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Nigel Farage says Coutts has offered to reinstate his bank accounts | Politics News

Nigel Farage has said Coutts has offered to reinstate his personal and business accounts.

The former Ukip leader said he was seeking compensation from the private bank.

Mr Farage said “the fight goes on” as he outlined his desire for a face-to-face meeting with the bank’s bosses in a bid to understand how many other people had been affected by account closures.

The former MEP claimed his bank account was unfairly shut down by Coutts, owned by NatWest Group, because it did not agree with his political views.

NatWest has since announced an independent review, with lawyers probing the closure of Mr Farage’s account and other instances of de-banking by Coutts.

Speaking on his GB News programme, Mr Farage said: “The new chief executive of Coutts, Mo Syed, somebody who has held very senior positions within that bank, is now the boss and he has written to me to say I can keep both my personal and my business accounts.

“And that’s good and I thank him for it.”

Coutts has not publicly confirmed that Mr Syed is the new chief executive.

But Mr Farage said “enormous harm” has been done to him in the last few months.

Read more:
Key points from Coutts dossier on Farage
What are PEPs and can banks close their accounts?

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Farage: ’10 banks turned me down’

Farage seeks compensation

Mr Farage added: “It has taken up a huge amount of my time and it has cost me, so far, quite a lot of money in legal fees so I have today sent a legal litigation letter to Coutts where I want some full apologies, I want some compensation for my costs, but – more important than all of that – I want a face-to-face meeting with the bank’s bosses.

“I want to find out how many other people in Coutts or NatWest have had accounts closed because of their political opinions, and I want to make sure this never happens to anybody else ever again.

“So the fight goes on.”

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Former Ukip leader campaigns to tackle account closures

The media storm around Mr Farage’s account closure led to the resignation of NatWest chief executive Dame Alison Rose after she admitted being the source behind an incorrect BBC story about Mr Farage’s Coutts account, followed by Coutts boss Peter Flavel.

Mr Farage has launched a campaign to tackle account closures, which has received support from ministers and Tory MPs.

Woman dies after ‘altercation’ and car chase – prompting police hunt for occupants of Mercedes that sped off | UK News

A murder inquiry has been launched, with police hunting for the occupants of a black Mercedes after a woman died following a “dangerous” car chase.

Emergency services were called to B902 New Carron Road in Falkirk at around 6.10pm on Saturday after two vehicles collided.

The 27-year-old female driver of a silver Vauxhall Vectra was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her 22-year-old male passenger was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for treatment, while the 39-year-old male driver of a black Volkswagen Tiguan also suffered minor injuries.

Police Scotland said the woman’s death was being treated as “suspicious”.

Shortly before the crash, investigating officers say those in the Vauxhall were involved in an “altercation” with the occupants of a black Mercedes C-Class outside an address in Foundry Street.

Police say the Mercedes pursued the Vauxhall on to New Carron Road “in a dangerous fashion” and then fled the scene after the crash.

Detective Inspector Hazel Reid said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman at this very difficult time.

“We have a dedicated team of officers working on this investigation and extensive enquiries are ongoing at this time.

“It is imperative we trace the occupants of the black Mercedes who fled the scene.

“We believe this vehicle has pursued the Vauxhall in a dangerous fashion, resulting in a crash with the Volkswagen Tiguan.”

Officers have been gathering CCTV footage from the surrounding area and carrying out door-to-door enquiries.

Anyone with information, private CCTV or dashcam footage is being urged to come forward.

Inspector Reid added: “We will have a continued police presence in the area and anyone with any concerns can approach these officers.

“It is vital that we find out more about what has happened as soon as we can and I would urge anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible, no matter how insignificant it might seem.”

British expat David Hunter who killed terminally ill wife in Cyprus handed two-year sentence for manslaughter | UK News

David Hunter, the British pensioner who killed his terminally ill wife in Cyprus, has been sentenced to two years after he was found guilty of manslaughter.

But Hunter was released on Monday after Cypriot prison authorities officially calculated his release date, his legal team have said.

The 76-year-old has already spent 19 months in custody so has already served the majority of his sentence, according to Michael Polak, the director of Justice Abroad.

Undated family handout file photo of David Hunter, 74, and Janice Hunter 75, on their wedding day. Mr Hunter is expected to give evidence during his trial in Paphos, Cyprus, over death of his wife Janice, 74, who died of asphyxiation in December 2021 at the couple's retirement home near the coastal resort town. Issue date: Monday May 15, 2023.
The couple were married for 52 years

Mr Polak, whose organisation is representing Hunter, said that in Cyprus a defendant will spend 10 months in custody for every year they are jailed.

