Two people have been pulled from the sea in Bournemouth by the coastguard after reports of people “in difficulty in the water”.
South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said two patients were taken to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital after the service was called to a “sea incident” at 4.07pm.
A spokesperson said the service sent multiple teams to the scene including two air ambulances, six land ambulances and a critical care car.
Photos taken near the pier showed helicopters on the beach and multiple emergency service vehicles.
A spokesperson for the coastguard said: “HM Coastguard has been assisting South Western Ambulance Service after a call was received from Poole Bay RNLI lifeguards about people in difficulty in the water.
“Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent, two air ambulances, Poole and Southbourne coastguard rescue teams, Mudeford RNLI lifeboat, Dorset Police were all sent in support.
“Two people had been pulled from the water and passed into the care of the ambulance service. Coastguards searched to make sure there were no other people missing and are satisfied there are not.”
A SWASFT spokesperson said: “We were called at 16.07 on Wednesday 31 May to a sea incident in Bournemouth. We sent two air ambulances, six double-crewed land ambulances, one critical care car, two operations officers, one doctor, one hazardous area response team and one responding officer.
“We conveyed two patients to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital.”
A Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue spokesperson said the service was called to East Beach to support a “multi-agency incident” but added that they had now left the scene.
The SNP’s Westminster group has filed its audited accounts ahead of a deadline, the party has said.
The party faced missing out on £1.2m in public funds if it failed to meet the 31 May cut-off.
AMS Accountants Group took charge of the SNP’s books earlier this month after it was revealed in April that previous auditors Johnston Carmichael quit in September 2022 following a review of the firm’s client portfolio.
First Minister Humza Yousaf admitted he was unaware of the situation until he became party leader following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.
With the accounts submitted on time, the SNP should benefit from so-called ‘short money’ – public funds paid to opposition parties at Westminster to support their parliamentary work.
On Wednesday, Peter Grant MP, the SNP’s Westminster group treasurer, said: “I’m pleased to confirm that the annual return for the SNP Westminster group’s ‘short money’ for 2022/23 has received a clean audit certificate and has been submitted, on time, to the parliamentary authorities.
“Throughout this process, SNP MPs have remained focused on standing up for Scotland and supporting our hard-working staff.
“We will continue to hold the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour to account for the damage their policies are inflicting on Scotland.”
The SNP’s next deadline is to file the whole party’s audited accounts with the Electoral Commission by 7 July or risk being fined. AMS Accounting is also carrying out that work.
Read more: Nicola Sturgeon says SNP crisis beyond her ‘worst nightmares’ Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross criticises SNP ‘secrecy, spin and cover-ups’ Arrests, a luxury motorhome and a power couple’s fall: The inside story of SNP police probe
News of Johnston Carmichael quitting as auditors emerged as a police investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances ramped up.
Ms Sturgeon’s husband, former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, was arrested as part of the probe along with ex-treasurer Colin Beattie. Both men were subsequently released without charge pending further inquiries.
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Sturgeon: Last few weeks ‘very difficult’
Police Scotland launched Operation Branchform in 2021.
The long-running inquiry is linked to the spending of around £600,000 raised by supporters to be earmarked for Scottish independence campaigning.
It is understood there have been complaints the ringfenced cash may have been used improperly by being spent elsewhere.
Police have searched the SNP headquarters and Ms Sturgeon and Mr Murrell’s home as part of the investigation. A luxury £100,000 motorhome was also seized from outside the home of Mr Murrell’s mother in Dunfermline, Fife.
The SNP said it has been “cooperating fully” with the investigation and would “continue to do so”.
Officers who raise concerns about misogyny and sexism at Police Scotland fear being labelled a grass and feel they have a “target” on their back, a new report has found.
It also said a “boys’ club culture” exists in parts of the service where “the real team meetings happen on the golf course”.
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) paper said colleagues often disguise or label sexist behaviour as “banter” and if someone challenges or calls it out, they are seen as not being able to take a take a joke and isolated from the team.
