift.

He was allegedly in possession of the explosive device and an imitation firearm – a Gediz 9mm P.A.K semi-automatic pistol.

His actions at the hospital are not alleged to have been motivated by terrorism but by a grudge towards another member of staff.

Farooq, from Leeds, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday from a police station in Bradford wearing a grey tracksuit.

He spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth but was not asked to enter pleas to the three charges he faces.

Farooq is charged with one count of engaging in conduct with the intention of committing acts of terrorism between 12 July and last year and 20 January.

A bomb disposal unit at St James's Hospital, Leeds, where patients and staff were evacuated from some parts of the building following the discovery of a suspicious package outside the Gledhow Wing, which houses the majority of its maternity services including the delivery suite. A 27-year-old man from Leeds has been arrested in connection with the matter. Picture date: Friday January 20, 2023.

Wards on the Gledhow wing of the hospital were evacuated after Farooq was detained at around 5am last Friday.

Army specialists and a bomb disposal unit also attended the scene and a cordon was put in place as a precautionary measure.

Read more:
At least one dead in Spanish church ‘terror attack’ stabbing
British teenage extremist whose videos were linked to two mass murders in US jailed

Farooq is said to have told a man he “felt like killing everyone” before showing him a gun, then told police officers he had a bomb.

There was no application for bail and he was remanded in custody ahead of his next appearance at the Old Bailey on 3 February.

Fire destroys heritage-listed church in London | UK News

A huge fire has destroyed a heritage-listed church in London as nearby residents were urged to keep their windows and doors closed.

Footage shared by the London Fire Brigade shows the blaze engulfing the two-storey St Mark’s Church in St John’s Wood, northwest London.

Eighty firefighters and 12 fire engines were on the scene and motorists were urged to avoid the area.

There have been no reports of any injuries due to the blaze.

Three turntable ladders – including the tallest one in Europe at 64 metres – were used as water towers.

Pic: London Fire Brigade
Pic: London Fire Brigade

The fire brigade were first alerted to the incident at 11.19pm last night and it was under control by 2:22am this morning.

The cause of the blaze is now under investigation.

The fire was producing a significant amount of smoke in the local area and residents were advised to keep their windows and doors closed.

The National Churches Trust lists St Mark’s as a Grade II Victorian church, containing “stunning” mosaics by the Salviati family as well as highly decorative marble flooring in the chancel.

The Anglican church is located near Abbey Road Studios and Lord’s Cricket Ground, and has links to author Lewis Carroll and Queen Victoria’s son Prince Leopold.

The trust describes it as an “architectural and historical treasure”, which finished construction between 1846 and 1847 in the Gothic style to the design of architect Thomas Cundy Junior.

Crews from North Kensington, Paddington, West Hampstead and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

Sir Jeremy Fleming to stand down as head of GCHQ after six years | UK News

Sir Jeremy Fleming is to stand down as the director of GCHQ after six years in the role.

The spy chief, who is the 16th person to head up the UK’s intelligence, cyber and security agency, will end his tenure in the summer.

The recruitment process to find his replacement is under way.

“Sir Jeremy Fleming, director GCHQ, has today announced his decision to step down at the end of his tenure later this year,” GCHQ said in a statement.

“In line with normal practice, there will be an internal civil service competition to identify a successor. Sir Jeremy and the board will continue to lead and oversee work at GCHQ until the summer.”

Sir Jeremy, who joined MI5 in 1993, has most recently spoken out on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “flawed” decision-making during his invasion of Ukraine.

He also warned of the “dangerous” talk of nuclear weapon use during the conflict, while paying tribute to Ukrainian cyber security personnel, and pledged continued support.

Despite the potential immediate threat posed by Russia, Sir Jeremy previously warned in an interview of China’s use of technology to attack satellite systems, control digital currencies, and to control dissent by tracking individuals.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that China was the “real long-term threat” to UK national security – claiming the country was “deploying its ideologies in ways that we think are against our national interests”.

Sir Jeremy also spoke out about the increased threat of cyber attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, with GCHQ supporting the health sector as vaccine research was targeted by hackers.

Rishi Sunak fails to place full confidence in Nadhim Zahawi over tax investigation | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has refused to place his full confidence behind Nadhim Zahawi as the Tory party chairman faces an investigation into whether he breached the ministerial code over an HMRC tax settlement.

The prime minister, speaking from Chequers during an awayday with his cabinet, said he believes “in due process” when asked if he has confidence in Mr Zahawi.

He said that is why he appointed an independent adviser to investigate what happened with the Tory party chairman’s tax affairs.

The PM is under increasing pressure to sack his party chairman over the ordeal.

But he again insisted he will wait for the results of an investigation to decide Mr Zahawi’s fate, despite HMRC’s boss saying there are “no penalties for innocent errors”.