Janice Hunter, 74, died of asphyxiation at the couple’s retirement home near Paphos in December 2021.

Hunter, a former coal miner from Northumberland, admitted killing his wife but denied murder.

He told a Cyprus court she had blood cancer and “begged him” to take her life because she was in so much pain.

Hunter was cleared of murdering his wife but was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter earlier this month.

Mr Polak said Hunter’s legal team were “very pleased” with the sentence.

“The sentencing exercise was not a simple one given that a case like this has never come before the courts of Cyprus before,” Mr Polak said.

“We submitted extensive sentencing case law from across the common law world, from Australia to Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to assist the court in coming to a decision which was fair.

British pensioner David Hunter waves to journalists while being escorted to a police van outside a courthouse in Paphos, Cyprus July 21, 2023. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
British pensioner David Hunter waves to journalists while being escorted to a police van outside a courthouse in Paphos

“The result of today’s hearing, and the court’s previous decision finding Hunter not guilty of murder, is what we have been fighting for in this case and David is very pleased with the outcome today.

“David would like to thank his legal team for their work, the experts who supported his case, and everyone from Cyprus, the United Kingdom, and around the world who has supported him,” Mr Polak added.

“This has been a tragic case and difficult for all of those involved with it, but today’s decision was the right one and allows David and his family to grieve together.”

Hunter told his trial, which lasted more than a year, that his wife “cried and begged” him to end her life.

Undated family handout file photo of David Hunter, 74, and Janice Hunter 75. Mr Hunter is expected to give evidence during his trial in Paphos, Cyprus, over death of his wife Janice, 74, who died of asphyxiation in December 2021 at the couple's retirement home near the coastal resort town.Issue date: Monday May 15, 2023.
David and Janice Hunter

He broke down in tears as he said he would “never in a million years” have taken Mrs Hunter’s life unless she had asked him to.

He showed the court how he held his hands over his wife’s mouth and nose and said he eventually decided to grant her wish after she became “hysterical”.

The court heard he then tried to kill himself by taking an overdose, but medics arrived in time to save him.

His legal team had argued Hunter should be given a suspended sentence, in a case which is a legal first in the country.

The house in Tremithousa, Cyprus where Janice Hunter was killed by her husband David
The house in Tremithousa, Cyprus where Janice Hunter was killed by her husband David

In mitigation last week, his defence lawyer, Ritsa Pekri, said his motive was to “liberate his wife from all that she was going through due to her health conditions”.

The court heard it was Mrs Hunter’s “wish” to die and that her husband “had only feelings of love for her”.

The couple’s daughter, Lesley Cawthorne, told Sky News after the conviction was handed down: “I’m incredibly relieved that it’s manslaughter rather than murder.

“It’s the best we could have hoped for in the circumstances.”

Labour attacks ‘abysmal’ figures showing just 5.7% of crimes solved last year | Politics News

Labour has called it a “national scandal” that only 5.7% of crimes were solved last year after 2.3 million cases were dropped without a suspect being found.

The Home Office figure for England and Wales covers the 12 months from April 2022 and is a small improvement on the year before.

The 5.7% represents the proportion of crimes that resulted in a charge or court summons.

For sex offences, the charge rate was 3.6% – and just 2.1% for rape; while only 6.5% of robberies ended with a suspect being charged.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Labour would ensure more crimes are solved if it wins power, as well as making police forces recruit more detectives to reverse a national shortage.

She said candidates would be brought in from sectors such as child protection and business fraud investigations.

Ms Cooper accused the Tories of having an “abysmal” record on law and order as the figures showed more than 90% of crimes were going unsolved.

“For some serious crimes, like rape and robbery, the charge rate is now so low it constitutes a national scandal,” she said.

“For far too long in this country, too many crimes have been committed without any consequences. Victims increasingly feel like no-one comes and nothing is done. Labour is determined this has to change.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said communities were safer than when it came to power 13 years ago, with “neighbourhood crimes including burglary, robbery and theft down 51% and serious violent crime down 46%”.

“The government has delivered more police officers than ever in England and Wales and the home secretary expects police to improve public confidence by getting the basics right – catching more criminals and delivering justice for victims,” said the spokeswoman.

“As part of the Beating Crime Plan, we have also committed to giving every single person in England and Wales access to the police digitally through a national online platform.”

Read more:
Tories accused of ‘lack of urgency’ over rape victim support
Police to drastically cut back on attending mental health callouts

Policing minister Chris Philp claimed Labour were “soft on crime and soft on criminals” and claimed “where Labour are in power, crime is over a third higher than Conservative-run areas”.

“Under the Conservatives, adult rape convictions have increased by two thirds over the last year, dangerous criminals are being locked up for longer, and there are now over 20,000 new police officers helping to keep our streets safe,” said Mr Philp.