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‘Police Scotland is institutionally racist’
It comes after Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone last week admitted the force is “institutionally racist and discriminatory”.
The new report contained the results of an anonymous online survey, which received 528 responses and found that 81% agree sexism and misogyny is an issue in the force.
The research, carried out between August and October last year for the SPA People Committee, revealed 86% of female colleagues said they have either been subjected to and/or witnessed sexism and misogyny.
Respondents described “having a target on your back” when raising issues and grievances, being labelled a “troublemaker” and “red-marked” during their career.
Some expressed concerns about working conditions and a lack of support for flexible working plans and maternity and paternity leave.
Others described being overlooked for promotion due to maternity and told they had forfeited their policing career by having families.
The report said there have been particular improvements since the early 2000s but there are still areas that need improvement.
It said: “Colleagues need to feel safe to call out behaviours and feel supported when they do. Leadership must be inclusive, visible and accountable across the service to inspire positive change.”
It said the force must “cultivate visible change to ensure that a zero-tolerance approach to sexism and misogyny is the reality”, adding: “This plays an essential part in fostering confidence in colleagues that if they raise an issue, this will be addressed in appropriate and supportive ways.”
Women who have worked in the police have previously spoken out about their experiences, and former armed response officer Rhona Malone last year won almost £1m in compensation from the force after an employment tribunal ruled she was victimised while raising sexism concerns.
Read more: Police Scotland is ‘institutionally racist and discriminatory’ Police Scotland chief constable to retire Officers threatening legal action against plan to ban beards
Last week, Sir Iain said the force was “institutionally racist and discriminatory” but that the admission “absolutely does not mean” all officers and staff are racist, sexist or homophobic.
He went on to say there is “no place” in Police Scotland for people who harbour prejudices and that the behaviour of colleagues who have been found to hold such views is “utterly condemned”.
It came as a separate report found “instances of ongoing discrimination against minoritised communities, including first-hand accounts of racism, sexism and homophobia” by serving officers.
Commenting on the new report, Assistant Chief Constable Emma Bond, lead on the delivery of action to tackle sexism and misogyny, said: “Hearing these experiences has been difficult and, in some instances, shocking but absolutely necessary.”
She added: “However, people also told us they were seeing progress and change. Women leading at every level in policing, proactive steps to recruit more women and better support for flexible working.
“We are committed to building on this, to continue to listen, to change and become an inclusive, anti-discriminatory organisation that reflects, and influences, the communities we serve.”
Longer lorries are now allowed on Britain’s roads to enable more goods to be carried on fewer journeys.
This is despite fears about the risks for pedestrians and cyclists as the vehicles have a larger tail swing – meaning their rear end covers a greater area when turning – and extended blind spots.
Lorry trailers up to 61ft (18.55m) long – some 6ft 9in (2.05m) longer than the standard size – are allowed to be used from 31 May.
The DfT has previously said the newlorries will be able to move the same volume of goods as current trailers in 8% fewer journeys.
Read more: New laws to allow longer lorries on UK roads ‘could cost lives’ of pedestrians and cyclists
The policy is expected to generate £1.4n in economic benefits and take one standard-size trailer off the road for every 12 trips.
An 11-year trial of longer lorries has demonstrated they are safe for use on public roads, according to the DfT.
The study found they were involved in “around 61% fewer personal injury collisions than conventional lorries”, the department said.
A Government-commissioned report published in July 2021 revealed that 58 people were injured in incidents involving longer lorries between 2012 and 2020.
Roads minister Richard Holden said: “A strong, resilient supply chain is key to the Government’s efforts to grow the economy.
“That’s why we’re introducing longer semi-trailers to carry more goods in fewer journeys and ensure our shops, supermarkets and hospitals are always well stocked.”
Read more: Road deaths rise to more than 1,500 Lorry left hanging off bridge after M1 crash
However, some organisations are concerned at the move – including Cycling UK.