Mr Zahawi is being investigated over whether he breached the ministerial code with the estimated £4.8m HMRC settlement he made while he was chancellor, but it could extend to his previous tax arrangement and whether he lied to the media.

The PM added: “When I appointed Nadhim Zahawi to his current job, no issues were raised with me.

“But because Nadhim Zahawi himself put a statement into the public domain and there was other reporting, there are questions to answer.

“And that’s why I asked the independent adviser to conduct an investigation to fully establish the facts and provide advice to me about Nadhim Zahawi’s compliance with the ministerial code.

“I believe we should have integrity in politics, and we should do that in a professional way where we have an independent person look at all the facts and provide advice.

“That’s the long-established process that we have and that’s the process that I’m following.”

Nadhim Zahawi arrives at the Conservative Party head office
Nadhim Zahawi is being investigated

Read more: What did Nadhim Zahawi do?

Mr Zahawi has given HMRC approval to speak to the investigation, a source close to the Tory chairman said.

Earlier on Thursday, Jim Harra, head of HMRC, told MPs: “There are no penalties for innocent errors in your tax affairs.

“So if you take reasonable care, but nevertheless make a mistake, whilst you will be liable for the tax and for interest if it’s paid late, you would not be liable for a penalty.

“But if your error was as a result of carelessness, then legislation says that a penalty could apply in those circumstances.”

Reacting to Mr Harra’s comments, the PM said he did not want to “prejudge the outcome of the investigation” and will “await the findings”.

‘Absolutely disgusting’: Life insurance firm uses picture of serial killer Harold Shipman in advert | UK News

A life insurance firm has been criticised after running an advert featuring Harold Shipman.

DeadHappy, a Leicester-based firm with a reputation for shocking adverts, used a picture of the serial killer alongside the text “Life insurance: Because you never know who your doctor might be.”

The commercial, which was run on social media, was branded “tasteless” and “disgusting” online.

Shipman, who worked as a GP for decades, was convicted of 15 murders in 1998 but is suspected to have potentially killed as many as 250 people between 1975 and 1998.

He hanged himself in prison in 2004.

Kathryn Knowles, founder of insurance broker Cura, said on Twitter she would report the “absolutely disgusting” advert to the Financial Conduct Authority and the advertising watchdog.

She said: “There is a firm that is promoting life insurance using the picture of a mass murderer to promote their services.

“I will name neither as I won’t give them the satisfaction of popping up in more search results. Please know that many of us in insurance find this beyond despicable.

Ms Knowles added: “I would hope the FCA and ASA would would take action on this. I would like to lodge a formal complaint to both over this advert and will provide a copy to them.”

A family member of one of the victims did see the advert and said: “As someone who’s relative was murdered by Harold Shipman, your latest advert utilising his image is despicable and unacceptable.

“I hope you enjoy yet another judgement from ASA and change your practices.”

In a statement, the firm’s founder Andy Knott said: “We are called DeadHappy and our strapline is ‘Life insurance to die for’ so we are aware of the provocative and to some the very shocking nature of our brand.

“But being provocative is different to being offensive and it is of course never our intention to offend or upset people. It is our intention to make people stop and think.

“If however you have been personally distressed by this advert we do sincerely apologise.”

Around 500 migrants crossed Channel to UK today | UK News

Around 500 people crossed from France to England across the Channel today, according to Sky sources.

Groups of people wearing life jackets and some wrapped in blankets were pictured being brought into Dover, Kent, on a Border Force boat.

A record 45,728 made the crossing on small boats last year, up more than 60% on the previous year.

Government figures show 592 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year, but the activity was only recorded on three days in January.

Some 1,339 made the journey in the first month of 2022.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Wednesday January 25, 2023.

It comes as MPs heard flights sending migrants to Rwanda may not take place until later this year at the earliest amid ongoing legal action.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said the government still hopes to restart flights “as soon as possible”, but said it was “right” to wait until court appeals have concluded.

Asked when the government hopes to restart flights to Rwanda, Mr Jenrick told MPs: “As soon as possible. It obviously remains the government’s policy. We see it as an absolutely critical way of deterring people from making the dangerous crossing and changing the business model of the people smugglers.”

The migrants arrived in Dover, Kent
The migrants boarded a coach at the immigration processing centre in Kent

High Court judges ruled the policy was lawful last month, but so far efforts to launch it have been mired by legal action.

Mr Jenrick said an appeal “will be heard later this year” and added: “We look forward to defending the government’s position once again as robustly as possible and hope, and expect, that we’ll have a similar outcome in the Court of Appeal.”

Asked to confirm if the government was waiting for the appeal to conclude before any flights will start again, he said: “Yes. It’s right that we await to the outcome of the British courts… then obviously the government will decide how to proceed once we have the final judgment.”