KSI vs Tommy Fury: YouTuber to fight unbeaten boxer in Manchester | Ents & Arts News

YouTuber KSI will fight boxer Tommy Fury in Manchester later this year.

The 30-year-old internet star, founder of Prime energy drinks, has fought in the ring before – but this will be his first bout since taking a break from the limelight after using a racist slur in an online video.

Fury, the brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, has already fought a YouTube celebrity this year, beating Jake Paul in Saudi Arabia in February.

The Manchester fight will take place at the AO Arena on 14 October.

KSI, real name Olajide Olatunji, has admitted it will be “the toughest fight in the influencer boxing scene”.

He has previously fought Jake Paul’s brother Logan, another YouTuber, who will fight at the same event against an unannounced opponent set to be revealed in the coming days.

Read more:
KSI falls foul of advertising rules
US regulator asked to investigate Prime drinks

Youtube personality Logan Paul of the U.S., interacts with fans during a Prime soft drink promotional event in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 27, 2023. Ritzau Scanpix/Ida Marie Odgaard via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.
Logan Paul will also fight at the event

Fury dismisses ‘joke’ YouTube fighters

Fury has described the upcoming bout as “easy money” and said he will knock KSI out “inside four rounds”.

The 24-year-old, who starred in Love Island in 2019, has won all nine of his professional fights – four by knockout.

He told Sky Sports earlier this year that YouTubers-turned-fighters like KSI and the Pauls “are a bit of a joke”.

“All these guys are the same to me,” he said.

“I’m used to growing up fighting against proper boxers.”

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February: Scuffles at Fury and Paul weigh-in

Fight won’t be professionally sanctioned

KSI, who first rose to fame playing the FIFA video game for an online audience, is a regular on the popular Sidemen YouTube channel, which has nearly 19 million subscribers.

October’s fight is being organised by his Misfits Boxing label and will be broadcast by DAZN.

However, the fight has not been sanctioned by the British boxing regulator as a professional match – and KSI lacks a professional licence in the UK.

Only one of his previous fights has been professionally sanctioned, with the others all exhibitions.

His bout with Fury has instead been sanctioned by the Professional Boxing Association, but it won’t count towards either fighter’s professional record.

Government ‘committed’ to HS2 after watchdog rates project as ‘unachievable’ | Politics News

HS2 has been rated as “unachievable” as part of an annual report from a government watchdog.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) gave the first two phases of the rail link – from London to Birmingham, and from Birmingham to Crewe, a “red” rating, saying the whole plan may need to be “reassessed”. Both legs have faced a series of delays.

The project has been hit by ever-increasing costs – with estimates rising from £33bn in 2010 to at least £71bn.

The initial opening date of 2026 has fallen back to 2033, with the line possibly not reaching Manchester until 2040.

The government announced further delays to HS2 earlier this year in an effort to “balance the books” after inflation hit the cost of materials.

But analysis exclusively leaked to Sky News showed the two-year pause in works would end up being three-and-a-half years, and was likely to cost the taxpayer at least £366m.

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The government announced earlier this year the construction of the HS2 will be delayed by two more years due to

In its report, the IPA said: “Successful delivery of [HS2] appears to be unachievable.”

The watchdog added there were “major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable”.

As a result, it said the project “may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed”.

This latest criticism comes in the same month that HS2 Ltd’s chief executive, Mark Thurston, announced he would be resigning from his post in September.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Spades are already in the ground on HS2, with 350 construction sites, over £20bn invested to date and supporting over 28,500 jobs.

“We remain committed to delivering HS2 in the most cost-effective way for taxpayers.

“HS2 will bring transformational benefits for generations to come, improving connections and helping grow the economy.”

Matthew Daulby: Murder investigation under way as tributes paid to teenager stabbed to death in Ormskirk | UK News

The family of a teenager who died after a stabbing have paid tribute to a “compassionate, loving and funny young man” who had a “bright future ahead of him”.

Matthew Daulby, 19, from Liverpool, died in hospital following an “altercation” in Ormskirk town centre in Lancashire.

Detectives have now opened a murder investigation.

Police were called to an “ongoing disturbance” in Railway Road at 12.05am on Saturday, and Matthew was found nearby. A second 19-year-old man was also treated in hospital for stab injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening.

Railway Road. Pic: Google
Railway Road. Pic: Google

His family said: “Matthew was the most compassionate, loving and funny young man with a bright future ahead of him.

“He adored his family, and cared for them with utmost loyalty. He loved spending time with them and gave his love so generously, making sure everyone knew how much he loved them.