Its campaigns manager Keir Gallagher said at the time of the government’s decision: “At a time when funding for infrastructure to keep people cycling and walking safer has been cut, it’s alarming that longer and more hazardous lorries could now be allowed to share the road with people cycling and walking.
“Before opening the floodgates to longer lorries rolling into our busy town centres and narrow rural lanes, further testing in real life scenarios should have been done to assess and address the risks.”
Phillip Schofield has been dropped as an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust after his admission of an affair with a younger male colleague.
The charity, founded by the King, said it was “no longer appropriate” for it to work with the presenter.
Schofield left ITV’s This Morning last week after two decades as host.
A spokesperson for The Prince’s Trust said: “In light of Phillip’s recent admissions, we have agreed with him that it is no longer appropriate to work together.”
The announcement comes after Schofield admitted to having an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague on the show.
His admission saw him quit all his duties for ITV and be dropped by his talent agency, YMU.
It comes as ITV bosses will soon be quizzed by MPs over their handling of the situation at This Morning.
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Former presenter of This Morning claims there was ‘total cover-up’ over Phillip Schofield’s affair with younger man
The network’s executives are due to appear before the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee next Tuesday.
They had been scheduled to appear before the committee anyway, to discuss the draft Media Bill.
However, it is understood the committee has informed them they will also face questions over public concern regarding the revelations the axed presenter had an affair with a much younger male colleague.
Schofield quit This Morning on 20 May after more than 20 years.
The 61-year-old originally said he was stepping down from the show because he had “become the story”, following reports of a feud between him and co-host Holly Willoughby.
It came after his brother was recently jailed for 12 years over child sex offences.
Willoughby, 41, is due to return next Monday (5 June), having gone on an early half-term holiday on 22 May.
Since his departure several people who have been involved in the show have criticised the way it was run.
Read more: A timeline of the This Morning controversy ITV responds to rumours around show’s future Why Schofield’s admission could kill off his career
Eamonn Holmes, who has regularly presented This Morning over the years, claimed that there was a “total cover-up” in relation to Schofield’s affair with a younger man while he was still married.
The veteran TV presenter told GB News: “Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this which they do and they do constantly.”
Separately This Morning’s ex-resident doctor Ranj Singh branded the show’s culture “toxic” claiming he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination”.
ITV said that there had been an investigation “rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee” in early 2020, but said it didn’t find any evidence.
A statement from the broadcaster released on 27 May said: “Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour… He lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”
The King has presented honours to Royal Navy sailors who played a symbolic role in his mother’s funeral procession, one of whom is heavily pregnant.
During an open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle, the monarch honoured about 150 sailors and officers who either took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last September or helped to plan it.
Medical assistant Paisley Chambers-Smith, who is seven months pregnant, was awarded an RVO (Royal Victorian Order) silver medal for pulling the gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin with almost 100 other sailors.
On a warm sunny day in Windsor she was wearing a blue summer dress because the Royal Navy does not have any ceremonial maternity wear.
The medic, who works alongside civilian staff at an NHS hospital when not on deployment, said after the ceremony: “It’s not something I imagined doing so soon in my career.
Read more: Prince William, Princess Anne and Kate the most popular royals, poll suggests The Queen’s funeral was watched by average of 26.2 million people in UK
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September 2022: Queen’s coffin piped to Abbey
“The training was so hard but worth it and on the day it was a massive honour to be there.”
The King weaved between those gathered in the castle’s quadrangle, while music was provided by the Royal Marines Band Service.
Asda Group has said it will acquire petrol station operator EG Group’s UK and Ireland business, creating a company with combined revenues of nearly £30bn.
The news confirms a report by Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman last week, which said the “finishing touches” were being put on the deal.
Asda is the UK’s third-largest supermarket, and – like EG – is owned by brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital.
The £2.27bn deal will mean the acquisition of around 350 petrol stations and more than 1,000 food-to-go locations.
The resulting behemoth will have around 170,000 employees, nearly 600 supermarkets and 700 petrol forecourts.