“He had a zest for life and was always looking forward to holidays with his family and friends. He was surrounded by love from his family and we will miss him every day, for the rest of our lives.”

A post-mortem examination to establish the cause of Matthew’s death will take place “in due course”, Lancashire Constabulary said.

A 19-year-old man from Liverpool and a 19-year-old man from Melling, in Merseyside, have been arrested on suspicion of affray and remain in police custody.

Detectives looking to identify a number of people

The arrests relate to an altercation in Railway Road involving a number of males, police said.

Officers are asking for anyone with information, or CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage which could help their investigation, to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fallows, from the force’s major investigation team, said it was being treated as an “isolated incident” despite the earlier fight in Railway Road.

He said: “This incident has resulted in a young man losing his life and first and foremost my thoughts are with Matthew’s loved ones at this time.”

Rishi Sunak orders review of low traffic neighbourhoods and says he’s on the side of motorists | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has ordered a review into the rollout of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and said he was on the side of motorists.

The prime inister announced he had ordered the Department for Transport to review LTNs policies, which aims to make residential areas cleaner and safer to walk around in, in an interview in the Sunday Telegraph.

Under LTNs, local councils attempt to limit traffic in town and city centres – with drivers often prevented from using quiet residential roads as through-routes and it also encourages the uptake of other modes of transport.

However, opponents of the scheme say it has created hotspots of traffic which means people end up spending more time in their car.

Mr Sunak told the paper: “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars. When I’m lucky enough to get home to North Yorkshire it’s more representative of how most of the country is living, where cars are important.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

The pitch to motorists and car owners comes after the Conservatives’ narrow victory in the Uxbridge and Ruislip by-election earlier this month, which saw the Tory candidate tap into local concerns about the expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).

That success has seen some Tory MPs on the right of the party urge Mr Sunak to engage in a rethink on net zero, amid hopes of attacking Labour’s green ambitions.

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ULEZ ‘landmark decision is good news’

The adoption of LTN policies has angered some Tory MPs who have criticised the measures as attacks on motorists and in recent months, it has emerged as a concern among some on the right of the Conservative Party.

Conservative MP Nick Fletcher suggested in the Commons earlier this year that traffic control plans being mooted by local councils across the UK were part of an “international socialist concept” which would take away personal liberties.

Read more:
LTNs are about ‘taking back control’ from Whitehall
Starmer told to ‘get off the fence’ and challenge Sadiq Khan on ULEZ

However, this is not the first time the prime minister has hit out at LTNs.

In last summer’s Tory leadership contest, he promised to review the policies to consider the impact on emergency services and knocked back calls to change the deadline for the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.

Man in life-threatening condition after collision between ambulance and scooter in South Yorkshire | UK News

A man is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision between an ambulance and a scooter in South Yorkshire.

Police received a call at around 10.25pm on Friday from a member of the public and another report from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service about the crash on the A628 Barnsley Road in Hoylandswaine.

The ambulance and been responding to an emergency call when it was involved in a collision with the scooter, which occurred at the junction near the Lord Nelson pub.

The incident occurred at a junction on Barnsley Road. Pic: Google
The incident occurred at a junction on Barnsley Road. Pic: Google

The scooter rider – a man in his 30s – was rushed to hospital where he currently remains in a life-threatening condition.

Officers are now appealing for witnesses with any information to come forward.

They would particularly like to speak to anyone on Barnsley Road at the time who may have seen the collision, or anyone driving along either of the two Barnsley Roads who may have caught the collision on a dash camera.

Police are also appealing to any premises that have CCTV cameras which cover the junction to check their footage and see if their cameras caught the collision.

Rage rollercoaster rescue at Southend’s Adventure Island after passengers left hanging at 72ft | UK News

Thrill seekers on a 72ft-high rollercoaster got more than they bargained for after they were left hanging vertically when the ride broke down.

Social media footage showed riders of the Rage attraction at the Adventure Island theme park in Southend in Essex stuck at a 90-degree angle facing skywards on Friday afternoon.

A rescue operation was launched and those aboard were evacuated and returned to the ground within 40 minutes, according to the park.

Rage is advertised as Adventure Island’s “biggest and best” rollercoaster – with “loops, twists, and flat-out speeds”.

Read more on Sky News:
Train passengers face more disruption as rail workers strike again

British-built satellite deliberately crashed into Atlantic in world first

Marc Miller, managing director of the Stockvale Group – which runs Adventure Island, said: “Just after 2pm today, a carriage on Rage stopped on the lift.

“Our highly trained team immediately initiated our ride evacuation plan, which has been certified by the Health and Safety Executives and Essex Fire and Rescue.

“All passengers were returned to the ground, safe and sound and reunited with their families within 40 minutes.”