Asda chairman Stuart Rose said: “Asda’s acquisition of EG UK and Ireland will create a consumer champion like the UK has never seen.
“Throughout my career in retail, one thing has always been true – that meeting the evolving needs of customers is the route to growth.
“This transaction is all about driving growth by bringing Asda’s heritage in value to even more communities and accelerating the growth of its convenience retail business.”
Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said that the deal would be “positive news for motorists, as we will be able to bring Asda’s highly competitive fuel offer to even more customers”.
Read more: 7,000 Asda staff could face the sack unless they agree to a ‘shameful’ pay cut, union claims Deliveroo hops to Asda expansion in grocery drive
Talks about a combination of Asda and EG UK have been under way for more than six months, and were initially reported by The Sunday Times in January.
The GMB union raised concerns in April and earlier this month that the tie-up could threaten food supplies, increase fuel prices and would only benefit the “super-wealthy elite”.
Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: “The billionaire Issa Brothers and the elite multi-millionaire private equity fund managers at TDR capital want to use ASDA as a cash cow to pay off their debts.
“This merger is wrong on so many levels – it is wrong for consumers and will increase food prices, it is wrong for drivers with a chilling effect on fuel prices, it is wrong for ASDA’s workers and it is wrong for ASDA’s business.”
The Competition and Markets Authority said the ultimate owners of Asda are the same ultimate owners in the same proportion of ownership as EG Group and, therefore, the merger would not qualify for a CMA review.
Only a third of UK hospitality businesses are optimistic about their future due to high energy prices and rising food costs, industry bosses have warned.
Pub, bars and restaurants say their energy prices have surged an average of 81% over the past year, on top of rising food and wage bills.
Wholesale gas prices, which rocketed following Russia’sFebruary 2022 invasion of Ukraine, have dipped to their lowest levels since the conflict started.
But with retail prices still falling back into line – and with some pubs and restaurants locked into long-term fixed rate contracts – hospitality bosses say just 29% of businesses say they feel optimistic about the next 12 months.
They say that pubs, bars and restaurants have been at “breaking point for a year now” and warn venues will shut for good if cost pressures do not ease soon.
Four of the UK’s largest hospitality industry groups – the British Institute of Innkeeping, UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster – have issued a plea to the government for more support.
In a statement, they say: “The Energy Bill Relief Scheme has provided a short respite but with that falling away last month businesses are back to paying high costs, with no end in sight for the thousands locked into contracts who will be obligated to pay extortionate rates well into next year.
“The government must recognise this crisis isn’t just crippling businesses now.
“Left unresolved it will have a lasting wider impact long into the future, impacting local employment, supply chains and removing essential community hubs from villages, towns and cities across the whole of the UK.”
It comes as data collected by CGA by NielsenIQ on behalf of the groups reveals that 86% of hospitality firms are worried about energy costs going forward.
Last month, analysis of official Government data by the commercial real estate specialist Altus Group found more than 150 pubs have disappeared for good from English and Welsh communities over the first three months of 2023.
This represents a 60 per cent jump on levels from last year.
“Put simply, this data is extremely worrying for thousands of otherwise viable hospitality businesses,” the groups say.
Read more: Number of restaurants entering liquidation up by almost 50% Pubs and restaurants cut menu items as inflation pressures mount
The government announced its Energy Bill Relief Scheme – which provides a discount on gas prices for businesses – in October last year.
The scheme, which the government says saved businesses a total of £6.9bn on energy costs, was due to expire in March.
However, it was renewed as the Energy Bill Discount Scheme in January to help businesses, including those signed up to expensive longer-term deals.
The new scheme – which offers a lower level of support than the previous one – is due to run until March 2024.
A government spokesperson said: “Global energy prices have fallen significantly and are now at their lowest level since before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
“The new level of government support reflects this welcome fall in prices, but we will continue to stand by businesses.
“We are also assisting the hospitality sector with support such as freezing of alcohol duty, cutting energy bills, a £13.6billion business rates relief package and a £2.4billion fuel duty cut.”